‘Midriff Baiting’ Could Be Australia’s Weirdest Dating Trend In 2021

Take a deep dive into a divisive fashion issue...

Every week an new dating trend seems to rear its dogfishing, beard baiting, Gatsbying head. 

We started with the easy ones like ghosting and pedestalling (not to mention jibing) and now we’re moving on to something even harder to wrap your head around: midriff baiting. 

Midriff baiting, as we like to call it, involves posting a picture of yourself on Hinge or Bumble (is anyone on Tinder anymore?) with a plunging neckline. 

Though I’m hardly one to judge (if I was the judgemental type I wouldn’t have humiliated myself trying to mimic Chris Hemsworth’s beard or wearing every f*ckbois favourite footwear for a week), if you put a gun to my head and told me to pretend to be a dating sage, I’d probably tell Australian men on dating apps to stop trying to look like Russell Brand.

But that’s just me. If you have the courage to try and look like you’re a model in Milan in 2017, go for your life.

Russell Brand midriff baiting way back in the day. Image Credit: stylebistro.com

My reasoning? It’s quite a tricky look to pull off. 

Image Credit: DMARGE Screenshot

Captions like “I’m looking for a bad bitch” don’t help. But the most surprising thing I encountered on a recent Friday night browing Hinge and Bumble was the relentless number of men with top button phobia.

Of course, it’s something you would expect maybe, every one in 20 or so guys to do. And you could even argue buttoning your shirt up all the way is even weirder. You could also argue, I suppose, that people’s “this is weird” attitude to anything outside “the norm” is holding Australian fashion back.

But I was astonished that, for a time period during my scrolling, almost 1 in 5 guys were ‘midriff baiting.’ What sorcery is this? Maybe the apps thought that I secretly wanted to see more men’s midriffs? Maybe I really do want to see more men’s midriffs.

I’ll admit it was confusing.

Image Credit: DMARGE screenshot.

While some rescued the move with solid captions (“as seen on my mum’s fridge), others simply left me baffled.

Image Credit: DMARGE screenshot.

Maybe I’m jealous my abs don’t look like that? Maybe I should shut the hell up – men should be proud of their pecs, damn it (god knows some guys spend enough time working on them in the gym). But I’m not talking about how big or small your pecs are. I’m talking about style. And – from what I understand (which admittedly may not be much) – given the collective cultural hangover we all operate under (you know: the one which dictates men showing their chest is sleazy), midriff baiting kind of comes off as, well, sleazy…

The only thing that’s for certain is that midriff baiting is not hanging in the ether 10-15 years ago. It’s still around. If it’s got you as hot under the collar as me, check out the following photos and decide for yourself if it’s an abomination, or so ridiculous it’s cool. 

Midriff baiting – but this time with a zip! How creative. Image Credit: DMARGE screenshot
Midriff baiting with mates. Image: DMARGE Screenshot

Still pondering this chest pounding world? Allow the following articles to whisk your brain some place else. 

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