‘Genderless Danshi’ Defy Fashion Norms

“Just as some American males have embraced makeup, young Japanese men are bending fashion gender norms, dyeing their hair, inserting colored contacts and wearing brightly colored lipstick,” The New York Times reports. “Men like Ryuji Higa, better known as Ryucheru, his signature blond curls often pulled back in a headband, and Genki Tanaka, known as Genking, who rocks long platinum tresses and often appears in miniskirts, have made a leap from social media stardom to television celebrity.”

They are known as “genderless danshi” — “‘danshi’ means young men in Japanese.” Jennifer Robertson, an anthropology professor, comments: “It’s about blurring the boundaries that have defined pink and blue masculinity and femininity.They are trying to increase the scope of what someone with male anatomy can wear.”

“Young girls are the most ardent fans of the genderless danshi, making up the bulk of their social media followers and showing up at events … Nagisa Fujiwara, 16, a high school sophomore in Tokyo, was one of about 200 girls who lined up after the brief concert to take selfies with” Toman, a “genderless danshi” model and pop singer. She says: “He looks like a girl. But when you put that together with his maleness, I see him as a new kind of man.”


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