Who knew that we’d wake up with the news that rompers for men would be a thing? A couple of days ago, indie brand RompHim put up a Kickstarter to launch their male-friendly rompers. This became a laughing matter for everyone since the ad was comical, but the funding effort was successful.
It isn’t weird for men to wear rompers as brands like ASOS and Zara sell them. The only thing I’m mad about is that going to the bathroom is apparently easier with RompHim. (Like, shouldn’t they feel the same struggle as women?!)
However, this also implies that these pieces are essentially not for men, hence, are placed in a different category.
A friend, who’s a sociology major, brought up a similar argument yesterday. She noted how there’s always this need to add a masculine connotation to items that are primarily sold to women. It’s like saying that they will be emasculated if they’re caught wearing them unless they’re given a male name.
We are accustomed to labeling many clothing items as such. We have “mandals,” “man purses,” and now, RompHim. This isn’t limited to fashion—eyeliner is changed to “guyliner” and Marc Jacobs even coined “#MalePolish” to pertain to his manicure.
One can argue that this is inclusiveness, but it defeats the purpose when you genderize them. More so when people point out that men who like mandals or man purses look “idiotic” and “gross.” That’s inequality right there.
We now live in a world where both men and women are breaking gender norms. Actress Ruby Rose can rock a feminine outfit, wear makeup, and also dress like a dude. Singer Jaden Smith wears dresses on the regular and fronted Louis Vuitton’s womenswear campaign.
Inclusiveness doesn’t start when you simply produce items for both genders. It’s when you stop categorizing them to discriminate another. Everyone has a choice on what they want to wear. It also helps that there are now gender-neutral lines sold at brands like Zara and H&M. So it’s time we drop the masculine or feminine tags and just call an item for what it is—sandals, rompers, and purses.
Photo courtesy of The Cut