What does Celine Dion have in common with the growing rejection of gender roles by millennials? Except for the age, probably everything.
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In November of 2018 the famous singer fought the gender norms created by society with her most iconic move of all time. Dion released a gender-neutral baby clothing line called ‘Celinununu’ and, as if that wasn’t enough, she made it even more iconic with a powerful, yet, bizarre commercial. In the ad, there is a woman who breaks into a hospital and walks into the room with all the babies. Males are on one side, painted in baby blue, females are on the other, under pink. As Celine blows a mysterious magic powder, the colors disappear! The babies are now wearing her cool gender-neutral clothing line.
While being ironic and funny, Celine portraits how gender roles are stigmatized and imposed since birth and how weird they actually are; a point of view that a growing group of teenagers share with the singer.
A new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that almost 3% of Minnesota teens do not identify themselves with traditional gender labels ‘boy’ or ‘girl.’ Instead, these teens define themselves as transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid or do not identify at all. And if you think it is a small number you should also know that in 2017 the percentage reached only 0.7%.
As the acceptance of non-conforming genders is growing, the popularity of gender-fluid labels is growing as well. Sheila Rashid, a Chicago-based designer, was catapulted into the spotlight after the VMA 2017 when Chance the Rapper wore her clothes on the red carpet. Her creations soon became a hot topic. The idea underneath was simple, yet winning: clothes shouldn’t discriminate against anyone’s gender identity nor should impose it.
Gender isn’t something defined by rules. Gender is what we, as a single person, identify with. Clothes as well shouldn’t stigmatize gender into only two possible identities. And we should start to change this concept from the very beginning, without forcing children into an established gender role.