Healthy selfishness? Radical ‘self-love gurus’ on TikTok are converting women to toxic behavior
“How to break up with toxic people” or “How to use Manifestation to get over your crush”: All of you who are in the dating advice bubble on TikTok know videos like this one in which women offer advice to other women give – sometimes more, sometimes less helpful, but mostly relatively harmless. These TikTok users often explain how, for example, they managed to finally write off an emotionally unavailable man and love themselves more instead of sabotaging their own happiness through hopeless situationships. And there is nothing wrong with a little more self-determination and a pinch of healthy selfishness.
However, there is another type of supposed self-love content on the platform that is a little less harmless. May we introduce: the female “self-love gurus” who are no longer satisfied with encouraging their viewers to be more self-accepting, but who go a step further with their advice – regardless of the losses. Spoiler alert: Healthy selfishness is no longer being promoted here, but toxic behavior.
Getting rid of toxic people — and becoming toxic yourself in the process
Fight fire with fire – that seems to be the motto of these radical “self-love gurus”. For example, there is the user TheWizardLiz, who has 3.9 million followers and over 48 million likes on TikTok. In her videos, which have titles like “Life lessons from a people pleaser” or “Stop dating broke guys”, she explains clearly and without euphemism that she believes it is time that women in matters of dating and Finally “fighting back” self-confidence.
In this way, their followers should regain the sovereignty over their lives that they have lost through relationships or toxic people. And in order to strike back together with their followers, TikTokers like TheWizardLiz or Twitter users like @p8stie resort to drastic tips. In their posts, they explain, for example, how to steal another woman’s boyfriend, slander an ex to his employer or manage to never put another person ahead of your own interests again.
The user Kanika Batra takes the whole thing to the extreme: In her TikToks, the diagnosed sociopath gives tips for all those who would like to be more like her. “Sociopathic Dating Tips for the Ladies” or “Can You Learn to Be a Sociopath?” their clips are called, for example. Some of Kanika Batra’s tips are so blatant that she has already been referred to as “the female Andrew Tate” in several media reports.
You know Andrew Tate: he is the misogynistic, chauvinistic influencer who wows crowds of young men and openly calls women “property”, for example. Incidentally, Tate is currently under house arrest – on suspicion of the organized sexual exploitation of several women. It’s a pretty harsh comparison, then, but there’s no denying the dehumanizing tendencies in Batra’s clips. Just like the fact that both Tate and Batra preach a mindset that is based on individualism and lacks any consideration for others.
Radical self-love gone wrong
Of course, self-love and self-help content for women is nothing new – and importantly, this niche was by no means invented on TikTok. There are tons of books that are designed to help you get over trauma or deal with your own behavioral patterns. This is usually done emotionally, with consideration for one’s own well-being – and that of one’s own environment. And this is exactly where the big difference to users like TheWizardLiz lies. This is about confrontation and revenge. This is about manipulating your opponent in a very targeted manner, sometimes even wearing him down. And that can only have a little to do with self-love and healthy relationships, right?