Beauty: not just a binary

Attractiveness is a privilege. Point and blank, chances are if you are considered to be “attractive” based off of societies standards, you have a much greater chance at having opportunities than someone who would be defined as “unattractive”. As mentioned in the article hyperlinked above, we look at people who society would define as beautiful, and instinctually compare beauty to being “good”.

A lot of beauty standards are rooted in the gender binary. Because these are so easy to just look up and understand, I don’t want to focus on that. Instead, I want to talk about what beauty standards look for individuals who don’t fit the rigid categories of “male” and “female”.

Non-binary individuals face all kinds of challenges on a daily basis with what to wear, and how to claim themselves in the idea of fashion. With a society that is rooted so hard in men are masculine and women are feminine, to the point where even our clothes resemble this, it can be extremely hard for those exploring their gender identity.

When we talk about FTM and MTF (female to male, and male to female) trans* individuals, their ideas on “what to wear” might be a little bit easier than others who don’t identify as male or female at all. Say for example you have a friend who identifies as transgender and MTF, according to society, they should wear dresses, and skirts and other feminine clothing. This is the most obvious way for them to fit into societies ideals of what a beautiful woman would wear. And as messed up as it is that you have to wear these specific things to “be female” and perform your gender roles as a female, society has set the standards.

But here’s the thing, what if someone identifies as gender queer, or gender fluid, or another identity that is non-binary? That’s when the standards for beauty and attractiveness are not completely set.

A perfect example of someone who identifies as agender and isn’t afraid to claim their own style is Tyler Ford.

Tyler is such a beautiful individual and they have had amazing opportunities to express themself and help others to realize it’s okay to experiment with what you wear, and no matter what you are beautiful. One of my favorite almost unspoken messages I always recieve when seeing photos of Tyler’s style, is the idea that it’s okay to be yourself, and to not let society define what is beautiful and what is not.

For most individuals that are non-binary, they don’t have the ability to experiment with their gender as freely. Whether because of safety reasons or access to the clothes they wish to wear, its just simply not that easy.

By now, you are probably asking yourself “What constitutes beauty in non-binary individuals?”. Well friends, in my opinion, beauty shines from the inside out. If everyone has the self-love that I think each and every person deserves, they are beautiful.

We should not be forcing people into more boxes than we have to. Trans* individuals are already forced into an “other” box when it comes to their gender, so why should we create a “third box” for what non-binary individuals should wear to be beautiful? What would be the point in forcing more standards on top of them?

Beauty is not just rooted in binaries. To say that only males and females and no other gender is beautiful is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, beauty has no standards defined for non-binary people, but NO, we should not create standards. Let them be beautiful in their own way, don’t tell them how to be beautiful.

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