In the past few years, I’ve seen something I used to be extremely insecure about become bigger and more accepted: androgyny. I have always struggled with the concept of being feminine, as dressing or acting a certain way just to seem more appealing to people I didn’t really want to impress seemed redundant in every way. But recently, typical gender roles in fashion have become looser and less forced—whether it be makeup, hairstyles, or clothing, people of any gender are welcome to enjoy the many shades of androgyny. Previously, femininity and masculinity have been seen as two sides of the same coin, but our generation has proven that there weren’t even sides to begin with.
I asked the three subjects of this series why they believed the idea of androgyny resonated with them and how they express it in their day-to-day lives.
Devin Crockett was the first person I asked when it came to her perspective on modern androgyny. “I mostly try to express androgyny and androgynous tendencies by outwardly looking that way through neutral clothing or lack of makeup or body hair that is just plainly in full effect. ‘Outwardly’ is key because we are so wired to associate certain clothing or colors with certain ideas,” She told me. “Androgyny means more than indeterminate sexual appearance or description. It means inclusion and comfort that is not specific to a label decided by people of the past—which means it’s up to us to redefine and accept androgyny together, and inform those who are unaware or curious as to what it really is.”
Jonathan Estrada, someone whose style and confidence I have always admired, was next. “I feel like I express androgyny by feeling most confident in either male or female clothing. I frequently wear and feel comfortable in female clothing, but I still feel masculine while I wear it—just because I wear typically female clothing doesn’t always mean that I’m just a feminine boy,” he explained. “Most of the time, I feel more masculine than feminine, whether I’m wearing female or male clothing. I love being able to express both of those sides in fashion, so whatever I’m feeling at the time, I’ll definitely show it.”
The last person I talked to about the weight of separateness in androgyny was Tammy Nguyen. “In regards to fashion, I allow self-expression and individuality to overcome labels and what is considered to be conventionally appropriate. There shouldn’t be any rights or wrongs, as long as it feels right to you,” she remarked. “It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin—I don’t think there should be any barriers or labels that restrict people from being the most authentic form of themselves. Wear what you want, do your thing, and have fun with it; that’s the whole point of fashion to begin with.”
Models: Tammy Nguyen, Jonathan Estrada, Devin Crockett
Additional Makeup/Styling Assistance: Annalisa Martin