Gender stereotyping, by definition, is the generalisation of attributes, differences and roles onto each gender. This can range from the belief that make-up is specifically reserved for women, to the idea ‘dirty’ and ‘dangerous’ jobs are ‘jobs for a man’. Despite these messages unfortunately still being prevalent in our society, change is occurring. We can see an increase in the number of people challenging these norms, most notably celebrities. What better use their fame and ability to deliver messages to a wide audience than to promote the act of breaking these rigid gender ‘norms’?
After a steady rise to fame via YouTube since 2012, the Australian singer-songwriter has brought about a lot of change in breaking gender norms and consoling fans and those alike that it is okay to express yourself as whoever or whatever you wish to. Since openly coming out to the world in 2013, it is clear Sivan has felt more and more at ease with himself and free to model himself as he pleases.
Although a commonly broken norm, Troye partnered with Vevo Lift late last year to create a video where he gets his nails painted. Small acts such as this can make a world of difference to someone who is perhaps unsure if they can do such a thing typically deemed ‘feminine’.
Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood trilogy is also another iconic reminder of real issues going on in the world and displays an important message; be kind to everyone and remember love is love. Watch the videos here.
The American actor is probably recognised to most from his role in the 2012 film ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ where he played Patrick – and out-and-proud high school student. Speaking exclusively to ‘Out’ magazine, Miller said:
I’m queer. I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular. I’ve been trying to figure out relationships, you know?
The way Ezra presents himself, however, is perhaps a turning point for the destruction of rigid gender boundaries and bound to inspire many. The mix of ‘male’ and ‘female’ traits is something he is known for; red lipstick and a dainty hairclip contrasting with a strong jawline and dark facial hair. This way of expression highlights how you can convey yourself in whatever way you feel right, and you shouldn’t suppress any parts of your personality – love yourself and embrace it.
Prior to, and since the huge buzz surrounding her in mid-2014, Ruby Rose has given the world a strong figure to admire in terms of breaking gender stereotypes. The release of her iconic ‘Break Free’ video depicted, from her point of view, what it’s like for her to have an ‘identity that deviates from the status quo’.
In the video Ruby shows her transformation from a made-up woman with long hair, dressed in formal clothing to an equally beautiful man, with short hair, tattoos and a suit. The video was met with amazing feedback from a whole variety of people, despite what they identify as, and has accumulated over 20 million views on YouTube. Rose describes herself as gender-fluid, which is a gender which varies over time. She said in an interview that she wakes up ‘every day sort of gender neutral’, therefore deciding each day how she would like to portray herself. The positive response to her from people all over the world undoubtedly helps people who are having their own gender crisis’ to hopefully come to terms with themselves and love who they are.
Once a stereotypical ‘indie rock’ band, The 1975 have now changed to the so-called ‘pink era’, with the release of their new album. Not only has the genre of music been altered, but so has the band’s style. Previously, the band dressed to fit with the ‘black era’ – dark clothes and simple haircuts. Since the shift, however, through the wearing of make-up and a different style of garment, Healy has been able to express himself in a way he was unable to prior. In one interview, Matty said:
“For me when it comes to makeup, it’s just like another accessory, just a different way of getting dressed. Sometimes I like to dress like
a girl, sometimes I like to dress like a boy, it kind of is just as simple as that.”
Even though he doesn’t consider putting ‘a bit of lipstick on’ an act worthy of being granted the title as an advocate of breaking gender norms, his simplicity of address and carefree attitude is bound to console others who are more hesitant on expressing themselves in such a way.
The English comedian, writer and actor is also well renowned for the way he overlooks gender norms. Izzard is not gay, and has had female partners, but he also identifies as transgender. During a BBC TV show, Eddie went to get to get a manicure, stating he ‘has boy traits and girl traits’. He went on to say that it doesn’t matter what you identify as – what matters is what you do in life and what you add to the human existence. As long as you are happy and at peace with yourself, your sexuality doesn’t matter.
His attitude is one everyone should adopt – men can do ‘feminine’ things and women can do ‘masculine’ things. Hopefully, he will help people realise that it is perfectly ‘normal’ to do anything that makes you feel good or happy, and if people have a problem with that, they are the issue, not you.
What other celebs do you think have notably fought back against gender stereotypes. Let us know over on our twitter @CelebMix.