As a feminist, fashionista, and feminist fashionista, this article published in the Huffington Post style section is pretty disappointing. While reading it, it was one alarm bell of annoyance after another. Here’s why:
- The tone is heteronormative as all hell. Some women actually dress with the intention of attracting other women. Or a combination of men and women. Or maybe no one! Imagine. The statement “Trends Guys Hate (But Women Love)” presupposes that this is a relevant topic because perhaps we should be more aware of men’s preferences.
- Brief, vague, and anecdotal “research.” One statement, from one dude, criticizing a trend or style that is supposed to represent a significant and noteworthy comment on What Men Hate. Lame. This may constitute the honest statements of a handful of men, but giving a platform to the statements raises them to a level far beyond what they deserve.
- Reinforcing sexist judgments and prejudices. Most annoying are:
“It's like hooker red lipstick.”
We’ll criticize you if you don't look sexy, and criticize you more if you look too sexy!
"Definitely strapless bikinis, they just make your shoulders look like a linebacker's."
Don’t look like a man. It’s not sexy.
"The return of our moms' high-waisted shorts is the most unattractive recycled trend going on nowadays... It makes the fittest girl look frumpy and the less fit girls look even more unfortunate."
Looking too much like a woman isn’t sexy! Moms can't be sexy!
Boys wear blue and girls wear pink. You’re a woman, goddamnit, dress like one!
So many contradictory things goings on here. I think men have a right to weigh in one women’s fashion as much as I can say I prefer a certain look on men, but most of these testimonials are thoroughly sexist and anti-feminist in a way that suggests women do and should care what they (men) think. But it’s moreso reifying blanket stereotypes and judgments about women based on how they dress. The same article comprised of women hating on other women’s fashion choices would be almost as annoying.
Which leads to my next criticism. This article hinges on the presumption that women care. Breaking news, ladies, men might not find your peplum sexy! Better reconsider your entire presentation of self. And while you’re at it, don’t look too big, too small, too young, too old, too girly, too manly, too momly, etc.
I love fashion. I love clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, hair, and makeup. I love new styles and trends and how my fashion evolves. But I mostly love having long since moved past needing the approval of others, male or female.