Lifestyle Fashion and Beauty 04 Dec 2021 A lesson for Ayushma ...

A lesson for Ayushmann on gender-fluidity

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | TWINKLE GURNANI
Published Dec 4, 2021, 11:17 pm IST
Updated Dec 4, 2021, 11:46 pm IST
The actor drew flak for his caption ‘Gender Fluid’ with an Instagram post showing him on a magazine cover with kohl eyes & black nail paint
Ayushmann Khurana on the cover of a magazine (Photo credit: Instagram)
 Ayushmann Khurana on the cover of a magazine (Photo credit: Instagram)

Famous Hollywood celebrities like Cara Delevingne and Miley Cyrus identify themselves as gender fluid. But when Ayushmann Khurana shared his post, comments poured in from across the globe, ridiculing him for the careless usage of the phrase “gender fluid”. He also infuriated the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Many followers made it their mission to educate the actor on the right usage of the word. Others suggested alternative phrases the actor could’ve used to convey his point.

“You’re a cis het male, not gender fluid. Wearing a black nail paint and starring in a movie based on gay men, isn’t gender fluid. Do better [sic],”  a user wrote

 

Gender identity is just like any other identity —man, non-binary, etc. However, a gender fluid person may sometimes identify as agender, at other times, as a man or a woman or both. For the gender fluid, gender identity is dynamic and changes from time to time.

Personal anecdotes

People who identify themselves as gender-fluid, explain what it really means to identify and live as one

Love female accessories
"For a college play, I got dressed in a saree and a blouse. Though I didn’t feel anything the first time, I realised that something felt different. I once tried on my sister’s clothes and after that, such cross-dressing continued every opportunity I was alone. I felt like I’d found the long-suppressed inner girl within me. To maintain anonymity, I purchased a few things online, including a wig, female garments, makeup and a short dress. To keep these things hidden, I used to keep them in my office. I especially like the feel of satin saree on me, the smell of female perfume, lipstick, high heels. I want to have my wardrobe full of sarees, dresses and makeup. But 5% of the time, I feel like a male too."

 

Ayesha Patil (earlier called himself Ashwin), a digital marketer and an aspiring model from Pune

‘Some days, I feel like a male’

“For me, gender-fluidity means that while I am female-bodied, on some days I feel more masculine. Ever since I was a child, my family thought I should’ve been born as a boy. While I’m grateful to be a woman, I sometimes wonder what it’d be like to have male reproductive organs though I don’t plan to go for a transition. I think I’ve always known that I’m gender fluid since I was a child, but I never knew there was a term for it until a few years ago.”
Amanda Whitworth, a team Lead at a local movie theater, Olympia, Washington State.

 

My gender identity changes throughout the day

For me, gender fluidity is the fluctuation of masculine and feminine energies throughout the day, and sometimes it’s so strong that I even change my outward appearance to match it. So I put on a dress in the middle of the day if I want. I realized my gender fluidity, or at least that I was different in that way when I was 6 years old. I asked my dad if he can ask the doctors to change my body. It was an interesting conversation.
Ari Asteria, a Budtender from El Reno, Oklahoma

Gender fluidity and androgyny are different
Androgynous dressing refers to clothing and accessories that don’t conform to the typical ‘female or male’ gender norms, which is fast becoming fashion’s new stance internationally. It is mixed-gender clothing that actually can be quite advantageous to those who love experimenting and want to define their personal style without confining to traditional masculine and feminine binaries, enjoy twice as many options, creatively express your fashion sense and encourage equality — so a man could wear nail paint or a woman wears a shirt/cardigan and pairs it with loose pants, as opposed to figure-hugging ones. We introduced androgynous beauty and styles in our global capsule collection launch over a year ago and it received rave reviews, with some looks being absolutely iconic and relevant even today.
Closer home, celebs like Ranveer Singh have experimented with this form of dressing without a care for raised eyebrows. In a society that’s predominantly revolved around strict definitions of masculinity and femininity, androgynous dressing is a fresh, progressive and positive update.”
Samir Srivastav, CEO, JCB Salon and Spa

 

‘Discovered myself through social media-led awareness’

To be a fluid gender is to be outside the box of binary genders that society imposes on us since the day we are born owing to our genitalia. Ridiculous, because genitalia doesn’t define gender — it’s just a part of our body. Being fluid gender is not a choice of how I’m going to feel today or tomorrow or a week from now. It’s unpredictable. Sometimes, I feel like a girl, sometimes like a boy and sometimes both or neither. I understood myself as a fluid gender when I was 18 years old, after connecting with people from the LGBTQIAP+ community, and talking to them and researching about transgender people.”

 

Brenda R, a model from Brazil

‘These terms are so confusing’

When I was growing up and coming to terms with my sexuality, these terms were not there. By using such terms and words, we’re getting more westernised in our approach. We’re trying to increase the misconception in the minds of the people rather than removing it. I have a very traditional mind-set. Imagine that a person like me, who’s been an activist for so many years, is also confused. I can’t understand them. Imagine the plight of others who belong to the LGBT community! First, it was LGBT, then it became LGBTQ, and then LGBTQI, and then LGBTQIA.... I always say that we’re from the sexual minority community or diversity, which includes all these letters. At the end of the day, whether you are gender fluid or non-binary, we all have the same issue and are faced with stigma and discrimination. So why increase the labels and try confusing the society?”

 

Manvendra Singh Gohil, an Indian and first openly gay prince in the world, son and probable heir of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat.

Metro-sexual and evolution of its fashion trends

Gone are the days when a man was considered macho or masculine only when he wore a body-fitting shirt that defined his ripped body and tight pants that accentuated his glutes.

Lately, several men have been adopting metro-sexual fashion trends, with men being qualified as macho even when flaunting a dress on the red-carpet with matching accessories and nail-paint to go. From David Beckham and Harry Style to our own closer home, Ranveer Singh, have been exploring their fashion preferences, challenging the stereotypical brackets of male and female fashion.

 

According to Wajahat Rather, the founder of clothing brand, Raffughar, quintessential metrosexual men are highly concerned with their wardrobe, hair and skincare routine, and fitness regimen. “In short, they’ve a softer side, at least in contrast to the traditional macho image many men aspire to have. He might be a regular at the salon, indulging in everything from massages to manicures without a second thought. He’s no stranger to designer names, frequents boutiques and greatly appreciates bettering himself in every way.”
Adding more information about metro-sexuality, Wajahat points out that though the term was coined in the early 1990s, it was not until the 2000s that metro-sexuality became a lifestyle for many men around the world. “Discussed enough in both the media and on the street today, in practicality the term was first used to describe the single man with a taste for shopping and one who was conscious about lifestyle,” he adds. “The metrosexual of the 1980s was only found in the fashion magazines, but the metrosexual of the ’90s was someone possibly found walking down the street. Then around early 2000s, metro-sexuality became recognised as a lifestyle with an English football icon catapulting on the media scene as a noteworthy metrosexual. The term, however, soon entered mainstream media and not soon after, major publications picked up on it. Suddenly, metrosexual men were everywhere.”

 

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