Lingerie For Men: Will This Trend Catch Up In India?
Here is the deal, there are a lot of men who love to wear lingerie. While the trend of lingerie exclusively designed for men caught up only last year, there is no noise on this front in India so far. Lingerie designed for men isn’t tight “down there” to accommodate their privates and is available in a variety of fabrics. Many manufacturers in the West are today catering to men and giving them the lingerie they desire and deserve.
- A company in Australia has launched lingerie for men.
- Men across varying sexual orientations and gender identities, love to wear lingerie. But strong stereotyping of clothes makes it difficult for them to find lingerie that meets their requirements.
- Lingerie for men needs social acceptance because it is a basic need.
Men and women have different anatomies, a fact even a fifth grader knows these days, but lingerie manufacturers often do not pay heed to this obvious fact. Every person in this world carries the burden of stereotyping in all walks of life, especially when it comes to dressing. There are certain clothes we specifically identify with one gender, lingerie is one of them. Gendered dressing is especially a limitation for men who cross-dress, as they have to buy undergarments from the women’s section. That couldn’t be a pleasant experience, because you may encounter either a homophobic salesperson, or the cashier may think of you as a creep. Besides, not every man who wears lingerie may be comfortable advertising it.
Especially in India, where the way we dress finds deep roots in our perception of the male and female gender, there is simply no empathy for people who dare to be different. It is about time that manufacturers in India put forth this obvious fact in the window display. They must try to understand the needs of the marginalised communities, who are still hesitant to voice their needs. These men live in a country which glorifies toxic masculinity and has unbending ideas about how men should dress and behave. Any aberration from this template brings men ire from their own peers. They are shamed and even traumatised for being different. So where inclusion itself remains a big struggle, raising a voice for inclusive lingerie isn’t a big priority in India.
In a world where they still have to struggle for inclusion, raising a voice for inclusive lingerie isn’t on top of the list.
However, we must start looking at it as a basic need. Imagine being a woman and not finding any store around you which sells bras and underpants which meet your requirements. That is what these men have to deal with and they can’t do much about it. For some it is a part of their identity, for others, it is an apparel they love, beyond the gendered tag the society has put on it. Sexual orientation or gender doesn’t matter here, because it is about preference.
But there are many men and women who indeed feel uncomfortable when it comes to male lingerie. Be it on social media, or offline, try to bring this subject up in a mixed group and you’ll see the awkwardness written over their faces. Many alpha males (and we all know them) crack crass jokes about men who dress effeminately, so you can only imagine how they’ll go to town with lingerie for men. So while lingerie manufacturers abroad have started a conversation, we are far from catching up.
While lingerie manufacturers abroad have started a conversation, we are far from catching up.
Why does lingerie for men make so many people uncomfortable? Will not addressing the fact that this is a basic need for many make it go away? Showing ignorance or taking offence are ways of showing resistance by people who cannot get over stereotypes. The solution, though, isn’t to dismiss them or start an argument, but to encourage them to be more accepting. It’ll take time and a lot of effort for Indians to accept lingerie for men, but if we keep the conversation going, acceptance will come sooner or later.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.