Ranveer Singh is Single-Handedly Challenging Gender Norms in India
If you’re at a supermarket in India, the cover page of L’Officel India’s February 2016 edition is guaranteed to catch your attention. The magazine’s cover features Ranveer Singh challenging gender norms by wearing a nose ring and Gucci’s silk-georgette pussy bow blouse. Ranveer Singh who’s enjoying the time of his life winning awards and accolades is seen seamlessly toying between traditional masculinity and femininity in one photograph.
IMPORTANCE OF RANVEER SINGH’S GENDER NEUTRAL FASHION STATEMENT
We live in a world where it takes ‘balls’ to do something courageous and it’s terrible to be a ‘pussy’. Strangely the same ‘balls’ are vulnerable to extreme pain even with tiniest nick when the ‘pussy’ tolerates grave pain to give birth to human lives. The chauvinist society shames anything remotely feminine. Our society is going through revolutionary changes in terms of sex, sexuality and gender. Sex deals with biological traits of an individual, sexuality deals with sexual orientation of an individual and gender deals with gender expression of an individual. Gender expression demonstrates social roles – masculine/feminine. While sex and sexual orientation arises from psychological and biological traits of an individual, gender expression arises from mindsets and ideas of an individual. Over the years, the chauvinist society has confined females to feminine roles inside the kitchen and even worse, has completely ignored the social needs of individuals who don’t identify with binary sexual norms like in case of transgender or agender. Fashion’s gender neutral revolution is only a part of cultural revolution that aims to change mindsets through gender fluid notions. While it’s totally normal for a girl to wear a suit, thanks to Ranveer Singh, man wearing pussy bow blouse is finally being normalized too. The silk georgette pussy bow blouse and nose ring that Ranveer Singh wore is among the first powerful weapon that aims to dismantle gender specific notions and discrimination in the conservative Indian society. L’Officiel’s February 2016 cover starring Ranveer Singh makes a socio-cultural statement that’s beyond clothing and fashion trends. Thank you Ranveer, you have encouraged millions of Indians to look beyond the gender binary, and more importantly, to stop shaming or looking down at anything even remotely feminine.
WHY IT TAKES COURAGE
Ignoring gender norms seem to be a trend of the past year, however the scenario is somewhat different in India. In Indian sub-continent we’re used to idolizing our heroes who are often portrayed as flawless and macho. Indian film stars got more moves than Jagger. The Indian hero sings in Mohit Chauhan’s voice. The Indian hero is strong and fights villains to save his Juliette. Our films have consistently stereotyped our lead actors to look a certain way and last thing you’d imagine even in wildest of dreams is to see an Indian hero wear something that dismantles the very foundation of conventional masculinity – gender neutral clothing. It takes serious courage for Ranveer Singh to confidently pull off the gender neutral look without worrying about the possible mockery that he may be subjected to from the conservative sections of the Indian society. In my opinion, one of the sexiest traits for any individual regardless of gender is to be confident and not feel threatened, even by conventional social norms. With L’Officiel’s cover feature, Ranveer Singh has defied the conventional gender norms and inspired millions of young Indians to look beyond binary gender notions. Ranveer Singh is a sole warrior who’s popularizing gender neutral style in India. If Indian men can wear gender neutral clothing without being ridiculed, say some 10-20 years later, the credit will go to the man who is currently the face of a cultural revolution – Ranveer Singh. Man, you’re my hero!