If you like clothes, love to shop, and own a smartphone, you’ve more than likely heard of Depop. For those who aren’t aware of it, think of it as a newer, hipper, and more easily accessible Ebay. With around 400,000 users daily, 70% of which are female, Depop has evolved into an overwhelmingly female-dominated creative environment. But for some millennials, Depop has evolved into something far greater and far more impressive than just a money-making app. For some people, Depop has provided a platform for the launch of their own personal brands.
As a haven for the style-conscious and the self-expressive, Depop offers the freedom of Instagram with all the perks of Ebay. More often than not, sellers choose to photograph themselves in the wears they are flogging. Levels of commitment range from a quick picture in the bedroom mirror to backdrops of silk, props, and craftily placed lighting. Depop has introduced a platform that not only allows users to buy and sell in a seamless and contemporary way, it offers a somewhat non-judgmental space where users utilise fashion to be as creative and as self-presentative as they desire. For many, myself included, Depop accounts represent your own personal and individual clothing store. Posting an item is akin to playing a super expressive form of dress-up, except you’re making money out of it.
Despite Depop’s many perks, it comes with its fair share of negatives. Between the supportive comments from fellow users and admiring girls, there exists a subculture of males who cheapen an expressive creative outlet. Male prejudices manage to slip through the cracks: a sexual comment on a particularly risqué picture, or an unwanted direct message just because you’re wearing a short skirt. I’m sure many girls reading this have experienced something a bit like this. But to encounter this sort of thing on Depop shocked me.
A few months ago, I was scrolling aimlessly through Depop when I noticed something so annoying, so out of place in this usually harmonious world, that it stuck with me. It was a comment. A stupid, unfair comment made from a guy to a girl.
“U selling urself or the skirt?”
The skirt in question was being modelled by Betsy Johnson, a successful Depop seller who has amassed an impressive 48,000 followers. In the picture, Betsy was topless, arms strategically folded across her chest and a baby pink satin sheet draped behind her. The comment was quite clearly directed at Betsy’s nakedness.
So, why is it that, in what is such an overwhelmingly female environment, do women have to justify their actions to men? Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all men, because not all men are dicks. But still, I felt like commenting, asking what the hell it had to do with him in the first place. Except, why waste your breath? We spend enough time having to justify our actions to others, so what’s the point in adding fuel to the fire? I think a comment like this does illustrate the inability that some males have in being able to view the female body without automatically sexualising it. Who knows, perhaps seeing a woman taking ownership over her own body proves itself too much of a threat to male masculinity. Then again, I might just be reading way too far into this and perhaps self-expression just goes totally over some people’s heads. Still, it’s annoying. It’s annoying that even now a girl can’t post a somewhat naked picture without having to explain themselves.
If you don’t have Depop, I advise you to check it out. It’s emerged into an incredibly powerful platform for the self-expressive that only continues to grow in popularity. There’s something quite liberating about dressing yourself up and being able to make money at the same time. Also, it kind of feels like a super fashionable car-boot sale.
Art by Marie Köhl. Follow her on Instagram: @marionetten_tanz