Social Peacocking

social peacocking“Social Peacocking” is a term used to describe the flaunting of fashion in order to attract attention and conversation, particularly for the purpose of “hooking up.” I recently heard the term used in reference to “selfies.” This analogy made me laugh at first. Imagine a beautiful bird puffing his chest and fluffing his feathers while smiling into his camera phone.

Yea, his phone. Peacocks are males; the feminine species of the peafowl doesn’t flaunt. Peacocks are known for the way they spread their train of feathers to prove themselves as a great specimen for the ladies to mate with. But the peahens don’t have the train of bright feathers, and they don’t show off their dull, neutral coloring and simple tail. They seem to be at peace with their beauty. I can’t help but wonder, though, if the hens were preoccupied with themselves (taking selfies and such), would the peacocks have the confidence to try to get their attention?

Google “social peacocking” and you will find a number of blogs instructing men how to wear a statement piece to lure women toward them. After all, “every girl’s crazy for a sharp dressed man.” It’s a powerful law of nature: dress like you respect yourself, attract others. The problem is that pretending to respect yourself so that others fall prey to your desires for companionship is wrong. Whether it’s a guy wearing a fancy watch to pretend he is rich or a girl posing her popularity, social peacocking is manipulative and it doesn’t satisfy.

As an image consultant, I am often judged as someone who teaches others to be phony or self-centered–especially by men, who commonly think that women use beauty as a tool for peacocking. While I do not deny that fashion can bring out a little pride in any of us, I must speak up for the many women in this world who are not “strutting their stuff” just to get attention. It has been my experience that there are more women who don’t recognize their beauty than there are those who are proud of it. Even the gorgeous girls who constantly post their selfies on social media are more often asking, “Do you see me? Am I ok?” than they are saying “Look at me! I am great.” You may see them as proud peacocks, but I see them as peahens who are looking for attention and validation in all the wrong places.

If you long to be at peace with who you are and how you look, I encourage you to seek the validation that trumps all other opinions. If the One who created you adores you, who really cares what anyone else thinks? He has a way of helping us find the beautiful balance between pride and shame.

Matthew 23:12 NKJV

“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.

Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at

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