Do Festivals Help or Hurt the Men’s Skirts Movement?

Do Festivals Help or Hurt the Men’s Skirts Movement?

Tags: Culture

Festivals have become more than just gatherings for music and merriment – especially ‘transformational’ events, like Burning Man, Symbiosis, and Boom. For guys dipping their toes into skirts, festivals often mark a starting point.

Aside from owning a kilt, my own skirt journey began at a regional burn. There was a theme camp called Burning Glam which collects bright, glittery, lacy, flowy, silly, fun attire throughout the year so people can play dress-up, and keep what they like. All for free, though a toy cash register would cha-ching at checkout. During a volunteer shift at this camp, while outfitting and upselling ‘shoppers’, I came across this mesh skirt:

Me in orange and red striped mesh skirt, with brown ties hanging down. Black tights underneath, and feminine top (black). Posing in a stance.

It felt so playful and freeing, and helped me realize my love for skirts. Over the next year, with some inspiration and encouragement, I found a few more skirts, painted my nails, and got a pair of black tights.

But for many, experiments in self-expression often fade quickly once the event ends. It makes me question.
Are festivals seen as pressure release valves for the daily grind?

Tips for beating post-festival blues typically include 1. Basic self care, 2. Making some playlists, and 3. Booking your next festival – as opposed to integrating learnings around community, play, and self-discovery.

Male bodied person in white skirt and white head wrap looking up at a large grey robot looking art piece, at Burning Man
This and the banner image were created with AI

Are festivals reinforcing the notion that skirts on male bodies should only be seen as temporary novelties, akin to drag shows and Halloween costumes? To what extent do festival outfits reflect who we truly are vs. the personas we adopt for one or two days?

Without festivals, would there be more push back against oppressive style norms?

Or would we just lack the nurturing space that some people need to experiment and imagine possible futures? For myself, I’d like to think the former, but I honestly can’t say. At least for my early skirting days.

After a festival’s temporary escape from routine, societal constraints and expectations can lead to feelings of depression. At work or in public, not everyone has the privilege to express themselves how they’d like, especially marginalized groups. Even from the comfort of home, some men with unaccepting partners might not feel they’re able to enjoy the clothes they love.

The contrast between festivals and daily life can stem from factors like practicality, prejudice, and community. Whatever the reason, if you enjoy an aspect of festivals (or any event), work to bring it into your life. We’ll be sharing tips and inspiration along your journey.

Tags: Culture

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1 comment

I find it interesting that there have always been situations when men wearing skirts, dresses, robes, etc., have been accepted in Western society. Even still, those situations are limited and don’t translate into more freedom for men to do in everyday situations. But there’s hope because sites like this are letting men connect on the issue and support each other in doing so.


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