OPINION

Fashion and rebellion always hand in hand

Fashion and rebellion always hand in hand

Singer Harry Styles recently created an uproar amongst conservatives in the United States when he wore a dress for a magazine cover photo.

Conservative writers wanted Harry to dress like a MAN.

I found the episode funny because with his surname he has destiny forcing him to be creative in his fashion choices.

Rock stars have a long history of setting styles. Think of the Beatles: that hair and those clothes.

Is Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones still wearing mascara?

My favourite rocker for shocking the world just the right amount is Alice Cooper.

First, he went by a female name when no man did. He wore dresses on stage at times and he often had a large snake round his neck.

His make-up was dramatic. He is still around, rocking, spending his millions, and playing golf.

Changing clothing styles often leads to outrage. You may be too young to remember when it was socially unacceptable for women to wear pants. Short skirts? Scandalous. Bikinis? Never!

When men started to wear long hair in the 60s, they were sure to hear this muttered comment: Is it a man or a woman? I responded on Facebook to the Harry Styles incident. I wrote: If the conservatives want manly men, I am their guy. I have never worn a dress, halter, high heels, or anything else feminine. I am manly as %#&*.

Then I started thinking: Am I still a rebel?

I sometimes see the Red Rebels environmental group parading around Armidale.

These are women dressed in red from head to toe. They wear red veils and long red gloves and seem to float about. What if I joined that group?

Nope. I am too stuck in my male sex role.

But could I break out a little bit and dress occasionally like Mick Jagger?

Something pink and frilly? Maybe. I am more inclined though to wear a crimson cloak, although I do not own one. Yes, I know - people would call me Little Red Riding Hood. I am tough enough to withstand that. I am still a rebel.

Rebellion is very popular with adolescents. Adolescents feel a biological urge to separate themselves from their parents, even if they like their parents.

The rebellion they feel helps propel them toward separation. Some of us never get over that desire to rebel.

How about you - do you have a fashion rebel inside?

John Malouff is an Associate Professor at the School of Psychology, University of New England.

This story Fashion and rebellion always hand in hand first appeared on The Canberra Times.