Open up a recent issue of Vogue, of Vanity Fair, of Glamour, and there will most probably be models with short clipped hair, little makeup, and unisex clothing posing for the top brands such as Chanel or Gucci.
In this new age of LGBTQ+ movements and awareness and overall acceptance, it seems fitting that large industries such as fashion would make statements with the face value of their brands, and with the literal faces of their models, in attempts to erase gender boundaries.
With that said, the fashion and modeling industry is known for going after certain "looks" to brand with, and as of right now, that look is androgynous. According to New York Fashion Week correspondent Mary O'Hara, "the market for androgynous and genderqueer models are expanding." However, despite the look, most of these models are in fact identifying as LGBTQ+, and this new "look" for fashion is expanding into a movement to advocate for their rights.
Take famous androgynous model Erika Linder who was featured in Katy Perry's "Unconditionally" music video seen here:
She is blowing up not only the fashion industry but also the internet with her masculine looks and sharp features, yet when asked how she perceives herself in this industry when she models mostly men's fashion, she replied she does it so, "they [fans] can get inspiration from it," as she admits she knows she is seen as a "gender-bending icon" to fans who identify as queer like her. In doing so, she is breaking boundaries for herself and paving the way for others like her to follow suit.
Not only fashion but in Hollywood as well, more and more actors and actresses are being sought for androgyny and ability to play either the masculine or feminine roles and capturing the attention of both genders, like, for instance, actor and model Ruby Rose, who is best known for her role on Orange is the New Black as well as her short film "Break Free" which depicts escape of gender roles, linked below.
However, being an androgynous model isn't always as easy as it seems. Model and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights Rain Dove states that she is in the industry to be help others like her and be a gender capitalist, because she "gets oppressed based on my genitals, based on my physical looks, based on my socioeconomic status, and I don't have time to wait in line because it's what I am supposed to do based on my genitals or my age...you are just getting in the way of all I have to offer."
Full Interview with Rain Dove Here:
In all, this movement towards androgyny is not only changing the face of fashion, but creating a new awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community, and finally creating more of an acceptance in dissolving gender boundaries and gender roles in society today.