” A man who reads effeminate may well be consistently heterosexual, and another one might be gay. We can’t read sexuality off of gender.”
What constitutes femininity and masculinity? I find these terms unattractive due to the stigmas attached to each one. View of oneself is complex and can sometimes be overtaken by society’s pressures that arise when peer influence is involved. Femininity and masculinity are not limited to a specific gender or sexuality. At Elements of the Beautiful, we believe in the pursuit of beauty, but we do not believe in coloring within the lines of gender-specific beauty.
With this project, we decided to blur the lines of gender-specific beauty by applying what are stereotypically symbols of femininity to a traditional masculine form. The clash of these two realities is intended to cause you to ponder what each one really means. Our models, Kevin and RJ, have flowers meticulously arranged on a full face of makeup and the results are beautiful. They are both feminine and masculine in nature.
A man can simultaneously be the most masculine in a room but also enjoy traditional feminine beauty. But what does that really mean? You get to decide the answer to that question. We believe that societies’ decisions of what is masculine and what is feminine are extremely archaic and dated.
To further complicate things, we are faced with the issue of toxic masculinity and the challenges that are caused by this mindset. Little boys are shamed for being passive, and little girls are discouraged from being too assertive. But what if the little boys that were passive grew up to be sensitive and considerate advocates? And what if the little girls that were assertive grew up to be the women in leadership that we need?
Have you ever considered what your own definition of masculinity and femininity is or how you developed those definitions? The impact of these imposed roles is far-reaching and can stunt who we were intended to become. If we hold ourselves back or prevent the progression of others simply because of how we attempt to define our behaviors and appearances then we have stunted ourselves and have contributed to a society that is stagnant and closed-minded. Today we push against assigned gender roles and inequality that is led by gender stereotypes. Today we push to blur the lines and challenge societal standards.