Gender norms are a trend of the past

Liam Hayward, Editor

Social media and a pandemic can have a lot of negative effects, but they can also provide an opportunity for self expression. Many people have taken this time to soul-search and find out who they really are.With social media apps like TikTok and Pinterest, it has become increasingly common for more societal boundaries to be pushed, especially in regards to gender norms.

Nail polish, piercings, eyeliner and makeup are all things that were ‘strictly for women’ even just a few years ago. Baggy clothes, chains, mullets and tattoos have been said to only be meant for men. Sure, there were people pushing these stereotypes since they were created, but not without frequent shunning and gossip. These taboo things, along with other stereotypes, have become more common in the public eye. Social media figures like James Charles, Rickey Thompson and Tatiana Ringsby have helped push this narrative, and it’s for the best.

I have had an interesting experience with self-expression and gender my whole life, but only this year was I able to truly express myself and push my boundaries to become who I want to be. I was born as, and identify as male, and I always have. But I love expressing myself through feminine fashion, makeup, nails etc. I paint my nails a new color every week, I wear pearl necklaces and gold rings, I have a phone case with flowers all over it, I got my ears pierced and I have and will absolutely wear a women’s cardigan if I feel confident in it. Self expression does not have to be designated to blue or pink, or cars vs. Barbies. I think it’s incredible that there has been a noticeable shift online about the stigma with gender norms. There are still so many people who disagree with this, or will try to bash people for their own self expression, but the recent positive response is apparent. 

It’s also notable how different locations can be more or less accepting of unique gender expression. A place like New York City will likely be more accepting than a small town in the south. Hopefully, as more time goes on, those local differences will become less noticeable.

Life is about growth. Pushing limits and ignoring what other people think about your style can be the absolute most rewarding thing in life, and can really make an impact in your self-love and confidence. I know it has for me. One can only hope that this trend will continue, and that more stereotypes can be dismantled in the future.