From Fashion to Masquerade: Towards an Ungendered Paradigm

Posted on October 9, 2012


“Behind the mask”

“The conception of masquerade I use does not limit it to th notions of truth and falsity, but regards it as a sort of visual performance through artefacts: a vehicle for constructing and deconstructing identities.”


“Choosing the discreet route they have camouflaged their group membership, or used a set of private codes to communicate to insiders wihile keeping others outside.”


 A person has many things that make up their identity. Identity is defined as “the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions.” What if someone chose to alter their identity and would then not be what people thought them as? Changing their appearance would be the first and most vital step into changing identity. With dress, make up, and body language people can alter their identities into everything that their not or everything that they want to be. With this said, the idea of masquerade and fashion also has a relationship with identity. The idea of hiding behind a mask and having your surrounding not aware of your identity is fascinating. Not knowing who you are at all is one thing. However, altering who you are just by looks is another. The way we dress the body as well and the way people judge others in seconds can change the way you view people and the way they view you.  

The idea of dress and altering it is also closely related to gender. If a woman dresses too much like a male she is thought of as a lesbian and a man dressing too feminine is categorized as gay. Simply by the clothing you have on your body determines your sexuality. Throughout history, people used disguises to their advantage. Everything from careers, activities, and voting have all solely been determined by gender. Dress has had and still has that much of an important as to what you are and what you will become. Although there are people willing to hide behind a mask and conform into a category where they fit and what they want to be. There are others who break this paradigm and view themselves as what they like to been seen as opposed to the thoughts of others.

Posted in: ART 302