Women who had been dressing for the’male eye’ have moved on from wearing clothes that appeal to men and are now wearing edgy and eye-catching fashions via social media.
The’male gazing’ is a feminist theory that claims society is viewed from the male, heterosexual perspective. This is because men objectify women and see them as sexual objects.
According to the theory, women were conditioned from childhood to dress in a way that pleases men. For example, they wear tight clothing, short dresses, and feminine outfits.
Users who claim their style was dictated primarily by what men like have shared their new wardrobes on TikTok. Now they choose outfits that suit their personal taste.
Lola, a fashion blogger based in Dublin, shared a clip saying that she had stopped dressing to please the’male gaze’. The video featured her style before, which included tight pink dresses with platinum blonde hair. Her new style sees her wearing baggy jeans, jumpers with brown hair, and trendy highlights (right).
California-based fashion influencer Chloe shared this picture of her style before and after she donned a plain black minidress and white trainers.
Lola is pictured wearing a tight pink minidress and cropped midriff, which she paired it with a bejewelled clutch. Lola is pictured right in a trendy oversized blazer, paired with trendy sunglasses and blonde highlights.
One example of this trend is when users show off what they wore “for the male gaze”, which can include crop tops, short skirts, neutral colours, minimal prints, and crop tops.
However when dressing for the ‘female gaze’, several users were seen in more flamboyant, colourful outfits which are often looser fitting with quirkier hairstyles and accessories.
Lola, a fashion blogger from Dublin, shared a TikTok clip showing how she wore tight, simple dresses with minimal patterns and blonde hair.
But her updated wardrobe features loose fitting shirts, baggy jeans, jumpers, and vibrant colours. Her hair is natural and has trendy blonde streak highlights.
Chloe is shown left in a plain white vest, paired with black striped trousers. She also has a straw hat. Right: Chloe wore monochrome plaid flares with trends sunglasses, a red statement jacket and a designer bag.
Left, Chloe is wearing a simple, feminine outfit. She has a short denim skirt, paired with a leopard print blouse, and a black beret. Right, Chloe wears leather trousers paired oversized blazer.
Chloe’s updated wardrobe includes lots and layers, trainers and retro accessories, as well as quirky prints and patterns.
Lola wore short, tight-fitting dresses in plain colours before updating her wardrobe (left). The fashion blogger now wears psychedelic prints and oversized jackets in bright colours.
Examples of dressing for the “female gaze” included a bold lime green tank and a cascading emerald sleeveless skirt, as well a psychedelic skirt with a large black blazer jacket.
Her video has been liked over 6,000 times and one user commented on Lola’s video: “Nothing wrong with the original, but it’s obvious that the second is more of you and that’s all that matters most, dressing up to make you happy.
Californian fashion influencer Chloe shared a TikTok clip of her past outfits. It included simple dresses, denim jeans, skirts and plain blouses.
However her updated style includes statement pieces including monochrome polkadot flare trousers which she paired with an oversized red jacket and Dr. Martens boots, and she said she’s ‘so much happier now’.
Before updating her style (left), Chloe wore feminine clothing, such as a floral minidress. The fashion blogger now wears more striking designs, including patterned trousers or waistcoats
Lola, before and after updating her wardrobe. Previously, Lola wore tight fitting outfits that she believed would appeal to men. She now wears trendy outfits, including an emerald-green skirt paired with a lime-green cropped shirt
Chloe is shown left in plain clothing and short denims. Right, she is wearing loose fitting jeans and a bomber jacket with fashionable accessories.
Other outfits includes leather flare trousers with a loose fitting blazer, a leather jacket with a green, fluffy hemline and her wardrobe now includes lots of layering, trainers and retro accessories.
Caption: The blogger claims she’s soooo much happier now. Users agree that dressing for the female gaze’ is liberating.
Speaking to Refinery29, Dr Lauren Gurrieri, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at RMIT University, claimed that the ‘male gaze’ means women are viewed as objects of ‘desire and pleasure’.
She said that the male gaze reflects women’s expectations about how they should look and what women should look like. This, in turn, positions women as idealized, sexualized, and subject to heteronormative pleasure and desire.
‘Dressing in more stereotypically feminine ways then operates as the other side of this dynamic — with femininity traditionally associated with marginalised meanings of submissiveness, decorativeness and frivolity.’