What is Peacocking, And Why Is It So Popular?

What is Peacocking, And Why Is It So Popular?

Last Updated on November 4, 2021

The term ‘peacocking’ may sound a little old-fashioned and out of date, but believe it or not, even if many of us don’t know what it is, we see it everywhere in modern society. There are peacocks everywhere on social media, television and on the streets or in the gym, and I’m not talking about the bird either.

This brief article examines what Peacocking is, when it may have gone too far, the negative impacts of Peacocking on others and why you probably shouldn’t do it.

Peacocking: The Basics

In general terms, Peacocking is showing off to impress someone. It is taken from the idea that the peacock bird will utilize its bright and colorful feathers to show off to other birds and people alike. It is most commonly used to describe a male trying to impress a female in some way so that he stands out from the rest of her ‘suitors’ and decides to be with him.

It can come in many forms under this specific definition, like showing off muscles, driving an expensive car, or showcasing dance moves! You see it a lot in Shakespeare plays, where two or three men might be looking to get the attention of the ‘fair lady’.

However, there are many other examples of when Peacocking is common, and they are not confined to the list below:

  • Flexing a little too much in the gym
  • Flexing at all in the gym
  • Flexing at all anywhere
  • Posting about how great your life is on social media
  • Offering to buy lots of alcohol to try and impress someone
  • Speeding by in your car to show off how fast it is
  • Overdressing
  • Wearing too much make up when it may not be necessary

Of course, the term peacocking does not solely apply to men, it does apply to women too and is common among them when linked with social media status and make up or appearance.

Even many of our favorite shows like Love Island, or Jersey Shore from back in the day, were all about individuals showing off their bodies, and as will be discussed soon, this can have a negative effect on viewers!

Why be a Peacock?

Peacocking is not just a character trait that people exude for no reason at all, in fact, there is an evolutionary basis behind Peacocking. Showing off is part of human nature, and it always has been. Throughout history, men have shown off to attract females and vice-versa.

Think back to when you were a kid (I’m talking to you now, gentlemen), and you would see a girl you had a crush on, you would try and show off (thinking that you were awesome).

You probably tried to run fast or walked a certain way to impress them. We don’t grow up for many people; we just get older, and those animal instincts of “I need to show off” may never go away.

Studies have shown that Peacocking has a lot to do with the male ego and the wish for men to show their best side for fear of rejection. When a man peacocks, he is not only doing it to show off, but he is putting his ego and pride on the line hoping that people respond positively with approval.

3 Facts about Peacocking

  1. Peacocking can be nicely done by nice guys too – This is a little cruel to do, but it has been seen to be true. Many men will do something nice only as a means to impress someone. You often see it in movies, where the former bad boy will help an old lady cross the street in front of the woman he is trying to impress. Or he will sign up to work with a charity so that he can get into a woman’s trousers. It happens outside of the movie screen, too, so beware. I’m not saying that people can’t be trusted, but there are people out there who are happy to take advantage of goodwill!
  2. All Men Peacock! – Peacocking is a behavior observed in most men. A guy who does this cannot be judged as doing it for show. Even nice guys peacock too. They just flaunt it when a girl of their type is around watching him.
  3. Peacocking can have adverse effects on mental health – this is a very important point to make. Social media is a great thing, but it has warped what any men and women perceive as being “healthy” or “good enough”, and unfortunately, the mental health of many young people suffer as a result. Why? Because they will never be like the person in the picture or on the television. So while it is great to follow certain pages on Instagram or influencers on TikTok, remember, many people choose what they want to show on social media, and often the reality can be a lot different to what is portrayed online.


Is Peacocking a bad thing?

Usually, Peacocking is seen as a bad thing because it involves a lot of showing off. It is a trait primarily associated with men, and it is seen as a very unattractive trait by many women.

What does it mean to peacock for attention?

Similarly to how peacocks use their feathers to attract a mate, men will look to use their muscles, job, or wealth level to try and attract a female. It is essentially a way of showing off to get what you want.

Is it common for men to peacock around women?

Peacocking is very common, and all men (and even women) can do it to some degree. Relationship and dating experts have suggested that many men will peacock on purpose, but in fact, frequently, men will do it subconsciously as a means to come across as more attractive.

Why do people peacock when they are working out in the gym?

This is not something that everyone will do, and again, it is mainly a male thing to do. But if you have a good body or an asset that you are proud of, you will want to show it off. Many of us in the gym get a “pump”, and the best way to feel better about that pump is to walk around like we are the world’s strongest person! Many will even take pictures as a means of showing their pride to the world!

Are there rules to Peacocking?

There are said to be certain unspoken rules to Peacocking, so if you are going to do it successfully and not come across as rude, you should follow the rules! For example, the first one, and the most important one is to know when to stop. This isn’t Halloween, so the minute you start considering masks, feather boas or pretending that you are Hulk Hogan, rein it in a little.

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