How the Fashion and Music Industry tackles Toxic Masculinity

How the Fashion and Music Industry tackles Toxic Masculinity

Colleen McMenamin, Staff Writer

Yung Thug shooting ¨Jeffery¨ album cover

Currently, feminine men’s fashion is trending for its unique and interesting style. Many high fashion brands are taking a more feminine approach to clothes that is not really seen often in men’s’ fashion. This style can be described as androgynous, which means not determining of gender, or both male and female in appearance. 

In 2016 Young Thug appeared on the front cover of his album “Jeffery” in a full length frilly blue gown. Immediately this sparked controversy and blatant homophobia towards the straight rapper. He had clearly touched on a very sensitive topic in men’s fashion. Most recently Harry Styles was on the December 2020 edition of Vogue, wearing a skirt on the front cover. This edition made history as he was the first solo man to be on the front cover.

Trailblazing this entire idea in fashion was David Bowie. In the 1970 album ¨The Man who sold the World” Bowie was pictured laying on a chaise lounge wearing a velvet dress. Obviously, this caused controversy, however, Bowie continued experimenting with style- wearing red eyeliner often and exaggerated theatrical outfits while almost anywhere he was seen. 

Influential male figures that fight against this fashion stigma can be seen as an inspiration to many young boys who struggle with the ‘rules’ of masculinity in American society. Toxic masculinity is cultural pressure for men to behave in a certain way. It’s almost certain that this affects all boys and men in some way since it is so prevalent in our society. Toxic masculinity is the idea of “manliness” being aggression, almost being emotionless, being strong, and even can go as far as homophobia. This notion creates an idea to many boys from a young age that it’s not okay to talk about their feelings or be ‘soft’ when in reality it’s completely normal and human for them to have these feelings.

Through fashion, many celebrities have been seen to push the limits of masculinity, and express a more traditionally feminine side. Although this used to be completely discouraged, in recent decades, most influentially the recent decade, the androgynous or femme style has been trending greatly. This newly trending style of men’s fashion shows how society is progressing, yet how there is still a lot of progress to be made in a world that does not accept ideas that go against societal norms.