Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pageants

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.

Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pageants

Postby FranTastic444 » Sun May 05, 2019 12:58 pm

What's this all about then? Perusing Pintrest I noticed that there are a lot of images of kids at school events where both lads and lasses are wearing clothes more normally associated with the opposite sex, either as part of a Womanless Beauty Pageant or a Gender Bender Day as part of Spirit Week.

Is this a widespread practice, or limited to a small number of very liberal schools? It just doesn't seem the sort of thing that American parents would be comfortable with.

As an aside, I have an issue with the phrase 'gender bender'. Maybe this is just something local to where I grew up, but the word 'bender' was very much the phrase of the day for someone who is gay (not that I have any issue with anyone who wants to think of or to call me gay). I much prefer the phrase 'gender blender', which I invented independently but I have since seen that other people have coined the same phrase before me (there is even a YA book of the same title). To me, gender blending is the art of seamlessly mixing clothes and accessories associated with both sexes whilst still maintaining the appearance of ones gender identity.
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Re: Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pagean

Postby STEVIE » Sun May 05, 2019 3:44 pm

Hi Frantastic,
Having had a quick look this would appear to be a wholly American initiative.
The premise appears to be about all things inclusive in school related matters.
It seems to be about a lot more than just "gender blending or beauty pageants".
My thought is that the Americans are way ahead of us Brits in this respect anyway and we could possibly learn a thing or two from this.
The words, gender blending remind me of something I tried in the past. I suggested "musion" to mean a fusion of male and female clothing on the same person.
Alas, that seed fell on stony ground.
Interesting thoughts from that post, thanks.
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Re: Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pagean

Postby Sinned » Sun May 05, 2019 8:42 pm

My normal association with gender bender is the connectors that are either male-male or female-female. I know nothing of any such pageants over here.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
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Re: Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pagean

Postby dillon » Sun May 05, 2019 11:31 pm

FranTastic444 wrote:What's this all about then? Perusing Pintrest I noticed that there are a lot of images of kids at school events where both lads and lasses are wearing clothes more normally associated with the opposite sex, either as part of a Womanless Beauty Pageant or a Gender Bender Day as part of Spirit Week.

Is this a widespread practice, or limited to a small number of very liberal schools? It just doesn't seem the sort of thing that American parents would be comfortable with.

As an aside, I have an issue with the phrase 'gender bender'. Maybe this is just something local to where I grew up, but the word 'bender' was very much the phrase of the day for someone who is gay (not that I have any issue with anyone who wants to think of or to call me gay). I much prefer the phrase 'gender blender', which I invented independently but I have since seen that other people have coined the same phrase before me (there is even a YA book of the same title). To me, gender blending is the art of seamlessly mixing clothes and accessories associated with both sexes whilst still maintaining the appearance of ones gender identity.


I can understand that, and back in the day I would have felt the same. But now, it's like the term "Queer." It's a catch-all. I have no problem with either, today, given the times and valiance of the revolution, although I do really, really like your expression "gender-blender." It sums me up pretty well.
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Re: Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pagean

Postby Caultron » Wed May 08, 2019 4:33 am

FranTastic444 wrote:What's this all about then? Perusing Pintrest I noticed that there are a lot of images of kids at school events where both lads and lasses are wearing clothes more normally associated with the opposite sex, either as part of a Womanless Beauty Pageant or a Gender Bender Day as part of Spirit Week...

Womanless Pageants are essentially beauty pageants for boys dressing as female beauty pageant contestants. They tend to be centered in the southeastern United States and considered all good fun. Few, if any, contestants ever wear girl's clothing afterward.

Gender Bender days are usually organized by high school student governments as something nutty to do for fun. Again, few of any participants have an ongoing interest.
Courage, conviction, nerve, verve, dash, panache, guts, nuts, balls, gall, élan, stones, whatever. Get some and get skirted.

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Re: Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pagean

Postby FranTastic444 » Sun May 12, 2019 3:32 pm

Just spent a happy couple of hours tidying up and categorising my Pinterest albums and I was reminded of this post. Stevie - agreed, the subject matter appears to be very much a US thing. I'm just surprised that I'd never heard of it before. We know from tv about other things that go on in US culture, female pageants, proms, Halloween etc., but never have I come across Spirit Week before. I wonder if I would have taken part if it had been at my school all those years ago? As a kid I never liked 'fancy dress' - even wearing male clothing.

Dillon - glad you like the gender blender term (I shall reference it in another post I'm about to put up shortly).

Caultron - really surprised that womanless beauty pageants are concentrated in the southeast of the US. I was expecting this to be something that came from the liberal west coast, or maybe New England. Looking again at some of the kids larking around in these photos, I do wonder whether such events are carried out in the right spirit - as a positive event or with something of a mocking undertone?
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Re: Spirit Week (Gender Bender Day), Womanless Beauty Pagean

Postby STEVIE » Mon May 13, 2019 7:31 am

FranTastic444 wrote: Looking again at some of the kids larking around in these photos, I do wonder whether such events are carried out in the right spirit - as a positive event or with something of a mocking undertone?


There may well be a lack of gravitas but let the kids have some fun too. If it means that some of them can find an outlet however fleeting so be it. I myself, used dress down days as my intro to skirts at work and that meant flying in the face of an awful lot of parody and dubious humour too.
As a kid I didn't like fancy dress parties either and I still don't. However, I do seem to recall that some members have used them and events like Halloween to "out" their skirts.
I also have a particular distaste for "Mrs Brown's Boys". UK hit show, Mrs Brown is played by a guy in drag and I find it seriously unfunny. Check u-tube.
As for Beauty Pageants in any shape or form, I'm not sure how much relevance they can be accorded in the first place.
Many true words are spoken in jest and maybe, just maybe this is still a step in the right direction.
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