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Vogue’s New Cover Got Gender Fluidity Really Wrong

Over the past year, the fashion industry has taken up the concept of gender fluidity to create the latest trends, clearly reflected by brands the like of Rick Owens, Gucci and even H&M. 

Celebrities Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik graced Vogue’s newest August issue, posing in Gucci suits under the headline: “Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Part of a New Generation Embracing Gender Fluidity.” It’s great that Vogue has chosen to talk about gender fluidity in a positive manner – too bad it was totally misguided. Gigi and Zayn wearing each other’s clothes does not equate to being gender fluid in any way at all. 

The article highlights this important point: “But where, exactly, is someone neither entirely he nor she meant to shop?” However, Vogue did not choose to answer this question nor address anything relevant to all gender clothing. The cover story featuring Zayn and Gigi, who do not identify as gender fluid, fails to address fashion for those who identify so. 

Twitter was quick to call out Vogue’s misguided idea of gender fluidity, saying “men and women swapping clothes doesn’t represent gender fluidity because you’re still saying there are men and women. That’s the whole point,” said one user. Another comment added, “Think Vogue is a bit confused on what gender fluidity is! Wearing your GF’s T-shirt does not make you gender fluid.”

The magazine offered a limited definition of gender fluidity and instead portrayed it as a fashion trend worn by a straight couple, posing in each other’s clothing. However, the term gender fluidity refers to “individuals who reject the gender binary to exist on a spectrum of gender identity.” Try again, Vogue.

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