The definition of double standard is, “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.” If you are reading this blog, chances are you are a cross dresser (let’s just refer to CD) or an ally. Assuming that to be correct, you know a great deal about double standards. We present to the word outside as male while at the same time presenting to ourselves and, if truly fortunate, to our significant other, as the blended person we know ourselves to be. Women can dress as men, but the same standard isn’t applied to us; quite the opposite.
One of those double standards is in the advertising industry. Think about it – women’s lingerie is abundantly advertised in television and print media. What might have been once considered shocking, if not downright pornographic is common today – women appearing in television ads in bra and panties; the printed posters in the mall (in the windows facing out to the mall) from women’s lingerie stores showing women in scant lingerie. Do you see any men’s underwear advertised on television or at the mall in such a manner? If you do, let me know, because to date I’ve never seen such a thing.
That makes me wonder – what is the message here? Is it that women’s bodies are more highly prized than men’s or is it the sexualizing of women and the preserving of the superiority of men? In my perfect world, men would be free to explore the wonder of lingerie. When I put on my first pair of panties, I knew I was done with traditional men’s underwear. Let’s see – heavy scratchy and sweaty, or light, tender to the skin and airy? Duh – I’ll go for panties! Let’s not stop there – let’s go with bras and camisoles. Why should a man not enjoy these wonderful tactile delicacies? The only underwear I have seen publicly displayed on men in the media is boxer shorts. Out of curiosity, I tried a pair of boxer shorts many years ago and they immediately went into the donation bag. If you want something like boxer shorts, why not something elegant like tap pants?
Why not have publicized ads for things like the Xdress Glistening Satin & Lace bra and panty set? They are far from pornographic and are quite pretty. Their design very nicely complements the male form without being inappropriate. Or how about the Xdress Satin High Waist Tricot Panty? These are very conservative panties, and anyone who thinks they are pornographic has a serious problem. Just looking at them, you know they have to be comfortable. Why could these not be advertised? Oh, I forgot – only women’s bodies can be displayed in intimate underclothing. While I’m creating my perfect world, let’s also have general public advertising for the Xdress Lace & Satin Whisper Bralette (a personal favorite of mine) and the very pretty Secret Satin Camisole. Why keep it secret – the media should celebrate such an attractive, comfy garment.
I could go on and on, but I want to pose the question to you – what does this difference in advertising say to you? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Angie, Guest Blogger
Yes – I have so many thoughts on this – I have always been a very Artsy kind of person and I really hate most men’s fashion. Just not fair that beautiful, colorful, silky and stylish clothing are only a woman’s thing. Yes, I rebel and I daily wear “women’s” wear. Would love to have it change to “peoples wear.” :)
Find Angie’s blog interesting. In the 1970’s sexy men did appear in underwear ads. Find some jockey ads featuring top sports figures of the time wearing different jockey styles in Sports Illustrated no less. At some point, it seemed to me, some women determined boxers were “manly” and bikini briefs were “effeminate”. Most friends have known my preference for skimpy undergear, have had straight friends share they like the look and feel of skimpy designs and slick fabric but their wife/girlfriend find it “effeminate” so they won’t buy any. That trend does seem to be changing. Have never felt what i wear underneath is about being feminine, rather, to me it is about being sensual. And the world does need more sensual. 🐵
Men can be sexualised and abused, and sexually abused and raped by women but everyone turns a blind eye to that. Yet if a man says anything sexual to a woman like you sexy then it’s lock him up, sack him
I hate the double standard. Why cant men wear something sexy under it all? Or wear whatever they want in public? I think society is getting more accepting on this front but selection in men’s underwear is very boring. It has gotten a little better over the years, XDress and Body Aware offer great products! Xdress is a little more frilly and offers more feminine styling which I love. Body Aware is more masculine but with more sex appeal. Both look great on the male body. Embrace your curves and wear stylish undergarments!
It stereotypes individuals! We become accustomed to seeing only young women in sexy lingerie and thus associate such apparel with femininity. Woe betide anybody who crosses the advertising boundaries by daring to be different. We create a stigma around advertising which urges us to conform to the “norm” as seen through the industry’s eyes. However there will always be rebels. After all over the years it has become far more the “norm” for women to adapt/adopt men’s clothing…mostly outerwear. It will take a long time if ever for men electing to show their feminine side by wearing lingerie to become socially acceptable. It shows how polarised as a community we are due the influence of advertising etc. in modern life.