In this blog post, we talk about what it means to be androgynous. We also talk briefly about 11 androgynous celelbrieties and what their androgynous means for them.
The advantages of being androgynous
Androgyne is a term that comes from the Greek words Andras (man) and gyné (woman) and refers to a mixture of feminine and masculine characteristics.
The myth of the androgynous appears in Plato’s work. According to him, androgynous beings lived on Earth since the beginning of the world.
They looked like two people glued back to back: two women, two men or a man and a woman.
They had great power, they could do almost anything they thought.
The gods feared the almost infinite power of the androgynous and, in order not to pose a possible threat, separated them.
Separately, however, the parties could do nothing.
In modern history, a real explosion in the cultivation of the androgynous image in culture took place in the ’80s, when music became invaded by stars like Michael Jackson, Boy George, Prince, Annie Lennox.
In fact, Lady Gaga continues this trend today. However, in almost all of these examples, the androgynous aspect was limited to makeup and clothing.
I want to be clear: I’m not talking about hermaphroditic people, who have both sets of sexual organs, or sexual orientation, but women who look more boyish and men who look more effeminate.
Unlike the purely physical aspect, since the 1970s, psychological studies have tried to see if there are psychological characteristics of androgynous-looking people.
Shockingly, many of the elements that Plato associated with the androgynous myth have been confirmed by these studies.
Thus, it was discovered that androgenicity is associated with many positive things, such as marital satisfaction, wellbeing, efficiency as a parent, satisfaction in life, optimism and flexibility.
In fact, studies that have investigated the characteristics of women mathematicians have noticed a combination of masculine and feminine traits such as individualism, courage, concentration, but also emotion or interest in art.
An important aspect confirmed by several studies is the tendency towards androgens creativity.
Thus, very creative boys are perceived as more effeminate, and very creative girls are perceived as more boyish.
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It is interesting that these people are usually raised by parents who emphasize independence in thinking, curiosity and skills development.
And traits such as openness to new experiences, flexibility, acceptance of things that seem antagonistic and some detachment from social norms, all characterize creative people.
Openness to the new characterizes especially adolescents and young adults, as it begins to be less and less visible after 30 years.
People who are open to the new are more creative, respond well to change and adapt their lifestyle quickly.
The famous Maslow (the one with the pyramid of human needs) had noticed that creative people have a balanced mixture of seemingly opposite characteristics, such as work-play, maturity-childhood or thinking-emotion.
In addition, although androgynous creativity is present in art and science, it is in no way associated with business creativity.
Here, masculinity seems to be most strongly associated with success. Studies have found that top managers are not perceived as creative by employees.
Nature shows its complexity again.
Although from the point of view of sexual attraction (and social and cultural norms) femininity and masculinity gain as much as possible, intellectually, the combination of traits seems to be ideal.
Beauticians say that Mila is the most successful paradox: her small breasts and facial features give her an androgynous look, but her fleshy lips and attitude make her one of the sexiest female stars.
The 39-year-old Milla is now in her third marriage to Paul W.S. Anderson, with whom he has a daughter, is currently waiting for the birth of their second child.
The 68-year-old Englishman needs no introduction. The androgynous side was part of all the creativity that consecrated him, culminating in David’s public confession that he is bisexual.
In fact, his ex-wife, Angela Barnett, made waves in the press telling how she caught David in bed with the Rolling Stones soloist, Mick Jagger, after a sex game …
At the age of 30, he is the creative director of Balenciaga and also has his own brand.
Born in San Francisco, Wang studied at the Parsons School of Design, establishing himself in fashion through his cool approach to the urban androgynous style.
In her appearances on the red carpet, Rooney often takes on the style of the character who made her famous, from “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, preferring a tailor with a masculine cut, but also a hairstyle that would make her facial features just as masculine.
The actress who won an Oscar in 2008 is the queen of the androgynous style. 54-year-old Katherine Mathilda Swinton knows how to wear a men’s suit in the chicest and cool way possible.
“I’d rather be a handsome specimen than a handsome presence,” she says with humour, referring to adjectives that describe an attractive man on the one hand and a beautiful woman on the other.
The famous British singer marked one of the key moments of androgyny in pop culture: her appearance with a masculine look at the 1984 Grammy Awards.
Even in the videos of the band Eurythmics, she wore a man’s suit, but also lipstick at the same time.
The androgynous style suited her so well, keeping it over the years, that whenever she appeared with long curls, wearing a wig, Annie managed to look at least strange, in no case feminine.
Fashion critics have called her the androgynous alien.
The Jamaican-born new wave singer, born in 1948, strongly influenced the cross-dressing trend in the ’80s, when her fame was at its peak, becoming a fashion icon.
By the way, Grace was a declared source of inspiration for artists such as Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
The newest presence in our top is the 33-year-old London actor, who won the Oscar this year for his role in “The Theory of Everything”.
His feminine features were best revealed in his newest role, in “The Danish Girl”, in which he plays a man who wants to become a woman.
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He won an Oscar for his role as a transgender character in the Dallas Buyers Club, and his role suited him perfectly.
Leader of the band “30 Seconds to Mars”, Jared also stood out for his nonconformist style and the pleasure of playing with his look, moving from one weight to another on the scales and from one hairstyle to another.
The star adopts a boyish look, especially outside the red carpet, in her free time, when she does not come out of jeans, sneakers, shirts and hats.
The latest cover with the 24-year-old actress, that of “Wonderland” magazine, emphasizes her androgynous air.
Keira is definitely a very sexy woman, she can be confirmed by any man, and her figure helps her to wear the most low-cut dresses, with a lot of skin in sight.
And yet, she does it quite rarely, the rest of the time preferring outfits like the one in the picture, which give a masculine look to her already slim figure.
FAQ about androgynous celebrities
What does androgynous mean?
The term “androgynous” is derived from the Greek language (Andros meaning man and gyne meaning woman) and defines a combination of feminine and masculine characteristics that are found in anyone’s personality.
Is Tilda Swinton androgynous?
Yes, Tilda Swinton is androgynous. We quote: “I’d rather be a handsome specimen than a handsome presence,” Tilda said with humour, referring to adjectives that describe an attractive man on the one hand and a beautiful woman on the other.
What does it mean to be gender fluid?
Gender fluidity is a gender identity that can change over time and you have the feeling that you do not have a defined gender.
Gender fluidity can be completely different from person to person. For example, it may express masculinity, femininity, or an androgynous personality in sexual experience or self-concept.
What is the difference between binary and Nonbinary?
Binary means having two-parts/identities/genders (male and female).
Non- binary tends to be used as more of a catchall for people who do not identify with the binary categories of male and female.
Is there a difference between genderqueer and Nonbinary?
Yes, there are some differences between genderqueer and non-binary.
Non-binary tends to be used as more of a catchall for people who do not identify with the binary categories of male and female.
Genderqueer often describes a special experience under this umbrella, which may include the feeling that a person’s sex is fluid.
Exploring the Dimensions of Human Sexuality, by Jerrold S. Greenberg
Diversity in Couple and Family Therapy: Ethnicities, Sexualities, and Socioeconomics, by Shalonda Kelly
Identities and Inequalities: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, & Sexuality (B&b Sociology) by David Newman
Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type, by Paul D. Tieger