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Beam me up softboi

How to spot a softboy

@beam_me_up_softboi is the to-the-bone Instagram account documenting ridiculous texts from a very specific type of fuckboy

The definitive resource on modern language – Urban Dictionary – defines a softboy as “similar to a fuckboy but without the cocky attitude. Differs from the fuckboy because he goes for the heart and emotions rather than just the body”.

Essentially, a softboy is the guy on Tinder who chain-smokes rollies (this is a big part of his personality), quotes David Lynch’s filmography, and is definitely, really, 100 per cent a staunch feminist. For some reason he thinks he’s the only person who’s heard that Tame Impala record, had a hallucinogenic trip, or… visited Manchester.

The softboy lures you in with seemingly interesting conversation, a ‘good guy’ attitude and his speeches about gender equality – cool! – before eventually needing some time to ‘figure himself out’, then ghosting you, all the while continuing to watch all of your Instagram stories.

Despite their appearance (you know exactly what they look like), they can often be hard to spot because at first they seem kind of genuine? Well, lucky for us one Instagram account is calling them out, one bullshit philosophy quote lifted from at a time. Enter @beam_me_up_softboi, providing us with an endless stream of hilarious, cringe-worthy, and – sadly – all too familiar messages from said softboys.

Run by 20-year-old Manchester student Iona, the account is, what she tells Dazed, “a selection of the best and the worst softbois this planet has to offer”. Named after that “beam me up Jesus” moment in Friends (“I am in fact incredibly basic and watch Friends a lot,” she adds), Iona started the account after being sent submissions via her other Instagram @dankmemes4homecountiesteens.

“(It’s) a combination of funny things that harmless – if sometimes patronising – indie boys have said, and then slightly darker ones where the same softboi tactic is used in quite a weird way, basically as an excuse for being a bit of a twat,” Iona says.

Although softboys are often regarded as one of the worst types of fuckboys, Iona thinks we shouldn’t necessarily take it so seriously: “Everyone is a bit of a softboi. If you read William Blake you’re a softboi. If you mention in passing that you occasionally do ket you’re a softboi. Sorry everyone, there’s no escaping your softboi fate.”

Whether we’re all secretly softboys inside or not, the account is a must-follow, and an essential education tool – here’s a few things we’ve learned about how to spot a softboy.


Sometimes irony is like a big warm hug on a cold, sad day. What sets the softboy apart from ‘the others’ is that he’s different. He’s also pretty fucked up and definitely addicted to sex, drugs, and rock and roll (Mac DeMarco). But it’s not his dress sense, his taste in music, or, err, his personality that makes him different, it’s not even the fact that he constantly reminds you that he’s different. Oh, wait...


When you meet he’ll have a worn copy of The Second Sex in his White Cube tote bag because not only is he into philosophy, but he’s a big supporter of feminism (and it was 50p in his local Oxfam). He’ll get it out in bars and read his favourite parts out loud – he’s re-read it countless times – stopping after each sentence to offer his hot take and make intense eye contact.

But TBH we’re all just tiny dots on this enormous planet anyway and nothing we do means anything, so we should just enjoy our time together RN and have sex, but not really date because death is inevitable, you know?


The softboy knows everything, and you know nothing. But it’s, like, so charming! “Indie softbois think they are better than literally everyone else on the planet because they have independent thought processes,” Iona tells Dazed, “when in fact – shock, horror! – everyone has independent thought processes.”

The best thing about the softboy’s knowledge is that, actually, much of it is surface-level pop culture knowledge, gleaned from Tumblr and past interactions with women. His recommendations (always Tame Impala – because it’s 2010 somewhere) of what he deems obscure music/cult films/mockumentaries/literature are all pretty entry level. But he’s cleverer than you and constantly needs to remind you – he’s not listening to your response anyway.


‘So my script is about a guy – not me though – who is really misunderstood, and he’s in a band and does some painting on the side. He meets this girl, but she’s only a small, insignificant part because the premise of the film is really just about how he learns to cope with who he is. It’s pretty deep. Oh yeah and I can get you a five per cent discount in your Peckham local, just say my name when you go in.’


OK so we all cry, but the softboy is very open about the fact that he cries. His ability to cry shows that his sensitivity is genuine and deep, he really feels the things he says he feels, and he’s totally cool with being open about that because – duh! – he’s sooo progressive. Side note: it’s actually super important for boys to talk about the fact that they cry, given toxic masculinity and all, but the softboy goes past being open – he needs to enforce the ‘fact’ that his ability to shed a tear means his emotional intelligence is higher than any other man you’ll ever meet, and he’s using it to get at you. OK?


I know this is very specific, but I’m sorry, it’s true. And FYI that smell isn’t the alluring scent of man, it’s sweat.