There is a new breed of women commonly known as slay queens on social media. This phrase is almost mainstream in conversations nowadays with mostly the youth enhancing its popularity.
The word has had several and diverse meanings across generations but according to Urbandictionary.com, “slay queens are young and naive girls who apparently do not date broke men. They spend hours on Snapchat and Instagram showing off things they don’t even own. They do not have a wealthy background but appear as if they do.”
Nowadays, the men too have jumped onto the bandwagon. They are called “slay kings’ and while the urban dictionary gives a harsh meaning to the females it simply defines slay kings as “a male who dresses better than everyone else.’
Going by the definitions, one would be right to characterise the slay queens and kings that are flooding our social media pages as those who feel obligated to keep up with the trends. Slay queens update us about where they are having their breakfast, lunch or dinner, travelling to, and the major happenings in their life.
Axelle Umutesi, a TV presenter, describes them as being obsessed with taking photos and outshining everyone around them by demanding for unnecessary attention. To her, they are selfie-hungry, overly dressed and are mostly youngsters.
“They use social media to showcase their achievements and how pretty and cool they are while seeking approval from the public and stay up-to-date with current trends. Their false confidence or lack of it drives them to seek approval,” she says.
Frank Axel Nyabagabo, a photographer, defines a slay king is a guy “who likes to impress and basically keep up with the trends.”
But is the term appropriately used?
Several dictionaries reveal that in the old age the term to slay wasn’t meant to be a negative word as it was slang that simply meant someone who is exceptional.
Umutesi believes that the misuse of the term “slay queen” is turning back the clock with virtually every outstandingly dressed or smart woman and living lavish lifestyles being characterised as a slay queen.
“Like in the previous years, many people continue using social media for mentioning their achievements. Posting about a milestone in your life is an issue but it becomes annoying when some of these women and young girls want to project an impression that they are living fabulous lives and yet in reality, they are not.”
In fact, given her lavish lifestyle Zari Hassan, ex-wife to Tanzanian bongo maestro Diamond Platnumz, while on a radio interview last year, refuted claims that she was a slay queen. She instead said that she was a self-made successful ‘mom-prenuer’.
Alice Umuhoza, a 23 year old student, believes that the term is slowly creating a negative perception is being used to put down young girls who are deemed to be materialistic, because they chose to live up to standards of their role models that they cannot afford.
“How can we be considered as decent young women when the increasing number of slay queens, everyday keep choosing to eat from posh places under somebody else’ bills? How can we be taken as a serious minded people when a slay queen chooses what car they want to ride and yet back home, she doesn’t own even a bicycle? How can the male folks respect us when a slay queen keeps on living an imaginary life that only exist on the social media?”, she wonders.
32 year old Aline Humura says that the female universe shall always play second fiddle to men as long as slay queens continue behaving disgracefully living fake lives. She believes that many young men have been made to believe that most women have no dreams and intentions of working their way up the social ladder.
“In society, we still have self-made girls, who have overcome challenges and their own limitations to build brands and businesses that are thriving today. By keeping quiet about this growing conviction by misogynous men supported by inappropriate women, we wrongly continue to undermine women’s achievements,” she says.
Nyabagabo, on the other hand, believes that such kind of people are necessary as regards entertainment, after all, that is what social media is all about.
“I consider this as entertainment because even when some of them are dreaded, their pictures are entertaining and what better way to do this than social media. Imagine what Instagram would be like if people did not slay,” he says.
Slaying to their benefit
Social media and slay queens are inseparable literally. In any case, where would the queen and king go with her slayage if they didn’t have their Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat account?
Happy Ngabo, a student believes, that these people, given their efforts to outsmart others, have earned many followers that they use to their advantage.
“They have learned to make social media their money machines, becoming social media influencers and gaining popularity for upcoming entertainers like models and singers. The problem comes when they wrongfully influence young people into acts of immorality,” he says.
He adds that having many followers on social media and likes on their photos in a way boosts their confidence because they believe their viewers approve of them although it puts other young people who cannot keep up the trend, down.
Odette Mutesi, an enterprenuer, also believes that even though the word has been misconceptualised, such young girls are only showing off what does not belong to them because they are under pressure to keep up with the trends and thier ambitions.
“These girls want to have a life that their role models on the internet have. Their ambitious minds can only motivate them to live such lifestyles. However, women living these lavish lifestyles like Kim Kardashian who are working hard to maintain the lifestyle should make an effort to motivate them to study and work hard other than than resorting to quick but dubious means,” she says.
Who is a slay king/queen to you?
These people, as part of their calling, they take photos and post them from when they wake up to when they retire on their king size beds. The photos are heavily edited with filters to create perfect and flawless looks until you meet her face to face and she is quite the opposite of what you see on her posts. The broke slay queens and kings, who are the majority by the way, only take these photos at their rich friends’ place, at big malls only and in cars they obviously do not own.
Steven Nkotanyi, driver
They create a false impression on social media that they are leading good lives yet most of them are jobless. They are brainwashed by social media and will do anything to get attention. Even the wealthy ones want to post everything going on in their lives just so they can win the approval of other people. One wonders, what happened to privacy?
Joshua Tukesiga, travel agent
They want to choke everyone else with how cool they are. The slay queens party hard, have their make up intact all the time and most of them spend their time drinking and running around meeting men for their money. Most people, however, tend to use the term slay queen in reference to all beautiful girls looking smart if their dressing is not impressive.
Eduige Isimbi, beauty queen
They love to enjoy life and are too excited to flaunt in everybody’s face. Unlike what most people think, it is not too bad after all social media is there to help us connect with the world. Why should we only talk about celebrities yet we can show those interested the lives that we live?
Ritah Nandi, marketer