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#TradWives are lying to you

By Josie Simon, December 16 2023—

The emergence of the “tradwife” movement on TikTok has captured the attention of millions. While it presents itself as an innocent embrace of traditional gender roles and an idyllic 1950s housewife image, hidden behind this façade is a web of deception. 

Trad wife influencers promote a lifestyle that condemns career-driven women as selfish and unwomanly, urging them to abandon the labour market. However, these influencers are discreetly engaged in various income-generating endeavours behind the scenes. They profit from sponsored partnerships and online businesses, all the while advocating for a lifestyle they themselves do not fully embrace.

This raises the question: is the “trad wife” lifestyle a genuine choice or a calculated online marketing scheme, blurring the line between authenticity and modern-day internet scams? 

One influencer, Aria Lewis(@mrsarialewis), presents herself as a young, traditional housewife who advocates for women to rely on their husband’s income, embrace homemaking and submit to their husband’s authority. However, a closer look at her online presence tells a different story.

With a substantial following of 20.3K followers and 197.1k likes, Lewis claims to live the traditional housewife lifestyle and believes supporting a family on a single income is still possible. However, Lewis contradicts this image by selling a One Income Guide and a Zero-Based Budget Template, priced at CA$38.50 each. 

Additionally, Lewis has a Patreon that charges membership fees ranging from CA$2 to a staggering CA$21.50 per month, promising to empower women in their homemaking journeys. Aria is also an Amazon associate and sells clothing on Instagram

Another example involves Gwen Swinarton (@gwenthemilkmaid). With a significant following of 49.4K followers and 1.1M likes on TikTok, Swinarton has not only built an online presence but also established her own business, “The Milkmaid Supply Co,” where she sells aprons, soap, and skincare products. 

Additionally, Swinarton sells clothing, earns commissions as an Amazon associate, and is active on her YouTube channel and blog

Lewis and Swinarton are not the only influencers guilty of this deceptive behaviour. While their entrepreneurial spirits are impressive, the problem lies in the conflicting messages they convey to other women — urging them to leave the workforce while thriving within it themselves. 

Trad wife influencers also promote a lifestyle that often leads to isolation and loneliness for women, yet they have thriving social lives with thousands of fans and followers. They claim fulfillment through homemaking, submission and solitude, but their online presence provides them with a sense of community and connection, contradicting the isolation they preach. This not only calls into question the authenticity of their advice but also raises concerns about their followers’ emotional well-being, who may feel even more isolated in their pursuit of an unattainable lifestyle.

Ironically, these influencers also enjoy greater freedom and luxury than the women they encourage to adopt their lifestyle. Through their online ventures, they have the autonomy to make choices that contradict the dependency they endorse, including leaving abusive relationships using the funds they’ve amassed online.

This stark contrast between their actual lives and the lifestyle they encourage can potentially harm vulnerable young women who may not realize that these influencers are making an income while promoting a lifestyle that encourages women to leave the workforce. At the end of the day, the intentions of #tradwife influencers are highly questionable. They promote a lifestyle of solitude and financial dependence, possibly without fully embracing it themselves, therefore highlighting the importance of skepticism and critical thinking when online. 

This article is a part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.

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