Barack Obama
Credit: Getty

Over the past few years, the term ‘soft boi’ has become a common way to describe a specific kind of man who uses music, culture and fashion to differentiate himself from the norm, usually doing so in a bid to pick up women.

The Instagram @beam_me_up_softboi, which boasts over 460k followers, has become like free therapy for the thousands of women worldwide who have been mansplained who Radiohead is via Tinder DMs or have been asked what they consider the best Tarantino film to be. But one person I didn’t expect to make a cameo on the account is former US President Barack Obama.

It turns out, before Obama met his wife of 18 years, Michelle, he was an OG soft boi, using literature to pick up girls at Harvard University, where he studied law. In an excerpt from his new book, A Promised Land, the 59-year-old wrote of his “strategy for picking up girls” during his first two years of college through a performative interest in the writings of political philosophers like Karl Marx and Frantz Fanon.

Obama wrote that reading the works of Marx and Herbert Marcuse gave him “something to say to the long-legged socialist who lived in my dorm.” Meanwhile, Michel Foucault and Virginia Woolf helped him in his attempts to – brace yourself – pick up the “ethereal bisexual who wore mostly black.”

Very quickly, the internet caught wind of Obama’s playboy days, his interest in a mystery “ethereal bisexual,” and, more to the point, that he used the words “ethereal bisexual” as a literal man nearing 60.

So what have we learned today? Soft bois have always existed, and the ethereal bisexual who always wore black and who made Obama read Foucault only to friend-zone him later is the coolest person to have ever lived.