Good news guys! You can escape the dreaded friend zone. All you’ll need is a shockingly hideous bomber jacket, fancy ass shaving equipment and some fripperies. Oh yeah, and around €4500 to drop on this stuff.
This advice is brought to you by Esquire magazine’s fashion blog, and obviously it shouldn’t be taken too seriously as a guide to being successful with the ladeez. However, the underlying messages play into a number of exasperating stereotypes about men, women and sexual attraction. So yup, I’m going to ignore my own damn advice and take it seriously.
First off, a minor quibble. The article plays into the tired old trope that all women love fashion, therefore all it takes to woo us is a streamlined shirt and some nice shoes. Sure, being nicely dressed is probably a good idea if you’re on the hunt for sex or love, but even the most directional lambswool sweater is not a substitute for chemistry and attraction. Nor will dropping a whooping $485 on a classic shaving kit cause any woman to “recalibrate your standing in her life”, except perhaps to wonder why you throw money around like confetti at a wedding.
Which brings me to my second point… Most of your must-have items to escape the friend zone come with a hefty price tag. The bomber jacket costs an eye watering $3,495. The jeans aren’t exactly cheap at $210, and the sunglasses cost $575, despite looking like something you could pick up for a fiver in Penny’s. The unspoken message here is not just that women like fashion, but expensive fashion. Yup, flash some status symbols around and your lady friend will want to bed you, because at heart, all women are shallow, gold-diggers.
For years, magazines have been selling the same bullshit fairytale to women. Buy this dress, wear these shoes! Voila! You’re Cinderella! It doesn’t work for women either. The average dude won’t fall in love with you because you’re rocking designer gear. Neither will the average lady.
Finally, there is no such thing as the “friend zone” — there’s just friends. The friend zone seems like a gender-neutral term, describing a situation where one person secretly hankers after a romantic or sexual relationship with a man or woman who doesn’t feel the same way. However, the term is often used to suggest that “friend zoning” is something capricious, selfish women do to so-called nice guys — manipulating their feelings, using them for emotional support and keeping them dangling.
You know what, I’m not going to argue that these women don’t exist. I am sure they do. But if that’s the case, why the hell are you even friends? If a friend is prepared to play with your feelings, why would you want them to be your lover or partner? That person is an asshat! Boning won’t make them a better person, especially since the emotional stakes are higher. You can do better, even without a $350 denim shirt!
Wanting someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you is a shitty situation. I’ve been there, and so have many of you. Sometimes a friend might have a change of heart and see you in a new light, but mostly they won’t. But that’s not the friend zone, that’s just plain old unrequited love.
The annoying thing about the friend zone concept is that it suggests that men and women can’t be friends without sexual attraction getting in the way. They can. Sure, some times it is an issue, but the more friends you have of the opposite sex (or whatever sex you are attracted to), the less of a problem it becomes. It also suggests that a woman’s friendship has no value — that if you can’t fuck her, hanging out, going for drinks or to the movies is a big waste of time. If that’s the way you feel, then the asshat is you — and that’s why nobody wants you. Your clothes are irrelevant.