Welcome to Honesty Month

You better put a binder over your nose and run, Pinocchio. It’s Honesty Month on Man Repeller.

Honesty is terrifying. It’s emotional nudity, and I’m not sure what’s scarier: flashing an audience of 3D lens-wearing judges, or flashing yourself in a Bed, Bath & Beyond store mirror (worst lighting of any store ever — thank god they don’t sell lingerie).

Honesty is also complicated. It’s allegedly the best policy, but it’s not always the most kind approach; in some cases, isn’t a white lie better? Is honesty all about the delivery? How do we apply all of this to our relationships (of every variety)?

Then of course, there’s honesty as it relates to fashion and style. Are we honest about why we buy what we buy? Does dressing like someone else — adopting a persona, wearing a mask of clothes, so to speak — mean we’re not being truthful? Or is it temporary make believe? …And what if dressing in a way that doesn’t yet feel authentic to us is the key to future success? Aren’t you supposed to dress for the job/life you want, fake it until you make it, or is that bullshit?

Over the course of October, we’re going to pull apart honesty like string cheese and explore it in its various forms. Down below, let us know anything and everything on your mind.

Photography: Edith Young
Creative Direction: Emily Zirimis

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  • Adrianna

    lol I was just telling my boyfriend yesterday how I had a bad friendship break-up with someone who was the type to say something mean or critical and follow up with, “I’m just being honest”

    • Mo

      Oh, that’s a fascinating one. I find hair stylist say those kind of things, and as someone who has fine hair and a semi-fragile headspace over it – I like honesty, but admire finesse. Saying something honest that is cruel is not justified with a laugh or a “just being honest” because it’s not “just” honest. I think it’s a bit careless.

  • Kristie

    really excited for this month’s theme! I know leandra was channeling retired massuese all summer and that intentional role play in day-to-day life really got me thinking about fashion and how we today we use it to reference certain aesthetics, rather than actually being the aesthetic itself. Ex: James Dean wearing a leather jacket vs me, a 27-year-old white girl office employee, wearing a leather jacket. Or like boiler suits, or Leanda’s example of dressing like a masseuse. In a way I think that’s kind of a shame that my life has no natural aesthetic that shapes what I wear, but in another way its totally awesome that I can wear whateva. Long comment short, I’m really happy you guys are discussing this!

  • Veronica Wilkins

    Let’s get into the science of emotional honesty with ourselves (and the courage of looking at the deepest parts of ourselves and removing the fear of our truth) and how it pertains to following/discovering our life’s purpose and world domination!?!? #mentalhealthandemotionalhealtharedifferent #yeah!

  • Aggie

    Very honest French person over here, looking for some advice from the MR community!
    Going to NYC next week for a half solo trip and would love your recommendations for thrift stores (so I can buy more cowboy stuff and pretend I’m one), best bagel in town? And best live music bars in Brooklyn? (Friendly so I don’t feel awkward?)
    Would love to see any tips from my trusty MR internet friends please and THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    • Fun Bun

      “Thrift” store in NYC is relative. There are not many cheap second hand stores but if you are on a budget, L Train Vintage can be good but you have to dig (they have several locations) or Beacon’s Closet (same). If you have money to blow on something amazing, check out Front General Store (in Dumbo), 10 ft Single/Stella Dallas (there is a less expensive shop next door to their location in Williamsburg) or Edith Machinist in LES.

      My favorite bagel is Bergen Bagel in Prospect Heights but probably because I’m lazy and its nearby.

      Not sure about the live music bar. Hank’s Saloon has shows and is one of Brooklyn’s last great dives. Also –
      they do live Honky Tonk and country music on Sunday during the day and the best bartender in NY, her name is Jeannie.

      • Aggie

        Thank you thank you thank you! Will definitely check those out 🙂

    • La Bagel Delight in Park Slope!!!!!! For vintage, Front General Store in DUMBO. Sorry I am not in the know about bars with live music.

      • Aggie

        Thank you Lisa! Can’t wait to stuff my face and shop away 🙂

  • Mellisa Scarlett

    I want to discuss (honestly) our attachment to “name brands” as a society and why we truly desire to possess them.

    • CM

      Because they increase our self worth? We’re told they do, so we think they do, and then they do? Or they don’t. But we still think they do? Idk, def worth discussing, especially when it paints us in a not so flattering light.

  • Meemaw

    Honestly, I loathe Halloween. Little kids in costume are cute, but that’s it. “Scary” decorations are ridiculous.

  • Sophie Khanna

    Why don’t we say what we mean?

  • Shevaun

    Currently reading about factory farming and the myths we tell ourselves in order to continue eating meat/dairy products (when we know how much suffering went into it) so some insight into the lies we tell ourselves (regarding meat/animal products or anything else) would be interesting.

    • julie_k

      yes. add fast fashion and general consumer goods to the list, as well as the environmental cost of our food. the human rights abuses around chocolate are HORRIFYING.

  • Lenam Mahj

    I think I am going to get off instagram till Nov 1st to commemorate Honesty Month. Social media perpetuates dishonesty.

    • Camila Restrepo

      I’ve deleted my Instagram and Facebook from my phone. I still check it on a laptop, but it’s not as constant as on my phone and it also eliminates alot of the ‘waiting on someone, check my phone, not talking with someone, check my phone, lunch at work, check my phone etc etc etc’ kinda of behavior. I’m not as consumed about keeping tabs on other’s lives and also I don’t have to feel pressured on sharing what’s going on in mine.

      • Leandra Medine

        how long have you had it off your phone? do you feel deliberately different?

        • Camila Restrepo

          I’ve deleted facebook about 3 months ago and then Instagram on and off for the past two months. (I guitly downloaded it again during my two week France vacation *hides face*). But then about a week or so after I was back, I noticed that I was spending quite a bit of time on it and I deleted it again and haven’t downloaded it since.
          I do feel deliberately different. It sounds a bit bad but I feel less self-conscious and more liberated. I also feel like I have more time during the day to reflect, read, write, watch movies, etc instead of scroling past friends’ and stranger’s pics. (Everybody knows about the IG rabbit hole). Don’t get me wrong, I still love IG and FB is great to keep in contact with people around the world but having it on a constant 24/7 is personally draining and time consuming.
          *Sorry for the long reply, Leandra hahaha!

          • Rebecca Sherouse

            I did the same thing a month back, deleted my Instagram and Snapchat. For 3 days I found my thumb hovering over an invisible Instagram Icon, a second nature so ingrained in my system, upon removal I woke up to the reality that Instagram was my absolute go to time filler, idle moment killer, before bed chiller, wake up and filter (rap song to be further developed at later date). Point being, this scared me. Scared me for my clearly warped reality, inability to sit still with my thoughts, and looming arthritic thumb. (Apparently this is real!!!!!)

            I ride the metro an hour each way to work, most of that time was filled scrolling through Instagram. A few days after I deleted the app from my phone – I felt as if a 20 lb weight was lifted off my chest. I could breathe deeper. I finished A Little Life (thx to watering hole suggestions), began practicing French again, and spent a lot of time staring out the window. The minute I did this, thoughts came to me more readily, I could find my words easier, creative writing topics spewed out of me faster, I formulated multi-faceted opinions on current events, and I felt safer.

            I felt safer in my current life situation, and the decisions I have made to get here. I am 22, living in Los Angeles, working a stressful job, and trying daily to find my place in the world. By allowing myself to just be in my life, not to scroll through what were starting to feel like the thousands of other versions of life I could have chosen, I am happier.

          • M Rae

            “thoughts came to me more readily, I could find my words easier, creative writing topics spewed out of me faster, I formulated multi-faceted opinions on current events, and I felt safer”…. SAME!!!!!!

        • Janvi Morzaria

          I deleted my Instagram and Facebook apps to quit small distractions, and find my focus, do some ‘deep work’. I thought it was going to be a week long break, but it’s been 3 weeks now and I miss nothing. Not saying I’ll never get the apps back, but I don’t need them like I thought I did.

      • irembezek

        Did the same!

      • Me too! I hate facebook but still need to have an account, so I got rid of the app years ago, and deleted the messenger app a few months ago. To take that one step further, I got a plugin that hides the entire news feed when i’m browsing on my laptop so I never end up scrolling through the bullshit. I go on like once a week to check up on the notifications and am fairly happy with that level of engagement.

    • silla

      Awesome idea!! I try to delete social media during the week and it makes a huge difference to my productivity/mental health. It totally perpetuates dishonesty.

    • Dymond Moore

      Having grown up with IG, deleting it seems terrifying. Not because I don’t want to, but because a lot of what i do as a blogger is wrapped up in the platform. My brand collabs and blogger friends all hinge on it, and it feels like I’d lose a big chunk of my own personality should I choose to delete. Same with Facebook! I’m in a lot of facebook groups where I’ve made connections and learned so much. Feels weird to get rid of it.

    • nelgracev


  • tmm16

    I love this theme. Last month, I decided I needed to start being honest with myself about what I wanted with dating, which is a relationship. Next time I meet someone that I like and think could make a potential and good boyfriend, I’m just going to be more upfront and honest about what I want. Emotional nudity is scary, but for me, being alone is even scarier.

    Also off-topic, but Team MR, is someone penning a story on what’s happened with SATC 3???? It may not be timely anymore, but I have mixed thoughts! It saddens me that Kim doesn’t want to do the movie (I haven’t read too much about it), but she also has every right to just not want to do a 3rd movie. How does the team feel about this???

    • silla

      YAS. I went through this exact journey. I also got really honest and wrote myself a list of what I wanted and basically scripted my perfect relationship and decided to settle for nothing less – and be honest what less would constitute and not make excuses and lie to myself. And guess what? About two weeks, I got it. The universe rewards honesty!!

  • Jessica Amento

    Will you bring back the monthly phone backgrounds that go out on MR’s IG stories? I miss them!

    • Leandra Medine

      Hey! We still put them out!

      • Jessica Amento

        OMG, good to know… Thank you!!

  • Gene Day

    I don’t remember where I saw a short video clip of Kristen Bell raving about her therapist, but the most poignant piece of advice she related was to say that ‘honesty without tact is cruelty’.

    • Amelia Diamond

      we have an entire story related to this quote!! so stay tuned 🙂

      • Amelia Diamond

        ew sorry for “stay tuned”

  • Ann P

    “And what if dressing in a way that doesn’t yet feel authentic to us is the key to future success? Aren’t you supposed to dress for the job/life you want, fake it until you make it, or is that bullshit?”

    I don’t think it’s bullshit. I put on a business suit and high heels in my 20s which helped me be taken seriously. I faked it until I made it and I’m still wearing them now in my 40s (not the same ones… that would be stinky). Every day I put on the persona through the corporate uniform, but it still doesn’t feel authentic as a) even now I still feel like I’m going to get found out for not knowing what I’m talking about and b) my ‘successful’ job still doesn’t make me happy.

    I’m charting a path to what will make me happy (academia) and interestingly I’m starting to dress for that. My work style is becoming more offbeat and adventurous, which is much more me. So I’m still faking it until I make it I guess! But this time feels more honest.

  • Stiletto

    Honest stories I’d like to read:
    1) A list of the top 10 most overrated things right now (1. Beyonce 2. Ryan Gosling (he is neither cute nor talented) 3. Lobster (crab is so much better) 4. Microbladed Angry Bird brows 5. Soul Cycle)
    2) Prince Charles is the original fuckboy. Totally dishonest. Was always in love with someone else but couldn’t marry her initially because she wasn’t fit to be queen (i.e. wasn’t a virgin).
    3) Why SATC 3 shouldn’t be made. The movies were NOT good and 2 was worse than 1. The first rule of holes: if you’re in one, stop digging.

    • Kiks

      Co-signing every word of this!

      Ok, fine…in the name of honesty…I still enjoy Ryan Gosling’s acting, but also he kinda annoys the shit out of me. And I will never, ever see La La Land.



  • I’m deleting my tinder despite not having found love because I don’t ~actually~ want to meet anyone new right now, and I kind of hate the app. Sorry to all of my optimistic friends who met their soulmates that way and are convinced that I will too. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • tmm16

      I wish I could like this 100000x because it’s exactly how I feel. I deleted my Tinder and I don’t plan on going back on.

  • Colie

    Is it a good idea to tell someone you’re in love with them, even if all signs point to friend-zone, and even if you already have a partner, just on the bare chance that it could A: result in life changes for the better, B: make them/you feel good, C: honesty month, or all of the above?

  • kevynryan

    I got a therapist for the first time in my life. I might need more than just October 😩

  • Jay

    Hm…. thought about it and not sure I like it or can work with it. All my writing is 100% honest. Which might be a problem and certainly is why I am not wanting to have it published in my name.

    But… honesty is terrible.

    Just going through a phase where it might result in everything between proposal and me and a cat

  • Mary Clemmens

    I’m currently studying fashion management in grad school and find myself dressing dishonestly because I feel a pressure to constantly wear new things, be ahead of trends, and to standout. I fell in love with fashion because finding my own style allowed me to really express myself and be okay with my introverted nature. Since I’ve been studying the fashion industry and made it a point that I will be working in fashion I get lost im the pressure of having to be fashionable and what that really means to me. I have to ask myself more often now if I’m wearing something because I feel like I have to be different/fashionable or if it’s really true to how I feel and who I am?

  • Kristina

    I’m so excited about this theme! Honesty is what I’ve chosen to focus on for myself at this point in my life, too. I never lie, but I’m quite shy and reserved and have a tendency to keep my emotions and opinions to myself if I think bottling them will be best for others or some greater good. I think honesty means accepting and listening to my own feelings and going after what I really know I want. If I’m more honest with myself, I believe I’ll be more open with those around me.