We want the freedom not to classify clothing as male or female, women’s or men’s; ok fine. Yet, when a line is marketed as a women’s line and the spokes model is not a woman, questions arise. Freedom can be manipulated when in the context of such a statement. Jaden Smith is free to identify with whatever gender he pleases. The picture that the consumer sees is one that has been crafted from a much more stringent P.O.V. First thought that comes to mind is that this designer sees a young symmetrical so-called African American man child as feminine. A young ‘black’ man somehow represents feminine apparel. Is there strength in that? Strong Men and Women are applauded. While an audience may respect a daring ad campaign, will the young black figure even be seen as a man? Some spectators may just dig the sight of a nigga in some fine stitching posted beside some white women.
What do you identify as? Is your identity heavily based on gender? Mother, Father, King, Queen these are titles. How much are we defined by these titles? Do we seek to shape our presentation based on the etymology of these themes? When we walk out into the world, what we wear is a design of our identity. A gender fluid individual may identify as almost anything at anytime. When one has the freedom to identify as almost anything why choose the gender of the opposite sex?
Gender fluid is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities.
In dance, when gyrations of the waist and hips, whining up with thrusts mirror that of the most talented tribal twerker, androgynous activities aren’t separated from the body that broadcasts them. Man dancing is masculine fire…woman is the divine femininity at work. Dance is a highly liberated expression and the gender roles remain clearly defined. But who’s trying to sell high end tap, or bachata lessons? I think we have to look at the target market.
Millennial and young ones that may consider Jaden Smith as a role model and may be quick to follow his latest variation. Influential in Louis, here stands the sower of confusion seeds. When a child has yet to even establish an identity for themselves, they are given extra to question. There are rights of passage that boys and girls in many cultures participate in as preparation for recognition as a gender that is well defined. This is not happenstance or accidental. It is by design. A universal honor of energies is acted out in real life with the variations maintaining their anointed place.
Also by design, considering the lack of humanity afforded to black boys, is the pimping of the colonizers penchant for sexualizing whatever is appealing to the eye. Another “tar baby” objectified. Europeans have a history that glorifies a perverse appetite. Many a child was a conquest. Now at least they can be styled by a French designer. Shit, is that the symbolism? A high class Negro in a dress? Conquered folk…the Mandingo myth now emasculated. No longer a threat, vitality in check; the young brothas can turn to one another for their pleasure, fully supported in whatever combination of identities they choose to express.
This is the well orchestrated subliminal attack on the true and living family dynamic. From those who do not share traditional values, greek and roman Antics are highly active. The masses are more likely to be receptive if they are fed gradually and slowly with their eyes closed. It’s not about Jaden Smith. As famous as he may be, he’s kind of insignificant. Let him live his. What we witness again is a shot to the psyche. A collective conscious continues to see the original man as less than human or questioning identity. Made up in a microcosm of varied trauma, ya boys from the hood have been reduced to luxury goods.
Fred McConnell of the Guardian pontificates about the greatness of “other people” having a “mainstream moment” like Jaden, writing “And at some point, when no one cares any more about how anyone expresses their gender – or only whether it’s exceptionally photogenic – it’ll be even better.”
When one is not even recognized or considered to be a whole man, that someone just might care. They just might care that it’s more important that gender bending stereotypes are broken for the purpose of clothing promotion than shattering the stereotypes of lack and criminalized livelihood. Any superficial sentiment does not appropriately address the depth of the need for distinction. Clearly the young black man is struggling in a state of flux. Thus, I don’t see this ad as an exercise in freedom. On the contrary I consider it as an attempt to wrench a fully developed sense of self away from distinguished young warriors, scholars, and gentlemen who are being groomed to honor the roles they play.