You’ve heard of the emotionally manipulative, sex-driven species of men that is the f*ckboys. In general, they would flirt with girls and then leave them with or without notice after they get what they want. They’re blatant in their meanness, taking on the über macho facade most of the time—unlike their latest evolution.
A softboy is hard to spot sometimes. They’re cheeky and cunning, and they’re completely aware of it. Softboys often have—as the young would call it—an aesthetic.
To fully accentuate the softboy aesthetic, one must compare it to their predecessor. The f*ckboy would emphasize his masculinity at every given chance. Tight shirts for muscle definition. Skinny jeans, but not too skinny. Perfectly waxed and/or gelled hair. He looks as cishet male as a cishet male can be.
On the contrary, the softboy embraces the queerness of fashion: the long wavy hair, baggy jeans, soft colors, oversized shirts, and round glasses. You might find them with a colorful old school backpack or a screen-printed tote bag. Sometimes, their fashion sense is an ode to the 80s or 90s, and they don’t care what others say about accessorizing.
Where to find them
Basically, you can find softboys anywhere, but they’re a little more saturated in places where there is art. You see, the defining quality of the softboy is their openness and—to a certain degree—their progressiveness. The place to demonstrate these are art exhibits, open mics, and gigs.
There’s a subgroup of these men called the ‘artsy softbois’. They’re talented and good at what they do, and it adds to their appeal. At an art exhibit, they’re one of the artists, or it’s their solo show. In open mics, they read poems and display the wide array of emotions they’re capable of. In gigs, they’re likely yielding the guitar or shaking their hair behind the drums.
The cherry on top
Despite their elusive knowledge of poetry and feminism, the softboy is inherently manipulative. The reason they’re ‘soft’ is they make the person of interest feel like they genuinely care about her. They make people think that they care about the other person by staying up with them, walking them home, and listening to their opinions. The softboy’s redeeming quality is the frequency of their replies.
The aesthetic of looking harmless and the demonstration of openness and progressiveness are all weapons of the softboy. They reel people in with intellectual conversations, making others think that they actually understand philosophical concepts–or their favorite: feminism. The softboy will send poems by Charles Bukowski or quotes by Haruki Murakami.
At the end of the day, when they’re faced with rejection, they’ll retaliate like every man with a fragile ego. Suddenly, consent is but a concept, and women are no longer capable of rational thinking. When things hit the fan, they’re most likely to ghost, reverting to the practices of the predecessors.
In case you need proof, an entire Instagram account is dedicated to exposing softboy behavior. It’s called Beam Me Up Softboi, and it has 581 posts of screenshots that will make you wish you had spent your time more wisely.