Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Combat Toxic Masculinity With Jett and Pookie This Valentine’s Day

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 UCSB chapter.

The etymology of the word “Pookie” is unclear. According to thehistoryofenglish.com, the word originates from a German term of endearment for children, some say says it’s a derivative of the French word “poupee,” which means doll. Others have theorized that the word has recirculated from the Garfield comic strip, where the titular cat cares for his teddy bear, Pooky

Regardless of origin, the term of endearment has been catapulted into the mainstream alongside words like “slay” and “ate.” The word is often used between friends, but “Pookie” knows no bounds. Campbell and Jett Puckett, a couple from Georgia who recently went viral for their Outfit of the Day (OOTD) videos, have taken the word “Pookie” to new heights. 

Jett and “Pookie,” as the internet has affectionately named Campbell, have been making OOTD videos for months and viewers initially found Jett’s use of the word cringe-worthy. Users mocked the couple with parody videos and wrote comments in disbelief at Jett’s willingness to use the word. Jett and his “Pookie” took the teasing better than most would, but in the new year, viewers began to change their minds about the Pucketts. 

“Pookie looks absolutely fire tonight,” Jett​​ said in a video from January 28, 2024. 

“Jett for president,” read one Tiktok comment, “Just a pookie in a world looking for my Jett, a girl can dream” said another. The video has amassed 7.5 million views and counting, spawning endless (now affectionate) parodies, alongside videos gushing over the pair. Jett’s public affection for his wife has become something endearing, but the initial audience reaction was to recoil from the words of affirmation. This leads me to my central question: why are we so averse to men expressing admiration for their significant others? 

Looking back, this is a trend that expands outside of the “Pookie” realm. The word “simp,” derived from the word “simpleton,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “someone (especially a man) who shows excessive concern, attention, or deference toward a romantic partner or love interest.” The word has a negative connotation in the mainstream. It is often used as an insult among men, calling each other “simps” if they respect or admire their significant others. Men who are in relationships aren’t safe from being deemed a “simp,” even if they’re just being a good boyfriend. 

Men have been ridiculed by other men for expressing the attentiveness and affection needed for a healthy, symbiotic relationship. The idea that men can’t express their feelings for their significant other fuels toxic masculinity and antiquated ideas of female submission and male dominance in relationships. Shaming men for treating women with respect effectively gives them permission to treat them with disrespect. Our initial reaction to Jett calling his wife a pet name shouldn’t be discomfort. It should be something we respect and find endearing from the get-go. So this Valentine’s Day, men, take a page out of Jett’s book.

Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. Show your pookie you love them. It doesn’t have to be something materialistic or commercial, either — that also encourages antiquated dating ideals. The only thing girls are really looking for at the end of the day is effort. So, take your Valentine out on a fancy dinner if you want, but your pookie would probably be happy if you made them dinner or baked them a sweet treat. It’s the thought that counts.  

That’s not your only assignment gentlemen readers. It’s time to stop slandering the bros for being in a healthy relationship. Encourage each other to treat your pookies well. 

An important distinction to make is that this article also isn’t trying to shame men into making grand declarations of love and public displays of affection. PDA is a matter of personal preference and the nature of a relationship. It’s more about having Jett as a positive example of men expressing their love and respect for their significant others, than trying to force people to write Tiktok sonnets.  

Jett and Campbell aren’t a perfect couple (that’s Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds). But Jett’s willingness to show affection for his wife is something we should be striving for in relationships. 

I’m sure that by this time next year, Jett and Pookie will be a thing of the past, a forgotten artifact in the cycle of virality. But let’s take a lesson from the Pucketts before we bid adieu to those sweet Georgia accents — thoughtfulness and effort don’t make a man weak, they make them the pinnacle of boyfriend excellence. 

Lucy is a third-year Political Science and English double-major who writes about everything she loves (and hates) about UCSB and life in general. When not writing, Lucy can be found reading a book, listening to music, or taking a nice long walk.