Fashion as a way of avoiding the male gaze.

jahalath:

I have been asked by dozens of male leftists why I’m into fashion, why I blog about it or spend hours putting together intricate outfits, since it is ‘inherently’ a capitalist activity.

I have also been told (unsolicited) by many men that they think my fashion is interesting and bold, but certainly not sexy— the same (unsolicted) response given whenever I chop all my hair off.

Male leftist critiques of fashion often ignore that it is a gendered form of self-expression and no more complicated by its relationships with commodification and capitalism than any other aesthetic or form of self-expression. To do many artsy things, you must buy things. Paintings go for millions in hushed auctions filled with white men, so why don’t men criticize artists who use paints, pencils, or finely crafted crayons for being sellouts?

Moreover, fashion can be a way to avoid the male gaze or to at least alienate it. There are many women into creative dressing that are told ‘you aren’t sexy, you won’t attract a boy looking like that.’ As if that should be the only point to your self-expression.

These days I experiment with masculine silohettes. I am wearing slacks and a wool-and-leather top with weird loafers. My hair is to my chin. Many of my guy friends have complained that I de-sexify myself when my hair is short. Or they mutter, you’re clearly going for some weird fashion thing and not attractiveness. It reminds me of the saying that when women get their hair cut short, they do it for themselves. 

These days, I don’t twart male gazes completely but I come off as aggressively visible. Most strange men avoid speaking to me, which is what I prefer. They look at me in weird dresses and short hair, and they often have a blank expression because they are unable to read my body within the entitled domain of their gaze.

Being into fashion has been about reclaiming my body for myself. I lose weight because I want to fit into clothes, not because I want to be more appealing to men. I dress how I went, when I want, and ignore the men who say ‘Ainee you don’t look hot today! Your shirt is weird.’

yes yes yes

  1. alicesjunkyard reblogged this from rosalarian and added:
    Holy shit you gotta love strong artistic women am I right.
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  9. hannibals-paisley-tie reblogged this from yoshidayuuzan and added:
    This is an incredible post. Mirrors my feelings about creative fashion completely
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