"The point of fashion is to repel men."
December 17, 2010 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Leandra Medine is 21 and lives with her parents on the Upper-East Side. She also has an amusing hobby, or maybe a feminist fashion statement. Either way, Leandra is repelling men.

What Is A Man Repeller?

MAN·RE·PELL·ER1  [MAHN-REE-PELLER]
–noun
outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.
–verb (used without object),-pell·ing, -pell·ed.
to commit the act of repelling men:
Girl 1: What are you wearing tonight?
Girl 2: My sweet lime green drop crotch utility pants
Girl 1: Oh, so we're man repelling tonight?
posted by timory (162 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's not working.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:01 AM on December 17, 2010 [33 favorites]


I thought the purpose of fashion was to rappel men.
posted by swift at 7:02 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's not working.

Yep - cute as a button.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:03 AM on December 17, 2010


How to attract men.
posted by Artw at 7:03 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is almost nothing a woman can wear that will repel me. If it makes you more comfortable, you are welcome to think that is because I am too busy looking for inner beauty.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I too endeavor to repel and confuse straight men.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:05 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's wrong with overalls? I had a huge crush on a girl in middle school that wore them almost exclusively.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:05 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hoe exactly is she repelling men? I'm a man - some of what she is wearing is interesting, some not. Either way, men are not a large homogenous block with one response.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:05 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


It would work better if her blog wasn't advertised in the New York Times.
posted by swift at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


so... no different that "regular" fashion then?
posted by edgeways at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


oops - meant to write 'How exactly....'
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2010


It's not working.

See also: My thing for Björk.

Though avoiding anything resembling a tune for a couple of albums is putting a bigger dent in that than any amount of dressing up weird.
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Is she repelling gay and straight men, or just straight men? Is she repelling lesbians?
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:07 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Considering that the majority of women's fashion is designed to impress other women, it seems like she's going to have to jump through a lot of hoops to repel men without being a human repeller.

A lot of her "quirky" stuff is going to backfire by either attracting guys anyway ("haha, I get it, that's great.") or by coming across as so batshitinsane that her friends aren't so sure she's stable.
posted by explosion at 7:07 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Flash back to fashion week, when the men of MeFi were all, "Who are these fashions meant to attract, anyway? NOT ME! Makeup is ridiculous, I prefer women without it! Same goes for wacky Gaga dresses and giraffe stilts!"
posted by hermitosis at 7:08 AM on December 17, 2010 [25 favorites]


There is almost nothing a woman can wear that will repel me.

Yeah, uh, what?? I don't get what she's doing. If anything, a woman wearing zany clothes will make me say to myself, "look at that woman wearing zany clothes. She might have odd ideas about other things, too. I am attracted to that, and I should probably go talk to her to see if she wants to talk to me."

Now, if she were wearing a necklace of severed penises and a shirt that said "STAY AWAY FROM ME, MEN" and on her arm has those "fighter plane kill mark" things (one for each man she has eaten alive), then I'd probably stay away.
posted by King Bee at 7:08 AM on December 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


Attention seeker yells 'I DO NOT WANT ATTENTION'
posted by unSane at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2010 [73 favorites]


Obviously, she hasn't heard of Rule 34.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


She could achieve the same result much more simply by never showering.
posted by Bromius at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


But she seems to be having fun.

Hey, is this where I can bitch about the insane result of this years Project Runeay?
posted by Artw at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


This outfit is supposed to repel me?

Medine knows her fashion, but she sure doesn't know what men find appealing. Rrowr.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2010


Her blog is cute, I like a fashion blog with personality. This is hysterical.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:10 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


If there's anything that I find repellent, it's rich Upper East Side girls. Seriously, barf.

I can say this as a not rich former Upper East Side boy.

10028 Reprazent! Yorkville in da house!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


"The men who really get repelled by what you’re wearing are a little shallow, and you probably don’t want to date them anyway.”
posted by R. Mutt at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2010


I assumed she'd be carrying a big pointy stick or something...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's odd is that I see women dressed like this EVERYWHERE in New York City.
posted by josher71 at 7:15 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think it's pretty clear reading her blog that the "man repelling" thing is a joke, her way of saying, Fashion is ridiculous, so you might as well have fun while you do it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:15 AM on December 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is less "man-repelling" and more "book contract-attracting," I believe.
posted by rtha at 7:15 AM on December 17, 2010 [38 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "Her blog is cute, I like a fashion blog with personality. This is hysterical."

"You see, this is worth the bangin' buck because you'll look like a black vagina AND large intestine. A good anatomical accessory over all."

I'm sold. That's HILARIOUS. :D
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This outfit is supposed to repel me?

Well, the glasses are pretty bad. But the rest of it looks good to me.
posted by Malor at 7:18 AM on December 17, 2010


I'd accessorize that.
posted by nomadicink at 7:19 AM on December 17, 2010


I assumed she'd be carrying a big pointy stick or something...

A pike? The D&D nerds would be all over her.
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


They claimed punk was designed to repel as well, but show me a person in ripped clothes, blackened lips, and safety pins through their ears, I'll show you am Astro Zombie biting his knuckle in lust.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:19 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


“I think men like things tight and simple,” [Ms. Medine] said. “It’s not even about slutty, tiny dresses from Bebe because that’s not very becoming of a woman either. But to guys, harem pants don’t exactly shape the body, shoulder pads are unusual because you look like a linebacker and sequins are a cry for attention.”

Has she never looked back at 80's fashion? It was all about harem pants, shoulder pads and sequins.
posted by hippybear at 7:22 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've dated a girl who liked to wear pajama pants and hoodies, hair in a pony tail. I've dated a girl who was always decked to the nines. I dated a girl whose favorite outfit was a camo shirt and a tutu, facial piercing galore. I don't think I would have dated any of them in any of the others outfits, not because they couldn't pull it off, but because they would have been, and looked terribly uncomfortable.

I'm a shallow guy who likes pretty girls, but there's nothing prettier than a girl who is at home in her own skin and dresses to make herself happy, with just enough care to show that she knows you're looking.

The only thing I'm not a fan of is makeup, not sure why. Maybe it's because a "False face must hide what the false heart doth know." Maybe it's because when a girl's face I don't want to end up taking some of it with me when we break the embrace. Or maybe I'm just afraid mild prosopagnosia will leave me unable to recognize her in the morning, when her night face has washed off.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 7:23 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is an odd article even by astonishingly low the standards of the NYT Style section -- can someone explain to me why we have to hear that she lives with her parents three times in a one-page piece and then have her mother "pop in" on the way to yoga to spend more than a third of the article commenting? Is the author pals with her mom or something?
posted by The Bellman at 7:24 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


"when I kiss a girl's face"
posted by JeremiahBritt at 7:24 AM on December 17, 2010


"$2495 at SSENCE- You see, this is worth the bangin' buck because you'll look like a black vagina AND large intestine. A good anatomical accessory over all. "

Hee! I don't really see the man repellent thing either, but I suppose a fashion blogger needs to stand out these days.
posted by amicamentis at 7:26 AM on December 17, 2010


Jinx, zarq!
posted by amicamentis at 7:26 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want to repel me all you have to do is say "I'm trying to repel you" and I'll be all "ok, whatever. Have fun with that. I'll move on."

Why would I want to pursue someone who doesn't want to be pursued?
posted by bondcliff at 7:29 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Has she never looked back at 80's fashion? It was all about harem pants, shoulder pads and sequins.

Right. She's saying that capital-F Fashion is predicated not on what's most attractive but what's arbitrarily "in." It's not groundbreaking, but as ThePinkSuperhero says, it's a healthy lens through which to blog about fashion.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:31 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


So her photos include her naked except a few sheets of paper, wearing skintight jeans, in a bustier and slip, a bunch of different miniskirts . . . yes, this is truly a change in what young, very wealthy women wear.
posted by jeather at 7:32 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


A pike? The D&D nerds would be all over her.

Not to mention the fish enthusiasts and trekkies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yay! Yet another opportunity to hear what men on Metafilter find attractive about women!
posted by chowflap at 7:36 AM on December 17, 2010 [19 favorites]


Some of her outfits cost more than I make in a week. Her blog should be called "The Wallet Repeller."
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:39 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The younger generation works so hard to avoid getting a dayjob.
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:40 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


A pike? The D&D nerds would be all over her.

So vanilla. I'm more of a glaive-guisarme kinda guy.
posted by bonehead at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, she doesn't want to attract any attention from men with her clothes, so she just let herself be featured in the New York Times wearing a cute outfit. Reminds me of the woman who didn't want anyone to know she reads romance novels, so she let the NYT run a photo of her surrounded by her romance novels. Right.

Medine's real goal isn't "to repel men." Like so many people, her goal is to coin a meme that will attract tons of web traffic (male and female). She succeeded brilliantly.
posted by John Cohen at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Has she never looked back at 80's fashion? It was all about harem pants, shoulder pads and sequins.

This is the point - fashion does not attract men. The blog isn't about questions of gender or sexuality, or anything complicated in terms of what men vs women want, and the title isn't making some new or unfamiliar claim. Like ThePinkSuperhero said, it's a joke about how silly high fashion can be.

Fashion wants to be an art that does novel things, but at the same time is meant to make people look good, and the two do not coincide. If there's going to be innovation, you can't just introduce the "little black dress" every fall. So she's blogging about trends and pointing out how weird and silly they can be. The "man repeller" thing is made under the assumption that women are heterosexual and would normally want to attract men, but when indulging in fashion trends they are working against those interests.
posted by mdn at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


So vanilla. I'm more of a glaive-guisarme kinda guy.

Lucerne hammer, dude.

(Clerics can use it as long as they don't use the pointy part)
posted by Artw at 7:45 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


So her idea of repelling men is dressing up like someone who goes to art school? Wait a minute! She does go to art school. I've blown my mind with "meh".
posted by ob at 7:49 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


LEANDRA MEDINE, a fashion blogger who lives with her parents on the Upper East Side ...

must.not.take.the.bait.
must.not.take.the.bait.
must.not. ... ARGHHH!

*exits thread in harem pants and shoulder pads*
posted by joe lisboa at 7:49 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there's anything that I find repellent, it's rich Upper East Side girls. Seriously, barf.

Zuckerberg Medine is one of those smirky frat boys rich Upper East Side girls you just want to punch in the face give a book contract to, over and over.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


She has the anorexic look down. Repellent.
posted by rotifer at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2010


The only thing I find repellent is her seemingly haphazard use of bold text. I can imagine the weird fashion stuff might look good in a certain context, and her outfits look alright too. Maybe switch out or remove one or two pieces and she would look like any other girl who's in to clothes.
posted by JackarypQQ at 7:54 AM on December 17, 2010


MAN·RE·PELL·ER1  [MAHN-REE-PELLER]

–noun

outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.


Heh. Most men master the "women repeller" without any effort (or intent) whatsoever.
posted by three blind mice at 7:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Any woman who finds "repelling men" to be a life mission worth adopting probably doesn't need the help of fashion to succeed.
posted by softlord at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This NYT article is the super-smug version of this one about recent unemployed college grads "making their own jobs".

Also in today's NYT Fashion: The style problems faced by men carrying iPads.
posted by mkultra at 8:01 AM on December 17, 2010


I'll tell you what, mkultra, the word "murse" works pretty well as Zozo repellent.
posted by Zozo at 8:06 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked the part where she was trying to avoid the male gaze by coming up with ways to actively repel it, and the comments here are all about how she does or does not meet the expectations of us, the distributors of said gaze.

This also applies to the counter-movement of loudly insisting that you are above reproach because you look for $OTHER_QUALITY in your women. Seriously, what the hell?
posted by Mayor West at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


business tip: if you can monetize the absolutely tasteless fashion blogging that's the rage among contemporary young women you can probably pull in $20M in funding like tumblr did.
posted by 3mendo at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2010


Yay! Yet another opportunity to hear what men on Metafilter find attractive about women!

If you've ever been around a man, you'd know that making up incredible lies about technology they either own or would like to own, bragging about pro athletes, artists and/or superheroes, and what they find attractive in people they're attracted to are the three default conversation modes of men. It is only with intense effort and concentration we're able to talk about anything else.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also in today's NYT Fashion: The style problems faced by men carrying iPads.

I like the fanny pack called The Harlem Sling.

The Harlem Sling does not sound like something you would want to drink or have done to you.
posted by electroboy at 8:12 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, well, I ordered pizza last night. Then I played some video games and cleaned my kitchen. All without the express intent of landing a man.

FEMINIST GOLD MEDAL PLZ
posted by almostmanda at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, well, I ordered pizza last night. Then I played some video games and cleaned my kitchen. All without the express intent of landing a man.

FAIL. My husband would be all over you.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


Yay! Yet another opportunity to hear what men on Metafilter find attractive about women!

We should get a podcast.
posted by nomadicink at 8:22 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, well, I ordered pizza last night. Then I played some video games and cleaned my kitchen. All without the express intent of landing a man.

FEMINIST GOLD MEDAL PLZ


If you refer to the AskMe above you will find that you are in fact a total catch. Did you fix a truck at any point?
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, what seems to be apparent from the comments here is that what men find attractive is a challenge... "oh you think you can repel me? I don't think so, baby!"
posted by mdn at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


The younger generation works so hard to avoid getting a dayjob.

That's because there aren't any.
posted by Melismata at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2010 [23 favorites]


Also in today's NYT Fashion: The style problems faced by men carrying iPads.

Roughly the same as carrying a clipboard, I would assume.
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2010


So this rich chick's whole thing is mocking fashion because the typical man won't find it sexy enough?

That's what man repelling means? If you're a fashion follower (and I mean that literally...you just wear incredibly expensive crap because it's in style), you're not sexy and therefore repelling to men?

I had hoped the whole thing was about purposely being dirty and disgusting to repel men. But the idea that she's mocking high fashion as men repellent because it's not sexy enough?

So don't buy them! Nobody else does.

She must have some AMAZING contacts.
posted by dzaz at 8:27 AM on December 17, 2010


Well, what seems to be apparent from the comments here is that what men find attractive is a challenge.

Yeah, that's like kinda like waving a red flag in front of most guys, sort of like trying to dress up a very beautiful movie star as unattractive for a particular part. It just doesn't work.

Which is fine, because I doubt men aer her intended audience with the blog. Mostly she's being silly and having fun. Which is kinda hawt.
posted by nomadicink at 8:31 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clogs repel men? That must be it...
posted by Soliloquy at 8:33 AM on December 17, 2010


Like so many people, her goal is to coin a meme that will attract tons of web traffic (male and female). She succeeded brilliantly.

Since this is becoming so common and we're still getting plenty of enjoyment from such blogs, maybe we should just accept it as the new reality and not cry foul everytime it happens.
posted by naju at 8:35 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Roughly the same as carrying a clipboard, I would assume.

Nah, a clipboard makes you look O-fficial. It's pretty shocking what people will let you do if you're wearing a hardhat and carrying a clipboard.
posted by electroboy at 8:37 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yay! Yet another opportunity to hear what men on Metafilter find attractive about women!

Oh, cram it. Apart from a couple dudes saying "Well, really, she's pretty cute," that's not what's happening. But let's leave that aside anyway, since the blog and the NYT article are both worthless.
posted by Skot at 8:39 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, at The Gap...
posted by inedible at 8:43 AM on December 17, 2010


She is the goon squad and she's coming to town. Beep beep.
posted by orme at 8:45 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Needs more niqab.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


My grandpa could fit architectural plans, a magazine, newspaper, correspondence, bills, mechanical pencil, ballpoint pen, marker, reading glasses, postage stamps, post-it notes, a letter opener, a calculator, a screwdriver and a penlight into his clipboard, which was always on the dash of his car.

Not the same fashion challenge as an iPad.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay! Yet another opportunity to hear what men on Metafilter find attractive about women!

To be fair, in this example the entire premise of the blog pretty much revolves around clothing she says men supposedly do and don't find attractive. That may not be the case for other posts you're referring to, but it seems a little out of place here.
posted by Hoopo at 8:52 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter fails saving throw against satire.
posted by Kattullus at 8:52 AM on December 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


The worst and most obnoxious ogle I ever got in my life was when I was wearing a giant trench coat that covered me from neck to feet. And I'm not even cute.

Man-repelling outfits actually exist? I sorta doubt it.

Though in a random off-topic defense of the NYT romance novel thing, that chick has been out of the reading romance novel closet for QUITE a while now. *shrug*
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:55 AM on December 17, 2010


What's odd is that I see women dressed like this EVERYWHERE in New York City.

Exactly. It's also exactly like every other fashion blog, except less interesting because most of the Wardrobe Remixers out there have to make do with what they can afford. I fail to see how this is not just "here I am, wearing that thing Marie Claire told everyone was hot" or perhaps "here I am, wearing that thing all the rich young white women are wearing in Manhattan these days."
posted by Sara C. at 8:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is great and very funny. And I've definitely had moments in fitting rooms when I turn around to face the mirror and think, "Welp. This is by far the least flattering and most amorphous thing I could possibly put my body."

But then I think, "But it's WARM. And it has STRIPES. And I can SLOUCH in it. And I can wear those baffling-yet-fur-lined CLOGS that I bought last week. Screw it. I look CUTE, dammit."

That's how this happens.
posted by functionequalsform at 8:58 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


What are rich young black women wearing in Manhattan these days?
posted by nomadicink at 8:58 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not pissed off, it's just funny that it happens every. dang. time. And even though it gets called out every time, it still keeps happening! It's not offensive to me, it's just... I don't know what it is. Remarkable. So I remarked.

I agree that this is yet another NYT non-story about the young privileged. It's not exactly news that haute couture, high-fashion looks are not designed with "attracting men" as their main goal -- otherwise, every fashion label would be Victoria's Secret. (Yes, I know that you, dear reader, prefer a gal in overalls/sweatpants/covered in bees. That's super!)
posted by chowflap at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


...which was always on the dash of his car

Therein lies the challenge. Most New Yorkers don't drive cars with the sort of regularity that would allow a dashboard to be their go-to storage space for everyday objects. If you want to bring an iPad around with you, you need a bag.

Of course, New York's guys have been carrying messenger bags at least since I moved to the city in 2000. I don't think I know a guy who doesn't carry a bag of some sort, and there's plenty of vaguely techy or sporty stuff out there for the man who isn't entirely secure in his masculinity.
posted by Sara C. at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2010


I came in here expecting to find that she'd invented some very specific type of force field.

Daughter, I am disappoint.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:09 AM on December 17, 2010


What are rich young black women wearing in Manhattan these days?

This?
posted by Copronymus at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2010


Anyone taking the "man repeller" thing too seriously isn't getting it, but anyway: as she hinted at in the NYT article, this seems like a fine way to repel the wrong kind of man. It's a filter, so if you go out wearing the man-repelling outfit, chances are the next guy who's into you will at least be less of a shallow troglodyte than the usual riffraff. So the theory goes. Seems like it should work.
posted by naju at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


this seems like a fine way to repel the wrong kind of man. It's a filter, so if you go out wearing the man-repelling outfit, chances are the next guy who's into you will at least be less of a shallow troglodyte than the usual riffraff.

This is pretty much what I was gonna say except I'm a slow typest. It's more of a dudebro repellent scheme, I'd think. Guys who care less about fashion might care more about who you really are.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:15 AM on December 17, 2010


Her publicist appears to be doing fine work. Gawker & Jezebel posted those entries like an hour and fifteen minutes apart. Eiffel Tower!
posted by mintcake! at 9:16 AM on December 17, 2010


I'm not pissed off, it's just funny that it happens every. dang. time. And even though it gets called out every time, it still keeps happening! It's not offensive to me, it's just... I don't know what it is. Remarkable. So I remarked.

I dunno. I don't see what's remarkable about men (and women here, too) remarking on a woman's attractiveness when the blog she's writing is about attraction. It's remarkable when it happens in a post in which the woman is, say, an archeologist or a pilot or a mountaineer, but this isn't that, so I'm not seeing the remarkable.
posted by rtha at 9:17 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Copy editor's red-penciled comment: "Sense? If women 'dress for themselves," wouldn't that preclude any thought of how men react? Please revise."
posted by scratch at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2010


I dunno. I don't see what's remarkable about men (and women here, too) remarking on a woman's attractiveness when the blog she's writing is about attraction. It's remarkable when it happens in a post in which the woman is, say, an archeologist or a pilot or a mountaineer, but this isn't that, so I'm not seeing the remarkable.

Quoted for truth. I can see how it can be very annoying, but attractiveness seems to be the very subject of this post.
posted by ob at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2010


Also, having glanced over the blog in question, I just have this to say:

What a friggen snoozefest... The clothes are all boring with a fugly fashion victim twist. I sort of get that her personal aesthetic can best be described as "repellent", but, OK? She wears an awful lot of beige. It's not really man repellant so much as "boring and ugly".

I'm also confused as to the point of this exercise, since the only people who get book deals based on fashion blogs are photographers*. The "this is what I wore today" folks either get token shout-outs in fashion magazines or gigs as stylists for mall stores. Both of which should be well within her reach, considering her resources. She could achieve the exact same results by going to FIT. Why do I need to see the beige pile of fug she wore to hang out in TriBeCa yesterday?

*And maybe Tavi Gevenson. But she's no Tavi.
posted by Sara C. at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why would I want to pursue someone who doesn't want to be pursued?
posted by bondcliff at 7:29 AM on December 17 [1 favorite +] [!]


I see you don't know how to play "Hard to Get." It's a popular game. For everybody.
posted by chavenet at 9:39 AM on December 17, 2010


I see you don't know how to play "Hard to Get." It's a popular game. For everybody.

Why go hunt for a milk if another one is giving it away?
posted by nomadicink at 9:47 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whether this is intended to be jokey or ironic or whatever, it is a lie that almost every woman I've met believes. Case in point:

Me: see that guy over there? He has the hots for you.

My wife: what? That's not possible. My hair is a mess today.

Me: hahahahahahahahahaha!

There are definitely ways a woman can dress that are MORE likely to attract (more) men than others. But it's very hard for women to dress in a way that repels men.
posted by grumblebee at 9:47 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, and to think some people mock conservatives for thinking Colbert isn't satire.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 9:48 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


The rules of attraction are clear.

If a woman fancies a man, his attempts at getting her interest will be flattering.
If a woman detests a man, his attempts at getting her attention will be harassment.

Similarly…

If a man fancies a woman, it doesn't matter what she says. It doesn't matter what she thinks. And it sure as shit doesn't matter what she's wearing.

Conversely, if a man detests a woman, nothing she can say, think, or wear will ever change that opinion. Literally, nothing. Saying nothing, thinking nothing, and wearing nothing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sure, it's on topic. I guess it's the constant chorus of "I know women think wearing hideous clothes/being dirty/not wearing makeup will make them unattractive, but not me! I like 'real' women!" It comes across with an unspoken "... ladies" eyebrow-waggle at the end.
posted by chowflap at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm repelled by the fact that she appears to be a narcissistic idiot. But the outfits aren't bad. Is that what she was going for?
posted by The World Famous at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2010


I mean, it's a jokey blog that makes fun of ridiculous "high fashion" is. Not a whole lot more to it, folks.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2010


> I mean, it's a jokey blog that makes fun of ridiculous "high fashion" is. Not a whole lot more to it, folks.

But, but...what am I supposed to do with all these 200 and 300 level humanities classes that I internalized?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 AM on December 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


Move in with mom and dad and start a snarky fashion blog, natch.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 9:54 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


But, but...what am I supposed to do with all these 200 and 300 level humanities classes that I internalized?

Law school seems to be the standard way of expunging those. It's expensive and you'll regret it. But if you're trying to get rid of the soul you developed in undergrad, it can be very effective.
posted by The World Famous at 9:55 AM on December 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


I would agree with you for the most part R_nebblesworthII, but it's not presented as simply a jokey blog here if you read through the NYT piece actually:

There is a bit of Cindy Sherman in what Ms. Medine is doing: proudly obstructing the male gaze by disguising her body with androgynous or intimidating silhouettes. And perhaps there is someone out there who will be able to discern it as wearable art.

“I do think there are men who would see a girl wearing this stuff and think, ‘She has so much confidence and she still looks great despite the fact that I don’t know where her crotch starts in those pants,’ ” she said. “You can still tell when a girl is pretty. The men who really get repelled by what you’re wearing are a little shallow, and you probably don’t want to date them anyway.”


Unless of course the NYT Fashion pages are also in on the joke and it's going right over my head.
posted by Hoopo at 9:57 AM on December 17, 2010


I see you don't know how to play "Hard to Get." It's a popular game. For everybody.

The "winner" of which gets a box of Rice -a- Roni and a relationship with a crazy person.

I'm a slacker. Anything hard to reach isn't worth reaching for.
posted by bondcliff at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't have it? Then I want it more.
posted by zzazazz at 10:02 AM on December 17, 2010


Yes, but, who is saying that - the blogger or NYT? I think NYT is attributing political/feminist motives to her that aren't really there.

Look at the content of the blog and it's pretty clear she's just making fun of shoulderpads and skirts with feathers on them.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 10:03 AM on December 17, 2010


Except she's not really so much making fun of them as wearing them. With a bit of a wink, I suppose, but certainly nothing for the NYT to go all ZOMG CINDY SHERMAN GET IT?! over.

And the thing about the bit of a wink is that she is still wearing these clothes. She's still a boring conformist who puts together exactly the sort of outfits her particular subset of society prescribes for her. All the knowing smirkyness in the world isn't going to make her interesting. If she was really that knowing and smirky, she'd be wearing something more interesting, or better yet doing something more interesting.
posted by Sara C. at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Except she's not really so much making fun of them as wearing them. With a bit of a wink, I suppose

A-HA! IT'S HIPSTERS AGAIN!
posted by Hoopo at 10:18 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What are rich young black women wearing in Manhattan these days?

Big puffy coats. Just like everybody else in this godforsaken icehole of a town.

I'm working on a "Woman Repeller" blog. It will be a day by day recounting my life from 1994-1998. The Playstation game Tekken 2 will be mentioned frequently.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:21 AM on December 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


Hipsters dress way better than this. This girl is not a hipster, at all - she's a rich little doll who lives in a palace on the Upper East Side. With her fucking parents. I suppose they occasionally allow her to visit a few pre-approved places below 14th street, but all in all she is very much an "uptown" privileged little girl. At least hipsters have the audacity to take their trust funds and go slum in Bushwick pretending to do something interesting with their lives. She'll be married to an i-banker in five years, I promise.
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 AM on December 17, 2010


but all in all she is very much an "uptown" privileged little girl.

In that case, I can think of at least one piano player who will definitely not be repelled.
posted by The World Famous at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


clothes don't repel real men. Mace, now that'll usually do it
posted by Redhush at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2010


No, I'm pretty sure it's just satire, for lolz. Most of the comments on her blog are people laughing at the content. Also, funny you mentioned 14th street...


Step 7: Strike your best Mr. Peanut pose, have your face emulate an emoticon, place a DIYed turband around head. You look like an asshole and it is fantastic. Do not travel above 14th Street.

posted by r_nebblesworthII at 10:54 AM on December 17, 2010


If the point is to be effectively invisible to men in your ever day life, that's actually pretty easy for the most part. Wear loose tshirts and jeans, adopt a rather meh hair style and wear no accessories. It's not so much that it repels men, it's that their gaze sort of drifts past you and slides right off like you're covered in teflon.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:58 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


She would do better avoiding the male (and female) gaze if she just mounted eye-tracking lasers on her hardpoints.
posted by zippy at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Blog as book-deal bait. Living at home and trying to get media attention is now a "feminist" paradigm?
posted by Ideefixe at 11:00 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll go out on a limb and say that I'm pretty sure that Mr. Sonika would be repelled if I showed up in any of these outfits.

Partly because he'd wonder if the Cylons had finally landed and started by taking over his wife, but also partly because he's very pragmatic and not really into the idea of fashion as an "art" form.

So, yeah. If I showed up looking like this, he'd probably run screaming into the night. The same is not true if I wander around my house in red and purple plaid flannel pajamas. I disgust myself, but he's still plenty interested.

He's also an engineer, so he works with women who literally find kitty sweatshirts to be the height of fashion these days, so that tells you something about his points of reference (or lack thereof).

Seriously, can't they make maternity pajamas that aren't heinous?
posted by sonika at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, the only thing my husband seems to find repellent on a chick is jeans with a dress over it. I have no idea why.

I would find this a more interesting experiment if she wasn't tall, leggy, young, and white, with long beautiful hair and a glow of wealthiness.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:07 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


nomadicink: "What are rich young black women wearing in Manhattan these days?"

Tracy Reese, Rodarte, Jason Wu, DKNY, Derek Lam, Proenza Schouler. In other words, mostly the same things everyone else is wearing, although they are more likely to wear clothing from younger, non-white designers.
posted by zarq at 11:16 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What does Leandra Medine use for birth control?

Her personality.


sorry i had to
posted by Xoebe at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


mkultra: " Also in today's NYT Fashion: The style problems faced by men carrying iPads."

There's an article that screams for a #firstworldproblems hashtag if I ever saw one.
posted by zarq at 11:29 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


it's just satire, for lolz.

Maybe? Nothing she's wearing or plugging on the first page or so seems to be ironic in any way, except for that first paper dress post (which wasn't funny or even clever, so if that's her idea of "satire", meh). Then it turns out she's been working with some shopping website to curate her own shopping guide, full of the sort of thing she wears on the blog. If you're shilling the very platform shoes and harem pants that you're supposed to be "satirizing", then there's something you don't understand about what satire is.
posted by Sara C. at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2010


sonika: " Seriously, can't they make maternity pajamas that aren't heinous?"

*cough*
posted by zarq at 11:32 AM on December 17, 2010


look like a black vagina

nobody wants to look like a cunt, but what is wrong with black vaginas? bitch needs to go racist to make a point? well, this black feminist with a "black" (it's actually a variegated hew of browns and pinks) vagina doesnt think it's funny.
posted by liza at 11:34 AM on December 17, 2010


How precious.
posted by Eideteker at 11:38 AM on December 17, 2010


nobody wants to look like a cunt, but what is wrong with black vaginas?

Nothing? Nor do I think she's saying there's something wrong with them. I do think she's saying that clothing that looks like parts of the body and especially the genitals, is not a good fashion choice.
And to the ladies that will receive these gifts, bask in the paradoxical glory of knowing that while you expose your sartorial lady bits for your fellow Repellows to see, embrace, compliment, lust after and swoon...your anatomical lady bits will stay rusty, unused, neglected.

posted by zarq at 11:48 AM on December 17, 2010


Sara C.: “Hipsters dress way better than this. This girl is not a hipster, at all - she's a rich little doll who lives in a palace on the Upper East Side. With her fucking parents. I suppose they occasionally allow her to visit a few pre-approved places below 14th street, but all in all she is very much an "uptown" privileged little girl. At least hipsters have the audacity to take their trust funds and go slum in Bushwick pretending to do something interesting with their lives. She'll be married to an i-banker in five years, I promise.”

Well. In the pantheon of hackneyed terms and phrases, I think the word "hipster" has pretty much "jumped the shark" at this point. It means whatever you want it to, really, and almost invariably it means something bad – usually annoying young people who make our generation look bad.

But one of the few things I think we can agree on as far as what hipsters are is this: they like being ironical. And that's why people might react to this girl and say she's being a hipster – this thing is soaking in irony. "Do note that I double-sided scotch-taped paper to my body and sat on a kitchen counter in a compromising position for you. Stray papers fell off my body. I had to bend down and pick them up." I don't have to comment on whether she's attractive to me or not; if this is a woman who's trying to "repel men," well, I don't know.

On reflection, though, that might not be fair. I mean, I don't think she's consciously trying to attract men, either. That's certainly not the central point of fashion, I have to say, and it's uncharitable (maybe even rude) to make the assumption that it is. Actually, maybe she's confronting that perception, having fun with it. I don't know.
posted by koeselitz at 11:50 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I do think she's saying that clothing that looks like parts of the body and especially the genitals, is not a good fashion choice.

So, no sleeves then?
posted by nomadicink at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2010


Attention seeker yells 'I DO NOT WANT ATTENTION'

IGNORE ME!
posted by mikelieman at 11:56 AM on December 17, 2010


nomadicink: " So, no sleeves then?"

clothing that resembles body parts ≠ clothing that exposes body parts
posted by zarq at 11:59 AM on December 17, 2010


... as she hinted at in the NYT article, this seems like a fine way to repel the wrong kind of man.

Oh, I don't know. I think there's an asshole out there for every look.
posted by Evangeline at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


look like a black vagina

nobody wants to look like a cunt, but what is wrong with black vaginas?


She meant literally. The color black. Not "a vagina owned by a black person." But "a vagina, that has been painted or dyed the color black." At least that's how I read it.
posted by sonika at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's repelling (to) herself. And more power to her!
posted by drogien at 12:06 PM on December 17, 2010


This top doesn't look like a vagina at all, unless you're counting medical anomalies. It does look like a thoroughly fluffed vulva, though. OK, maybe 5-6 thoroughly fluffed vulvas. I keep losing count.
posted by maudlin at 12:12 PM on December 17, 2010


Some people have too much money. Dibs on the leg when we kill and eat her.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:27 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


No Meatbomb, NO. Cannibalism isn't in this year.
posted by nomadicink at 12:55 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Therein lies the challenge. Most New Yorkers don't drive cars with the sort of regularity that would allow a dashboard to be their go-to storage space for everyday objects.

I still say the accessory of choice to carry an iPad is an '82 Ford Crown Vic with a landau top and a "Seabees" sticker on the trunk. It should smell like Schlitz and generic cigarettes, and only have an AM radio.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:11 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cannibalism isn't in this year.

Only two more weeks!
posted by zippy at 1:50 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


jesus, i've created a monster.
posted by timory at 2:24 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Out here in Queens, if we don't want people bugging us, we just don't bathe.

Seems cheaper, simpler and more effective overall.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:16 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I do find her repellant, but the outfits are pretty nice.
posted by snofoam at 5:21 PM on December 17, 2010


Has anyone made a NYT Style link-filtering greasemonkey script yet? I'm getting webgout from all these rich, white, sugary made-up trends.
posted by benzenedream at 5:27 PM on December 17, 2010


Dressing to repel men is just as man-centric as dressing to attract them - either way, you're giving your time and energy to other people instead of yourself.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:34 PM on December 17, 2010


she's not dressing to repel men. she's saying that's a side effect of fashion. the whole operation is supposed to be humorous, at least in theory. not finding it funny in practice doesn't make it any less light-hearted.
posted by timory at 5:44 PM on December 17, 2010


the only thing my husband seems to find repellent on a chick is jeans with a dress over it

Your husband is right. I had forgotten about that "look".

I have no idea why.

Probably because it's so damned stupid. I mean, what's the dress doing besides flapping around looking for some combine or cotton picker to get stuck in and pull its owner to a revolting death or disfigurement?

It's like wearing a tie with a sweatshirt. It's just fundamentally dumb.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:46 PM on December 17, 2010


Would you prefer American Apparel girls?
posted by bad grammar at 7:26 PM on December 17, 2010


OK, I get it, but I agree with a lot of other people that overalls are pretty great.

I also agree that a person who is confident can pull off a lot of different clothing styles. But I do have my own pet peeves ... Did anyone mention coulats? Gauchos? His and hers matching embroidered holiday sweatshirts? With lots of gold lettering? And a ponytail on top tied with a neon scrunchie?
posted by krinklyfig at 8:11 PM on December 17, 2010


His and hers matching embroidered holiday sweatshirts?

Aw, c'mon, that's hawt.
posted by unSane at 8:19 PM on December 17, 2010


It's like wearing a tie with a sweatshirt. It's just fundamentally dumb.

Depends on the tie. If the tie is black, any sweatshirt will match. Except a black one. You have to put some thought into it.

What would look great is a slightly wrinkled white button down Oxford with the top button unbuttoned and the collar upturned underneath a brightly colored college sweatshirt representing any major well-known party school, with an '80s style thin black tie. It would show the whole world that you were going places but always ready to play a supporting role in a John Hughes film from the '80s.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:23 PM on December 17, 2010


Aw, c'mon, that's hawt.

The particular fashion affliction which is exemplified by gold-lettered, matching his and hers embroidered holiday sweatshirts always reminds me of my mom and step-dad, although they aren't quite that bad. But hawt is not the word that comes to mind when thinking of the retired parental units. Kind of cute, I guess. I certainly don't hold it against them ... I'm sure they're plenty hawt for each other.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:28 PM on December 17, 2010


There are a couple of funny but mistaken assumptions underlying her entire project which are

a) that men, any more than women, are attracted to partners on the basis of what they wear, and

b) that men, any more than women, have homogenous tastes in potential partners
posted by unSane at 8:46 PM on December 17, 2010


Probably because it's so damned stupid. I mean, what's the dress doing besides flapping around looking for some combine or cotton picker to get stuck in and pull its owner to a revolting death or disfigurement?

It's like wearing a tie with a sweatshirt. It's just fundamentally dumb.


It's a layery thing, when you want to wear a great casual dress, which covers your top, but it's just a little too cool out to wear it with tights. Dresses are super comfortable, too, which is part of it, and can also be really fun to wear. But sometimes you don't want to freeze your butt off.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:56 PM on December 17, 2010


Snuggie with jeans. Just sayin'.
posted by unSane at 6:14 AM on December 18, 2010


There are a couple of funny but mistaken assumptions underlying her entire project which are
a) that men, any more than women, are attracted to partners on the basis of what they wear, and
b) that men, any more than women, have homogenous tastes in potential partners


I think her underlying assumptions are rather a) that it's women's fashion which is generally adventurous, avant garde or just plain nutty (guy's fashion being mostly classic) and b) that women are heterosexual, that is, have an interest in attracting men.

It really isn't about what men or women as a rule want in life. It's just that women wear silly clothes to be fashionable and so look silly and so don't look attractive to those people they would normally want to attract.

It's a joke about fashion, not about men (just made under the assumption that women as a category normally want to attract men).
posted by mdn at 12:18 PM on December 18, 2010


So look, this girl is fucking hilarious. HILARIOUS. She has a way with words (when you can find them) that makes me scream with laughter. She's the kind of hilarious that makes me hate her, because it feels wrong that someone so born into privilege should be not only pretty but witty and funny and downright like someone I might actually want to hang out with except of course she is waaay cooler than I will ever be. I mean on the front page alone, between Now you're channeling Kurt Kobain, your grandmother's curtains and the human contents of the Brooklyn-bound L-Train., and Hair pulled back so tightly, an elaborate ascot and satin suspenders almost detract from the mere fact that her pants are so high waisted she may be able to tuck her breasts into them, I want to die with laughter. So keep it real, well-connected rich-ass girlfriend, because you are actually awesome.
posted by ch1x0r at 8:12 PM on December 18, 2010


Has she never looked back at 80's fashion?

Yeah, that's....kind of her point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:36 PM on December 18, 2010


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