Beige Is All The Rage! Explaining TikTok’s Funniest New Relationship Trend
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s summer editorial intern PJ Cunningham. Find him on Instagram at @peachycunningham. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
Red flag, green flag, American flag… Beige flag?
If you or someone you know uses TikTok, chances are you’ve heard a lot about colorful flags; but do you truly understand them?
Sure, the green flag-red flag duality is well-established and easily understood. Green and red flags are personality terms, oftentimes prescribed to relationship dynamics. Green flags are positive signs in a person or partner that signify respect, comfort and growth.
While there are some near-universally accepted green flags, such as respect for one’s family, honesty and fidelity, there are some that are more specific or opinion-based, such as social media use or even food preferences.
Red flags, on the other hand, are focused on negative or potentially harmful traits in a person or partner, such as rudeness towards others, lack of accountability, or ignorance. However, much like green flags, there is no direct set of rules that governs red flags, with many being once again up to individual interpretation.
Yet, for all the hype and views the red and green flag drama receives, particularly when it comes to dating-related content, they are far less interesting, but also far less confusing than their more color-neutral counterpart the beige flag.
Unlike the universally accepted polarity of green and red, beige is a color that can bring about feelings of vagueness and sometimes boredom. Therefore, it is no surprise that the beige flag confused many, including myself. This is particularly true regarding dating-related content on TikTok, which generally consists of partners sharing their lover’s most idiosyncratic, goofy qualities. While there are myriad relationships, sexualities and dynamics posting and engaging around the beige flags in dating trends on TikTok, it has primarily centered around puzzled girlfriends sharing their boyfriend’s “beige flags.” These qualities can be as zany as asking waiters for their favorite dish when ordering at restaurants or even as mind-bogglingly unique as inventing new phrases. One thing is clear however, confusion is the name of the game.
At least, confusion on behalf of the girlfriends. As a guy in his 20s with far too much time on his hands and trivial information at his fingertips, I can say with some certainty that I understood the whole boyfriend’s beige flag conundrum from the get-go. The truth is, there is no deeper meaning to it. Guys are weird. Most of us have some random area of ‘expertise’ or have the natural desire to become repositories of useless information or bad jokes. What this trend does is simply highlight those idiosyncrasies in a digestible, label-like manner, which categorizes them as beige, since they cannot be determined to be generally good, generally bad, or sometimes even qualifiable at all.
Though it would appear that the case has been closed, recent in-depth pieces from Time Magazine and The New York Times show otherwise. Try as I might, my ability to get the top scoop on this trend has failed, despite my status as the nation’s premier social media correspondent* (student-intern who is on TikTok for too many hours). Since I am indeed no Bob Woodward, I am forced to scour the pages of the Zillennial Zine’s fiercest rivals in search of information. In this relentless pursuit of the truth, I came about an interesting dilemma. While it appeared that the beige flag trend focused on funny, interesting tidbits surrounding relationships, especially boyfriends, some social media posts instead characterized them as labels for boring traits in a relationship. As reported by journalist Becca Monaghan for Indy100, certain posts have characterized beige flags as boring info or traits found on dating apps. Rather than representing an interesting middle ground between green and red, beige flags in dating under this alternate definition center around a partner being dull or cookie-cutter.
Therefore, with all this in mind, it seems that the true notion behind this trend is still in a gray – or maybe a beige – area.
So, there you have it. Just like the other flags, beige flags in dating are largely up to the eye of the beholder. Therefore, I suggest we embrace the fun sides any of us can bring to a relationship. After all, even a beige flag should be allowed to wave.
What beige flags in dating have you stumbled upon? What do you think the tru meaning of beige flag is? Let us know in the comments below!