Keeping the Bros at Bay: A Man Repeller Inspired Challenge

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “What the hell is she talking about?” Allow me to explain. This past summer I discovered two things: First, that GQ Magazine ranked Penn State as the #2 Douchiest College in America (falling short of none other than Cornell), and second, Leandra Medine’s fashion blog, titled The Man Repeller. What is a Man Repeller you ask? According to Leandra, a man repeller is the following:

Okay, so these two discoveries really have nothing in common until you consider the fact that GQ also ranked the 40 Worst Dressed Cities in America with Philadelphia ranked at #6 and Pittsburgh making it all the way to #3. Ouch.

So here’s where this all comes together: State College is conveniently located right smack in the middle of these two sartorially-challenged cities and it therefore comes as no surprise that Penn State is a haven for fashion ignorance. Seriously, it’s like there’s some sort of force field around Centre County that turns off the chic switch in everyone’s brain as soon as they cross the border (I can say this because I’m from the Jersey Shore and they have some serious issues as well).

But it’s not our fault, really. When it’s 18 degrees out and we have to walk 20 minutes across campus with snow whipping at our faces, sweats and UGGs become the obvious choice. Plus, when you consider the high probability that we’re hungover, it becomes a no brainer. But our selection is minimal, at best. We have to choose between Metro, Urban Outfitters, Access, a few other stragglers downtown and Forever21 online. Thinking about wasting $50 on that bandage skirt you saw at Urban the other day?

Think again, because when you walk into that frat party you’re going to on Friday you’re going to see it on about 7 other girls– and chances are it’s going to get doused in beer, anyway. Ah, the beauty of going to school in bumblefuck, PA. I mean. can you imagine if I showed up somewhere in shoulder pads or boyfriend jeans? Not only would I go home alone, but probably in a straight jacket as well.

With all of the above in consideration, and a recent purchase of a maxi dress, it dawned on me. How would slobbering, blacked out frat bros respond to a man repeller outfit? Would the contrast from all the other practically naked chicks entice them or would they just think I was there by mistake? I decided to give it a try last Thursday night (aka Thirsty Thurs of Sylly Week). Here’s what happened:

Okay, so this ensemble is man repelling for a few reasons. The first is the choice of dress. The maxi dress hides any possible figure that I could be hiding under all that fabric. I mean you have no idea what’s going on under there. I also am very covered up. I’m not even showing ankle! That, plus the use of a denim shirt as my “fracket” and the dirty, worn leather satchel gives a nod to my central Pennsylvania location in an Amish/farmer kind of way. Verrrrrry alluring. Secondly, my shoes make me well over 6 feet tall and kind of give off a clog vibe, which means dudes with Napoleon complexes need not apply. (P.S. sorry for the drab hallway, they’re doing renovations soon)


In typical getting-ready-to-go-out routine, I milled in and out of my sorority sisters’ dorms asking “What are you gonna wear?” about a bajillion times. It was then that I found my ultimate match. Pictured above is Kaitlyn and myself. Kaitlyn is wearing just about nothing. Kait will be swatting away the aforementioned sweating, drooling, blacked out frat bros all night. I will most likely be in a corner by myself funneling beers while people try to decide if I am a lesbian or not.

So, here I am in action. This is my best friend’s boyfriend, Matt. Matt is one of the three guys who talked to me. Kevin, my roommate’s quasi boyfriend, is the second male who spoke to me and the third is my friend Cory, but only because we had to discuss the newest episode of Angry Boys. (Yeah, I was talking about HBO at a frat social…can you see where this is going?) That was a fairly brief conversation.

As I mentioned before, my shoes made me very tall. Granted, Matt is a little on the shorter side of the spectrum, but if we’re being honest, I look like a woman of the amazon. I even pulled my hair up to maybe play the collarbone card but nothing came to fruition from that plan.

In this action shot, Matt is squatting down but Brooke and Monika are standing at actual height. Again, I look like I enhance my meals with Miracle Grow. It’s gotten to the point where I am like some freak in a circus side show that people are afraid to make eye contact with. I make things worse when I begin to both Bernie and Lean Like a Cholo.

By the end of the night, I ended up back at my dorm with no guy to speak of and proceeded to order Wings Over. Operation Keeping the Bros at Bay was a Major Success.

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About the Author

Maggie McGlinchy

Senior. Print Journalism Major, Spanish Minor. My only childhood memory involves me playing with a toy circus car.

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