In a recent Instagram photo, Jaden Smith is once again embracing gender fluidity by sporting a flower in his hair and a black skirt. This is not new for the young actor/model; Smith has been sporting dresses and skirts for months now, and even started rocking items in the womenswear department for Louis Vuitton. The photo was published last Monday, and individuals are continuing to recognize Smith for breaking down traditional gender stereotypes. (He’s been sporting all sorts of trendy outfit choices lately.) In the picture, Smith is photographed with his nails painted, a flower, a skirt, and toned abs. Both masculine and feminine stereotypes come together in this picture, supporting the idea that a person can play with both identities at the same time. While the picture has received a lot of attention, feedback has been mixed.
As of writing time, the picture has 97.3k likes, and 5,755 comments. Many Instagrammers are applauding Smith’s fashion choices, but there are also several instances of harsh name-calling. One person even labels Smith as being “disgrace to his father.” But it doesn’t seem like Smith allows the critics to ruin his vibe. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s doing it with pride. In May 2015, Smith famously wore a dress to prom with Hunger Games actress Amandla Steinberg, and the internet couldn’t stop talking about it. Smith and his younger sister, Willow, also publicly criticized gender roles in an interview on GulfNews TV last August. – See more at: http://www.yoganonymous.com/jaden-smith-continues-to-break-down-gender-roles#sthash.zml3nNRq.dpuf
“Nobody ever thinks, “Yo, who made all of these rules?” Jaden says in the interview. “Who was here and made all these rules? Because, I’m equally as smart as them, and I don’t necessarily agree with all the rules that they established before I came into the picture.” – See more at: http://www.yoganonymous.com/jaden-smith-continues-to-break-down-gender-roles#sthash.zml3nNRq.dpuf
“Smith’s message is clear; everyone should dress how he or she wants. He said the following in an interview with GQ: I’m just expressing how I feel inside, which is really no particular way because everyday it changes how I feel about the world and myself, but I like wearing super drapey things so I can feel as though I’m a superhero, but don’t have to necessarily wear superhero costumes everyday. The attention we give these stories also illustrates how much attention we give to the idea of whether or not something is “masculine” or “feminine.”
“We cannot deny that we live in a time and place that recognizes specific gender roles. If we find it so dramatic that Smith has chosen to wear a skirt and nail polish, then what does that about our society? Our notion of gender is as varied as the OPI selection at a nail salon. Many people’s connection to gender remains rooted in the binary constructs of “male” and “female.” If you aren’t one, you’re the other, and you can’t be both. But perhaps gender is more gray than black or white. Nicole Avallon, interim deputy of programs and policy at the LGBT Community Center in New York, says that the reality of gender is complicated”.
“Avallon states: “In our society, expressing your gender in a certain way―say, wearing pants and wearing your hair short ―is often associated with a certain line, being either closer to that box of ‘male’ or that box of ‘female.’ But if we’re seeing gender as a continuum, each person might place their location along this continuum slightly differently.” The goods news? The discussion is thriving more and more each day. By attempting to further understand the role of gender in our modern society, we are better able to tackle these roles, and express ourselves in whatever way we sit fit”.