The ‘Manly’ history of ‘Female’ products

If you are someone who declines using any product, fashion, or any utility quoting it as feminine then think again! We have stereotyped a lot of products in our society as ‘feminine’ and hence can not be used by men. From fashion to beauty products, these feminine products when worn or used by men makes sure that society starts questioning sexuality. The age has come when we keep our stereotypes to ourselves and understand that beauty, fashion and ‘things’ do not have any gender. 

There are several famous trending things that women are adorning like no other but interestingly, they were primarily designed for the male audience as utilities to be carried during different scenarios and help them achieve their targets and goals.

There were several things invented back in history out of necessity, comfort and simple fashion that were adorned by highly ranked leaders, rich community personalities and people in command employed in different fields and professions.   

When our ancestors and previous generations refused to see the ‘gender’ as something to define what should be used by whom then why are we? Although, if we have piqued your interest and now you do want us to tell you what exactly are these things that were adorned and used by all genders, specifically those which are now stereotyped to be only for women, but were actually made for men, well, then we insist you to read on. 

Here is a list- 

High Heels

We all are well aware of the ‘tik-tok’ sound of heels, a give away for many women. Heels now come in various sizes, shapes and structures. From stilettos to broad heels, a wide variety has been introduced, which is worn by many women in many forms. Although, in a recent trend we did see some men showing us their moves in high heels. These kinds of videos garnered a lot of attention and it was seen as something ‘brave’ that men were doing. What if we tell you that these heels were actually made for men?

Shocking but yes, the heels worn by women on an everyday basis were actually designed for soldiers in Persia. The heels were innovated to secure the feet of males in stirrups. Persian soldiers wore high-heeled shoes in the 10th century to elevate their feet and gain stability during shooting bows & arrows. The 1-inch heel shoes also became a symbol of wealth and power for Persian riders, which was carried by them in Europe during their migration. 

In Europe, the trend of high heels was taken as a fashion statement then taken on by the European aristocrats as a way to look taller by the powerful military tactic. Louis XIV was famous as the king of heels. Astonishing, right?

Crop Tops

The recent crop tops in the fashion industry have garnered a lot of attention and love. Well, let’s admit it, crop tops are comfortable, stylish and easy to wear. Especially in summers, when the heat is at its highest and with the temperatures rising , crop tops come as a breath of fresh air. But in reality, the crop top fashion was designed for bodybuilders. 

Earlier it was witnessed that bodybuilders used to cut their t-shirts from the waist side to wear in the gym because they were not allowed to work out without clothes. Interestingly, crop tops were actually a settlement between working out with clothes and still showcasing their well-built body. As the midriff cut extended their silhouette and enhanced the size of men’s torso and muscles. In the early 80s, the crop top trend was considered a very masculine gesture or look. 

This convenience trend was taken up by ‘Nike’ that started designing crop tops and marketing them. This trend can be revisited in Hollywood movies where the leading characters adorned this fashion. In the 1984 horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, a young Johnny Depp makes his cinematic debut lounging on a bed in a cropped Number 10 football jersey. The trend even continued into the 90s with Will Smith occasionally donning a cropped baggy football jersey during his 6-year reign as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, while the unfortunate image of Adam Sandler wearing a cropped MIT top in 1994’s Airheads are a few to name.

Well then men, why shy away from them now? Try on!

G-String

This is the most shocking revelation in this category about this piece of clothing. The G-string was basically a loincloth worn by Native Americans. Men were usually spotted wearing G-strings or thongs as a style statement during swimming in the pond or river. 

A set of African tribes started wearing thongs during the beginning of the 19th Century. San Bushmen from South Africa in various parts of Africa fashioned thongs from animal skin that were held onto their waists with a cord. Not only that but Sumo wrestlers wore thongs or g-strings, but they did wear the style that brought it into the mainstream world showcasing men wearing the same. 

Also, another fun fact is that G-strings are still available for men. Many brands and companies still make G-strings for men, all you have to do is look for them, and well, we say why not, if women can make sure to look sexy and stylish even in their undergarments, then why not men as well?

Disposable Pads

The highly functioning disposable menstrual pads were originally devised for males. Men who used to fight in the war fields primarily used them as a utility product. Designed by Benjamin Franklin, the innovation was carved to help the wound of soldiers from bleeding to death, which were later used by nurses as menstrual pads due to their effective functioning. 

The first disposable sanitary pads were wood pulp bandages that helped in quick absorption of the liquid. From there on, the nurses started using the wood pulp bandages during the war in France. 

Stockings

This sexy pair of clothing that is worn on legs by women was originally worn by males. Back then, they were known as a hose that happened to be a staple clothing piece in the men’s wardrobe. European men were the first ones to carry this trend especially during a sports activity i.e horse riding.  

This trend was originally adopted by the noble class as a fashion statement and gradually made its way down the social ladder as lower classes began wearing tights. 

Skirts

Another fashion clothing that comes in different styles these days carries a long history with men. Skirts were a part of the standard dressing of men back in all ancient cultures in the Near East and Egypt.

Skirts used to be comfortable clothing that was preferred during fighting, building, farming or engaging in some kind of religious ritual. Skirts were cheap and efficient to use. Short skirts among soldiers from the height of the Roman Empire were considered proof of virility and allowed for swiftness while in combat.

Conclusion

We can now be very sure that a piece of clothing, a beauty product or anything that has been deemed feminine might not actually be so. The concept of a product being used only by a particular gender is actually not so logical, especially when the same product can add value into the lives of everyone. We have reached an age in our lives and society that stereotyping anything according to gender roles does not make much sense anymore. 

The products and fashion pieces that we talked about in this piece are a part of history where the opposite gender used them proudly. The question is why not now?

%d bloggers like this: