Androgyny is in. From supermodel Andrej Pejic to gender-neutral parenting articles, the media can’t get enough of us non-binary (“boy” or “girl”) folks lately.
But is not identifying as male or female really about androgyny? Is being elsewhere on the gender spectrum the same as being gender neutral? I look at pictures of Pejic and I wonder if I’m missing something everyone else sees. It’s hard to recognize androgyny (showing characteristics of both sexes) in a person walking down the street in five-inch heels, short shorts, and a flowing top, blonde locks perfectly coiffed Marilyn Monroe-style. The same is true for us average non-binary folks. Many of us identify, like Pejic, as neither male nor female, yet our gender presentation is not neutral either. Trying to get us into that box takes a lot of squeezing, tugging, and tucking.
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Glamorous supermodel Kate Moss does the androgynous thing on the latest cover of Vogue Paris, where she evokes a Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie. Moss is pretty hot, and Bowie’s not too bad either, so the combination of the two on one cover is pretty powerful.
Last week, I bought new pants. And while that may sound like a mind-numbingly mundane act to you, believe me when I say that the earth shook a little. I haven’t purchased new pants in over three years. I’ve worn them on occasion, sure, and have several pairs languishing in the dark recesses of my closet. But overall, I’ve shied away from wearing jeans, slacks, and pants of all kinds ever since I discovered the fun, flattering, flirty world of skirts and dresses. Skirts work with my figure. They emphasize my waist, glide over my bum and thighs, and show off my shapely calves. Skirts are my sartorial staple. Skirts make me feel confident and stylish and powerful.
Skirts are also decidedly feminine. And as someone who has a deep-seated, highly irrational fear of androgynous dressing, I love them for it. Keep reading »
“The way I need to look, it’s a very personal thing. When I started experimenting, it was to make myself feel happy, to look in the mirror and be satisfied. I never did drag or anything like that. It was always that I wanted to be pretty, to look beautiful, as a girl would want to … In this society, if a man is called a woman, that’s the biggest insult he could get. Is that because women are considered something less?”
–Gender-bending model Andrej Pejic on his androgynous looks. I find it fascinating that Pejic says that he needs to look the way that he does — it highlights that, for transgender people, the desire to dress or perform as one gender identity or another isn’t simply a matter of dress up, but one of necessity. Pejic also says that he doesn’t ever mind being mistaken for a woman, despite the idea that men typically balk at being called female, and brings up an interesting hypothesis as to why. [NYMag] Keep reading »
Look at this cover of Dossier magazine. Notice anything especially spicy or scintillating? Well apparently Barnes & Noble did. Enough so that they censored the cover, featuring androgynous male model Andrej Pejic, in their stores. While men’s magazines routinely feature naked male torsos on their covers, we suspect it was the confusing–confusing to Barnes & Noble anyway — juxtaposition of Pejic’s hyperfeminine face with his masculine chest that bewildered. Still, it calls into question just what makes a body feminine or masculine to begin with; if Pejic’s angelic facial figures cross the line for Barnes & Noble, and make his body verboten, then maybe we’ve been looking at the wrong body parts all along? [Fashionista] Keep reading »
Don’t get it twisted. This isn’t two random girls making out in a bar. It’s supermodel Kate Moss kissing transsexual model-of-the-moment Lea T. on the cover of Love magazine. The issue’s theme is androgyny, a look the Brazilian born-male-turned-androgyne Lea T. has come to symbolize in various recent trend pieces. The shot was taken by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. This is hardcore, indeed. [Jezebel] Keep reading »
You know, as a writer, I understand the impulse to manufacture trends in cases where there are none. Got to generate that copy, yo’. But the New York Times‘ “Brittney Griner, Basketball Star, Helps Redefine Beauty” is really one of the stupidest pieces of pseudo-trend journalism that I’ve ever read.
If you’re not aware, Griner, 19, is a Baylor University freshman (the team made it to the women’s Final Four), and she is a whopping 6’8″. Yes, she really is that tall. I’m 6’1″, and I can hardly imagine what it would be like to be 4 inches shy of 7 feet. But is this a … trend? Keep reading »
Remember last month when we reported on the New York Times‘ piece on androgyny in modern day street style? (Since gender bending in fashion is nothing new, we also took the opportunity to name our favorite cross dressing style icons.) This month, the newspaper’s style editors are clearly still fixated, because now they’re asserting that the ladylike look is dead, or as they cutely put it, the “damsel is in distress.” But more astutely, they’re putting their ink-smudged fingers on a trend that all the cool girls have been aware of for a long time: Your average 20- or 30-something has absolutely zero interest in dressing like Megan Fox. As the Times says, “If the old ideal of sexiness was the shoulder-baring voluptuousness of Scarlett Johansson, the new sexy is the European fashion editor Carine Roitfeld in a black blazer and tall vixenish boots.” It’s all about authenticity. Keep reading »
Androgynous dressing might be the fashion world’s current obsession, but here’s a reminder that styles are indeed cyclical: The trendy men’s shop Odin has just launched a unisex perfume. At first we thought, here’s another sign that male and female gender aesthetics are continuing to mesh together, but then we reached into the depths of our style memories and recalled the infamous CK One unisex perfume of the 1990s. Perhaps we’re about to see a new beauty trend with neutral colognes? (Although many girls have always been loyal Old Spice customers.) After the jump, some famous unisex fragrances to try out or just jog your nasal memory.
What do you think—would you want to smell just like your boyfriend? Or, would your boyfriend like to smell like you? [The Thread] Keep reading »