In both the fashion and real worlds, the thin line between male and female is slowly dissipating, making room for more inclusion. Say goodbye to the days of men’s wear and women’s wear because clothes made for all people are on the rise. The number of people who are embracing the idea of simply wearing what they feel looks good on them is increasing, and we are beginning to break free from the gender roles that society has forced on us.

Seeing guys in skirts and shirt-dress combos, as well as ladies in roomy pants and oversized coats will eventually no longer be seen as abnormal. This shift towards gender neutrality in fashion began in the high fashion world with top designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, who dressed his male runway models in skirts and corsets in the 90’s. Recently, young designers have also embraced the concept of Agender Apparel. Labels like Hood by Air, American Apparel, and Baja East are breaking barriers by making their models’ genders a mystery through unisex clothing or having the male and female models totally switch clothes in the middle of a fashion show.

What does the rise of gender-fluid clothing actually mean in the grand scheme of things? By renouncing gender roles, we begin to separate ourselves from binding standards that we no longer wish to abide by. This leads to greater personal freedom and autonomy, which leads to inner peace and the acceptance of one’s self and others. We are taking back our freedom to look the way we want to, be who we want to be, and do as we please without having to be constrained by someone else’s views of what is acceptable. It is time that we as a society come to the realization that there is no “norm”. Nothing in the universe is “regular” or “unvarying”. These terms do not exist without us creating definitions for them. We are the ones who create meaning for terms as such, and must therefore adjust our interpretation of these constricting ideals.

When we limit ourselves by strictly abiding by what is widely held as ordinary or standard, we limit our cognition, our abilities, and our competency to discover ourselves as unique and ever-changing individuals. The fashion world deviating from traditional gender guidelines is ultimately about changing the engrained notions about what is masculine and what is feminine. This revolution strives to offset broader diversity in general, not just in the fashion world.

All social constructs (social mechanisms, phenomenon, or categories created and developed through society, according to dictionary.com) lie on a spectrum. The world is not as black and white as we try to make it seem. There is a large and profound grey area in between that we must not ignore. The black and white false reality is extremely dangerous because it sets strict rules on who we should be, and when someone does not live up to those unrealistic standards, they begin to feel like something is wrong with them and that they do not belong. These negative feelings lead to negative actions, which lead to negative outcomes within our society.

Renouncing gender roles and idealistic criteria for how we should think, feel, and act is one step closer to having total power over ourselves. Not having to put up with unwritten regulations that dictate our behavior and appearance is deeply empowering. We are the creators of our own reality and the rules that we choose to be governed by. Therefore, we must build a world that is accepting, embraces the grey area, and encourages all people to be their authentic self. 

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