I have always enjoyed those that push the boundaries of stereotypes. Now, stereotypes exist because they are a quick easy way to identify people in a person’s environment. Though notice I didn’t say a kind way, as some stereotypes can border on cruel and many are only accurate to a small subset of people in specific categories. For example, the flamboyant gay man – this stereotype is used a lot in media but I don’t think it is as common in real life. (A gay man doesn’t have to act that way, but guess what? He can if it makes him feel good.)
Bending and breaking stereotypes is awesome. The great thing about living in this day and age is the freedom (in most places) to do, dress, be, live the way you want to. Yes, not all people understand and definitely not all people approve, but not letting those societal rules dictate your life choices is going to set a precedent to those that experience you – this is me, I don’t fit in any one box, and I am happy. Now we can be talking about any number of stereotypes, be they race, class, age, gender, you name it. But right now I’d like to talk a bit more about gender.
Not only do I love dressing both extremes – from dresses and mascara to boots and button-up shirts – but I love people who take what parts of the gender stereotypes work for them and make them their own, be it behavior, dress, hair, what have you. I completely believe in and support the spectrum and gray area between male and female, man and woman, as well as those that wish to transition across that gray area.
I really love androgyny, and on those occasions where I happen past a person whose gender is somewhere in that gray area it gives me a happy feeling. Here’s someone who has taken their identity by their own rules. And you know what? They are beautiful.
I find beauty across the spectrum. I love chiseled jaws and dainty noses and long curly hair and nicely trimmed beards. I love full curves and those smexy hip lines that some people have. I love butt dimples, and cleft chins, and eye freckles, and hairy legs.
I think beauty and humanity comes in all shapes and sizes and colors and forms. I think beauty shines in those that are comfortable in their skin, just as much as it glimmers in those that maybe aren’t quite as confident, like golden light beneath their skin, waiting to break out, like the beast turning back into a man (though of course he was great as a beast as well, don’t you think?)
And it’s completely normal for a man to cry and a woman to be tough and for a boy to play with dolls and for a girl to wear gym shorts. It’s totally awesome for a mom to work full time while the dad’s home with the kids, for a man to do the dishes and a woman to break out the power tools. There’s no reason why gender should play any part in any of this, and I don’t really know why it ever did once we started having indoor plumbing and a supermarket down the street. Again, that’s why there’s a lot of great things about living in today’s age.
And for those that make it not so great, for those that perpetuate intolerance? It’s hard to say that we can change their minds, because I don’t think it’s always practical. But we can move on without them, as we continue forward to be one people, with acceptance and support and love, teaching our children that respect and understanding and empathy trumps prejudice and ignorance. That the differences between us, be they gender or race or creed or profession or what have you, are all beautiful and enrich our lives.
Well this went on a bit of a tangent. Be who you are, and be it proud. Thanks for reading.