June 30, 2022

The time period “high-maintenance” is a part of on a regular basis speech, and generally refers to a girl who puts a excessive price on her private symbol, needs or wants. Continuously uttered inside the context of courting, the implication is the girl in query is an excessive amount of arduous paintings; an more straightforward, extra relatable mate can be most well-liked.

Infrequently, if ever, will we come around the time period “high-maintenance guy.”

On courting apps, customers make split-second choices, depending on profile footage to lead them.

In my analysis into courting apps and heterosexual suits, I discovered males sought to painting themselves as good-looking, muscular — tanned, even — of their profile photographs to draw extra suits.

Conversely, girls sought to painting themselves in opposition to a cultural thought.

Girls appeared to expand profiles which conveyed them as “no longer high-maintenance.”

What does “high-maintenance” imply on courting apps?

“Top-maintenance” was once a slippery and but sticky class outlined by way of bodily and behavioural traits.

In her profile pictures, the high-maintenance “lady” (as she was once ceaselessly described by way of the women and men in my analysis), was once most probably dressed in “an excessive amount of” makeup, or form-fitting garments. She can be dressed for a birthday celebration (or “going out”). She can be pouting on the digital camera Instagram-style, or toting a dear purse.

As soon as tarnished with the high-maintenance brush, it was once tricky to be perceived as in a different way.

Behaviorally, she was once perceived as tricky. She sought after issues, and anticipated a excessive usual. There was once a labour excited by courting her, and subsequently, a monetary burden.

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As one male player indicated:

There are many tremendous sexy ladies on courting apps […] however I imply, I will be able to’t come up with the money for that kind of factor. It is too high-maintenance.

Girls inside my analysis sought to offer themselves as “lovely” however “relatable.” They did not wish to “intimidate” a possible fit via their pictures and behaviour.

As one feminine player indicated, a high-maintenance lady anticipated an excessive amount of.

The wish to seem sexy and but no longer high-maintenance supposed girls needed to habits a balancing act.

There was once a type of easy, lovely, nonchalance required:

My on a regular basis glance is an outsized tee and really at ease garments, however on my profile there is the competition image the place I am clearly completed up and there are two different pictures the place I am with pals […] I did really feel the power the place you must no less than glance lovely, however on the identical time you want to seem relatable. So I suppose on the identical time, other folks don’t seem to be intimidated to means you.

There’s that power that you want to seem pleasant sufficient, however lovely sufficient, however no longer too pleasant on the identical time. It is a bizarre line.

Id control

This type of identification control is not anything new, specifically on social media. It’s distinctly pervasive for women and younger girls who’re usually represented as having (or being) too little or an excessive amount of. Too fats or too skinny; too suave or too silly; too unfastened or too limited.

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Right here, the road was once between sexiness and effortlessness. Feminine individuals felt the urge to seem lovely, but in addition no longer so lovely that they may scare potential suits off.

Bodily attributes, or techniques of presenting oneself, have been additionally ceaselessly conflated with private behaviours and expectancies. In impact girls needed to painting themselves as naturally lovely, succesful, expectation-less, fun-loving, and, most significantly, easy-going.

All to verify a person’s convenience.

Hidden in the back of this apparently insignificant, even risk free commentary, was once one thing way more sinister.

It perceived to describe the multitude of the way girls rein themselves in to soothe males: no longer complaining, no longer tough an excessive amount of, no longer expressing wishes, no longer having expectancies for emotional openness or fulfilment.

In impact, no longer making any of the calls for, which can be the vital necessities for an intimacy in line with family members of equality and mutuality.

In the end, the “high-maintenance” lady was once an excessive amount of to care for — which showed recognized stereotypes that ladies are anticipated to be quiet, subservient, opinion-less, and all the time amenable. That they should not be tricky.

It hardened female mainstays {that a} lady is needed to grin and make great. Now not be too overt, and in the end no longer take in an excessive amount of area.

A definite invisibility was once required, even in an internet courting area.

Lisa Portolan, PhD scholar, Institute for Tradition and Society, Western Sydney College

This text is republished from The Dialog beneath a Ingenious Commons license. Learn the unique article.

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