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A Heartfelt Story of How A Model Challenged Gender Stereotypes

A Heartfelt Story of How A Model Challenged Gender Stereotypes
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Is gender-fluid the future in the fashion industry? In the present day, models are challenging the perception of gender through their work. One of the most important figures in fashion championing the movement is former firefighter Rain Dove, who is breaking the rules in fashion with her distinct look.

Make sure you check out #5, which we almost weren’t allowed to post!

 20. Gender Doesn’t Exist

Source: raindovemodel

 

“Gender doesn’t exist in my book,” she addressed to Allure. Dove is currently working for the most important brands in the industry making a statement with every walk she does. She is breaking down the difference between gender and s**. As a gender fluid individual you will see the various ways in which she presents herself in these following pictures. The transformations are truly jaw-dropping.

19.  The Norms

Source: raindovemodel

 

Rain Dove never followed Western gender norms, even as a child. Dove was born as a female but dressed in stereotypically masculine clothing at times. However, she is not transgender. She defines herself as gender-fluid, in which she presents herself as partly male and partly female in appearance. She’s quite creative when it comes to presenting her genders in photographs.

Find Your State of Being…

Source: raindovemodel

 

In terms of preferred gender pronouns, Dove says it is fine to call her whatever you want, “he, she, them, or even it”, as long as the other person is being respectful. Gender ideals were not made for Dove, and she is ready to teach the world why. Dove doesn’t define herself as transgender, “I love the body I have. My state of being is just unique.” she said. So what is the difference between s** and gender then?

18. S** vs Gender

Source: raindovemodel

 

“S** is assigned at birth based on biology. Gender, on the other hand, ‘is a state of being’ “ Dove explains. As we see, Dove is completely comfortable in her own body and has no issues with showing her true self. But how do you present yourself if you are someone who is struggling to find your gender?

 

Source: raindovemodel

 

Dove thinks no one should be defined by mannerisms, wardrobe choices, the way you speak, and “the way that you hold yourself”. Society often dictates who we are and what stereotypes to follow. But for Dove, life is meant to be lived freely, unbound from the stereotypes. Does anyone really know why we choose to follow these stereotypes anyways? What is normal after all?

17. No One Really Knows

Source: raindovemodel

 

When she was a child, her mom decided to shave her hair. She was dressed in a dress so no one wouldn’t question whether she was a girl or a boy. Although she has always been proud of the way she looks, she was bullied and picked on by her classmates…

16. There Will Always be Bullies

Source: raindovemodel

 

While growing up she was bullied and called “Tranny Danny” by her classmates. This is a hardship that most gender fluid face as they are transforming into their true selves. So, how did she overcome the negativity?

15. Questions

Source: raindovemodel

 

Dove started questioning her gender-status at a very young age. She realized that she wasn’t either a girl or a boy at this stage in her life so she began identifying as ‘he, she, them, and they’. It will amaze you when you find out how young she really was when she started to question everything.

 

Source: raindovemodel

 

“In seventh grade, I discovered that there was a difference between gender and s**,” said Dove. This is when a whole new world opened up to her. She was boyishly tall and lanky growing up which made her look very different from the other girls and she could never truly look like a boy since she was bigger chested. In a time when she felt so different and outcast from the norm, she found her true self through raising questions about gender and she began to feel something…

14. A State of Being

Source: raindovemodel

 

She began to feel comfortable in her own skin and to embrace how different she was from her peers. “Gender is a state of being, the type of energy that you feel in your body.” Dove explains. She also explains that there are various things that can shape and mold you:

13. Different Life Experiences Shape You

Source: raindovemodel

 

Maybe you have been through different life experiences which have shaped the way you feel about genders. People do it for all sorts of reasons, but when it comes down to the bottom line, they do it to feel themselves. Dove says, she feels herself no matter how she dresses now and she often prefers to dress more masculine. We’ve got to say, she pulls it off well!

12. I Dress Masculine Sometimes

Source: raindovemodel

 

“When I dress masculine, I have the privilege of looking like a young, decent-looking guy,” Dove told Allure. We couldn’t agree more! But she also has a softer side to her rugged masculine side…

11. A “Pretty Girl”

Source: raindovemodel

 

Although she does like to tap into her feminine side, Dove knew that she would never look like one of the traditionally “pretty girls”. She didn’t have the right proportions or body structure that made up the stereotypical attractive woman. “I’m not what you’d consider being a ‘pretty girl’ so I’ve always just felt a little alien,” she expressed to Newsbeat. So how do others respond to Dove’s appearance?

10. The Response From Others

Source: raindovemodel

 

When asked about how others respond to her look, Dove said “People just feel comfortable because they know what that is. When I walk around in a dress, if I try to walk around as confidently, people see it as like aggressive. I’ve had people follow me home. I’ve been mugged once. So I actually feel more empowered when I wear a dress, but I feel a lot more comfortable [in a masculine outfit] because I don’t have to worry about it and I can focus on what I’m actually here for.”

Unfortunately, there are others who find gender fluidity to be quite alien and the responses can be quite negative. Even for a model, it is difficult to fight discrimination, but Dove has some pretty big names backing her…

9. Fighting Discrimination

Source: raindovemodel

 

Despite being a successful model, Dove struggles with discrimination like any other gender fluid individual. However, she carries on and she is using her work with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry such as Elle, Vogue and Calvin Klein, to push her message. And that message is…

8. “Be True to Yourself”

Source: raindovemodel

 

“People [in the fashion industry] are constantly trying to tell me to be ‘more like’ the s** or gender they’re marketing to,” she explains. You wouldn’t believe some of the others things people in this industry tell her!

7. Delicate vs Powerful

Source: raindovemodel

 

Depending on what she is brand she is shooting for, she’s heard all sorts of things being in the industry. “So it’s like ‘You need to be more delicate’, or [for menswear] ‘you need to be stronger, more powerful’,” they added. Not only has working with some of the top name brands been a struggle for Dove, her body shape has given her trouble too…

6. Broad Shoulders

Source: raindovemodel

 

With broad shoulders, muscular arms and 32DD breasts, Dove doesn’t fit in either men’s or women’s modelling sizes making it very difficult for her. So what solution has she found to work best?

Wear What You’re Comfortable In…

Source: raindovemodel

 

The bottom line is, you wear whatever you’re comfortable in. For Dove, it’s a little different when she’s modelling. She explains “I need to maintain my body at this weight in order to wear what we consider to be menswear, because their sizes are a little bit bigger than women’s.” However, in her every day life, off the runway, she wears what she feels suits her body type.

Dove is a strong individual with a firm foundation when it comes to her beliefs. She’s been in the fashion industry long enough to develop some thick skin and what she has to say next will make you feel empowered.

5. Don’t Change For Them

Source: raindovemodel

 

You don’t have to change for them, If you hold your ground and present yourself with confidence people are less likely to walk all over you. Dove has had people tell her “you need to let your muscles die down, so that way people will cast you [in women’s show],” That sort of talk doesn’t bother her anymore. She knows that she can find work elsewhere and there are a number of brands that are helping her push the message:

4. Fight for Your Human Rights

Source: raindovemodel

 

Dove continues to march forward in the battle to break the gender conception in the fashion industry. With every modelling shoot, she is able to champion the androgynous lifestyle and empower people to feel comfortable with themselves. However, she does heed one very important warning…

3. No Gimmicks

Source: raindovemodel

 

“We have to make sure it’s not a gimmick” says Dove. You have to be true to yourselves and others. If you are doing this for the wrong reasons, you are only lying to yourself and it will end up hurting you. Often times, people misconstrue what gender fluidity is all about which is harmful and will end up snuffing out the message that they are trying to send.

2. Women Can Wear Suits Too

Source: raindovemodel

 

“It’s not about putting what we consider to be ‘women’ in a suit, and what we consider to be ‘men’ in a dress,” Dove said. It’s about much more than that. Gender fluidity has no set guidelines and does not govern what you are to wear and how you are to act. As defined, fluidity is when something is capable of flowing and changing.  So what should you take from all of this?

1. We Won’t Judge You

Source: raindovemodel

 

For Dove, it’s about working with these brand names and getting people to understand that certain products should not be limited to specific genders. 

“It’s about saying ‘anyone can buy this product. We’re not going to judge you.” 

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