Is the ‘girlfriend effect’ real? Girlfriends are sharing how they transformed their boyfriends’ style: ‘Oh baby you changed his life’

Gen Z creators on TikTok are taking to the digital platform to state their cases in favor of a theory that’s directly related to the once-viral “boyfriend effect” and “boyfriend air.”

“Boyfriend air,” according to Know Your Meme, refers to the belief that “when you’re with your boyfriend or significant other for an extended period of time,” you start to notice that “flaws” in your physical appearance are accentuated. “Girlfriend air” or the “girlfriend effect,” however, has the opposite effect: The more time spent with your girlfriend, the more fashionable you become.

Leah Degois (@leah.degois) presented evidence of how she “leveled up” her boyfriend’s style in a recent TikTok.

“I need to show you the transformation I did to this man,” Degois said on Sept. 21, before showing images of her boyfriend’s style before they started dating. “This man really thought he was serving looks…This how he looked when we started talking. Don’t ask me what I saw. I mean, he has a great personality, good heart, whatever. But I was like, ‘There is potential here but this is not it.'”

Degois told her boyfriend that he needed a capsule wardrobe, which, according to Modern Minimalism, is “a collection of clothing composed of thoughtfully curated, easily interchangeable items designed to maximize the number of outfits that you can create.” She also advised that he grow out his hair to accentuate his “beautiful curls.”

“The more I pushed him to play with his style a little bit, the more he actually enjoyed it himself…This outfit is such a slay, I literally love this one,” she said of her boyfriend’s cream-toned getup. “And the olive tones look really nice on his skin tone, so that’s also so cute. He’s even playing with vintage jackets like how cute is that?”

“Going from this to this,” she said of her boyfriend’s sartorial transformation. “That is the power of a woman.”

With more than 4.8 million views, 909,600 likes and 4,491 comments, it seems that other TikTok creators are impressed with the magic Degois had worked. Some have even requested that she make a video explaining how she managed to transformation her boyfriend’s style — which she posted on Sept. 22.

“Oh baby you changed his life,” @atlimenoe declared, while @tiffanyhannie_ wrote, “No because you did THAT! You saved him.”

“We need award shows for boyfriend training,” @thejuliaabner wrote in response to Degois’s video, to which she replied, “Waiting for my nomination.”

Similarly, other girlfriends on TikTok are showcasing how they’ve helped their boyfriends “glow up.”

“The girlfriend effect is a real thing,” Tina (@tinacolada21) said on Sept. 11. “After we started dating and I gave him a little styling advice, this is him now…Look at the fit, the face, the hair, just the way he takes pictures now too. You know this is girlfriend coded.”

Added Tina, “If you wanna glow up, go get a girlfriend or if you have a girlfriend, go thank her.”

Alice (@sailormochix) also made a strong case for the transformative power of getting a girlfriend to reinvigorate your style.

On Sept. 21, Shèlle (@babeshelle) shared how she took her boyfriend from “coconut season” to “smoking hot.”

“Somebody call 9-1-1. He’s smoking hot. Look how happy he is,” she said. “He looks so much more elevated and old money type of guy. Do you think single men look like this? Most of them don’t. So yeah, props to all the girlfriends out there. This is a part time job.”

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