Are You a Man Repeller?

How to repel a Human Male:

Step One: Buy and wear overalls. These may be designer, maternity, denim, corduroy, or thrifted. Wear them often around members of the opposite sex.

Step Two: Wear any kind of shoe that is not a ballet flat or stiletto.

Step Three: Fix your hair and makeup in a cool way, possibly using an unusually bright lipstick.

Go forth and repel.

Many criticize fashion as being vain and worldly, but the most common criticism I hear is that fashion is immodest.

Season after season designers and retailers turn out clothing collections full of skin-baring styles, they say. Fashion is all about flaunting assets, sky high cleavage, and short shorts. Fashion is trying to lure women into wearing styles that naturally seduce men. We Christian women have to stand strong against the fashion establishment and turn our noses up at the latest styles in order to retain our dignity. Right!? Maybe not.

Image: julieet via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

In the last several years, “man repelling” was coined by the enormously popular blogger, Leandra Medine, who blogs under the name Man Repeller. She did not invent the trend; she simply recognized what had been taking place for years in fashion: many women were dressing for themselves, in a way that not only didn’t appeal to men, it confused them. It was chic to dress in a non-sexy way, a way that drew more puzzled looks than lustful stares.

Medine defines a man repeller in the following humorous way:

Outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.

Being a man repeller doesn’t mean being a grotesque human being that intentionally wears weird things to deflect male attention. It simply is about wearing what you like, regardless of what most men may find attractive. Maybe that involves a curious amount of layers, a sneaker paired with a dress, or a pile of super glamorous necklaces over a t-shirt.

Many people consider feminism and fashion at odds with each other. Maybe in certain sects of feminism and fashion, that holds true. But with many women dressing for themselves – in a way that makes them feel comfortable and confident – and not solely for male attention, it feels empowering.


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