Thursday, December 16, 2010

Michael Jackson and Gender Norms

I’ve finally come out of the closet as a Michael Jackson fan to my WRC peeps (so excited for the new album out this month). I tend to keep my “fanacity” close to my chest until I know I’m in a relatively MJ friendly climate. He was definitely a controversial figure to say the least and people often have strong, negative feelings concerning the King of Pop.

I’m not going to get into the controversy surrounding his numerous plastic surgeries, shocking de-pigmentation, or fascination with children. I would however like to point out one of my favorite things about MJ: his absolute refusal to adhere to established gender norms when it came to fashion.

He was a man who liked long hair, eye liner, and glitter. Glitter for days. Just thinking of him daring to wear a glittery military jacket for no reason, other than he liked how it looked, makes me smile. I imagine the military inspired clothing made him feel strong and invincible; I imagine he thought the glitter made him look that much more luminous onstage. He wasn’t afraid to merge the masculine and the feminine when it came to his wardrobe and I loved it! Haters loved to hate and speculate but MJ pretty much moonwalked on their faces, glittery socks and all.

Whatever you think about him, you have to admit he created a very particular style and stayed true to himself throughout all of the judgment and controversy. I think that’s an example that anyone who’s ever been called a freak or misunderstood could afford to follow.

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