Em-URGE-ing Voices

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Sugar Babies: Victims or Opportunists?

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February 8, 2013

My school, The University of Central Florida is known for its size –  58,000 currently enrolled. But it’s becoming notorious for something else recently…sugar babies.

For those of you that don’t know what sugar babies are, no we’re not talking about those tasty caramel movie candies. These types of sugar babies are young people, mostly female, that get their expenses paid for by older individuals – their “sugar daddies.”

Why I decided to write about this now? Easy, UCF recently became the 4th fastest growing “sugar baby” school according to sign ups on a site called Seeking Arrangement. I wanted to know just how this site markets them and went on the startup page to see why people are so interested. The site claims to be one of the best at offering connections for “Mutually Beneficial Dating.” It even offers generalizations about why it is so popular – explaining that it’s natural for beautiful young people to seek older, successful and affluent individuals.

So with all this in mind I couldn’t decide whether I’m absolutely disgusted and offended or intrigued.

A site that is marketing and profits from organizing relationships with money as the primary focus seems like a natural progress for internet capitalism. Seeking Arrangement even provides definitions for exactly what a sugar daddy, sugar mommy, and a sugar baby is and what they seek in one of these “mutual beneficial relationships.” I think this site and sites like it are glorifying how to use your youth and good looks for money, but at the same time as a college student I know the struggle of paying for tuition. I know the feeling of looking in your cabinet and seeing it bare. The cost of going to school is increasing and the availability of jobs and student loans is decreasing. Given these facts I’m sure this phenomenon of the sugar baby will only gain steam.

I want to know what you, my readers, think about the phenomenon of sugar babies. Are these individuals just benefiting from relationships that prove to be profitable or are young people being taken advantage of for the promise of their rent, and tuition being paid? I also found it frustrating that those individuals that don’t prescribe the to heteronormative relationship seem to be excluded. What happens to the queer individual that isn’t fitting into the paradigm the site sets up?

With the media depicting how girls can shake it for rappers, and make it big on reality TV it doesn’t seem like a stretch that sugar babies are on the rise. After all, I believe that young people have their own idea of the American dream and it doesn’t not include the white picket fence. Currently, the American dream is all about financial security and success; having an innovative idea that can become very profitable. But with this arrangement becoming normalized, what will be the next trend?


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