The issue of gender and fashion has made a long way into our society, in the 21st century, still being wholly unequal. And yet the world doesn’t make
The issue of gender and fashion has made a long way into our society, in the 21st century, still being wholly unequal. And yet the world doesn’t make as many differences. The universe has proved to be a place where the concepts of gender and fashion are flexible by nature. Dresses are used as a communication tool to convey information, such as one’s gender or status. It can also carry some stereotypes according to culture, religion, or society.
“Gender-Neutral Fashion Does Not Start and End With the Masculine For Me” – By Rae Spoon
When we talk about historical aspects with gender stereotypes in fashion, it depicts that it was the starting of the destruction of stereotypes. From the 1920s era, women started wearing pants in sports activities such as horse riding and cycling. Elisabeth Hames continuously questioned the pants in 1939, and by Richard Curle in 1949. However, when women decided to dress like men, they were given the tag of ‘sour spinsters.’ Until the Second World War, it was accepted for women to dress in pants and get rid of their corsets. In the 1960’s era of gender politics, fashion responded to feminists and gay rights. The Disco era of David Bowie and YSL’s ‘Le Smoking collection’ was popular in the struggle against gender discrimination.
Gender and Fashion in Fashion Industry
Men in the fashion industry are known as independent, creative, and rational. In contrast, women are described as quiet, calm, diminutive, or unable to commit to the fashion industry because of their family restrictions or responsibilities. Women designers also are often described to appeal to the everyday consumer. Words such as “comfortable” are also used for them. But men are described as significant artists, such as the “soul of a poet” (Alber Elbaz).
This stereotype in the fashion industry is very unfair for women of color. Fashion designers who are women of color design street clothes and hip-hop styles; when they don’t do that, it is assumed that people don’t understand it.
The existence of the gender concept in the fashion industry and the context of discrimination has been created in the past by social structure, power relations, and sociological reasons. Still, especially nowadays, it has become a situation that is removed again. Fashion plays an integral part in society about the deconstruction of gender stereotypes. Also, the role of fashion is making visible some situations about gender and deconstructing norms about gender distinction. However, today’s fashion icons are not into feminizing men or emasculating women. Fashion wants to eliminate those labels. It means fashion wants to deconstruct gender stereotypes in the context of wearing styles. It also means that fashion aims to obscure the masculine/feminine divide because of the thought which argues that clothes have no gender.
When we look at social conventions with perspective, it is clear that the primary role of clothes is to cover our genital organs. Even if you have a strong exhibitionist tendency, you still have to get dressed to go out anywhere. It is often socially agreed upon that, no matter how less our clothing is, our clothes are what most differentiates us physically. It mainly shows our personality.
Fashion is evolving so that, while it disassembles the sex, it promotes gender. If you are a woman, an outfit that suits you will highlight your figure, slimming your waist, emphasizing your curves. However, if you are a man, the outfit will make you seem tall or make your shoulders appear broad and stout. However, fashion has drawn up to well-differentiated ideal silhouettes. It is where the conflict comes in; when, after years of evolution, the social responsibility of men and women start to blur, without fashion following it.
Unisex Approach of Gender and Fashion
The unisex approach taken by the market, paired with the democratic human right consensus, plays a critical role in removing gender discrimination in fashion. Since we belong to the postmodern era, we need to appreciate new concepts, approaches, and terms such as gender-free, mixed-gender, and gender fluid clothing. Fashion revolutionaries aim to blur the distinction and contribute to the elimination of feminizing men or emasculating women. It has led to gender fluidity in runway through high street brands. The emergence of genderless collections of clothes and accessories is a gradual distortion in the everlasting line of traditionally gendered clothing. In this way, we understand that fashion revolutionaries play an important role in elucidating the democratic human rights of transgenders by following the fashion of there own choice without any distinction.
Historically, fashion and gender have not always been fixed and have enjoyed some latitude. Researching fashion and gender from a historically stimulates awareness of the shifts related to appropriate dress for males and females. For example, the expectation of pink is for baby girls, and pink for baby boys has not always been the case. Kregloh and Paoletti (1989) talked about how the color “rule” in 1918. It stated that was pink was for a boy and blue for the girl. Pink was interpreted as a more decisive and more assertive color and blue as more dainty and delicate.
In the ’90s, women were not allowed to wear jeans because it was “too masculine.” Now it is unacceptable for men to wear “women’s” clothing. However, it has finally become the norm for women to wear pants or skirts. I this way, the fashion industry will change enough to become the norm for men to do the same in the future. When it comes to fashion, people often become very sexist. Some of it is accidental because the patriarchy is so ingrained in our system that it’s hard to go lose the thread. The most effective way to fix this is to talk about it. Also, by making sure that people understand the problem, and then we would undoubtedly achieve an equal and brighter future for men and women.
Reference Source https://medium.com/
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