A Reddit debate has revealed how Australians feel about men wearing dresses. It emerged after Christian Wilkins was trolled for his daring outfits, including his white backless gown on the 2022 Logies red carpet. The model told SBS he was shocked at the backlash surrounding his outfit choice but then hopes to inspire others to be their true identities.
Wilkins heard critics say his parents would be ashamed of him for how he dresses.
He revealed, “People [were] telling me to OD, people telling me that I’m a disgrace. I mean, I was very surprised to find out that the patriarchy was so flimsy that it could be taken down by a piece of white silk. To be completely honest, I was shocked at what my alleged crime was compared to what the response was.”
However, the question “If you saw a bloke in a dress, what’s your first thought” has gone viral on Reddit.
The OP also specifically asked: “I’m interested to see how Australians feel about men wearing dresses. Not in a taking the piss way, just in normal, everyday wear kinda way.” Responses instantly flooded in – most were either positive or neutral, a few were negative, and some were hilarious. Several people echoed it’s 2022, so whatever goes.
One of the most popular responses was: “Oh, a man in a dress. Don’t see that every day and then I’d go about my business.”
Another said: “My thoughts would be that it’s a bloke who wants to be in a dress, and it’s none of my or anyone’s effing business!” A third stated: “Buck night possibly, that’d be my first thought. One woman responded that in the small rural town where she grew up, a man who regularly went to the local shops in a dress was the subject of gossip but not for the reasons you think.
She said people didn’t care about the dress. What they found shocking was that he didn’t shave his legs, iron his clothes, or smear his lipstick.
The woman continued: “The consensus was that if you’re going to go out of your way to make a fashion statement, then at least put some bloody effort in. Those are the same complaints they’d have had about a woman wearing the same thing – they may have been right-wing heartland, but they demonstrated real equality in their way.”
Someone further posted an anecdote about driving through Mayfield in Newcastle with their dad, who wasn’t the most open-minded bloke, when they saw two Trans people wearing dresses. They wrote: “My Dad’s comment was fancy wearing red this early in the morning. Nice shoes. That’s when I knew I could come out to my Dad.”
Wilkins has since insisted his parents aren’t ashamed of him, and it’s why he wears what he wears and goes out there and does what he does best.
He claimed: “The reason that I’m able to go out there and do what I do and wear what I wear is because I know that’s not true and I know for a fact that I actually make my parents very proud. As a kid, I always, kind of, loved anything that was pink and sparkly. I was never necessarily encouraged to wear dresses. But my parents said, if I wanted to, they would absolutely allow me to.”