Why We Need To Rethink This Gender Stereotype About Cooking, According To TikTok's Emmanuel Duverneau - Exclusive

The stereotype that "women belong in the kitchen" may sound like something straight out of the 1950s, but it hasn't totally faded, especially since the majority of social media influencers, including foodies, are female (per BizWomen). Because of this, it's easy to think of everyday cooking and cleaning as still being a woman's domain. And true, the overwhelming majority of award-winning chefs are "food dudes," per Eater – so why then do we mainly see women tasked with preparing our daily bread ... and cleaning up the crumbs?

This is a question posed by Emmanuel Duverneau, whose TikTok videos about cooking and cleaning (all while dancing) have propelled him to social media virality as well as a spot on the coveted 2022 #BlackTikTok Trailblazers list. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Duverneau shared that he is proud to bust stereotypes about gender and domestic responsibilities with his videos. 

"I feel like there's still some of that social or societal norms that women should be doing a lot of cooking and cleaning," Duverneau said. "That's what I'm showcasing on my page — it's great to see someone like me doing that. ... I hope I can, honestly, inspire more guys to feel comfortable in doing things that are not the 'norm,' but doing it because they love it." In fact, growing up, the 25-year-old witnessed both of his parents cooking and cleaning, and added, "[I learned from] watching my mom cook, and also my dad, because my dad cooked a lot in our household."

Emmanuel Duverneau is also a self-confessed "clean freak"

It can be fun to prepare a tasty meal — but cleaning up afterwards is a dreaded chore for many of us. However, not for Duverneau. "I'm going to be fully transparent with you: I am a clean freak," he confessed. In fact, Duverneau has many happy childhood memories of tidying up with his entire family. "I [realized] as I was getting older, and over time, I found peace in cleaning when I had spare time," he shared. "Whereas most people would probably want to play games or read, which is great, I would find myself cleaning my [stove] and cleaning down the countertops because I enjoy looking around and having a clean environment."

Anyone who's seen Duverneau's dance moves while he's cooking and cleaning probably won't be surprised to hear that these domestic chores bring him joy. You can't really get down to "Work From Home" while flipping a burger if you actually see meal prep as a burden, after all. "I'm not being too serious in the kitchen," Duverneau explained. "I think, most people [believe], 'If I'm cooking, I have to be serious. I have to make sure I'm doing everything right.' By adding the dancing and the humor to it, I think people could relate to that." 

In fact, we could all stand to insert a little more fun into our everyday tasks, Duverneau added. "I recommend not taking it too seriously. Have fun with it," he said. "Let that inner energy out and put it all towards your craft."

Follow Emmanuel Duverneau's cooking and dancing adventures on TikTok.