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Gender Roles, Identity And Stereotypes Essay

976 words - 4 pages

Gender and identity both play a significant role in everyday life. Photographers who deal with gender roles and stereotypes are Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas, Ilona Szwarc, (Gillian Wearing, Claude Cahun)

From birth, people are divided into two sex categories- male or female. This is inevitable, and is given to each individual person based on the reproductive organs they were born with. Gender, on the other hand, is the social and cultural difference of being either ‘male’ or ‘female’ instead of the biological difference . This leads into stereotyping, which dictates ones first impressions of others judged by their clothing, style or personality. Society has already outlined the stereotypical ...view middle of the document...

Moving away from the classic stereotypes for men and women, the term androgyny is becoming more common with gender identity. To be androgynous means to have both masculine and feminine characteristics, to express the qualities of both genders. A photographer who works closely with those who class themselves as androgynous and who cross dress is Nan Goldin (12/09/1953). She wanted to capture their lives and show how natural it all was to her, and how everyone else should feel the same. “Normal people thought they were freaks” This appears to be how ‘normal’ people react to something that is different to them. As soon as they see something ‘out of the ordinary’ and that doesn’t stick to the stereotypical boundaries that society has made, they believe that it isn’t right and feel nothing but negativity towards it. I worked on a similar project to Goldin, and documented a dear friend of mine. My friend, Dave, appears to live a ‘stereotypical’ life for a male. He works as a mechanic which is a very ‘common job’ for a man to have, meaning that he is also big built. He provides for his children, is very charming and is quite the lady’s man. However, he feels comfortable dressing up in women’s clothes. He’ll go shopping during the day for new heels and dresses and then by night when he’s ready to hit the town he’s all ‘glammed’ up and ready to go. What I found so interesting about Dave was the fact that he was straight. Nowadays, it is common to see a homosexual man dressed up in women’s clothes. However, for a straight man who has a manly job and children to then dress up as a woman is very unusual, and many people may feel...

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