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It’s only been a week to the beginning of the year 2016 and it has surely has made some headlines in the fashion industry !!
When I first read that Jaden Smith was appointed as the face of one of a women’s wear campaign by the world’s leading luxurious brands, I scrolled down the post again to regain surety. The first thought which came to my mind was that it was another way to promoting gender equality. But it was only when I saw my brother wearing a pink shirt for work, it made me think deeper about the issue of associating clothes with gender and more so with colours!
How much ever one tries to be free from the stereotypes and the biases, achieving complete success is not possible. It’s human nature to be value-laden; occupied with certain preconceived notions.
I am a true supporter of gender equality, or rather, equality for all. And trust me, living in a family dominated by three men, all of whom are older to me, I know what equality I am talking about. Now, seeing my brother wear a pink shirt doesn’t seem odd to me. Earlier, I was too a little less acceptable of seeing a man go pink with his wardrobe but this is the preconceived notion I was talking about!
Meanwhile, explaining the reason for appointing Smith, Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière remarked that “He represents a generation that has assimilated the codes of true freedom, one that is free of manifestos and questions about gender.”
Some see it as another step towards achieving gender equality and some think of it as just another publicity stunt by the brand. For others, it is an insult to the transgender community which something I cannot come to gather.
Nowadays, articulating opinions is just a click away. (All hail the social media!!!) People have a voice and they will use it no matter what. What I feel is that in order to achieve something, we must first abide it ourselves after truly believing in it.
As much as liberal or progressive the move may seem, one cannot ignore the gender stereotypes that are deep-rooted in something as basic and necessary as a piece of clothing. The fact that gender is a social construct is true. Further it is legitimised through certain ‘expected’ behavioural patterns, code of conduct and clothing. Trousers and skirts and dresses demarcate a man and a woman. It’s a norm.
How I wish it was that simple!
Let’s face it. Our culture still doesn’t embrace men having long hair. (Ask your dad for further enlightenment.) Not to forget how some people still refer to a girl having short hair to be categorised as a ‘boy cut’!!
Think of the way people stare at a transgender person, when they’re clad in beautiful sarees and make-up. So imagine how many of us are “okay” with men wearing skirts or applying make-up for that matter ? Would you be okay as a female if your boyfriend or husband wants to apply lipstick? (P.S. I’m eagerly waiting for the release of “The Danish Girl”.)
It’s great that well-known faces like actors are showing their support for this cause. But its efficacy and success lies in the extent of change it can bring to the stereotypical attitudes. The attitudes we possess towards gender and its multifarious manifestations.
One should not be ashamed of their beliefs, values and attitudes. We are born in a culture that imposes certain beliefs upon us. But clearly, there are a few which are illogical and irrational. It is those who are able to overcome and defy those who can make a considerable change.
And I wish everyone including me can shed this attitude real soon
( PS: Jaden Smith is totally rocking this look. )
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