From Fashion to Masquerade: Towards an Ungendered Paradigm

Masquerade is defined in the book as ‘ornamental philosophy’, and that we prefer the beauty, myth, illusion, dress, and manners over the troublesome ugliness of reality.Masquerade is also described as a means for identity construction and deconstruction. Meaning you can use masquerade as a means to highlight specific desires or social practices, and also use it to transgress societal rules. Everyday people masquerade. I feel like we all put some effort into what we wear, or what face we put on (make-up wise). These choices definitely play into our moods for the day. I feel like when you wear something that makes you feel particularly confident, it’s going to affect the way you interact with people. And in a way those clothes are helping you masquerade as that confident person.


There are different concepts of masquerading mentioned in the book.
One that was interesting to me was on ‘clothing and costume perversions’. The main perversions mentioned were transvestism and fetishism. In the past women who deviated from male fantasies by resisting from masquerading feminine were deemed perverts. I’m glad that today people are more free to express themselves. There is definitely still judgement from others, but it seems that people are starting to become more tolerant. I personally do not think there’s anything wrong with transvestism or transsexualism. People need to be able to be themselves. Some people may learn that they were born  in the wrong body, and some will find that they want to experience life as both sexes, and some may just be curious. Whatever the case is, it’s no one’s business but theirs.

unless you’re Lady Gaga of course.


The book goes onto mentioning the masquerading practices in carnival. “Carnival celebrates temporary liberation from the prevailing truth of the established order and marks the suspension of hierarchical rank, privileges, norms, and prohibitions.” Carnivals around the world invite people to create new identities. Masks are a major part of it, they help the person to immediately  become whatever it is they want to be that day. The idea of this is that masking enhances rather than disguises peoples identities.



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