By Edwin Contreras
When you enter a clothing store, the men’s section and the women’s section are separated. The gender norms of this generation suggest that a man should be wearing men’s clothing and a woman should be wearing women’s clothing. A fashion designer creates clothes for each of the sexes, male and female. Nowadays many brands and designers are making genderless clothing. As a result, the way we dress is now becoming homogenous. The cause for this is that the youth is making a new wave by disregarding gender norms.
At a glance, it may seem like a new trend, but we are now merely becoming more flexible when it comes to gender fluidity. This is not a new wave. Eccentric artists from the 70s such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. and 80’s icons like Michael Jackson and Prince disregarded gender binary lines. Now, artists of this generation are doing the same: Kanye West, Young Thug and Jaden Smith have started to blur the lines when it comes to men’s and women’s fashion.
Rising style star Jaden Smith sat down with GQ Style for its March issue and shared his take by saying, “I feel like people are kind of confused about gender norms. I feel like people don’t really get it. I’m not saying that I get it, I’m just saying that I’ve never seen any distinction. I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes, I just see scared people and comfortable people.”
Recently, Jaden Smith appeared wearing a skirt with female models in an ad campaign for Louis Vuitton Womenswear 2016. Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicholas Ghesquiere explains why he wanted Jaden Smith in his new campaign by saying, “He represents a generation that has assimilated the codes of true freedom, one that is free of manifestos and questions about gender. Wearing a skirt comes as naturally to him as it would to a woman who, long ago, granted herself permission to wear a man’s trench or a tuxedo. Jaden Smith conveys something very interesting about the integration of a global wardrobe. He’s found an instinctive balance that makes his extraordinary attitude a new norm. That really inspired me in the creative process for this collection.”
If a man is wearing women’s clothing he might be subjected to being called homophobic slurs. Especially in the hip hop world where masculinity is the norm but now more than ever times are changing. During his joint Watch the Throne tour with Jay Z, Kanye West wore a Givenchy leather kilt, a man’s skirt, while performing in Chicago. He defended himself by saying that, “There are warriors that have killed people in kilts in the past. Who gets to decide what’s hard and what’s not hard?” He then penned an essay for Paper Magazine writing, “When I saw [the] kilt, I liked it. I was into it. “It looked fresh to me. I felt creative; I didn’t feel limited by some perception.”
The type of clothing you wear should not determine your sexuality. Prince was outstanding when dealing with people who disagreed with his stance on the issue. In a song explains that he is not a man nor a woman but something no one will understand. To wear clothes that are considered feminine in a society that still needs to learn about gender fluidity is hard for people like David Bowie and Jaden Smith, who were willing to be crucified.
Sexuality and style are two different things and it is an individual’s choice to let them interact. Clothing should not be considered masculine or feminine: nothing is meant for someone, just because you are born a certain gender doesn’t mean you have to dress a certain way. People should be more open-minded about the changes going on in the world and realize that we live in a diverse society.