Dressing for Success: The Lesbian Edition
• The first step to creating a strong Sapphic look is to reject all the traditional standards of feminine beauty and the colours commonly associated with being a woman. Your new favourite colours are: black, blue, gray, green, and brown. Please forget how to use a shaving razor anywhere on your body, with the exclusion of your head. It is important to go au natural, except for a nice buzz cut. Also consider getting large, garish tattoos. Bonus points for feminist iconography.
• It is a good idea to emulate a butch, masculine stereotype. A very popular icon of masculine strength and aggression is the Lumberjack. Looking like you know how to chop down trees is a sure sign that you also like to listen to kd lang. Plaid flannel shirts are a trademark of lumber jacks, lesbians, and grunge musicians alike. Alternative ideas include the pierced, rebellious, mohawked punk-rocker, and the police officer. Though not entirely synonymous with female homosexuality, it is a good bet that if you look like you enjoy mosh pits or that you carry a taser on your person, ladies will ask you for your phone number. Bonus points for actually being a police officer or for playing in a band.
• Do you hate wearing heels? Does a bra restrict your breathing? Do you feel as though carrying a purse interferes with lifestyle? Then the lesbian fashion statement is for you! Comfortable shoes (boots, Birkenstocks, sneakers and slip-ons) are the way to make sure that your feet coordinate with your folk festival outfit. To wear a brassiere is to accept and cherish your feminine features. To stop including them in your wardrobe is to not only reject the importance of your breasts, but to also attract the attention of available and similarly persuaded women. Purses are for needlessly carrying around makeup, large wallets, diaries, trinkets, cell phones, and other girlie accessories – things that you don’t need now that you are a lesbian. All you need is a pair of pants with ample pockets, and a man’s wallet small enough to hold only the essentials. The fit and material of the pants is unimportant. They could be either baggy or snug, jeans or dress pants: the main things is that your hands are now free for masculine activities like fist fighting and simultaneously drinking a brew and eating a large double cheeseburger. Bonus points for wearing a style that was designed for men.
• Though accessories are unimportant, it is a good idea to mention them in order for you to authentically recreate your new look. Hats are good: ball caps, cowboy hats, or hats similar to the one worn by communist dictator, Fidel Castro. A men’s watch can perfectly accent the strength of your wrists and arms, while also allowing you to know exactly what time it is. A wallet chain can be useful in both preventing theft and looking butch. Bonus points for chaining your hat to your wallet – you don’t want the other women competing for the spot as “most fashionable trucker” at the softball game stealing your hat, or your identity.
The most important thing to realize while constructing your image is the idea that you really don’t need to follow a how-to guide when it comes to finding yourself and your own style. The clothes that you wear do not have to conform to a stereotypical idea of what a lesbian looks like: the inclination is to make a statement by doing exactly what is expected is not much of a statement at all. Instead, embrace yourself and try to find other more exciting ways of showing the world who you are and what you stand for. Clothing is one of those strange byproducts of social culture – be aware that what you wear is important, but you do not have to show everything on your clothing. Becoming what is considered to be a stereotype of a lifestyle instead of yourself is exactly the opposite of self-expression.