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What Does Androgynous Mean?

Robyn Exton

May 21, 2020

What Does Androgynous Mean?
  • Androgynous women and enbies can often be found wearing boyfriend jeans and a collared shirt with an ever-so-subtle makeup look over their deeply chiseled jawline. On other occasions, they’re spotted bare-faced while wearing a dress and Vans. They sometimes have a full sleeve and a sexy, ambiguous pixie cut as well. Although none of that is a requirement.

    “Androgynous” is a broad term that refers to an individual’s choice of style. Somebody who is androgynous presents themself to the world in a way that isn’t defined by “looking like a girl” or “looking like a boy.” Androgyny is the ultimate form of self-expression and bad-assery in a world that demands labels.

    Sometimes a person simply chooses to dress androgynously because they reject cultural and societal gender roles. In other cases, someone who is andro may just really enjoy the gender-ambiguous style. It’s important to remember that each individual is different!

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    What is an Androgyne?

    The word “androgyne” is derived from the words ‘andro’ for man, and ‘gyne’, meaning woman.

    An androgyne is a man or woman who identifies as being androgynous. However, it’s important to remember that being androgynous has little to do with sexual orientation or gender identity — it’s a form of gender expression. Someone who is androgynous may be gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, or any other flavor of the rainbow.

    Some androgynes may consider themselves “between” genders or refer to themselves as gender-neutral, genderqueer, or non-binary. Some will identify with being gender fluid, swinging between genders identities at different times. Some andro people may even refer to themselves as “two-spirit” or “third gender,” acknowledging that they have both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Some andro individuals identify as trans women or trans men, while others are cisgender.

    What is the Style?

    Androgynous style exists to avoid gender stereotypes. An androgynous woman may wear a tie, while an andro man may wear a skirt. Their appearance, clothing, and mannerisms usually don’t give them away as either obviously male or female.

    One of the most famous androgynous men is the late musical legend, Davie Bowie. He was known as “the father of androgyny” and birthed the gender-neutral look. Kristen Stewart, who identifies as bisexual, also rocks the androgynous look these days. Photos of her in an andro suit had us wanting to call her “daddy” (and had men and women across the world question their sexualities!).

    Another one of the biggest androgynous style icons of all right now is Ruby Rose, who also happens to identify as a lesbian and gender fluid. She’s usually sporting an androgynous haircut, but you never know if she’ll turn up on the red carpet in a gown or tux. She proves that you CAN rock a crew cut with a smokey eye — and look sexy af doing it. Lesbehonest, she even has straight women and gay men turning heads.

    One thing’s for sure — these gender non-conforming hotties should be celebrated. And, if we can learn anything from androgyny, it’s that style and outside appearance don’t define gender or orientation. Take that, society!

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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