Tradwife // The Homemade Bread Controversy - Bubblegum Club

Tradwife // The Homemade Bread Controversy

**Disclaimer: The primary context of this article is Tradwifes, therefore the disinclusion of Nara Smith is intentional as she has expressly stated that she is not a tradwife. This is not ironic. 

While the world at large may have cemented a profound synergy with social media influencers and content creators, its cooperation with the rising “tradwife” influencer lifestyle seems to be met with quite a bit of online discourse. Within the discourse, the main points of feminism are relayed, while others seem flawed by the aesthetic due to its exclusivity. 

A “tradwife” short for traditional wife, according to a Google search, refers to a group of women that have officiated an online subculture in which they strongly associate with traditional values of a woman and uphold the traditional domestic role of themselves within a household. Though its ideological background suggests further discourse, it’s the execution of the trend that has really made me question its controversy. 

Estee Williams, Alena Kate Pettitt, Hannah Neeleman of Ballerina Farm and Gwen the Milkmaid are a few examples of influencers who typically share content related to cooking, cleaning, organisation, marriage advice, and family life, often portraying a picturesque image of domestic bliss and homemaking. Their large social followings suggest their undeniable appeal to the internet, But what is so cute about going domestic for feed that has got us hooked?


Firstly, I would like to say that I do not believe that knowing how to cook and prepare ingredients from scratch is a compromise of feminist rights but I assume that a primary reason for the trend’s engagement and traction is a direct result of its performative and exaggerated portrayal of traditional domesticity.#tradwife at 501.5 million views offers viewers a series of 30-second video completions of ‘meals I prepared for my family this week’ or similar titles of women gracefully moving through their beige themed kitchens indicating some activity associated with domestic labour. From successful sourdough bread starters to meticulously crafting organic meals from scratch, these videos offer a curated glimpse into the lives of stay-at-home moms, similar to the portrayal of lifestyle influencers on mainstream social media platforms.

While these women may be creating intentional and inspiring content, most of the internet has turned its messages into satirical parodies, often reducing the content’s social and political themes and ideas and shifting its attention to what really happens when you have too much leisure time. 

It is no surprise that we can’t really stop consuming these wholesome depictions of well-kept households given the contents’ ability to offer a source of escapism, and self-awareness. At its core, Trad-Wife TikTok reflects a broader societal trend towards a romanticised ideal of traditional living and home-making. In 2024, a year already marked by capitalist fatigue, the pursuit of productivity often leaves individuals feeling drained and disconnected while the simplicity and supposed authenticity portrayed in these videos offer a sense of escape for those ‘going through it’.


The way we use social media often supports the idea that we naturally gravitate towards content that seems perfect, aspirational and sometimes, unattainable. For example, tradwife TikTok communicates the idea of swapping the hectic pace of modern life for a slower, more purposeful existence strikes a chord, especially for people balancing multiple jobs just to get by. The idea of prioritising family and creating a nurturing home environment could be seen as a respite from the stress of the corporate world, but also a luxury that not everyone can afford in today’s economy.

The rising discourse surrounding tradwives, in my opinion,  reflects the growing dissatisfaction among many women and their increasing desire for better-defined identities. Social media plays a significant role in shaping individual identities through tailored content, which is especially attractive to young women seeking to express their gender and sexuality. 

While I do notice the conservative subtext of the trad wife trend, I do not think soft-lighted content should not unnecessarily be conflated with socio-political ideology. The idea that the man is the sole financial provider of the house while these women take care of their houses completely misses the fact that these women are already employed, by virtue of their online presence. Whether we hate to admit it, this type of content generates a considerable amount of views, which in turn means real money which means that trade wives are kept employed, and find the value of domestic labour far more fulfilling than your average 9-5 pm. 

These women, often celebrated for family-centric posts, are not merely homemakers but also entrepreneurs. Behind the scenes, many tradwives leverage their influence to secure brand partnerships and collaborate with fellow social media personalities, thereby monetising their lifestyle choices, and allowing for their continuity, even beyond their dependence on their husbands for financial security. 

While it might be tempting to view their pursuits through a patriarchal lens, it’s essential to recognize the diverse motivations driving these women. Some opt for traditional marriage roles in exchange for financial support, while others benefit from inherited wealth. 


Here are a few positives that I found while watching this type of trend: 

Given that many people rely heavily on convenience foods and services, the tradwife lifestyle promotes the value of home-cooked meals, DIY projects, and frugal living. Moreover, the tradwife movement has provided a platform for women to reclaim traditional roles in a way that feels authentic and empowering to them. Rather than conforming to societal pressures or expectations, women who embrace the tradwife lifestyle do so by CHOICE. 

And for those denying trad wives all in the name of feminism, remember that the tradwife trend challenges traditional notions of feminism by promoting the idea that women should have the freedom to choose their own path, whether that involves pursuing a career or prioritising family life. Through a diverse representation of womanhood, these women are able to use social media platforms to form supportive networks where they can share tips, advice and encouragement. From promoting homemaking skills and self-sufficiency to fostering mindfulness and community, the tradwife lifestyle offers a unique perspective on modern femininity. 

I firmly believe that the emergence of “tradwives” does not present a threat in any form; in fact, I find it quite understandable and even commendable. There’s nothing inherently problematic with women who prioritise homemaking and nurturing their families. 

Critics who dismiss trade wives as antithetical to feminism may be overlooking the profound influence of modern influencers and the diversity of lived experiences. The power of relatable content cannot be underestimated, even when it diverges from one’s own reality. Today, modern traditional wives are leveraging their skills, passions, and resources to carve out niches in the workforce, allowing them to contribute financially without compromising their commitment to family values.



the trad wives discourse is missing several layers of nuance and attacking them while neglecting to discuss what’s happening offline is dishonest. #tradwives #tradwife #misogyny #tradwifecontroversy #patriarchy #patriarchyproblems #genderinequality #genderpaygap #reproductiverights #callyourcongressmen #callyourcongresspeople

♬ original sound – Sasha⚡️DEI & Wellness Leader

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