If you're someone who avoids using certain products, fashion items, or tools because they are considered "feminine," it's time to rethink that mindset. In our society, many things have been labeled "feminine," and it's often believed that men shouldn't use them. This includes fashion and beauty products. When men use these items, society may start questioning their sexuality. But it's important to recognize that in today's world, we should leave these stereotypes behind and understand that beauty, fashion, and things in general don't have a gender.
Interestingly, some popular and trendy items that women are using today were originally designed for men as practical tools to help them in various situations and achieve their goals. High-ranking leaders, wealthy individuals, and people in positions of authority across different fields used many of these inventions in the past because they were practical, comfortable, and had a simple style.
Our ancestors and previous generations didn't let gender define who could use what. So, why should we? Continue reading if you're interested in learning more about these items that people of all genders, including those who fit current "for women only" stereotypes, used. Here's a list:
We've all heard the distinctive sound of heels clicking on the ground, a sure sign that many women are wearing them. Heels now come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and styles, ranging from stilettos to broader heels, and they're worn in various ways. However, in a recent trend, some men gained attention by dancing in high heels, and this was seen as something quite bold. But did you know that these heels were originally made for men?
It might sound surprising, but yes, the heels that women wear every day were initially designed for Persian soldiers. These heels were created to help secure the feet of male soldiers in their stirrups. Back in the 10th century, Persian soldiers wore high-heeled shoes to raise their feet and gain better stability while using bows and arrows. These 1-inch heels also symbolized wealth and power among Persian riders, and they brought this fashion to Europe when they migrated.
High heels eventually became a fashion statement in Europe, and European aristocrats even adopted them as a clever way to appear taller and more powerful. Louis XIV, in particular, was famous for his love of high heels. Quite astonishing, isn't it?
The recent popularity of crop tops in the fashion world has certainly caught everyone's attention, and it's no surprise why. Let's be honest: crop tops are comfy, stylish, and easy to wear. Especially during hot summer days when the temperature soars, crop tops are like a breath of fresh air. But the interesting thing is that crop-top fashion was originally created for bodybuilders.
Back in the day, bodybuilders used to cut their t-shirts at the waist to wear them in the gym because they weren't allowed to work out without a shirt. Surprisingly, crop tops were a clever compromise between working out in clothes and still showing off their well-built bodies. The cut around the midriff helped emphasize their physique, making their torsos and muscles look even more impressive. In the early 1980s, wearing a crop top was considered a very masculine and powerful look.
This convenient trend was picked up by Nike, which started designing and marketing crop tops. You can even spot this trend in Hollywood movies, where leading characters sport crop tops. For instance, in the 1984 horror classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street," a young Johnny Depp made his cinematic debut while lounging in a cropped Number 10 football jersey. The trend continued into the 1990s, with Will Smith occasionally rocking a cropped, baggy football jersey during his time as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And let's not forget the memorable image of Adam Sandler wearing a cropped MIT top in the 1994 movie "Airheads."
So, gentlemen, why shy away from crop tops now? Give them a try!
One of the most surprising things to learn about this type of clothing is that Native Americans used to wear G-strings, which were essentially loincloths. It was common to see men wearing G-strings or thongs as a fashion choice while swimming in ponds or rivers.
In the early 19th century, several African tribes started wearing thongs. The San Bushmen from South Africa, along with tribes in other parts of Africa, crafted thongs from animal skin, securing them around their waists with cords. Even Sumo wrestlers wore thongs or G-strings, helping bring this style into the mainstream and showing that men could wear them too.
Here's another interesting tidbit: G-strings are still available for men today. Many brands and companies continue to make G-strings for men. So, why not consider them? If women can look sexy and stylish in their underwear, why not men as well?
The highly efficient disposable menstrual pads we use today were actually created for men. Initially, they were developed for male soldiers on the battlefield. Benjamin Franklin designed this innovation to prevent soldiers' wounds from bleeding excessively and causing death. Later on, nurses discovered their effectiveness and began using these wood pulp bandages as menstrual pads during wartime in France. So, what we now know as disposable menstrual pads had a different origin; they were initially designed to save lives in combat.
Originally, men used to wear the stylish pants that women now commonly wear on their legs. These pants were called "hoses" and were a fundamental part of men's clothing. European men, particularly those engaged in activities like horseback riding, were the first to adopt this trend.
As time passed, the trend of wearing tights moved from the lower classes to the upper classes, becoming a fashion statement among the nobility. Eventually, it spread to people from all social backgrounds. So, what we now see as a common piece of women's clothing started as men's fashion and gradually became more widespread.
Skirts, which come in various styles these days, have a long history with men. In fact, they were a standard part of clothing for men in ancient cultures in the Near East and Egypt.
Men used to wear skirts as practical and comfortable attire for various activities like fighting, construction, farming, and participating in religious rituals. Skirts were affordable and efficient to use. In the Roman Empire, soldiers' short skirts served as a symbol of masculinity and facilitated quick movement in combat. As a result, men have historically worn skirts for practical reasons in various cultures throughout history.
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. Given that the same product can improve everyone's lives, the idea that only one gender should use it is actually not very logical. We have reached an age in our lives and society where 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?