The female and male fashion advice subreddits are protesting Reddit’s API changes and recent actions toward moderators by changing their focus in a hilarious way: now, posts on those subreddits must be about fashion from the 1700s. Both the r/femalefashionadvice and r/malefashionadvice subreddits switched over after putting the choice to a community vote, and the subreddits are now filled with wonderful threads asking about very old fashion.
One incredible thread in r/femalefashionadvice, titled “How to dress for a dinner party with the guy I rejected but now like? (1813),” is clearly a roleplay of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. “How do I dress in a way that says, ‘I am so grateful you saved my sister and my entire family, but I also don’t want to embarrass you about it, but also I’m totally in love with you now and if you proposed again I swear I would accept?’” the user wrote. Many comments delightfully play along, with one user asking for the original poster’s age and noting, if they’re over 30, to “light yourself on fire and give up, seriously.” One thread asks the community for recommendations on “which glove is best to slap someone in the face with?”
In r/malefashionadvice, where users voted for posts about timeless 1700s men’s fashion (the emphasis is from the subreddit, not me), a highly upvoted post features a “pirate inspo album.” “Affordable recs on those white stockings that stop just short of the knee? Looking to spend less than six shillings,” somebody wrote in another thread.
The old-school changes are all in good fun, but the subreddits are part of a larger movement of dissent at Reddit that has taken place over the past few weeks. More than 8,000 subreddits went dark to protest API changes that will force popular apps to shut down, but many subreddits have reopened after feeling threatened by Reddit.
Some have made their own silly rule changes since reopening, like focusing entirely on John Oliver. But Reddit hasn’t taken as kindly to subreddits that changed to Not Safe For Work (NSFW) in protest, removing moderators of some subreddits that had done so (and later reinstating a few) and saying that making the NSFW switch is “not acceptable.”