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The evolution of the ‘fuccboi’

/ 12:26 AM February 17, 2017

It has become common parlance, this word composed of one foul word attached to a harmless word describing masculine youth. It gets thrown around a lot in coffee shop conversations and campus hallways, between cautionary girls and jesting men, romanticized in popular culture and personified by teenage matinee idols or fictional icons. The f*ck boy, now oddly spelled as “fuccboi” has crossed the border from being someone’s idea to becoming a cultural phenomenon. Even Vanity Fair and Huffington Post have pieces on such creatures.

Strange? I believe so. It is very rare, perhaps even impossible, to catch a millennial by the collar who cannot draw up an image for this archetype. Everybody knows him. In this dopamine-crazy month of hearts, countless girls are cursing him. Yet everyone is drawn toward him.

Stranger still is that even if “fuccboi” is a relatively new term we use today, he has been around for so long, if only we looked a little closer. His scope of influence has extended far beyond the terrain of millennial jargon. Curiously and astoundingly, he has found his way into our civilized society.

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It would perhaps be helpful to first define him. It can be said that “fuccboi” was popularized by the internet, if it did not give birth to it. The Daily Gazette reported different theories proposing that the term had been in use since the 1960s by the LGBT community, or by prison inmates referring to rape, or by sex tourists. It’s impossible to pin down. With the internet as a dating tool, the term has been used in exponential ways and, as a result, now has exponential definitions.

This has not dampened its popularity, however. In the absence of a canon to define him, everybody has an idea of who he is. That is how orthodox and powerful he can be, without us being aware of it.

A fuccboi is that guy who has dated one too many, sometimes simultaneously. On many occasions he is seen wearing muscle shirts to display particular well-toned body parts to his advantage. He is not remarkably, genuinely smart. He is not fond of depth, in thoughts or in words. He is a magnet for trouble. But trust me when I say that when he walks up to a bar, like he often does, you will like him, at first.

Now here we are. It took us quite some time to notice the impending transition of the fuccboi from being a cultural phenomenon into a cultural problem. At first, society was quick to dismiss his silly antics for his being a boy. Reward him for being good, sometimes reward him too much. But when he falls, tear him apart. We have become

audiences to those smug-faced celebrities in free fall across tabloids for our enjoyment.

He may be rebellious but it is perhaps the unconditional love of a strong, affable woman who can turn him around and straighten him up. We, too, have become audiences to these storylines raking in much popularity. Surely, the fuccboi has grasped society in ways we may have not imagined.

But he has predated us, his presence already having firm roots in our subconscious. Many male characters in fiction are fashioned after him. Numerous guys are grooming themselves to be like him, and we may even be influenced, governed and entertained by the likes of him. Is he in our homes, our communities, our institutions?

Is it machismo? Is it male privilege? Is it cultural appropriation? Or is it just a trend, here today and gone tomorrow?

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Beside being foul, being a fuccboi is a seemingly harmless fad. But beneath its popularity are layers and layers of issues that tug society at its hem: the kind of examples we set for young men, the obvious difference in standards set for men and women, our passiveness toward lackadaisical male behavior, or even perhaps male objectification, a recent issue gaining some attention.

No, we do not like the fuccboi. But we all have had a hand in empowering him, without us being conscious of it.

Jacob Brogan writes, “In the end, fu*kboy resists complete explanation. That’s what makes it powerful.” If so, who does it render powerless?

michael.baylosis@gmail.com

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