Did you read that Glamour interview with Jennifer Lawrence where she describes her look as "slutty power lesbian?" It doesn't sound out-of-character for J-Law, whose celebrity revolves around her candor and relatability (on top of being a great actress), but the quote ignited quite the conversation around it.
It even elicited a response from Ruby Rose who defended Jennifer saying, "I think that is an easy quote to misinterpret or to pick apart. But I know that she has an amazing sense of humor, and for her to say that, I know that would never come from a bad place." Ruby's not wrong, but people still bristled at that line. Why?
Following the J-Law interview, Slate published a story titled, "Hillary Clinton Isn’t a Lesbian—but She Dresses Like One." The article doles out praise for the way the presidential hopeful defies male-gaze in the way she dresses, which seems to be the underlying commonality between these two uses of "lesbian" as a categorization of style.
But as society evolves to accept a more fluid understanding of sexuality and identity, and as fashion, in particular, further bucks gender norms, continuing to keep this one style specific style as representation of the "lesbian look" just doesn't make sense anymore. Women who love women dress in many different ways, and conversely, women who love men can and do dress in ways that avert the male gaze. There are many other ways to describe that look that have nothing to do with a person's sexuality. Let's lean on those instead.