Dating and Relationship Advice

Hold onto your butts, millennial—we’re joining Gen Z in the land of Officially Uncool. Or, as the kids are saying these days, we’re cheugy.

If you’re thinking, “WTF is that??” You’re not alone. I heard the word a few days ago and had to Google it. Here’s what I learned:

Cheugy first popped up on TikTok—of course—but has been gaining a lot of traction in the digital zeitgeist. According to the New York Times, the term cheugy (pronounced “chew-gee”) describes something or someone that’s trying too hard to be cool and ends up looking outdated. For example, as per popular TikTokkers, painted wooden signs with inspirational messages bought from Home Goods, chevron prints, Ugg boots, side parts, cruise vacations, skinny jeans, emoji merch, blowup yard decorations and pool floaties, Tiffany bracelets, and literally anything with the words “Live Laugh Love” are considered cheugy.

Though the above list is fairly feminine, the adjective is not limited to women. Boys can be just at cheugy if they wear long board shorts to the pool (or anywhere, for that matter), read Barstool Sports, or wear designer jeans that are obviously designer. Words aren’t safe, either! Phrases like “suns out guns out,” “adulting”, “all the feels” and “I did a thing” are all officially stamped as cheugy.

If you’re a little confused, don’t worry. I am too. I think my grandma’s floral printed, plastic-covered couch is outdated, so does that mean it, or my grandma, are cheugy? My toddler niece loves the smell of Bath and Body Works candles, is she a cheug?

To be frank, I’m worried that I’m living on the cheugy side of life. My hair hasn’t moved from its side-part since 2009, I recently bought a new pair of Uggs, and I enjoy an inspiration quote now and again. I frequently refer to dogs as “doggos.” I would literally move into Home Goods if the store was zoned for habitation.

Crap. I am definitely cheugy.

What almost all discussion of cheugy and cheugy-ness seems to come down to is people labeling what they personally think of as cheugy. Because the definition itself (someone or something that’s trying too hard and ends up looking outdated) is inherently subjective.

So, technically, one could argue that since I like my side-part and think it’s cool, it’s not actually cheugy. Right? I might be onto something here.

Gaby Rasson, the TikTok creator who takes credit for creating cheugy, told the New York Times, “Looking good for yourself and not caring what other people think, that confidence exudes non-cheugyness.”

I am right. If you like yourself, your style, and your Home Goods signs, and don’t care that other people don’t, you can’t be cheugy.  But if you do care what the cool kids think and look to others for inspiration, then you can also avoid cheugyness by following the trends.

Whew. Solving existential crises is exhausting. I’m going to pour myself a tall glass of Chardo, light a Vanilla Spice candle, and chill the F out. 'Cause cheugy or not, that’s what I like.