Gender Stereotypes: Preconceived ideas whereby females and males are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles determined and limited by their gender.
In simple words, gender stereotyping is the barrier that divides men and women on the grounds of some simple traditional factors. The meaning in itself is a collage of besetting notions that has held the society back from re-framing itself for what seems like quite some time.
Now that the society has set on the voyage of rediscovering and rebuilding itself, it calls for the abolition of such terms and moving on with the new visions and paths that are adorning it. It is funny that even though we label ourselves as ‘modern’, we still hold on to such ideas that are pulling us back from achieving our true potential.
The Effect of Society
Society plays a major role in influencing one’s character, one’s state of being and most importantly one’s beliefs. From a very tender age we are instructed as to what to do and what not to do according to our genders.
No one will tell a boy to play with dolls and similarly no one will ask a girl to play with action figures. Why? Well, because the things that you grow up playing with shapes and categorize you as masculine and feminine, at least that’s how the society thinks things work.
Men must always be the epitome of strength and power guiding and protecting women, while women are always expected to cut a figure of calmness and gratefulness all under the shadow of the dominating men. Certain factors like these restrict both the genders from portraying who they really are and given the chance what they really can be.
Some people who seemingly belong from the conservative section of the society attain a certain dominating nature that undermines the modernism of the current generation. The saying ‘Change is the only Constant’ is perhaps not applicable for everyone!
How The Media Affects This
Oh, and did I mention that such conservative minded people are especially present all over the social media, ready to call on anyone who doesn’t fit in their vision of an idealistic society? Sometimes they can turn out to be scary, scarier than usual but believing in what you believe matters the most.
Generally change is much harder to accept and in case of people who have grown up accustomed to the kind of way society was designed earlier, find it more difficult. Amidst these alterations, media can act both as the harbinger of doom as well as of change and acceptance.
The One With Harry Styles
As of now, the best example that can be provided to weigh in the current situation is Harry Styles’s Vogue cover. Yes, the world of the gender conformists took a huge turn when Styles debuted in the Vogue cover, alone (making history!) and wearing a Gucci ballgown (also making history!!), which had black lace trimmings, and the look was topped off with a black tuxedo jacket, as fashioned by the creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele.
The photo shoot also included pictures that ranged from Harry wearing just a skirt, a kilt, a Victorian crinoline and a lone trench coat among all the other things that he wore that day. Several gender conformists have called him out for breaking the gender binary.
Much to the bewilderment of some, the mass actually questioned Styles’s gender. Weird, isn’t it?
Well, that’s social media magic. If someone’s gender is defined by the clothes that they wear then I’m bound to say that every girl must question their own gender for they all have worn men’s attire ones in a while or maybe every day?
If a celebrity like Harry Styles had to face all the absurd comments then we can very well imagine the heinous reactions the common people have to go through to break this fashion barrier which remains as one of the most controversial gender stereotypical topic up till now. Fashion completely one’s own place of choice, and it is not to be interfered by anyone else.
It is time to break ourselves free from the shackles of the society that holds us down from recognizing who we really are. Things are changing, times are changing, people are changing then why must the mind sit still?
We pay an ode to Styles’s bravery, courage and choice.