‘Sassy Men’ Are Taking Over TikTok to Try to Eliminate Toxic Masculinity

By: Alec Donaldson | Last updated: Nov 17, 2023

Men have long been expected to be strong, masculine, and confident. However, TikTok has seen a wave of self-proclaimed ‘sassy men’ gaining popularity on the platform.

Men like Prayag Mishra, who goes by the TikTok handle @444pray, take no offense to being perceived as more flamboyant than his peers. Mishra embraces his individuality and doesn’t shy away from his inherent personality traits, even though they may be considered non-traditional to some. More ‘sassy men’ are emerging on TikTok every day, and they have started a bold trend of males showcasing their feminine side over toxic masculinity.

One Fearless TikToker Has Embraced His Sassy Nature

Few men would take kindly to being called “sassy,” but Prayag Mishra views the term as a compliment. The TikToker has an undeniably effervescent, over-the-top personality that has earned him more than 3.5 million followers.

Prayag Mishra leaning against staircase while holding drink

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

Mishra talks excitedly, uses dramatic hand gestures, and occasionally dances in his videos. While he isn’t exactly the image of traditional masculinity, Mishra’s confidence shines through the screen. His charm and charisma have captivated viewers, as his following made an impressive jump from 29,000 to millions seemingly overnight.

Being a ‘Sassy Man’ Helped Make Mishra TikTok-Famous

Mishra represents a new breed of men, and TikTok users have taken notice.

Prayag Mishra talking to camera while filming TikTok video

Source: 444pray/TikTok

The social media star even has a playful pet name for his loyal fans and fondly refers to them as “Pookie Bears.” In many ways, he has become the quintessential poster boy for ‘sassy men’ everywhere. While Mishra may be one of the most prominent ‘sassy men’ online, the term predates his meteoric rise to fame.

When Did the Term ‘Sassy Man’ Catch On?

According to the “Know Your Meme” online database, ‘sassy men’ became a topic of conversation in 2022 after the phrase first emerged on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. A user who goes by the handle @yattadondada infamously said, “We in a sassy man apocalypse” and the trend took off like wildfire.

Prayag Mishra wearing sunglasses and leather jacket in car

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

Soon after, people began sharing videos of their sassy significant others with larger-than-life attitudes. At first, being called sassy was considered not a term of endearment if you were a male. It was viewed as a slight against men who were effeminate and was even used as a homophobic slur at times. Sassy men of TikTok essentially got picked on by commenters, until men like Mishra proudly wore their sassy label like a badge of honor.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Sassy

Once women began sharing videos of their boyfriends being sassy, more viewers started to appreciate men’s theatrical and extravagant demeanors. During a time when toxic masculinity was a point of contention, sassy men were a welcome change.

Prayag Mishra wears fur coat in social media video

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

Mishra loves being called a so-called sassy man. “All the perfect ingredients of the sassy man apocalypse had been brought together,” he said, proudly promoting a new perception of what it means to be a man. “I’m just here to push it even further. I’m on the front lines of the sassy man apocalypse.”

Mishra’s Authenticity Has Paid Off

Mishra, who lives in Toronto, Canada, recently decided to be “radically authentic” in his TikTok videos. His choice was refreshing and relatable to viewers who were used to seeing influencers curate content and create false personas of perfection for the sake of social media.

Prayag Mishra close-up selfie

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

Mishra is unapologetic about being sassy and he refuses to change who he is just to fit into some societal standard. When it comes to being a man, he knows what the expectations are – and he opts to go against every one of them.


His Following Continues to Grow

Mishra doesn’t care what people think of him, but he’s glad that most have been receptive to his sassy approach to masculinity.

Prayag Mishra looks off into the distance

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

“This is who I am,” said the TikToker. “This is the way that I express myself. I wasn’t expecting unanimous love. I wasn’t expecting support from people. I was expecting, you know, people to roast me and make fun of me.” Mishra has become so popular that he has even achieved meme status due to his quick quips and sassy one-liners. His fanbase is mostly female, and they can’t seem to get enough of him.


Females Are in Favor of the Sassy Man Movement

23-year-old TikToker Ferlynn Petit-Bell has been a staunch supporter of sassy men embracing their true nature

TikToker Ferlynn Petit-Bell makes video in support of sassy men

Source: ferlyp/TikTok

She believes that both males and females need to understand the importance of uplifting men who aren’t traditional ‘tough guy’ types. “If you’re trying to be a feminist and you’re trying to combat toxic masculinity, that’s not going to happen if you’re shaming men for having anything else besides stoicism or nonchalant attitudes towards different situations,” she said.


Are Sassy Men Set to Take Over?

Petit-Bell enjoys the rise of sassy men and hopes to see more men shed their machismo facade in favor of a more sensitive and lively demeanor.

Prayag Mishra takes social media video with cupcake

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

“It’s very refreshing to see men who are not so obsessed with appearing hyper-masculine or hyperstoic,” she said. Plenty of people seem to agree with her. Her recent video expressing her love of sassy men has gotten over 500,000 views.


Another Sassy Man Paved the Way

Prior to Mishra’s TikTok popularity, Iyosias Wondwossen, a 24-year-old influencer, was believed to be one of the “OG sassy men.”

Sassy Man smiles for the camera

Source: iyosiasw/Instagram

Wondwossen, who boasts over 55,000 followers on Instagram, is frequently called ‘sassy’ due to his feisty attitude and snippy sense of humor. While he has learned to love being called sassy, he admitted that the term hasn’t always been directed at him in a positive way. He credits Mishra and others like him for putting an entirely new spin on what it means to be a sassy man.


Is Society Ready for the Rise of Sassy Men?

“I’ve seen people just complain in general about sassy men and the sassy man apocalypse in this era that we’re in and how we need to get back to manly men and stuff,” said Wondwossen.

Sassy Man Iyosias Wondwossen dressed as purple Teletubby

Source: iyosiasw/Instagram

“This moment that he’s [Mishra] created is really cool to see.” While he’s happy to see that TikTok has started to praise men for being sassy, he’s unsure if society is ready to follow suit. “The fact that men have built a world where we have to be super masculine isn’t really going to change all too much just because of this minor sassy movement,” he said.


Mishra Aspires to Be a Positive Male Role Model

Mishra is hopeful that his online presence as a ‘sassy man’ will help show others that it’s okay to defy male stereotypes. He is ready to represent sassy men everywhere and take on the responsibility that comes along with that role.

Prayag Mishra wears sweatshirt during TikTok video in car

Source: prayagxmishra/Instagram

“As a man, we’ve just seen a lot of, like, not the best role models on the internet,” he said. “And we need a man that’s more loving, that’s more positive, that’s more caring. I just think that everything happened at the right time, at the right place, for the right people to perceive it.”