I’ve been thinking a lot about identity and individuality lately. It ended up influencing a brief I produced regarding gender-neutral fragrances and I believe it’s an important topic to talk about. I started to think about the restraints our industry creates, with Mens Fashion Week separate to Women, labelled departments and stereotypes related to products, being just a few examples. However, I then saw these being portrayed in other industries. Nurses and midwives are still most typically seen as being feminine roles, whilst entertainment such as football involves mens teams being televised more than women. Is this a problem or is it something we accept and continue to ignore?
When speaking to peers about it, they definitely agree that there’s a problem surrounding the topic. Starting off with the fashion industry, gender is such a talked about topic but much doesn’t seem to be put into action. The fact that we still have the labels, I think is an issue. We can have categorised departments due to the anatomy of a female differing from a male, but surely this doesn’t need to be clearly stated by a ‘LADIES’ label. It can make it harder for people struggling to define themselves or the non-binary community who may need to shop in a particular department, due to their biology- but the label may not reflect their personal choice.
I definitely understand that it’s a topic that comes with its pros and cons, but what about other jobs? When we think of the World Cup or of a famous footballer, it comes down to the likes of Beckham- a man. In fact, whilst flicking through Sky Sports, the focus still remains on Mens golf, cricket or rugby. This is where I think events such as Wimbledon are definitely a step ahead. Having mixed doubles and Serena Williams televised just as much as Andy Murray is reassuring, to say the least. It doesn’t necessarily always make sense which I do understand but why can’t a female compete against a man if they are athletically capable to do so?
In all of this I think it is most crucial to remember to do you. Whether that’s wearing something or being something. You are the one who needs to make yourself happy and regardless of what that involves, we shouldn’t let society hinder our beliefs and perceptions. I do think we’re slowly moving forward, but we have much further to go.