Bas Kosters Dash Column 23: 'Surprise!'
Today was a joyful day. Let me tell you why. I received my first string of real pearls today, custom-made by Dutch jewellers Gem Kingdom. When I picked them up, I instantly fell in love with them, and we discussed why not more men wear pearls. Later on in the day it suddenly struck me: Why do so few men wear pearls? So many times in my life, I got asked whether I was a boy or a girl. Not that I look like a girl, but I wear things that in most people’s opinion belong to a specific gender category, in this case the category woman. A while ago I met a man at our Anti Fashion Party who stated that he was ‘The Gender Surprise’. This introduction highly amused me because people can use a little surprise every now and then. But when I think of it now, a gender surprise unfortunately also has a bitter taste.
Most of us are brought up with strict definitions of what gender is, and it is very difficult to ignore these definitions and choose a path of your own, to redefine what masculinity and femininity and gender mean to you. I applaud people who step out and are brave enough to swim against the stream. But now back to the men… The odd thing is that women emancipated themselves, and can now wear pants, have jobs, ride bikes, or anything they like, actually. Every piece of clothing once defined as ‘masculine’ has found its way into a woman’s wardrobe. Is it not time for a reversed emancipation? Men in heels, pearls, diamonds and dresses, without losing their masculinity. That is why I wear my pearls with pride. Actually, every day that a string of pearls leads to thoughts about celebrating the individual is a joyful day. So… let’s go out and treat people to a ‘Gender Surprise’.