Chances are good that if you’ve gone clothes shopping lately you’ve been smacked in the face with one of the most sexist advertising gimmicks in years: Boyfriend Style. Admittedly, if you are a 6th grader in the first blush of hormonal rush, then you may be excited by this branding. Those of us over 13, however, should find it appalling.
The message this style name carries is obvious: Without a man, you are nothing. Now, for the Junior High and High School set, ok. Everyone believes they’re the first to fall into lust and the first to ever have sex in the history of the world. We’ll skip them. After all, who hasn’t loved (at that age) wearing HIS letter jacket or his his favorite hoodie of his basketball jersey or even his band sweater or whatever. I can live with the dark, overly scented Mall style-stores being all about this. But, hello? Coldwater Creek? Talbots? And just about every major clothing retailer??
Here’s the test to determine if it is sexist. Imagine, if you will, (and oh! I wish I could do Photoshop!) say, Abercrombie, showing a buff young God of a boy wearing…wait for it…GIRLFRIEND Jeans!! Yes! They’d have such great embroidery on the pockets and they’d cut off at the ankle! Or, GIRLFRIEND Camisoles! Yeah! Imagine some man going into some nice men’s shop and instead of grabbing a package of 3 super-thick cotton crew-necked undershirts, he instead chose a light pink, a sassy chartreuse and an all-purpose white camisole to wear!! Right.
Yet, every day that a woman wants something a little looser and a little more comfy, she is must put up with it being called “Boyfriend jeans” or t-shirt or whatever. Because we all borrow men’s pants right? NO! Because we should want to “get into” men’s pants. SIZZLE!
Now, I don’t know about you, but at 54 (and even back at 24 when I still liked wearing a boyfriend’s jacket) I find this so insulting, so juvenile that I am refusing to buy any of it. I’ve always loved tailored clothing and darker colors. Today that means many of the things I would enjoy wearing (and that are made to fit a woman’s body) are tagged with this ridiculous name. Cause, we all want to wear his big, soft shirt open showing our cool tube top/bra/whatever that is. Give me a break!
This whole idea is the icon for everything that’s wrong with popular culture today. Here’s the best example: Underwear.
Here’s the thing. I don’t see any retailer, aside from adult lingerie stores, selling something called “manties” let alone “Girlfriend panties” for men to wear. Yeah. Get that image stuck in your brain. Yet a young, painfully thin girl, sporting a duck face or sticking out her tongue while pulling down the front of those same briefs just a bit, is called S–Y So, what is being sold here: Girls as you-know-what objects. I have no objection to selling really comfortable underwear–this style used to be sold, if I can remember back that far into ancient history as “banded legs” (albeit with no faux fly). But why on Earth women need a fly (even fake) on the front is beyond me. It’s tacky. It’s sexist. It’s that whole “Women only want to get into a guy’s pants” notion again.
Retailers? Grow Up. Leave Junior High behind. Stop the sexualizing of everything. Do you really want to see a little girl wearing a miniature version of men’s briefs? Do you really think it’s so cute to see your wife wearing boxer briefs? Ladies? Do we really want to be told that to be comfortable we must be wearing stuff supposedly looking like we picked it up off our current hook-up’s bedroom floor?
I date MEN, not boys–I suspect most people out of high school do the same. If a man loans me his jacket because I’m freezing, I say thank you–I don’t declare it a fashion statement. Ladies, if you love your guy’s hoodie or pajama shirt or…(please tell me you don’t really wear his undershorts, ok? Cause ewwwwww)… just do it. But don’t tell me to buy it. So until I see GIRLFRIEND styles in the men’s section of, say, Kohls or Jos A Banks or wherever, I’m boycotting Boyfriend Style.
Last words: Even my drop-dead gorgeous, size 0 20-year old former cheerleader daughter finds this (and I quote) “Stupid.” Enough said.