Sunday, April 20, 2014

Masculinities in Fashion

As much as fashion likes to position itself as progressive and a source for cutting-edge culture, it is unfortunately often a place of where the status quo and damaging cultural images are prone to be regurgitated. Depictions of women as lifeless objects, sexualizing minors, the overwhelming whiteness of the industry, and the appropriation culture-bound patterns are all just some of the major problems that have continued to pop up in the industry in recent years. 

Depictions of gender are frequently exaggerated or straight-up problematic, and I found this editorial interesting in both its simultaneous subversion and reinforcement of different aspects of masculinity.

Men’s Joker - le artiste capillaire (<-- click for more pictures)
Models: Jin Dachuan,  Rock Ji
Photographer: Jumbo Tsui

Asian men are frequently feminized in their depictions, or sexualized, or portrayed as somehow uncivilized or Other in a similar way that other people of color are often portrayed in fashion and other visual media. Here the men are seen in fine tailored suits with gold adornments, and partaking in conventionally masculine rituals such as shaving and smoking cigars. While partaking in what some might consider a feminine, vain pursuit - hair styling and general grooming - and having elements of traditional masculinity such as the aforementioned smoking and shaving in addition to the appearance of scars one of the men's face - this editorial simultaneously bucks some of the common trends in depictions of men of color in fashion and general print work.

No comments: