On the beauty of androgyny

When I was in college Robert Smith was my fashion idol.


Not for me the sticky sweet treacly bubbly pretty girls in pop songs. I wanted something more…


This, to me, was beauty, in a form not quite female, not quite male.


Too bd this one turned out to be such a racist. His beauty was ethereal. His appeal: “I’m not sure if I like girls or boys. Maybe you can help me figure it out.”


They weren’t looking for male approval: they were exploring art, poetry, music. Their vulnerability and strength was their beauty.


More than crass sex appeal, androgyny is elusive and mysterious. It’s the type of beauty in which the observer is a participant. You are challenged to find the beauty, instead of sitting back and letting it serve you. Androgyny is the opposite of consumerism.

Patti Smith 1975 by Robert Mapplethorpe 1946-1989

Even men seek male approval of their masculinity. But these artists didn’t need or want that. And I aspired to that kind of beauty. Nobody could be in control of it but me.


For some, image was important. For others, not so much. But to me they were the muses who knew that art transcends visual titillation.


Here endeth the lesson with a final image of the type of beauty that moved me, tied up as it was with art.


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