What would the media do without this word? It is the staple of click-bait.
Here’s what it means.
verb: flaunt; 3rd person present: flaunts; past tense: flaunted; past participle: flaunted; gerund or present participle: flaunting
display (something) ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance.
No synonym works quite as well.
“Show off” sounds silly. “Display ostentatiously” is embarrassing, an offense to good taste. Try this: “Forty-nine-year-old model ostentatiously displays her beach body!” You won’t see that headline. But we are good with “flaunt.”
How did that happen? What does it say about us that we can be drawn to one of the most unattractive vices? But drawn we are.
Our new masters know us better than we know ourselves. They know things we don’t want to admit. They know what works and would not keep doing it if it didn’t pay.
Every time we “click” we are sending them a message: “This is what I want more of.”