What should a female look like? How should a female style her hair? Does a woman’s short hair mean she is a lesbian? Does a young boy liking pink mean he’s gay? My cousin sure thinks so.
We need to better explore the relationship between gender and sexuality. One’s clothes and hairstyle do not equate a certain sexuality.
DIS Magazine created this poster advertising the possibilities of its new razor, W4W Buzz, (at bottom of poster) in redefining women’s hair:
More than any other stylistic signifier, hair has become our window into lesbian visibility. The shorter the hair, the more visibly identifiable one becomes as a lesbian. While these assumptions can prove useful within queer communities as shorthand for lesbian cruising, we should be careful not to ground them in the world at large as they are often ill-founded and politically misaligned—re-asserting a gendered binary based on heteronormative codes, butch for masculine / femme for feminine.
These gendered polarities often mimic heterosexual partnerships dismissing the existence of any gender in-between. Worse yet is the way in which the “femme” is rendered invisible by her lack of stylistic transition—context being her only mark as a lesbian—while the butch is propped up as the face of lesbianism worldwide. Both, in turn, exploited by the branding machines of late capitalist enterprise.
Even drag, Judith Butler argues in her follow-up book, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex, cannot always be deemed subversive. “Although many readers understood Gender Trouble to be arguing for the proliferation of drag performances as a way of subverting dominant gender norms, I want to underscore that there is no necessary relation between drag and subversion, and that drag may well be used in the service of both denaturalization and reidealization of hyperbolic heterosexual gender norms.”
DIS is a dissection of fashion, art and commerce which seeks to dissolve conventions, distort realities, disturb ideologies and disrupt the dismal dissemination of fashion discourse.