Yes, that picture you saw of celebrity offspring Jaden Smith rocking a girl’s dress is real!
The 16-year-old rapper and actor was definitely making some commentary on the topic of identity and gender politics when he posted on Instagram #OOTD pictures of himself wearing a Topshop black and white striped dress. He also kept on wearing the frock throughout his Calabasas neighborhood.
In captioning one of his pictures, “Went To TopShop To Buy Some Girl Clothes, I Mean ‘Clothes’,” Smith joins the small group of male entertainers and celebrities that took it upon themselves to challenge the predetermined norms of what means to be or dress as male or female.
We’re not sure if he did some research prior to his bold move, but before him Dennis Rodman, David Bowie and plenty of rockers and the LGBT community have adopted deemed “feminine” or “girly” attributes to their everyday wardrobe or hygiene, bringing the concept of “cross-dressing” to the limelight. Remember the era of “guyliner“? And where do we still stand on guys borrowing our Chanel Black Satin nail polish? Today, there are cosmetics lines created for the niche of confident males who want to don a little rouge and gloss.
Undoubtedly, there’s also famed ’90s persona RuPaul, as his contributions to the blurring of gender politics gave further rose to the provocative art form that is the drag queen.
Naturally, Smith’s 1.8 followers on Instagram held their own virtual roundtable discussions about the kind of message he was was sending. Some supported his never announced, but always dependable unorthodox ways. Others questioned if it was he was executing male bravado blasphemy. Either way, this is the same kid that also challenged the notion of whether school and higher education were important stages of a young person growing up.
Most of us gave him side-eye for that one (easy for a Hollywood child to say), but his current stance on messing with the status quo or standard we can behind. Besides, we know how “cute” or acceptable it usually is when a girl dresses like a guy (“tomboy chic”), but a guy is labelled a “wuss” amongst other choice words if he chooses to wear a crop top. Men don’t get some kind of “homegirl trill” stamp of approval.
That weird double standard that attacks the male but also supports the idea of women as the “weaker sex”, was best exemplified in the intro of Madonna‘s 2000 track “What It Feels Like For A Girl.” The voiceover calmly stated:
Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly you’d love to know what it’s like
What it feels like for a girl
Now we’re just going to look forward to the day Smith adorns a “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like” tee.
What do you think about Smith’s dress? Was it bold commentary or just a cry for attention?
(Photos: Jaden Smith IG)