I came across an article on www.bust.com (an awesome, grrl-centric website) about model Erika Linder and her gender bending photographs for Crocker by JC Jeans Company (check out the photos here). Not only is she stunning as a woman, but Linder looks just as striking as a man. It’s incredible. And it’s truly refreshing.
Granted, there’s still a huge lack of diversity in the world of modeling/advertising/etc. and a lack of progressive models (LGBT for example), but this is SO a step in the right direction. Androgyny is amazing, and it’s something I’m eager to embrace. As you may or may not know, I recently cut my hair pretty short – and plan on cutting it shorter. At first, the thought of having hair that wouldn't even go into a teeny tiny ponytail scared me. I’ve mentioned before how much I depended on my hair extensions to feel sexy and feminine - I'd always associated beauty with long hair.
Welp, I can honestly say my opinion has changed completely. I still think long hair is sexy, but I realize now that I was wrong to think short hair couldn’t be appealing and beautiful too. In fact, I’m sort of obsessed with androgyny right now and love the fact that I can embrace the boyish look (throw some baggy shorts and a baseball cap on me and I transform into a 14 year old boy). There’s something so liberating and blissful about letting go of insecurities and standard notions of beauty. I’ve come to realize - and appreciate - that beauty and sexiness are much more than the ideas I used to adhere to. And it goes without saying that beauty, sexiness, etc. are ultimately about faaaar more than your looks – it's about what’s on the inside. But that's a given (as cheesy as it sounds!). However, appearances do play a huge role in our society – we base so much of what we do, how we look, and what we pay to look a certain way on the general population’s opinion of “attractive.” So, I figure why the hell conform to one ridiculous notion of beauty when I can shake things up a bit instead?
Since cutting my hair I get the strangest – and coolest – kinds of reactions. I’ve met so many unique and interesting people since shearing off my locks of blonde hair – people are intrigued and interested in the statement I’m making – and that statement is simply that I’m being myself. I know it may sound silly to rave this much about a haircut, but seriously, it’s changed the way I look at beauty/myself/the world. Plus, it’s deeper than the sassy, cotton candy colored hair; it’s the confidence, happiness and uniqueness I’m exuding that makes a difference. I’m no longer concerned with fitting a typical mold of femininity or “hotness” – I want to illustrate that different is attractive, and that being YOU – whoever that may be – is what’s truly beautiful.
So dress and style yourself in a way that makes you happy - whether it's in purple skinny jeans, cozy sweat pants, oversized tee shirts and heels, makeup/no makeup, tutu's and Birkenstocks, jump suits or dress suits, WHATEVER. Just do you!
And, inspired by Erika Linder, I did a mini-photoshoot embracing my own brand of androgyny.