Rewriting fashion

Breaking the boundaries of gender through style


Graphic By: Javier Zarracina

Recently more men have been wearing makeup to express themselves.

Logan Berggren, Feature Editor

‘Girls wear pink, boys wear blue. Girls wear dresses, boys wear suits.’ Outdated phrases like these continue to push the idea that people have to wear certain clothes that identify with the gender they align with. Young kids grow up with this toxicity that they need to stay within guidelines when choosing what to wear. I believe that people should be able to experiment with what they want to wear or how they look to find what expresses themselves the best.

Fashion is important for everyone to show who they really are. Clothes have a greater effect on people than most think, what you wear can improve your overall mood. The HuffingtonPost states “Your style and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your mood, health, and overall confidence.” Forcing people on what to wear can negatively affect a person’s confidence. But by allowing someone to wear something that exhibits their personality can improve their mental health. 

The Washington Post found “In public high schools, fashion is very important in creating an individual “attitude.”” Teens are using fashion to illustrate who they are and how they want to look. 

While some may believe that fashion does not have much importance and that people should just stick to wearing clothes that ‘fit’ their gender, but this ideology just forces a toxic normality on to society. Teenagers are the ones challenging this toxicity by being more themselves and not caring what others think. This might not be true for all, but schools and communities are becoming more accepting and less judgmental of how others express themselves. A more open society allows more expressionism and positivity.

Most retail stores separate their sections of clothing into gender specific clothing. So right from the beginning, people are split into the boundaries of their gender. Even if they have the courage to venture into the opposite gender clothing section, they are met with judgement and stereotypes. Mic finds that “Stores are gendered, with separate apparel for men and women, which is then divided into separate sections, or even floors, with their own gender-specific fitting rooms.” Everything in retail is separated from the clothing to the fitting rooms. This overall makes it difficult for people to find clothes that fit them.

Photo By: Jamie McCarthy
Celebrity Micheal Urie wore both a dress and a tux to the Met Gala to showcase that gender and fashion have no boundaries.

I think fashion has no boundaries or walls. Men should be allowed to wear makeup if they want to or if a woman wants to wear a suit, she should not be judged. There has been a recent movement within the fashion industry the “gender-fluid movement”. This movement has swept across fashion appearing with the style of celebrities. Last year’s Met Gala showcased multiple celebrities that wore gender neutral outfits. Not only that but more celebrities are increasingly wearing more casual gender neutral outfits, such as Harry Styles.

Photo By: John Shearer
Harry Styles wearing a gender neutral outfit to the 2019 Met Gala.

This presence of gender fluid fashion in mass media represents an important era of self expression and shows more teens/youth that they can wear what they want and look how they want. National Geographic expressed that “The subject of gender and fashion takes on particular immediacy in the current setting of LGBTQIA+ rights and the impact of social media in community building and self-identification.” Fashion is highly important in LGBTQ+ culture and is a way for members of the community to fully express who they are. I hope that this movement will continue to grow and expand to all communities creating a more open and accepting society.

It would be refreshing to see people being themselves more. I personally have grown with my style and I have experimented and searched for what represents me and what makes me happy. I hope that others do the same and break out of the box of fashion and gender and find what makes them confident. If wearing sweatpants and a hoodie makes you happy, go for it, if you are a man that wants to wear concealer to hide acne, do not think twice. People need to start putting themselves first when it comes to what they wear and how they look, and gender should not play a role.