Androgyny in a fair world | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:04 AM, August 08, 2017

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Androgyny in a fair world

‘Queer', 'Gender Queer'; 'Between Genders' — words all too familiar? Sadly, they are. These derogatory terms exist in our social lexicon as many of us are still tied up in mind boxes, unable to think beyond the square, incapable of relating to non-conformity or anything that goes beyond the traditional route to life.

So what is 'androgyny'? Is it a fancy term to highlight homosexuality or the lifestyle of a transgender? Simply put, it just refers to the coexistence of masculine and feminine characteristics. While, experts define humans as being either feminine (expressive) or masculine (instrumental), some individuals evolve beyond the strict demarcations to become a perfect blend of both. These people are able to properly balance their livelihoods and rise above any sort of gender role orientations. 

As for the fashion aspect, the androgynous look became all the rage in the mid '60s and early '70s when the hippie movement gained popularity. Celebrities like David Bowie, Prince and Michael Jackson challenged the norms wearing jewellery, makeup and long hair, and their fans followed suit.

As distant as the '60s may seem to us, the roots of androgyny as a fashion statement are far older. In the early 20th century, female spies were introduced to a certain uniform that was considered totally as men's wear during that time – welcome, trousers and shirts for the women!

After the World Wars, gender roles became further blurred, encouraging statement fashion brands like Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret to formally introduce trousers for women and a chic bob haircut to go with it!

Amongst all of these advancements, men were slightly falling behind. They did manage to catch up quickly thanks to Elvis Presley — the father of modern Rock and Roll. His unique eye makeup particularly caught everyone's attention and not much later did Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix and John Travolta also promote other androgynous style statements. 

So, does it mean androgyny is a rather new concept made by the modern man to feed into his constant desire to revolt against any sort of forced conformity? 

Not at all! Experts believe that this concept was prevalent since the beginning of time. Androgyny is quite popular even in Greek mythology where Hermaphroditus and Salmacis combined to become one single immortal. 

Surprisingly another popular area for androgyny is the world of astronomy, where 'Androgyn' is the name given to planets that are alternatively warm and cold.

Our very point in writing this article is to elaborate that everyone has a choice to live their life as they wish; as long as it does not hurt humanity.

So if anyone ever told you again that 'girls could not do a certain job' or that 'boys couldn't cry' broaden their horizon by introducing them to the androgynous way of thinking, for once.

By Mehrin Mubdi Cowdhury

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Model: Anika, Saiqa

Hairstyle and Make-up: Sabikun Nahar

Owner and Lead Hairstylist, Hairbar, Bangladesh

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