Men’s bikini swimwear is also known as trunks popularly. However, contrary to popular beliefs, trunks are not the only pieces of clothing that men can opt for. The category encompasses thongs, briefs, etc., too. Unfortunately, due to several toxic notions of society, anything other than trunks is stigmatized.
Apparently, thongs or briefs somehow reduce all the manly, rough, and tough traits of masculinity. Moreover, the world of fashion perpetuates the idea that men are least concerned with fashion and trends most of the time. Some irrationality tells us that being nonchalant about looks is equivalent to not caring. Hence, there has been little work towards destigmatizing the attitude towards male bikini swimwear.
What men wear can deeply influence their inner worlds. When they can express themselves freely with their clothes, they can experience better life satisfaction, in addition to a positive body image. Seeking comfort within one’s body should always be encouraged rather than being met by “this is not masculine “type criticisms.
What one wears should never be a parameter for determining masculinity since it becomes a destructive show of toxic masculinity. This is a microaggression that leads to larger problems of hyper-masculinity where men feel the need to belittle and overpower marginalized genders and identities.
Some underrated and neglected stigmas are often attached to men’s swimwear wear. Two of them are-
Gatekeeping from disabled people:
Men, who are blind, have physical disabilities, and other impediments are often discouraged actively or passively on multiple occasions. It’s as if society feels that since they do not have a typical abled body, they cannot wear any cloth of their choice
Labeling anything as queer:
The cisnormative and heteronormative paradigms of society perpetuate the idea that ‘real’ men do not wear g strings or thongs. However, it is crucial to reiterate that neither being gay nor having an interest in wearing thongs is a crime or less masculine.
Nevertheless, with time, civilization has progressed, and the market of bikini swimwear for men is expanding in leaps and bounds. Hopefully, soon, everyone, irrespective of their sexuality, gender, disability, or other factors, will be able to wear what makes them comfortable without any fear of judgment.