The fashion industry is changing constantly. New styles are being incorporated into old styles. Many ideas are passed down as others are removed or altered. Others are tested. The latest idea that is being tested are the expectations for genders, particularly in models. Over the years more and more models have expressed their own personal styles and beliefs. Photographers and designers have also begun to work with this and amplify it. But what’s changed?
We all have a general idea of what is masculine and what is feminine, in a more commonly known sense. For a woman its slender and thin. Long legs and an elegant posture; curves and smooth, clear skin. For a male it’s tall, built and active. The reason for these specific ideas of each gender can be traced back in history. Men have usually been seen as the more physically active gender while women have been seen as more elegant and nurturing.
In today’s fashion industry, these ideas are becoming known as the old way of thinking. We have begun to see successful men, who aren’t as muscular and men who cross-dress. Cross-dressing has become very popular in the last few years. Directors have begun to give male models the same treatment as female models. One prime example is in cycle 20 of America’s Next Top Model. Just like the ladies, the guys have to wear colorful, heavy-handed makeup. They even wore acrylic press-on nails in one shoot. All of these things have also tied into for acceptance toward sexuality. More and more male models are coming out and expressing their pride. This, without a doubt, has taken fashion to a stronger and more interesting level. This new boldness has tested social norms and has made a strong statement. It is becoming less unusual to see men wearing makeup or more “feminine” clothing.
The idea for female models has changed too. There is more diversity physically, racially and in many other ways. Different styles are more accepted, such as pin-up models. Women having tattoos has become more acceptable, and has become its own genre in the modeling industry. There has also been an increase in plus-size models. Though it is still encouraged, women are no longer pressured to have the perfect hourglass figure. Now in days, it is more common to encourage women to love their figures, unique as they are. One major change that has been repeated is women taking on the role of men. In fashion, short hair has become a trend. Along with other modifications, female models have acted out the idea that women can be just as successful, strong and independent as men. This is quite an admirable message, in my opinion.
Going back to the idea of unique, modeling has become more diverse, racially. In the past, models were known to be predominately Caucasian, and now just about anyone can be a model. Comparing the early 1900s to this decade is quite amazing when you see how far we’ve come as far as acceptance.
Going more in depth with the changes in fashion photography,