By Jennifer Liyanage and Grace Mundy
The crowded hallways of Granada Hills Charter (GHC) are filled with many different styles and fashions. More and more, you see nontraditional or androgynous fashion where students ignore the traditional gender expectations of clothing styles.
Perhaps you see a teenage boy wearing 4-inch platform boots, or maybe a girl wearing suspenders and a bowtie. You could even see a male student wearing Freddie Mercury-inspired clothing or typical feminine items such as nail polish, make-up, or earrings.
Despite changing trends in the general media, the crowds around these fashion-forward students still deliver mixed responses, some filled with admiration, and some with disgust.
Although they may face discrimination from their peers, for those who dress outside of the gender norms, clothing is not just clothing. Some feel that a simple graphic T-shirt can have a greater meaning than most of us can comprehend. Whether it is a girl wearing a suit or a boy wearing a dress, clothes can be used to define who we are.
Our generation is currently undergoing a revolution in style because people have gained the confidence to wear whatever they want, even if it does not align with traditional ideas. This is due to our society becoming more accepting and inclusive over time.
“I choose to dress the way I do because to me it’s a really fun way to express myself and it’s helped me gain a lot of confidence these past few years. I feel comfortable with it because it makes me feel good in my own skin. Even if some of the things I wear might be a bit out there, I don’t mind since it makes me happy,” junior Kaysel Dancel said.
Thea is one of many students that has personal experience dressing out of the norm.
“The normalization of nontraditional fashion helps a ton when not dressing to a certain gender. Whenever it is represented, people just think its normal so I don’t get weird looks. Most people don’t think it’s their problem how I look or how people like me look, so they don’t say anything about it,” sophomore Jade Lopez Zuniga said.
Not only are less traditional styles more popular, but they are also becoming more accepted. With the arrival of social media such as Instagram and Snapchat, our generation is moving towards a more inclusive era, where these nontraditional styles are becoming more common on television shows, in movies, demonstrated by celebrities, and in our pop culture as a whole. Because of this, we feel more comfortable expressing ourselves in unique ways.
Celebrities like singers Billie Eilish and Jaden Smith and actors Ezra Miller and Kristen Stewart all wear styles that are contrary to traditional gender norms.
Billy Porter, a 49-year-old African American actor known for playing the character Pray Tell on the popular musical “Pose” strutted down the 2019 Oscars Red Carpet wearing a floor length tuxedo dress by Christian Siriano. He drew all eyes to him with his showstopping confidence.
“It’s easy to be who you are when what you are what’s popular. I was in my aunt’s closet waiting for the day when my feet would grow big enough to fit into her high heels since I was six,” Porter told the Huffington Post.
Clothing is just a part of what our generation is transforming. Social norms and attitudes are changing, allowing within our culture a newfound acceptance of different and unique people, especially in Los Angeles, and our school in particular. Today, nonconformity is celebrated rather than looked down upon and we should all be proud of what it has become. We live in a world that is much more accepting than it has been in the past, an occurrence that gives us all the ability to dress according to who we are rather than to merely blend in with the rest of society.