Pink is for girls and blue is for boys! How simply we have set up parameters in the society we live in. No one to question; no one to answer. We live in a world where there are set norms that dictate how men and women are supposed to act. The roles are fixed based on the genders and our active participation just strengthens these norms. While there are people who stay silent and suffer, there some who are trying to bring about a change. We live in a society where there is hesitation when it comes to discussing gender norms. Moreover, the third gender isn’t even taken into consideration.
However, the year 2016 saw many famous celebrities, designers, brands, and magazine making an attempt to break these gender norms. Bayside Journal brings 8 major events from across the globe that attempted to break gender norms.
1. CoverGirl Gets a CoverBoy
When 58-year-old cosmetic brand CoverGirl decided to have a CoverBoy, the whole world went gaga over the decision. Seventeen-year-old makeup artist and social media star James Charles was named the face of this famous cosmetic brand and was seen promoting their product ‘So Lashy Mascara’. The brand decided to take this step when they realised that they had a diverse population to serve that didn’t only consist of women.
James rose to fame when he used makeup to show the different layers of his personality on Instagram. This clearly sends a message to the world how even men can use makeup to redefine themselves and look beautiful. Kudos Charles, for being an inspiration!
2. National Geographic Features a Transgender on the Cover
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) December 16, 2016
A nine-year-old activist, Avery Jackson, rose to fame when National Geographic decided to feature a transgender on the cover for the first time. On December 16, the whole world was talking about Avery from Kansas City when NatGeo tweeted out their cover for their January 2017 edition. All of a sudden, people were just not talking only about two genders but the conversation started revolving around the entire spectrum that gender encompasses.
NatGeo’s Jan edition will focus on gender and people from around the globe will talk about their stories, identities, and rights. The magazine cover features a quote from Avery, “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”
Since they tweeted out the picture, many viewers have expressed their pride and gratitude while there are others who have promised to cancel their subscription. People can express their ire but we feel that NatGeo is moving in the right direction and finally talking about another gender that exists as well. Hopefully, this will spark a much-needed debate that will help change the people’s perception.
3. Will Smith’s Son Jaden Smith Wears a Skirt
Hollywood actor Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith is famous for challenging masculinity norms. The 17-year-old made headlines when he was spotted wearing a skirt. He is among those few people who are trying to push the boundaries when it comes to styling and fashion.
In fact this year, Bollywood star Ranveer Singh was seen donning a skirt making a new style statement. It is important to realise that clothes don’t make a person. Moreover, one shouldn’t be bullied because of what they wear.
4. Transgender Activist Laxmi Narayan Thripathi Walked the Ramp
Breaking stereotype, transgender rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi walked the ramp for the renowned jewellery designer Akassh K Aggarwal this year. The whole collection was launched to spread a message about gender equality and was even dedicated to the transgenders.
Laxmi also returned as a showstopper at Lakme Fashion Week. This year breaking stereotypes was certainly the main theme on the runway. The whole idea was to promote the idea that fashion isn’t gender driven. Everyone has the right to feel beautiful.
5. Toy Advertisement Destroys Gender Stereotype
Who says that only girls can dress up as a queen? And this advertisement just proves just that and breaks gender stereotypes like a boss! This advertisement showed the boy in the castle all decked up in a dress. The aim of the ad was to eliminate gender-based signage and introduce children to gender-neutral things.
6. Transgenders Become Models for Kerala-Based Saree Designer
Fashion designer Sharmila Nair radically changed the idea of modeling when she roped in transgenders to model for her new saree collection. The designer’s ultimate aim was to build the bridge between different genders and communities in the society. The designer enforced the idea that sarees are not just for women. Instead anyone who likes it can wear it.
7. Barbie Ad Features Boy for the First Time
For the first time in 56 years, famous toy brand Barbie had a boy as the face of the brand. The advertisement allowed people to look at the Barbie in an entirely new manner.
Toys in the stores often have gender labelling and are sold based on it. (For example: Hot Wheels are for boys and Barbie is for girls.)This ad was a move to make parents understand that a toy shouldn’t be labelled as ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ but as ‘for kids’. Whether you are a girl or a boy, you have the right to choose what you wish to play with.
8. Brands Launch Genderless Clothing Lines
Joining the genderless movement this year were famous fashion brands like Zara, Guess, and Louis Vuitton. Gender fluidity in the fashion industry isn’t something new; it has been around for a while now. However, it is encouraging to see how famous brands are trying to do their own bit for the promotion of gender fluidity in the industry.