Culture / People

Beige flags are the final nail in our chronically online coffins

Beige flag

Have you been on TikTok recently? It is likely that, should your answer be "yes", you've come across one or one hundred videos of people explaining their own or their significant other's "beige flags" against the backdrop of jazzy elevator music. What qualifies as a beige flag is a bit of a grey area these days. Last year, our proud nation coined the term to describe, essentially, boring people on dating apps. Now, the term has resurfaced, and it's going viral to describe slightly off characteristics.

So, here we are, in the futuristic age of 2023, making videos for the internet that touch on parts of our personalities that give people a reason to pause. It's not an orange or yellow flag, which would make the most sense if we are being ruled by the red and green flag system, it's just a beige one, inoffensive and barely noticeable, just as most of us probably would have preferred to carry on being without having to explain our mostly irrelevant shortcomings and personal habits.

@cassandrapalumboo He’s also still late eveymorning 🫠😴😵‍💫🥱🤧 #beigeflag #couple #boyfriendsbeigeflag #relationship #datingmen Summer Background Jazz - Jazz Background Vibes" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">♬ Summer Background Jazz - Jazz Background Vibes

Naturally, the term has left us all hotly debating the topic on TikTok. What qualifies as a beige flag? Your boyfriend having a sharp memory is just a characteristic! You don't need to label it as a beige flag! On the other hand, I recently saw someone describe her boyfriend's beige flag as being "scarily good at gaslighting", so maybe watch out for him, queen. Our tendency to overshare on the internet is in overdrive, which can come with perks (AKA, realising that unique experiences are actually not that unique at all thus making us feel less alone), but also a seemingly chronic need to categorise each and every facet of our existence into "eras" or "flags" or "theories" and turn them into viral content. To this end it probes the question: what is it all for?

Naturally it's not that deep, but it does leave one wondering at what rate we will continue to index ourselves in this manner, packaging our inner worlds up and trading them on the internet like Pokémon cards.

@pen15_spam♬ Summer Background Jazz - Jazz Background Vibes


What is a beige flag?

If you're still searching for the meaning behind beige flags, and how to correctly categorise them, think of them as the things that you gradually reveal about yourself to your partner after an appropriate duration of time. These aren't necessarily things you'd lie about, like having two other girlfriends or being a kleptomaniac (please don't lie about or do these things, they are also firm red flags), they are just strange idiosyncrasies or habits that we may or may not have. Perhaps you're a hopelessly aggressive backseat driver who doesn't have a license, or maybe you don't believe in sunscreen (please believe in sunscreen), maybe you have been hyper-fixated on eating the same lunch every single day of your adult life. What a beige flag should not be confused with is an ick. Beige flags can be charming and confusing and weird, but shouldn't make you cringe to the point where a future is down the toilet because you can't get past the way they looked when they walked downhill.

@holly.drummond I could make series on this #beigeflags ♬ Summer Background Jazz - Jazz Background Vibes

Who knows where the internet's current obsession with taxonomizing our experiences will land. Perhaps the next phase of beige flags will be the beige flag "era" in fashion trends, spurred on by Sophia Richie Grainge who has singlehandedly just now invented the capsule wardrobe, it would seem. My beige flag is constantly complaining about random internet trends but consistently being very across them and even writing about them.

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