The man romper is here. Don’t worry, it’s heterosexual.
The bro-tastic garb comes in various pastel hues and adorns the taut bodies of studly men frollicing at Coachella and sipping booze under the sun. The Instagram of “RompHim” is littered with dudes sitting on dudes’ shoulders, bros bro-hugging for the camera and interspersed with pictures with women on said bros shoulders or chilling with their own alcoholic bro-shakes.
The entire thing is one giant “no homo.” It’s classic fraternity shenanigans wherein straight (or claiming to be) men express tongue-in-cheek affection for their fellow straight or “straight” dudes and give bro-hugs that linger long enough to say “lol, what if we were gay” but short enough that they can say “nah bro, that’s ridiculous.”
The dudes at ACED Designs, creators of the RompHim, claim to be “revolutionizing men’s fashion” by creating the first romper market toward men. The gay community replied “hey bros, we’ve been doing that for a while now, ‘kay thanks.”
In response, ACED Designs told Mic they thought that is “fair criticism.” They said they wished rompers were genderless but that there is still a “stigma” around straight men wearing clothes meant for women:
“We thought if we lowered the barrier to trying out an item of (traditional) womenswear by giving it a silly name that indicated it was designed with men in mind, some men might be more willing to jump out of their comfort zones. In the end, we felt like that would be a step in the right direction.”
Sure, that response is a good start. The problem is that lowering the bar for homophobic straight dudes gives them zero incentive to quit being homophobic. Hell, society is built around lowering the bar for straight men. Giving “girly” or “gay” things “silly names” to make paranoid hetero dudes feel better because it’s all just a joke only reinforces the idea that being gay is an absurd notion.
How about we just stop lowering the bar for straight dudes? Let the romper be a romper and if they can’t handle it, later bruh.