You’ll have observed that everybody appears to be dressing like a lesbian nowadays, and by everybody, I imply even — and maybe particularly — straight-identifying or in any other case hetero-presenting girls.
From the dishevelled, loose-fitting silhouettes which have changed the thin denims of yore to the sensible footwear that has taken over since girls (reportedly) ditched their heels within the pandemic, the most well-liked mainstream girls’s style tendencies of the day all replicate a sure sapphic affect. And androgynous model isn’t only for peculiar girls reluctant to return to their pre-pandemic uniform of skin-tight pants and sky-high heels; from queer icons like Kristen Stewart to supermodels like Gigi Hadid, androgynous style has taken over Hollywood as effectively. Historically straight-presenting A-listers like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid — icons of typical feminine attractiveness as dictated by the male gaze — have been photographed rocking the lesbian-chic aesthetic, sporting energy fits, designer loafers and oversize the whole lot.
Jill Gutowitz, writer of Women Can Kiss Now, wrote concerning the rising affect of sapphic model on mainstream style in a latest article for Harper’s Bazaar. Whereas Gutowitz notes that, as a queer lady who was as soon as mocked for her love of Dr. Martens, “seeing a straight-identifying lady sporting overalls, Tevas, and a bandana is considerably disorienting,” she additionally finds it “validating” to seek out an aesthetic as soon as mocked by a homophobic society now dominating mainstream girls’s style.
In fact, it’s essential to notice that some would possibly view this development as appropriative — Gutowitz herself admits to some occasional emotions of resentment. However what makes this development notably fascinating amongst its hordes of straight-presenting adopters is that it fully ignores the male gaze. Historically, what has been thought of stylish in girls’s style has been knowledgeable, at the least to some extent, by what males discover attractive. Lesbian style is decidedly not that. I don’t imply to argue that girls embracing lesbian model are doing so in a deliberate try to subvert the male gaze in a bra-burning, second-wave type of manner. However as Gutowitz notes, the lesbian wardrobe is one which historically displays a “want for effectivity and luxury” — just about the alternative of what’s usually thought of “attractive” beneath the male gaze. The sapphic aesthetic just isn’t an assault in opposition to that gaze; it simply ignores it completely, which is relatively refreshing.
This isn’t to say that this look isn’t attractive, or that males can’t or don’t discover it so. However the sapphic-chic aesthetic taking up mainstream girls’s style for the time being is basically devoid of the skin-tight silhouettes and towering stilettos which have historically outlined sartorial sexiness for girls. Neither is this to say that girls who do nonetheless lean in the direction of tight clothes and heels are regressive bimbos determined to appease the male gaze. Personally I occur to favor that look myself, and I’d hope at this level we’re all conscious that girls who select to decorate in a extra conventionally attractive method should not essentially doing it “for males,” but additionally it’s positive if they’re.
Nonetheless, girls who’re embracing this second of lesbian-chic style are decidedly not dressing for males — however, once more, not in a manner that’s meant to intentionally problem or threaten males or their gaze (so please relax). Girls aren’t dressing for you nowadays, however they’re not not dressing for you. Sapphic model isn’t a lot an aesthetic that defies the male gaze, however relatively one which exists outdoors of it altogether, representing a brand new, extra androgynous strategy to girls’s model and intercourse attraction.
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