A new video produced by i-D magazine features the Japanese youth who are adopting genderless clothing and make-up, despite often coming up against a lack of understanding from their families and peers.
“When I first wore a skirt, my dad was shocked,” says teenager Yutaro. “But after I explained to him how much I loved fashion, he has become very supportive.”
Teen Yoshiaki first saw ‘genderless boys’ trending on Twitter when he was in Year 9 and was inspired but says he’s often bullied for his clothing choices.
“My school doesn’t understand genderless culture,” he explains. “When I wear tight trousers, they sometimes call me ’fa***t’ or they say, ’Isn’t he gross?’ as I walk past. But if you care about other people’s opinion then you become boring. So I’d rather stand out and be different.”
One interviewee—Muyua—is pictured wearing a bright yellow patterned shirt, with a white skirt and sandals.
“Genderless fashion means that men don’t have to look like men, and women don’t have to look like women,” he says.
“Before the term ’genderless’ existed, guys had been wearing skirts anyway. Now that people are more aware of the trend, I think it’s growing.”
Another teenager—Satsuki—says she has a lot more fun and feels “a lot more” free ever since she started dressing androgynously.
“I saw this Korean model on a shopping channel and I really liked him, he was really cool,” she says. “It wasn’t until later that I realised she was a girl. I really admired her—and that’s how I got into fashion.”
Satsuki says that she’s come to realise that “your world view can be totally changed through fashion”.
“I hope people are able to open their minds—even if only slightly—and change their experience of the world," she says.
You can watch the full video below: