Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Lax Bro Culture

Urban Dictionary defines “lax bro” in a number of ways, but the primary definition states that “A lax bro is a guy who plays lacrosse and fully embraces the culture.” That definition, however, doesn’t do lax bros much justice, as it doesn’t explain what said “culture” of the lax bro really is. After trying to explain to my mother this newly coined term, it got me thinking – how does one define a lax bro?

Courtesy Rochelle, Just Rochelle/Flickr
Courtesy Rochelle, Just Rochelle/Flickr

The characteristics of a lax bro are pretty visible; the culture isn’t too complicated to digest. We can start by looking at the fashion. A typical lax bro outfit may include, but is not limited to, a lacrosse pinnie, a pair of shorts, black mid-calf socks, a pair of sneakers, some Oakley shades and the ever-so-slightly off balance hat.

I wonder, though, when did this “style” come into play? My dad played lacrosse in high school but was most certainly not a lax bro, so contrary to popular belief, the style did not come with the sport; it emerged on its own.

“Being a lax bro is an excuse for poor fashion,” says University of Massachusetts sophomore Angela Miller. Is she right? At the end of the day, what is the meaning behind this popular college personality? I can’t imagine that any student in their right mind would wake up and say to themselves, “Today, I think it would be really awesome if I wore socks practically up to my nose, and I really think it would be even better if they were black ones.”

Though, maybe it’s not about the look – maybe it’s about the comfort. I imagine that the lax bro is quite comfortable in the clothes he wears, until I remember the hat that barely rests upon each lax bro’s head. How can it possibly be comfortable to sport this kind of style? When I see these hats I can only think that I am playing a game of Jenga, waiting for it to fall, anxious and unable to focus because of the uncertainty of placement. So if it doesn’t look good, and it can’t possibly be comfortable, what is the point?

When a lax bro is getting ready for the day, it seems that a subconscious decision is made to sport not a style, but rather, a personality. Whether we want to believe it or not, everyone wants to identify with some person or group because it makes us feel welcome, wanted and a lot of other wonderful warm feelings that begin with the letter ‘w.’

I don’t mean to condemn the lax bro or even say that all lax bros are exactly the same, but rather to toss out an idea of what may come along with the term. My mother asked for the definition, and I answered with a question. There is obviously no single definition for any group of people, as that would be stereotyping, and as we all learn, stereotyping is something only villains do.

Of course, with every college student comes a distinct personality that is probably in some way tied to a particular group. The important thing is to remember that these loose generalities do exist, but not to take them too seriously. I do think that my definition of a lax bro is pretty close to accurate, but this doesn’t mean I immediately write one off when I meet one. We are all tied to groups, stereotypes, gender roles, cultural identities and labels that are connected to us in some way, but we have to remember that we are not defined by such labels because people cannot be simplified like a math problem. There is no recipe for a person. We are more than that. You are more than that.

Katie McKenna is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected].

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    Dean AllsoppSep 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Dear Editor,
    I enjoyed the piece about the culutre of our Lax Bros on campus. One point of contention: I don’t think lax bros are sporting a personality per se, rather being a lax bro has becoming our generations version of masculinity. Whether the rest of the male population wants to admit it, lax bros have an incredible amount of swagger. Like roosters in a hen house, females are drawn to those boys and their sticks. Those females cordially deemed “laxtitutes” have traded in a 1944 Mercury coupe and a rebel without a cause for a boy and his pennies. Regardless of his actual talent on the field, a lax penny placed over the shoulders instantly masks bad skin, completes a nose job, and creates pec implants. My one inqury for these lax bros, is how do you establish your dominance over the female population in the winter? It seems to me that wearing a lax penny is comparable to wearing white after labor day. It is almost that time of year for the lax bro to hibernate until spring when he can reign supreme once more.