Androgyny and gender expression are more common than they are talked about. Some of my favorite examples of gender transgression as aesthetic modes of expression.
Following the release of this video in 1983 Annie Lennox was names one of Playboy's 10 Sexiest Women Alive. As a teenage boy I found this perplexing and a little uncomfortable. I get it now.
Marilyn Manson perverts the inversion.
Ralph Lauren for Women
That ain't no woman, it's a man, baby!
There is a cliche moment in many films, a morning after moment between couples, the woman is dressed in the button up shirt the man had on the night before. There are many ways to read this: symbolic submission, a symbol of their coming together as one. She on some level has crossed over INTO his world
The aesthetic narrative behind Ralph Lauren is that moment on a larger cultural scale. Ralph Lauren leverages iconography and symbolic imagery more effectively than any other fashion brand. It is a storybook narrative of a classic, eastern-seaboard America. A folklore or industrious and wealthy men who's patriarchy is so powerful that even the women's clothes seem fashioned from "his" world from things pulled from "his" drawers.
(From my essay: The Aesthetic Narrative of Ralph Lauren for Women)
The 80's Sunset Strip Metal bands are a great demonstration of how machismo always feminizes when taken far enough. Is it only with retrospective detachment that they all look like lady-boys?