September has finally ended, the start of the autumn season where the air gets cooler, the drinks get warmer, and for some, the finish line for “No simp September”. As a full month has been devoted to the term “simp”, it seems fitting to dedicate a piece on understanding it’s significance. This article takes a deep dive into the definition of “simp”, understanding where it comes from, and what it shows about our generation.
Definition of simp
If you’ve heard of “simp” pre-internet, you would know it is defined as “a silly or foolish person”. It’s a word that’s existed for a long time but as usual, the internet has found its way to twist the word and create a completely new perception of it. Now post-internet days and according to Urban Dictionary, “simp” is defined as “Someone who does way too much for a person they like”. It’s also seen as an acronym of the phrase ”Sucker Idolizing Mediocre P*ssy”.
“Simp” is used in a negative way to usually describe men who put too much value on women for reasons unknown. Online, “simp” is used to make fun of submissive men that apparently, do too much for women. Especially as it often stems out of failed hope of entitled sexual attention and action. “Simp” depicts men who act less masculine because they have feelings for a girl.
How did the term come to be?
The slang was used in Hip hop lyrics of the late 1980s and 1990s as an insult for men that seem to be too subservient to women. “Pimpology” by Too $hort came out in 1988 and states “But on the other hand, if you can’t pimp and the hos keep treating you like a simp, I don’t know what to say about you boys.”
The recent re-emergence of the term can be seen as a TikTok trend with sounds such as “welcome to simp nation”, where boys are shown behaving in a “simp” manner. This includes boyfriend applying lotion on their girlfriend, being cuddled by their girlfriend, and straightening their girlfriend’s hair.
This TikTok trend also embodies a different and arguably misused definition of “simp” where it is more associated with boys actually having feelings for a girl but ends up being friend-zoned. Phrases such as “When she says “you’re like a brother to me” or “When you pay for her dinner but she’s just a friend” have been used in the videos to reflect this.
With TikTok’s popularity, it has shaped the new meaning of what it means to be a simp, it has the word trending on all different platforms, and it has “simp” adopted into colloquial slang for today’s generation. “Simp” has been such an iconic word for our generation that there has been a whole month devoted to it known as “No Simp September”.
What’s “No Simp September”?
“No Simp September” is a month dedicated to spending the entirety of September without simping. As written, it’s targeted at those who have a problem with this “destructive behavior”, know they have a problem and need to find an excuse to stop. What started as a Reddit community has extended far beyond the platform. As the internet is a giant interconnected feed, this “event” is adopted into countless other memes, TikToks, tweets, and posts.
Those who support “no simp September” point out the toxic behavior and unfair treatment people put up with just to win over affection from someone who’s not worth their time.
Why is it relevant? What can we learn from it?
“No Simp September” resulted in an abundance of mixed reactions from netizens worldwide. Many embrace this new event and the term “simp” whereas others criticize it for supporting problematic behaviors.
Those who support “no simp September” point out the toxic behavior and unfair treatment people put up with just to win over affection from someone who’s not worth their time. It knocks people into reality and makes them re-evaluate their worth.
But does it perpetuate toxic behavior? Social media users are quick to realize that “No Simp September” has the same energy as “nice boys finish last”. Especially because certain people in mainstream media have twisted the word to make fun of “nice boys” for treating their moms, sisters, girlfriends, or any other female figure in their life nicely. Not only that, this new interpretation of the word diminishes the effort people put in the courteous and chivalrous approach to flirting. This interpretation of “simp” suggests that to get a partner is to treat them with less than respect. It emphasizes dominance and control as the superior approach compared to being the “nice person”. Once a nice gesture is titled as “simp”, a negative tone is attached and then undermines any “nice” behavior.
To make matters worse, it doesn’t help that “simp” was popularized by the anti-feminist group MGTOW (Men Get Their Own Way) who use this word seriously. Although it is seen as light-hearted in most mainstream media, certain groups of people such as MGTOW have given a negative tone to the word, using it seriously to align with their toxic-masculinity agenda. Many have adopted this twisted interpretation and as a result, some would classify “simp” as misogynistic, perpetuating the idea that men should be dismissive of a woman’s needs.
In today’s internet generation, old words continuously receive new meanings and interpretations. The newest interpretation of “simp” has monopolized the main page of the internet culture with TikTok trends, memes, and tweets. But like most things on the internet, this event and the term “simp” is not taken as seriously as interpreted. As underlying interpretations of the word seem misogynistic, for the most part, “simp” is used as another light-hearted way to blow off some steam from past experiences. This generation relates by finding humor from shared experiences that might’ve not been so humorous at the moment. Things like being friend-zoned by someone you like, giving more than you are receiving, or having your emotions being played. Knowing others share the same negative experiences helps people feel better that they are not the only ones. So use it while you can before it becomes too “lame”.
Cover: Andrea Piacquadio