TikTok Is in a "Hot Guys Cooking For Views" Era, and It's Giving Me the Ick

If you've been on TikTok recently, you've likely seen a hot-guy-cooking-for-views video by now. But if this type of video hasn't graced your For You Page just yet, allow me to explain the trend.

Picture a handsome man recording himself in the kitchen as he effortlessly whips up what you anticipate to be a Michelin-star dish. With his chiseled jawline and perfectly tousled hair, he may wink at the camera as he adds a pinch of salt, and devilishly dip his middle finger inside a tomato before slicing it. Once he's finished, he plates his food, takes a bite, and waits for the page views to skyrocket — and believe me when I say, they do.

Predictably, the comment section becomes thirstier than ever, filled with mostly straight women salivating at the man behind the glorified grilled cheese sandwich. But all I can wonder is: why are we simping over this undeserving mediocrity?

I'll be the first to admit that I love a man who can cook. I think part of what gives me the ick is the reason why some of these guys are cooking. It's not for the craft or even to create something unique on the internet: it's just for views. I've been on TikTok long enough to know that the majority of these creators started off their "career" by posting shirtless dancing videos. And once that schtick became stale, they transitioned to the next best thing: making subpar cooking videos.

Truthfully, it all gets a little too porn-y for my liking. They finger the oranges, slap the raw meat like it's a booty, and lick custard off their finger. Yes, the sexualization of the food feels unnecessary. But altogether, the act feels really disingenuous — and maybe even a little disrespectful to the content creators who cook things on TikTok for actual educational or informative reasons.

More than all of this, what really grinds my gears about this whole "trend" is the harmful stereotype these videos perpetuate. Though you may argue that this isn't that deep, it's obvious that men are the ones gaining popularity from this trend — not women. Whether or not it's conscious on the viewer's part, the virality of these videos and accounts hinges on the idea that these men who cook are "different" and "exceptions" to the general population. It's "normal" to see a woman cooking, but a novelty — worthy of praise, admiration, and viral fame — to see a man in the kitchen. Plus, let's not ignore the double standard here, because if female content creators were doing the same things in these cooking videos, they'd be slut shamed instead of idolized as culinary hotties.

I don't think these content creators are uploading these videos with bad intentions. I can respect the hustle and understand they're just trying to please the algorithm the same way as anyone else. But maybe, instead of thirsting over hot men cooking on an app, we, as the TikTok audience, could normalize the idea of men cooking, period — or at the very least, only grant them attention if what they're cooking actually looks more impressive than a basic stir fry.

Because it really does feel like we're praising the bare minimum here, bestie. And I don't know about you, but I'd really like to scroll through my TikTok again without seeing a man finger-f*ck a fruit.