Written by Makisa Francis.
Photography by Jessica Pettway.
Dating in 2019 often forces us to make unwilling compromises — from lowering your standards to try your luck with a new Tinder match, to letting people treat you like garbage for the sake of avoiding singledom. Chidera Eggerue, aka “The Slumflower,” isn’t here for it. The born-and-bred Londoner is fiercely focused when it comes to cultivating the life she deserves — and that pretty much all starts with putting herself first.
24-year-old Eggerue rose to popularity in 2017 after starting the #SaggyBoobsMatter movement on Twitter, an offshoot of the body positivity movement that speaks specifically to ideals behind which sizes and shapes of breasts have value. Since then, Eggerue has continued on a journey of challenging societal norms and creating a dialogue about everything from early-onset hair loss to self-worth in heterosexual relationships.
In 2018, Eggerue became a best-selling published author with “What A Time to Be Alone,” a self-help book that tries to “make solitude great again.” Along with her TEDx Talk of the same name, and other movements such as the #BlockHimParty, Eggerue became known as the internet’s number one dating guru.
As she prepares to release her next book, “How To Get Over a Boy,” Eggerue sat down with Salty to get a better understanding of how we should center ourselves in relationships (especially hetero ones), demand what we are owed from men, and cast aside habits of passivity. Overall, it’s clear her rallying cry is all about self-confidence, self-assurance, and self-reliance. And, of course, to 👏dump 👏 them 👏 sis .
Salty: Tell me about your upcoming book, ‘How To Get Over a Boy.’
‘How to Get Over a Boy’ is the book that I want my own daughter to read when she’s of age — and by of age I just mean the age where you start to realize you have attraction to other people.
I want anybody who’s attracted to men to understand that the attraction isn’t the problem, the problem is how you are navigating that attraction. You will always be the most important person in the relationship and your needs will always come first. In a world where for every dollar he makes, you’re making 79 cents — that means that if you are to engage in partnerships with men that are intimate and romantic then the least a man can do is show you love by bringing safety, comfort, and resources into your life.
I want anybody who’s attracted to men to understand that the attraction isn’t the problem, the problem is how you are navigating that attraction.
This book is just saying that, look, he’s never going to be the center of your world. You are the center of your world, and any man who wants access to that world needs to play by your rules or he can go.
Salty: You’re very vocal about knowing what you want and demanding it, specifically about money. Can you talk to me about why money is so important when considering a potential partner?
I think the conversation becomes very muddy as money comes in. When women are vocal about demanding more from men and having standards it’s considered threatening. This book is going to be very threatening, because I DO talk about money a lot. The reason why is because everybody wants to talk about money…until women bring it up. Then suddenly it’s a matter of being a gold digger or materialistic, I don’t agree with that.
You are the center of your world, and any man who wants access to that world needs to play by your rules or he can go.
There’s a reason why the gender wage gap hasn’t been solved yet, and it’s because men don’t want to make the same amount of money as women. Considering that money is something that men wrap their masculinity around — how would they be able to assert that power in an equal society? They would resort to literal violence.
So that’s why I’m like if we as if women are going to choose to date men knowing that they have more access to power, money, and resources, we need to start engaging in these partnerships more wisely. Start thinking about what you can get out of it, because when he’s looking at you, he already wants something from you. Most men want you to do their laundry or cook for them or be their therapist… so why not get what you can out of the deal as well?
Salty: Tell me about the Dating App Chronicles, how you’re putting yourself out there online, and what you’re looking for in a romantic partner on a dating app.
I look at dating apps like a pile of CVs, and I check them on a list according to what my life looks like and what I want it to look like. If it doesn’t meet my standards — whether it’s his career or just the way he sounds on his profile — he just gets ticked off… bye.
In terms of what I look for, first of all, what’s important is your job. For me personally, I’m very adamant about creating the life I deserve to have for myself. And when you are dating someone, whether you’re conscious of it or not, that influence affects the direction your life moves in. So for me, I want to be inspired by someone. I want to be dating someone I can pick up successful traits from.
I need to be dating someone who’s making significantly more than me, but also is really driven, really inspired, and wants to do more. It’s ideal for that person’s career to be on six figures and that six figures ranges from $100,000 to $999,999.
So, how do you go about navigating dating apps?
I use them as experiments, trying out what works and finding my groove allows me to be more confident even when I’m not on apps and I’m in real life. The more I say no to men, the more confident I get. The more I dismiss men and the more I talk to them, it means that they no longer come across as this “opportunity” — that they could be the one. You’ve got to get used to the fact that there is not going to be a shortage of men. They’re not running out or dying out anytime soon. It’s important to be fussy, baby.
I’m the one who’s putting myself out there. I’m the one who is trying to, you know, meet someone right. Don’t treat me like I’m just literally every single other person who you could possibly meet on this app.
In your TED talk you mentioned the idea of us being afraid to “die alone.” What do you think of the idea of being alone as it pertains to romantic relationships? Why do we hold romantic relationships as the pinnacle of love when we have friends, family, and kids?
As human beings, we’re all just really perplexed by this concept of love and it’s so fascinating that love makes us do certain things. But when you start to peel back the layers of that conversation and you look at how like CIS hetero-centric the conversation around romantic love is, all it does is just make me think about the fact that it’s a way to justify exploiting female labor. It’s like these messages, this whole romanticism, they didn’t come from nowhere. Even marriage as an institution— it was built as a way to maintain wealth.
As human beings, we’re all just really perplexed by this concept of love — it’s so fascinating that love makes us do certain things.
Like anything that you’re seeing being promoted or pushed in society, you have to ask yourself why am I being shown this? Like it’s love, love, love, love! Love is all! Men are benefiting more in their partnerships than women, and yet this message of “love” is still being pushed so hard. Romanticism is a distraction because it only ever serves men and it just distracts women. Keep in mind that YOU come first.
Styling by Em Odesser.
Hair by Latisha Chong.
Makeup by Keiko Canada.
Makisa is a NY based creative and writer who specializes in food, entertainment, and women issues. Her latest screenplay “Blue Check” can be viewed on The Black List. She is currently working on short films, animated series, and feature length film scripts and open to collaborating with other writers.