By Claudia Levey
Illustration by Charlotte Voelkel
Scenario: It’s an average Saturday night. You lazily peruse the sea of people before you, the usual midnight Mel’s crowd, searching for a decent male specimen who can buy you another drink.
Suddenly the air grows mysteriously colder, and you shiver. A flash of salmon khaki appears in your periphery. Old Spice’s signature scent, Swagger, fills your nostrils. You hear the whisper of “I just saw your last text, sorry. Wanna come over ;)?” float by you. It was spoken aloud, but you can hear the winky face. Pulse racing with trepidation, you frantically search the dim room until you spot them: outfitted in crewneck sweatshirts and Vineyard Vines shorts, they approach you. A whole herd of them. The fuccbois have arrived.
At this point, you may have a few questions. How can I be sure whether or not I’ve truly encountered a pack of fuccbois? What are the signs? How do I avoid encounters such as these? Dearest reader, to answer all of these questions and more, I eagerly present to you the comprehensive guide to the Columbia fuccboi. I suggest you print out a copy to carry around.
Firstly, not all fuccbois are created equal. Some wear the title proudly, and some slowly reveal themselves to be fuccbois after it’s too late. For our purposes, we’ll call them fuccboi types one and two.
A type one fuccboi is easy to spot. He may or may not be a varsity athlete, but he definitely could “school any one of those clowns” in arm-wrestling. He has at least three names (first, middle, last, probably ending with “the third”). He’ll generally keep a hand on your lower back or waist while he’s talking to you, but with the pressure of someone giving CPR to a goldfish. Because women are mysterious, fragile things, ya know? He often wears a too-small button down, but only buttons the bottom half (for full sex-appeal). If you make it to his dorm room and it isn’t a suite with a real table, don’t be surprised if he’s turned his bed or a closet door into a pong table. Fuccbois can be very inventive.
Type two fuccbois are far harder to identify. Any boy has the potential to become a type two fuccboi if put in the right circumstances. A type two may even dress normally, but don’t be fooled by his more casual attire. He’ll lure you in with witty banter and compliments, but then he’ll wait a week to reply to your texts. He’ll do nice things for you, like buy you a slice of pizza at Koronet, but be wary: in his mind, the $4.50 he spent on pizza is an investment. In return, he expects approximately 3 hours of your undivided attention, and then he will kindly say goodbye and wait until he feels ready to text you again.
This leads me to our next topic, the inner motivations of everyday fuccbois.
The first thing that drives a fuccboi lifestyle is a built-in sense of entitlement. A fuccboi, especially a type one fuccboi, is often a product of an upper class family and fancy prep school. He’s not used to being told “no,” and doesn’t normally have to work very hard to get what he wants. This feeling of entitlement has created the social construct you may know of as “the friend zone.” This is a fictional place where boys go when they “deserve” to place out of friend status, but get rejected by girls who believe in the radical idea that being a nice boy does not automatically ensure the possibility of getting lucky. He relies on his boyish good looks, and expects girls to hang on his every word. This makes all interactions with him especially dangerous. Don’t let him buy you things. He may consider that to be enough work, therefore entitling him to treat you like trash.
But what’s wrong with just treating a girl nicely for the sake of being nice? This brings us to their second most common motivation for acting like a jerk: a fear of genuine relationships. The truth is, fuccbois have feelings too. A fuccboi doesn’t want to get hurt, so he tries to ensure that no girl will ever reject him once he’s actually started to like her by maintaining control over all social interactions. If you want to meet up, he may or may not reply. But if he wants to meet up, he suddenly knows how to use his phone again. Don’t feel obligated to follow his weird schedule of when you can and can’t talk. And when he doesn’t reply to your texts, just know that the most likely possibility is that he’s intimidated by a girl who actually knows what she wants.
This does make them hard to deal with, though. You don’t want to be mean, but honestly, sometimes crushing his ego a little bit is the only way to show him that it’s okay to hold a whole conversation without mentioning his workout schedule or what kind of luxury car he has at home. The key to curing a fuccboi is education. He needs to know that genuine interactions can be worthwhile too. Deep down, fuccbois are just insecure. Set him on the right path by making it clear that he doesn’t always get to make all the decisions. Hit him with the two-day-late “sorry just saw your message! We can meet up later if you want!” And once he knows that he can’t treat you so badly, and once he’s actually earned your attention through truly exemplary behavior, then and only then has he started to make the transformation. Only then has his journey begun, from fuccboi, to the elusive title of fuccman.