Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti, YB & Andrew Tate: How Pretty Boy Culture Cures Toxic Masculinity
The idea of pretty has always largely been associated with women. Women were pretty, flowers were pretty, rainbows and butterflies are pretty, and men stayed out of all that and went to war.
When Muhammad Ali called himself pretty in the 60s it sounded strange to everyone that heard it, but he knocked people out to justify his use of the term. Nowadays you can’t go too far without hearing a young man in oversized clothes that looks like he hasn’t slept in 3 years refer to himself as pretty.
Lil Yachty’s Psych rock album Let’s Start Here has a standout song titled pRETTy where Yachty sings about feeling pretty, A$AP Rocky is Lord Pretty Flacko, Playboi Carti has referred to himself as a pretty ass nigga on several occasions and the list goes on and on. Even the most street artists like NBA Youngboy preach stop the violence & paint their nails, Young Thug and Cam’ron embrace colors like pink.
In another era you wouldn’t have heard dark skinned black men talking about feeling pretty, and the Andrew Tates of the world might attribute it to the feminization of the man, but I think it’s actually something more enlightened that more men around the world should embrace.
I think the aspects of pretty that various young men, and top artists are embracing are all actually a positive directions for the broader culture, things like focusing on color palettes, beauty, romanticization, coziness, comfort, leisure, things that were reserved for white women in a previous era, that’s what a generation of men is pursuing because it’s been withheld from them systematically. The A$AP Mob have actually released the cozy tapes, a series of tapes where they’re dressed in heavy comfortable colorful cozy furs.
In a world designed to break your spirit, the concept of pretty is actually withheld from you because it’s too inspirational. The opinion that something is inherently beautiful and valuable is something you can only have if you think of yourself in that way and young men are usually taught to hate themselves and each other and that’s really why a lot of young men are killing themselves and each other.
Don’t get me wrong, despite Andrew being in jail now for a lot of charges that are messed up, I agree with a lot of what Andrew Tate says about how modern society wants to subdue masculinity in every way they can, the idea of masculinity has gotten a negative reputation, and looking at history doesn’t help, but there are a lot of necessary and beneficial things about traditional masculinity.
All of that protector and leader stuff is necessary, but reducing the masculine experience to its most brutish, most aggressive, least insightful and most toxic is harmful, and that’s what a lot of modern society does to men in a very literal day to day sense from gangs to fraternities to locker rooms.
Men across the world live in substandard situations that they have the power to fix but are too stubborn to because of their own connection to this hyper aggressive idea of masculinity. From wars to neighbourhood disagreements, they’re all avoidable conflicts exasperated by ideas of ego, pride, and hyper aggressive masculinity where guys want to be Alphas.
From every hood to military generals and politicians, there are men who are so attached to the idea of being this really tough guy who doesn’t take any shit, gives out a lot of shit, and just creating various forms of unnecessary conflict where there doesn’t need to be any in order to maintain and further this masculine identity, and it’s not just men, but it’s definitely men in the majority and it’s something I’ve seen my whole life.
Men, on average, are so historically removed from concepts like comfort and leisure around the world because the expectation was really just that you brought home food and went to war, and we’re all born in this feeling post 808s and Heartbreak skinny jeans world where everyone’s tapped into what they feel, and we don’t really wanna do a lot of that stuff, a lot of the usual ideas of masculinity don’t seem very fun, and a lot of the ideas of femininity actually seem useful for the human spirit.
Women spend time on their hair, on their make up, on their perfume, on their clothes, on their comfort and security, it costs a woman thousands to maintain going outside, and there aren’t as many female homicides & suicides, you could attribute that to many different reasons, but one of them is because women feel more valuable.
Focusing on beautifying yourself means focusing on beauty, it’s an elevated mode of existence to be in inherently, it’s satisfying, stimulating, educational, comforting, joyful.
Pretty music, pretty colours, pretty interior design, art, clothing, food, environments, the entire journey sends you on an inherently better quality of life than the alternative that is sold to men. We’re all just supposed to crash out.
I listen to Clairo, Pinkpantheress, Doja Cat and Ice Spice, I spend time picking out fragrances, and fashion, I go to art galleries and museums, i have favourite color palettes, restaurants, spots in the city & meals, i watch foreign films, and go to fashion shows, I like picnics, long walks on the beach, sitting by waterfalls, walking through nature, looking at butterflies, flowers, sunsets and rainbows, as a great man once said, I ain’t that motherfucking thugged out nigga, a rainbow is beautifuler than a mug. I refuse to dim my inherent human sensitivity, aesthetic acuity, and ability to appreciate, to appeal to this sick and twisted perspective of masculinity where if I haven't caught 2 bodies I don’t deserve any respect, and it seems like a lot of young men are following that path. As Youngboy sayd, lets stop the violence.
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