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“Lil Baby’s Birkin Apologies: How has rap music and culture affected how we view our romantic relationships?”

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 Towson chapter.

By Frances Baptiste

I think everybody can remember where we were when we first heard the words, “Act up, you can get
snatched up”. The catchy beat symbolized the beginning of a summer oozing with the female
empowerment provided by new artists like Meg Thee Stallion and Saweetie. Even if you hated the song and remembered it as the most obnoxious thing you heard, there was no escaping it at parties, on the radio, or even on social media where women took on the persona of a “City Girl”. A“City Girl” is a woman who, in her romantic relationships, expects and demands extravagant gifts, the utmost respect, and won’t even be caught dead getting “played” by another man.

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While there is absolutely nothing wrong with demanding and expecting the very best of our partner(and I believe women should do this more often), rap culture has placed the value of monetary gifts over qualities like faithfulness and honesty. Money has become at the very forefront of our relationships. It’s totally fine to want a man to pick up the bill on the first date, but when Valentine’s Day comes around, do you expect a rented out movie theater from a college student? Are you disappointed when you receive flowers, chocolates, and a nice dinner because you thought he was going to buy you the Baccarat Rouge perfume with a minimum wage job? You should value truthfulness in your relationship,

but would you be
totally willing to throw that aspect away if you were in Jayda’s shoes getting $1 million “sorry, I love you,
but I think I’m going to do it again” gifts?

Through social media, we have seen the idea of female empowerment go from the idea of a woman with
high standards to a woman who is petty and solely focuses on what financial gain she can receive from a
relationship. In interviewing several women on Towson University’s campus that ranged from ages 18-20,
I asked them to rank from 1(most important) to 4(least important) these four attributes- looks, finances,
personality, and style- in what they’re looking for in a partner. Most women put personality at the very top of their list while financial status trailed closely behind, often coming in at number 2 or 3. And I agree!

Most of these women I interviewed were hardworking students who still maintained part-time jobs, why
not have those same expectations for your partner? In my opinion(maybe unpopular to some),
relationships require spending money to some extent. Especially in the very beginning, there’s new
experiences to try together, new restaurants, and even holidays that at least require some financial effort.

However, there is a fine line between realistic and reciprocal expectations and expecting things from your
partner just because some rapper posted what he did on Instagram for his girlfriend. I think it’s very
important for single women(and honestly any gender) as they try to navigate the dating world, to be
specific about their wants and needs, and then ask themselves if they can realistically provide that same
thing. Do you want to fit the aspect of a “City Girl” persona that’s about excusing poor behavior because
you received an expensive gift, or will you recognize your worth and stand up for it? Do you want your relationship to be defined by superficial, expensive gifts or do you want your relationship to embody
peace, trust, and faithfulness?

While there could be many different answers depending on the stage you are in your life, I want to make it clear that women should always demand the very best, but not get so obsessed about what rap music and what rappers on social media are modeling what “love” looks like. These questions posed throughout this article serve for you to check your heart posture when it comes to relationships, and most importantly have your own definition of what healthy love is. Periodt!

Frances Baptiste is a junior Biology major at Towson University. Frances also serves as a sex/relationship writer for Her Campus: Towson. A quote that she lives by is "you are the universe experiencing itself." - Adam Watts