By Today's ParentMay 04, 2021
Are you a cheugy mom? If you're wondering what this means, there's a good chance you are one, but we've decided here and now that there's nothing wrong with that.
The word “cheugy” exploded into our collective consciousness earlier this week, when New York Times culture reporter Taylor Lorenz published a deep dive after noticing the term going viral on TikTok. But what exactly does it mean?
“It’s not quite ‘basic,’ which can describe someone who is a conformist or perhaps generic in their tastes, and it’s not ‘uncool,’” says Lorenz. “It’s not embarrassing or even always negative. Cheugy (pronounced chew-gee,) can be used, broadly, to describe someone who is out of date or trying too hard. And while a lot of things are associated with millennial women, the term can be applied to anyone of any gender and any age.” Apparently the word itself is a portmanteau of "cheap" and "bougie."
@rodthe update you didn’t want but you need #millennial #thoughts #greenscreen♬ Wii - Mii Channel - Super Guitar Bros
Clear as mud, right? Need some examples? In her story for The Cut, writer Mia Mercado says the following things qualify as cheugy: “Chevron prints, ‘Live Laugh Love’-style home décor, Rae Dunn pottery, this hand-lettering style.” Even lasagna was a contender, which is... confusing but also LOL.
If this all sounds judgey or mean-spirited, we get it. We kinda thought so, too. As The Guardian puts it, “Some of it is intergenerational, with Gen Z targeting millennials for their cheuginess. Some of it’s class-based and some of it smacks of bullying.”
And yet, the term is truly not intended to be mean-spirited in any way. “Really, it’s all in fun,” says The Guardian. If you’re offended, “you’re missing the point. Being a bit cheugy from time to time is acceptable and probably unavoidable. As one TikToker said, 'It’s OK, we all have a little cheug in us.'”
Here at Today’s Parent, we’re finding the humour in cheugy and leaning hard into our cheuginess. We might not be huge fans of milk bath maternity shoots, gender reveals or letterboards, but mostly, we’re cheugs. Here are 23 signs that you might be, too.
1. Love gender reveal parties, where the cheug aesthetic (hand-lettering, balloon arches, phrases like "A bouncing little he or a pretty little she") can really come to life.
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2. Can't pass up a Farm Boy, have so many cute things from Zulily and love cheug-mecca, Homesense. (How can you not buy something there? Honestly.)
3. Dress your kids in neutrals, mostly dusty roses, mustard yellows, browns and tans.
4. Are obsessed with Instagram giveaways (and Instagram itself).
5. Can never say no to a chevron print.
6. Live, laugh, love. Period. And also any phrase featuring "Rosé" (especially all day, every day, rhyming with slay or being referred to as "bae").
7. While we're at it, you own at least one item that says “But first, coffee” on it.
8. You give your kids names that sound like trucks (Mack, Ford, Bentley, Weston, Easton).
9. Live in Uggs (which are literally the coziest shoes on earth, so lean the eff in). SORELs also make the cut.
10. Own at least one letterboard or lightbox (you used it as part of your monthly baby photoshoots).
11. Rock white converse, leopard-print Freedom Moses sandals, or tie-dye Crocs.
12. Watch The Bachelor religiously, and keep up to date on the whole Bachelor Nation (if this phrase is part of your vocabulary, you're cheug).
13. Wait in line to pose in front of a painted or floral Insta wall (then post and let the likes roll in).
14. Order green matcha or pumpkin spice lattes at the Starbucks drive-through (PSL season is your fave).
15. Rock Lululemons and a messy mom bun.
16. Own multiple decor items with wording in that cursive font (think: throw pillows, wooden slats with writing on them, pillow cases).
17. You're not afraid to rock a beach pun on your oversized hat (because too much sun isn't cute, and that's actually no joke. Sunscreen up!).
18. Live in a uniform of blanket scarves and skinny jeans with your hair very likely parted to the side. (Sidenote: You can literally peel our skinny jeans off our cold, dead bodies. We're not budging on this one, and while we're at it, high waists are here to stay.)
19. Drink from a glitter tumbler while doing the school run. Bonus points if it has a cursive font on it.
20. Exude #girlboss energy—and regularly share inspirational quotes with your Insta followers.
21. Mommy and me outfits, and any kids clothes with slogans like "Daddy's girl" and "Future ladies' man"
22. You're sure you'll get your Nugget Comfort couch in the next lottery! (Or you've rushed to buy an alternative.)
23. Two words: Disney adults.
—with files from Angie Shiffman