Girlfriends can’t stop talking about the ‘boyfriend air’ theory on TikTok

Search for the hashtag #boyfriendair on TikTok, and you’ll find yourself wading through thousands of results with more than 18.8 million views between them.

The new internet slang term has been catching on like wildfire lately, and apparently, that’s because many women have been silently thinking about the phenomenon for years but never actually had a name for it.

According to Know Your Meme, the term “boyfriend air” refers to when you’re with your boyfriend or significant other for an extended period of time and start to notice that “flaws” in your physical appearance are accentuated. Examples include having a particularly bad hair day, getting a surprise breakout or simply feeling more “dirty” and less put-together.


boyfriend air be messing my hair and makeup up so bad

♬ original sound – speed sounds

The phenomenon is similar to “school air,” which became a popular term last year when TikTokers started posting their “before and after” school photos to prove that the way they look before they walk into a school building is somehow very different than how they look by the end of the day.

Likewise, there’s just something about the “boyfriend air” theory that’s resonating deeply with women across the internet.

“I am so happy people are now talking about boyfriend air, because I actually thought I was going crazy,” @taylordonoghuee admitted in one clip. “I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend’s apartment in New York, and I remember taking a full-body shower every morning, waking up and thinking, ‘I feel so dirty.'”


I was truly shook to see other ppl also related to this😭💀 #boyfriendair

♬ original sound – Taylordonoghuee

“My hair was getting greasy like crazy. My skin was looking different, like … everything, my makeup wasn’t staying on right. I was like, ‘What is going on?'” she continued.

But as soon as she started seeing TikToks pop up about “boyfriend air,” something just clicked.

“I totally get it and can see why now,” the TikToker said. “It just makes sense.”

The term seems to have really blown up since January when women started sharing that they always thought this was just in their heads.

Many have created their own TikToks trying to prove that boyfriend air is “a real thing” and that no one can convince them otherwise now that other women are talking about it, too.

Others have jokingly suggested that some of this might have to do with the way men keep their apartments — which is, to say, not well.

“‘boyfriend air’ isn’t a thing,” one viral TikTok declared. “your boyfriend just doesn’t wash his bedding.”

To be fair, there might be some truth to that, but plenty of people claim the phenomenon also happens during regular hangouts.

Whatever the case, women definitely seem to be showing a united front on this one, even if science isn’t on their side to prove it yet.

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