By Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the March 2015 Socionomist
In the June 2014 issue of The Socionomist, Chuck Thompson explained that negative social mood boosts tolerance of blurred gender identity — including androgynous fashion and transgender individuals.
In this update, Thompson says a deeply negative social mood is driving a flurry of transgender expressions in Brazil, in its Carnival celebrations, fashion industry, TV shows and beauty competitions.
Read an excerpt of the March 2015 article below.
Aside from a brief respite from late 2008 through 2009, Brazil has been undergoing a negative social mood trend for the past eight years (Figure 1). During that time, transgender expressions have become even more visible in the country’s popular culture.
Currently, there is a transgender trend in Brazil’s fashion industry, spearheaded by supermodel Lea T, who was born as Leandro (Leo) Cerezo, the son of soccer hero Toninho Cerezo. Activists in her hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city, view her popularity as a step toward tolerance.
Ms. T and other trans-models have “added a pinch of exoticism to the country’s showcase modeling sector,” according to the Associated Press. Sergio Mattos, head of a Brazilian modeling agency, said one advantage of trans-models is their “long, sinewy limbs.” He added, “Once they’ve lasered away facial or body hair, they can sometimes look more feminine even than models who were born female.”
One of Mattos’ top models is Carol Marra, who has opened her own lingerie line and filmed two mini-series for major Brazilian television stations. Marra has completed a “whirlwind of commercial work,” enjoyed well-publicized appearances at Fashion Rio and Sao Paulo fashion week and posed nearly nude on the cover of the popular men’s magazine, Trip.
As Brazil’s negative social mood trend has unfolded, crossing gender lines has become more common in the country’s most populous cities, and more trans-models have come to the fore. They include Melissa Paixão, Camila Ribeiro and Felipa Tavares, who are doing runway and catalog work in Brazil’s national fashion market. …
Read the rest of the article to discover how transgenderism is visible elsewhere in Brazil, far beyond the fashion industry.
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