It’s good to have at least one night a year we give to that part of ourselves we usually relegate to the shadows. Maybe it’s your actual dark side or it might just be the part of you that’s always wanted to know what you’d look like as a blonde. Either way, Halloween is the time of year for experimenting.
This year, older teens and young adults are leaning into the Hollow’s Eve time-honored tradition of gender-bending. Boys in maid outfits, specifically, are becoming a noteworthy trend.
Young men (gay, straight, and everyone in between) are showing off their maid outfits on TikTok. And it’s not just maid outfits. It’s also young men in schoolgirl outfits or in cat or bunny variations of any of the aforementioned looks. This is nothing like when Vine dudes wore dresses for comedic effect, we’re watching a beautiful exercise in self-expression unfold.
It started with maid outfits taking over those cringe accounts that task themselves with bringing viewers’ fantasies to life. Then, the thirst traps turned into an experiment: Many young men are taking advantage of Halloween to give the femboy look a try, and they’re sharing their first impressions of what it feels like to wear a maid outfit. The maid outfit is so ubiquitous, there are TikTok comedy sketches about being caught wearing one and people are daring each other to wear them. According to Google Trends, search for “maid outfit” (in accordance with the hashtag used on these videos) is the highest it’s been in the last five years. In other words, the outfits have grown astronomically popular in just a few short weeks.
If you are an Alt TikTok regular, you’ve already seen these videos. If you’re not on Alt TikTok, you will soon start seeing these videos. And if you’re on Bisexual or Anime TikTok, you are responsible for the videos’ existence.
A swirl of micro-trends and paradigm shifts are responsible for the boom of boys in maid outfits. It’s the spooky manifestation of the increasingly popular “femboy” trope. Over the summer the internet boomed here and there with demands to “put on the maid outfit” likely stemming from a particularly handsome Animal Crossing character that surprised many by wearing a maid outfit when given one. But this maid outfit specifically echoes uniforms worn in Japanese maid cafés and subsequently worn by characters in a number of popular animes.
It almost feels reductive to even say, “boys are wearing maid outfits.” This trend lives in the same universe as Pegging TikTok and himbo lust. It’s about the sexiness of taking on a more submissive role and the sheer empowerment of wearing an outfit that shows your body like nothing you’ve worn before. It’s about taking advantage of quarantine and Spooky Season to wear something transgressive you’d never wear In Real Life. Halloween is a time for experimentation and where there are experiments, discoveries will soon follow.
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