I have a dream, that one day men could wear pink shirts, carry tote’s bag, wear short shorts and not be questioned on their sexuality. Women could rock some cargo pants and some black Nike Air force and a Tee with a bucket hat and not be subject to being called a tomboy.
But, before I go on with my Martin Luther inspired introduction, it is noteworthy that there are a few fashion items that are popularly stereotyped by individuals without their necessarily realizing that these pieces and in fact fashion as a whole is not gender-specific.
First of all, people need to realize that the fact that a male is carrying a tote bag, has a good pedicure or manicure, is wearing a pink shirt or even (gasps) a skirt, doesn’t make him any disgusting stereotype your close-minded brain can manufacture. On the contrary, he should be seen as a creative trying to define his personal style and most likely is making a statement to his peers and the world at large.
Its the same way with women. I mean, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “Oh why is she not on heels?”, “Where is her makeup?”, or “Look at that tomboy!” People need to understand that fashion is very subjective and can be versatile. So the fact that a woman wants to wear high waist jeans, slides and a cap with no makeup or even a two-piece suit with some comfy shoes doesn’t mean that her sexuality should be questioned.
Besides the fact that a person’s sexuality is non of your business, there’s also no prescribed generic uniform for various Sexualities.
Please, its the end of 2019 in 4 months (crazy I know), and this will not be condoned in 2020.
In lieu of this, Nigerian Fashion designers should also be inspired to make gender-neutral clothing to fortify the space for versatile individuals with unique fashion sentiments. For instance, more and more international brands like John Lewis who eliminated putting tags on their children’s wears, and H&M who launched a unisex denim clothing line are looking to develop various means of pushing gender equality/fluidity in the industry. To be clear H&M is still canceled for the “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoodie but they seem to be making amends by partnering with South African designer Palesa Mokunbung (Pretty cools stuff, you should check it out); so we are considering sha!
But the point is, Nigerian Fashion designers both upcoming/prominent should be willing and inspired to launch gender-neutral pieces to their collections.
If we understand that fashion is versatile and subjective then one day we could have an open-minded and a stereotype free Nigeria where creatives are celebrated rather than judged. Well, there it is beautiful people of the sun! Feel free to tell me what you think in the comment section below!