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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Best TikTok trend: Feminine style for men

Photo Illustration by Gabrielle Rhoads | Staff Photographer
The TikTok trend is major for cisgender, straight men who want to express their style, but men in the LGBTQ community continue to receive criticism for modeling a feminine style routinely.

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As TikTok gained billions of users, traditionally feminine style for cisgender men has gained representation and subsequently mainstream popularity.

From painted nails, rings and jewelry to cropped t-shirts and eyeliner, feminine style for men has blown up on TikTok and throughout popular culture. A notable milestone for this cultural trend was Harry Styles’ Vogue photoshoot, with the magazine cover featuring him rocking a powder blue dress and a pearl necklace. But the acceptance of feminine style for cis men didn’t originate with Styles’ viral photoshoot.

In early 2020, as TikTok became the boredom coping mechanism of quarantine, the phrase “E-boy” was quickly popularized along with the people it refers to.  This term is not new and is explicitly defined as “electronic-boy”  but can be loosely associated with the emo or goth scenes that were popular during the Tumblr era of the early 2010s. But in late 2019 and throughout 2020, the term regained relevance on TikTok.

Viral TikTok stars like Chase Hudson aka “Lil Huddy”, Noen Eubanks and Jaden Hossler seemed to gain popularity by gentrifying the original meaning of being an E-boy to simply wearing earrings, necklaces and painting their nails. But that isn’t to say that this wasn’t an important step in the mainstream acceptance of feminine style, both makeup and fashion, for men. 

Styles’ photoshoot seemed to be the next step in making this trend more substantive and mainstream. After the Vogue photos were released last November, there was an unbelievable amount of media buzz and TikTok content reacting to images of the popstar in a dress, ballerina costume and skirts. 

From then on, it seemed like TikTok’s obsession with E-boys shifted from the viral, cringe videos of Sway House stars flaunting a few pieces of jewelry to an acceptance of cis men wearing whatever they want – skirts, makeup, jewelry and other traditionally female fashion. 

This TikTok and larger cultural trend is major for cisgender, straight men who want to express their style or hop on the bandwagon without societal judgement. But it is important to note that men in the LGBTQ community have always been criticized by society for enjoying feminine style and continue to be. 

Hopefully this TikTok trend will be a part of the movement to deconstruct gender roles and their material associations.

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