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Does Gender Play a Role in Beauty Convention?

Does Gender Play a Role in Beauty Convention?

While there is much debate on the subject, it is clear that beauty is circumventing itself. Neutrality or non-binary gender is playing a huge role in how things are shaping up.

The merger of Burberry and Gucci men’s and women’s fashion show in Milan solidified this. Unisex clothing and accessories shared center stage with traditional garb opening the door to a whole new breed of clientele. Men’s and women’s fashions were replaced by gender neutral items in a spectacular show that included many famous transgender models. It created quite the buzz around the world.

There is a kind of paradox when it comes to beauty trends in general.

This paradox will not have an impact on future trends.

Let’s take a look at things.

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Women have used fashionable clothing, accessories, make up and hairstyles for centuries to express themselves. In the same context, men have had used beards, hats and adorned themselves with tattoos in an attempt to appear more powerful. While the trends themselves may have been different, the basic principles have remained untouched since the Ancient Egyptians.

What do beauty, beards and gender have to do with future trends? Nothing and everything.

If gender is not going to be so important in the future, will there be a need for fashionable products? In a world where non-specific identity is paramount, many questions loom. Why are so many men growing beards? Even more important, why are there so many different beard types? It should not matter. Yet, in this recent article on many beard styles in StyleMann.com the author showcases over 25 of them. Our fascination with facial hair, make up and beauty seems ironic.

If gender does not matter, why does the power of attraction seem to be so critical?

Some people think it has to do with vanity, but the truth is much simpler than that. It has to do with basic mating principles. Humans are trying to attract a mate, regardless of gender. It is natural and this cannot be denied or changed based on social norms.

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However, there are other factors that have a impact and create this paradox.

According to the University of Western Australia men are feeling pressure from other men. They are attempting to look more aggressive to compete with a wider pool of mates. In the same context, other women pressure women to be more beautiful. This happens in the gay and transgender communities as well. Proof of this lies in the fact that sales of male grooming products have risen a staggering one billion dollars since 2012.

The tables have turned. Men who wear makeup appear more feminine suggesting that some males would rather play a submissive role. Women who sport suits are often depicted as ‘ugly” corporate powerful women. This is not always true, so is it gender or gender bias that dictates beauty and fashion?

The competition to be beautiful is alive and well. In fact, things have become so competitive it can lead people to take extreme measures. According to a CBS report, some body altering behaviours could even suggest a mental illness.

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If gender is no longer an issue, will people stop trying to be unique? It is unlikely since mating rituals will remain intact.

People are taking huge risks to make themselves appear unique. Gender neutrality has not changed this, people have just found a new way to make a social statement.

Dominance also plays a major role in beauty choices. Of course, this phenomenon is not a modern one. British men have been sporting facial hair during battles to appear more powerful since the middle ages. Women have grown and chopped their hair off as a sign of defiance and independence.

Regardless, if we want to believe it or not, we define gender by how it looks based on popular trends. Vanity? Identity? Defiance? Conformance? Perhaps, this is the real paradox.

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Hippies, hipsters, punk rockers, crooners and various other trendsetters have dared to challenged the norms. As much as things change, things have remained the same. We are still judging others and choosing mates based on looks.

Beauty and fashion will always play a gender role. If you choose to wear more feminine or masculine styles, you will still appear male or female based on those choices. People will define your identity based on them. Perhaps if you truly want to define a unique gender you will have to wear non-specific fashions, alien fashions or none at all – now that would be interesting! The naked truth? Truly then, we would have come full circle as humans. No gender, no clothing and no judgement based on looks. That’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. Non-specific gender robots might have an edge here.

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Madeline Foster

Free Lance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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