GU Exclusive: WAGs Open Up About The Discourse Caused From Viral TikTok

“It had only been up for three seconds, and the first ten comments tore us down.”

This football season sparked intersectional dialogues on the timeline, from the significance of sports merch fashion to breaking down the stigma of what an athlete’s wife and girlfriend (WAG) looks like. Last week, Allahbia Mitchell posted a TikTok celebrating her partner Jordan Ponchez Mason, running back for the San Francisco 49ers, and making it to the Super Bowl LVIII (58). 

Amid a commemorative moment, Mitchell and some of the other NFL girlfriends participated in the “Of Course” TikTok trend, only to be met t with online discourse. The comments were filled with judgment for the ladies as trolls spoke about their looks, marital status, and more. Kayla Greer, the partner to Robert Beal Jr., felt confused and disappointed as she saw many negative comments about herself and the other women. 

“It was disheartening, I refreshed my page, and the first post was The Shaderoom,” Greer tells ESSENCE GU. “It had only been up for three seconds, and the first ten comments tore us down. I’m not one to care what people have to say, but it was sad to see it was people who looked like me.”

The unrealistic beauty standard set on Black women continues to be obvious regarding how outsiders want to constantly nitpick about appearances. The comments under their viral TikTok showed how featurism and colorism on platforms are conditioned mindsets onto young and impressionable women

In the age of unwarranted opinions, men and women on social media are regularly campaigning about how they want to see “real” bodies and aesthetics. Still, the reactions reflected that we still have a lot of work to do. Comments stating that the women are gold diggers or possibly getting cheated on reveal the hypocrisy. The ultimate question for the Black community is: would we question these women if they fit the “typical” look of a WAG featuring intense glam, Eurocentric beauty, and a physique that pandered to the male gaze? 

“The hate and jealousy are so pronounced that they act like they don’t see us,” Greer says. “Many women want to stay out of the limelight because of the negativity.” On one hand, women like Kylie McDevitt Kelce (Jason Kelce’s wife) have the space to remain true to their individuality when they receive praise. Still, when Mitchell and her friends present themselves, they receive comments about being “basic” or “mid.”

“I understand from an outside view why people assume so many things about NFL men and the ‘type of women they go for,’ but until you’re actually in this life, you realize that 95 percent of the women and men are ‘normal guys,” says Tatyanah Bass, partner to Brayden Willis. “It’s the high portfolio NFL players that people see, and in reality, most of these men started dating their women in high school or college.”

Throughout this season, we see how social media created a warped image of what a WAG looks like, yet people remain unaware that there is more normalcy to the athletic partner lifestyle that mainstream media portrays.

“Black women in this space (with or without a ring) have to earn the room,” Greer says. “It isn’t given to us. We have to be with our spouse for years and show that we have our own or are hardworking just to gain respect.” 

The double standard Black women in the limelight face continues to be a deep-rooted conversation. Projecting that these women should look a certain way for them to be with an athlete is disheartening. “Social media focuses on who they want,” says Savannah Darnell, partner to Samuel Womack III. “The people who post everything aren’t looking at regular girls, and they aren’t showing the girls who work 9-5 or are stay-at-home moms.” 


@Allahbia Mitchell if that’s how they acting now, they gon be big mad come vegas 🤣

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Despite the TikTok video disrupting the timeline, it allowed young women to see that there are women who mirror the same lives as them. They don’t have to be the top-liked Instagram influencer, but they deserve to exist without being spectated. Women like Savannah James and Nina Westbrook continue to show how there are athletes who are partnered with realistic women who don’t fit the bubble of what social media praises. 

“Realizing that these women don’t need “BBLS” and implants to achieve an athlete when it comes to a genuine connection,” Bass says. “Instead of shaming women for their “normal bodies,” they should be happy and normalize that bbls and implants aren’t needed to reach the standard of beauty that was so emphasized in the comments.”

In a moment when these Zillennials were celebrating a significant achievement for their partners, they received disheartening remarks. Still, it opened a moment of honesty about how NFL players are not only dating one type of woman and that there’s more diversity in WAG culture than we know. 

“I wasn’t expecting the video to go super viral like it did, and when we were making it, none of us were even thinking about that,” Mitchell tells GU. “It was just pure joy and excitement for our men that the audience felt through the screen. Although not all of the reactions were positive, I think it has reopened important dialogues in our community, and I’m happy it did. Let’s talk about the uncomfortable stuff.”

About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view.

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