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Nara Smith, Tradwives, And Cherry-Picking Politics

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

If your “For You” page is anything like mine, you’ve probably seen Nara Smith by now. Known for her TikTok and modeling career, Nara is a South African-German mother and wife to Lucky Blue Smith, a famous male model. Most of Nara’s content is centered around her family and life, which are seemingly perfect. Most of her videos feature her in a killer outfit with flawless hair and makeup, cooking meals entirely from scratch for her husband and children while in their beautiful kitchen.

TikTok has recently been in awe of Nara as she humbly shares her luxurious life. Few people make their own bread, butter, and jam from scratch and look that good while doing it. Like most influencers, though, she receives more hate as she rises in popularity. But how can a woman who seemingly keeps to herself, shares very little private information, and discusses nothing but her family start controversy?

When people hate on Nara Smith, you will often hear the word “tradwife” come up. Tradwife stands for “traditional wife” and is frequently used in place of the term “homemaker,” meaning a woman who oversees household duties and does not have a job outside the home. While they sound neutral initially, these words seem to have a very negative connotation online. Tradwives are generally associated with conservative politics, extensive religious background, and the prioritization of gender roles.

This logic seems to insinuate that a liberal, atheist, and feminist woman should not and cannot be a stay-at-home mom. The significant distinction between the two is that tradwives supposedly exist under the controversial belief that a woman’s place is in the home and that the husband provides for the family. The term speaks more so to performative TikTokers who romanticize their subservient lifestyle as opposed to suburban moms cleaning the house after dropping their kids off at school. Yet, the term seems to be applied to every non-working mom on the internet.

Nara Smith still works as a model, just not at her current stage in pregnancy, as she is due with her third baby in April. She has only described her cooking as a love and passion, not a responsibility and female duty. Nevertheless, people have taken her beautiful skill of turning ingredients into meals and turned it into a symbol of female oppression. That isn’t Nara’s main critique, though.

Many have been accusing her of spreading not only misogynistic but Mormon propaganda. When I first heard these accusations, I was stunned. Despite watching their videos for months, I didn’t even know the Smiths were Mormon. Of course, her faithful lifestyle can be noted through several details of her life, such as her modest way of dressing, simple and traditional haircut, or even her viral video in which she discusses the unusual names of her children. Many also point out that she had her first child at age 19 and is already on her third at age 24. As far as spreading one’s religion goes, though, this doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary.

After some research, I’ve found that Nara rarely talks about her religion. If she does, she tends to reference “God” in a very loose sense. She also posted a TikTok where she explains a little bit about her background and mentions that she is not a “hardcore Mormon.” Compared to other influencers who incorporate their faith into their content in equally minimal ways, this doesn’t seem to be propaganda.

So, where does this hate stem from?

Many advocates accuse her haters of jealousy. As a mixed-race woman, she lives a glamorous, upper-class lifestyle with a white, desirable, and handsome husband. While this is true, I believe that the controversy surrounding Nara has to do with her religion, even though she isn’t promoting it overwhelmingly or forcefully. The logic behind attacking Mormonism is that it has a deeply rooted controversial history, but that can be said about most religions.

If people deem Nara Smith making food from scratch as Mormon propaganda, then what’s stopping others from condemning alternate religions? They could use the same logic to make remarks about a Muslim woman wearing her hijab, a Jewish woman posting about Hanukkah, or any Christian with a Bible verse in their Instagram bio. In reality, what we are seeing play out is political cherry-picking. 

The logic being used to criticize Nara Smith is the same logic that is used to be prejudicial, racist, and discriminatory toward other groups. Her entire lifestyle can be condemned by latching onto certain traits, such as her religion. It’s easy to choose Nara as a target for this discourse as she is a woman of color living a privileged life. The notion that her social media content is propaganda reveals a broader issue of double standards and selective outrage. These controversies demonstrate the need for awareness surrounding the complexities of religion, lifestyle choices, and societal perceptions.

What are your thoughts about Nara smith?

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Kasie Costalas is a member of the writing team at the Her Campus at BU chapter. In her first semester at HerCampus, she plans to contribute to the style and lifestyle sections of the site. Outside of Her Campus, Kasie is also a member of BUTV's The Wire. She recently transferred to Boston University as a junior and is majoring in journalism. Kasie plans to pursue a career in either broadcasting or print. In her free time, she enjoys exercising at the gym, painting and drawing, cooking, and hanging out with her dog Olive. She loves to stay updated on The Bachelor and getting a fancy coffee before study sessions.