By Nicholas Biria
Gender roles play a big part in our lives every day. From the moment we wake up and get dressed for the day to how we live our lives. Now, in 2016, a lot of things have changed.
I was told when I was younger that it was wrong for a boy to wear make up or wear women’s clothing. People would immediately judge a person or be harsh and fire rude comments at the individual. I felt that I had to be as masculine as possible to be the perfect and socially acceptable boy.
As I grew older I changed immensely from the way I dressed, the music I listened to, and being who I really am. I would have to wear a uniform in elementary school which included slacks and a tie. In middle school I tried my best not to stand out, and be very conservative. I had the ability to dress how I wanted and decided that the typical skater look was my go to style. I left that in the past when I approached high school and changed a bit. I would be very preppy and that meant masculine, typical boy clothes. Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister were the hubs of my fashion sense.
It wasn’t until college that I could feel normal and be who I really am. Who I really am is a boy who sometimes wears make up and wears clothes that stand out a bit. I like couture and I like being feminine. We should not even call it, “feminine.” I hate that word so much, there is no too feminine or masculine. This is who I am and who many others are.
We live in world now wear it is socially acceptable to see men wearing make up and doing make up tutorials online and on Instagram. M.A.C. Cosmetics even states on their website that, “our make up is to be worn by men and women everywhere, all sexes.” Sure, I sometimes get looks from people that are a little confused and disgruntled. But it takes a lot of bravery to be who I really am as well as it is for many others.
I work in a store and I always see people come in and immediately scurry to find which side is men’s and which is women’s. Frankly, it does not matter. Clothing knows no gender and we should wear what we want to wear. I helped a young man once in the store who wanted a sweater and he did not question the fact that it was a women’s sweater. He wanted it, and that is all that mattered.
As for gender roles, again, it is 2016. We can do whatever or be whoever we want. Gender neutral products are constantly coming into the market. This spring, Caitlyn Jenner is releasing her own line of M.A.C. Cosmetics – for all sexes, of course – and all proceeds from the line go to helping the transgender community. Many people commented on her post announcing the April 7th release and said things like, “I’m never buying anything from M.A.C. ever again, this is disgusting, and she is 100 percent fake.” There were many positive comments as well and I can see this being one of their most successful products yet.
It is all about being yourself, 100 percent of the time. Despite what people might say, remember there are so many other people like you out there and going through the same things. But remember you are authentic and no one can judge you for that.