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Fedora Shaming refers to the social media phenomenon of mocking young men who wear the fedora felt hat as a fashion accessory. Since its return to popularity as a vintage fashion trend in the late 2000s, several single topic blogs deriding photos of people wearing the hat have been created on the microblogging site Tumblr.
Urban Dictionary user Donottouchthis submitted an entry for “fedora” on January 26th, 2008, which identified those who wore the hat as a “loser who is desperately seeking for a style to call their own.” As of October 8th, 2012, the definition has received 109 up votes and 119 down votes.
The hat was named after the play Fédora written by the French author Victorien Sardou. In the play, the character Princess Fédora Romanoff (played by Sarah Bernhardt) wore the signature felt hat, which subsequently became a popular women’s fashion accessory. By the turn of the century, the hat had evolved into a predominately male fashion item closely associated with prohibition-era gangsters in the 1920s.
On February 17th, 2009, the men’s lifestyle blog Details published an article titled “Cool or Tool?: The Fedora,” which urged readers to carefully consider incorporating a fedora into their outfits. On July 20th, Urban Dictionary user Ricky Torro submitted an entry for the word “fedorka,” defining the term as a pejorative for a person attempting to be hip or trendy by wearing the fashion accessory. On March 5th, 2010, Facepunch Forums member Parakon submitted a thread titled “People who wear fedoras and other such hats,” remarking that wearing a fedora seemed to be a pretentious ploy to appear interesting to others. On March 24th, the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Forums member CoiloverKid submitted a thread titled “Fedora Lounge! aka Stop Wearing Fedoras K,” who mocked several photographs of young men wearing fedoras (shown below).
On April 14th, 2011, a Facebook page titled “Take that Fedora off, you look like a tool” was created, followed by the creation of the “Stop Wearing Fedoras” page two weeks later. On April 27th, the Tumblr blog “Lonely Nerds in Fedoras” was created, featuring photographs of young men and women wearing the felt hat. On March 21st, Redditor MrBradd submitted a post to the /r/pics subreddit titled “The Truth Hurts,” which featured a What You Think You Look Like image featuring the 1940s actor Humphrey Bogart wearing a suit and fedora juxtaposed with a photograph of a young man wearing the hat with a pull over sweater (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received over 9,300 up votes and 1,300 comments.
On March 29th, 2012, the single topic blog “Forever Alone Fedoras” was launched on Tumblr, followed by the creation of the “You Shouldn’t Wear That Fedora” Tumblr blog on April 17th. On May 22nd, the viral content site BuzzFeed published a post titled “Fedoras and the Internet: A Torrid Love Affair,” which featured several fedora-related images including a flowchart mocking the hat (shown below).
On July 24th, the Tumblr blog “Fedoras of OKC” was launched, featuring profile pictures of men wearing fedoras on the dating website OKCupid. On October 2nd, the Internet news blog BoingBoing published an article titled “Why the Fedora Grosses Out Geekdom,” which identified men who wear fedoras as “forever alone” males desperately trying to escape the “friend zone”.
Hot Topic Employee Stalker
On February 24th, 2014, Tumblr user Pimp Under the Mountain (a.k.a. Kitty) posted several Facebook messages from a man named Christopher Ryan, who identified himself as a fedora-wearing man whom she met while working at the clothing retailer Hot Topic. During the exchange, Ryan confessed his attraction for Kitty, compared her to actress Felicia Day and called himself a “nice guy” (shown below).
After being repeatedly messaged by Ryan, Kitty replied informing him that his behavior was creepy and that she was insulted for being to women fitting the manic pixie dream girl trope (shown below). Within the first 72 hours, the post gained over 121,800 notes.
On February 25th, Kitty published a follow-up post insisting that the exchange was authentic after Tumblr users had accused her of posting a fake chat log. On the same day, Redditor Plutonium239Bitch submitted screenshots of the Facebook messages to the /r/justneckbeardthings subreddit, where it garnered more than 870 up votes and 175 comments in 48 hours. On February 26th, the news sites The Daily Dot and Kotaku published articles about the Tumblr post.
*Tips Fedora* is an online expression used in mocking response to a statement of opinion thought to be held by a young adult male who probably wears fedora as a fashion accessory. The phrase refers to the gesture of tipping one’s hat as an expression of recognition or acknowledgement between two persons.
Sir Fedora is an adolescent YouTuber who achieved notoriety after several of his videos reached the front page of Reddit in February 2014.
Fedora fashion has become also associated with the so-called Neckbeard stereotype, a pejorative term referring to unattractive, overweight and often misogynistic Internet users who wear a style of facial hair in which a majority of the growth is present on the chin and neck.
Nice Guys is a pejorative term and social stereotype commonly associated with young adult males who ostensibly present themselves as caring and emphatic gentlemen in order to increase their success rate in courtship with women. Not to be confused with males who are nice in general, Nice Guys have been criticized on the internet by both males and females alike for being hypocrites or even misogynists potentially being driven by an ulterior motive, mainly in anticipation of a relationship or sexual favors in return, and are often mocked as the first citizens of the friend zone.
Yet another widespread stereotype associated with people who wear fedoras is the White Knight, also known as “Internet White Knight,” which is a pejorative term used to describe men who defend women on the Internet with the assumption that they are looking for a romantic reward in return.