Red Carpet Appearance Makes Gender-Nonbinary Actress Question Body Hair Standards

jacob tobia

Jacob Tobia

Just a hunch: It’s more than the body hair that makes him feel “out of place.”

From Yahoo: Outdated beauty standards have deep, dark roots. Case in point: The red carpet, where actors parade in front of cameras and are still all too often only asked about their designer clothes. Jacob Tobia, genderqueer writer and performer, addressed the challenges ahead in a Facebook post recapping an appearance at the GLAAD Awards.

As Tobia wrote in a post-event breakdown that has garnered praise across social media, “Last night was hard … it really dawned on me how much further we have to go.”

The caption continued, “While gender nonconforming and nonbinary people are making progress in some ways, it’s generally only been people who fit a certain androgynous, hairless, youthful look.” Anyone who’s watched an awards show will find it hard to disagree with this.

As Tobia points out, body hair norms need to change even for their appearance on the red carpet to not be considered “radical.” “I felt out of place because I refuse to get rid of the hair that’s on my body,” the caption continued. “I felt the weight of what it means to push back against the idea that hairlessness equals beauty.”

The post has gotten plenty of love on social media from commenters thanking Tobia for being so open and honest. Tobia explains to Yahoo Beauty that sharing struggles is a coping mechanism and hopes others can relate to the difficulty. “I used to think that I needed to put up a front, that I had to pretend that navigating the entertainment industry and media world was effortless for me,” Tobia explains. “But the more that I’ve opened up about days when I haven’t felt as good, or when things have been tough, the more support and love I’ve gotten from folks. Sharing about the challenges that I face makes them feel less intense; putting things out in the world helps me to cope with them, y’know? And that in turn helps other people feel less alone in their struggles.”

As for the future, one bad night on the red carpet doesn’t mean all hope is lost for the industry. Tobia is clear that GLAAD wasn’t to blame for any feelings of uncomfortableness — instead, the problem goes back to the embedded culture in Hollywood. “I want to see a world where a broader spectrum of nonbinary and gender nonconforming people/bodies are celebrated,” says Tobia. “I want to celebrate curvy nonbinary bodies in tuxedos, I want to celebrate hairy nonbinary bodies in gowns. I want to move away from the idea that the only gender nonconforming people who deserve to be celebrated are androgynous, thin, white, and hairless. That’s what I hope to see in the industry going forward; it’s a world that I think we can build together.” And that’s the red carpet we want to walk on.



19 responses to “Red Carpet Appearance Makes Gender-Nonbinary Actress Question Body Hair Standards

  1. Blind date from HELL

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Didn’t we formerly call people like Jacob a transvestite? Is this term no longer politically correct? I can’t keep up.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Jacob Tobia. What’s dat?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kevin J Lankford

    May be one day all will be well when we evolve to the point that all men are actually born men, and all women are actually born women.

    Dang…Now I’m confusing my self.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Where’s the ladies room?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ugly is as ugly does.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Judging from the statements he made, I can only assume that his favorite words are . . . . . “I want ……….I want ………..I want.” How gives a flying fig what this person wants!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. These people have WAY too much time on their hands.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Had no idea what a “nonbinary” person was…but was willing to learn when I opened this post. (I immediately assumed that it was a cross-dressing bi-sexual who declines choosing one sexual identity or another….all that, just from the photo!) HA! Non-binary still means the same thing as “confused sexual identity.” Re-naming doesn’t change anything. It’s just the fancy-dancy post-Obama admin. cultural values emerging once again into the spotlight. “Pity poor me….” WE (he/she says) have a long way to go (in accepting normal adult body hair growth according to our birth chromosomes….straight up male or female…..) Well…HELLO….I accept my body hair where it is for my birth gender….and I accept that men who want to be women are going to have beards and other hairy places. I also accept that it is THEIR choice to shave or not to shave…that is the question! IT’S THEM who have to “get over it.” NO “WE” to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hate to tell him, but this has already been done and better:,ESC2014_Meet%26_Greet_08_(crop).jpg

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Welcome to modern America! Whoopee!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. So his mumble jumble is how you describe someone that wants to be a woman, but just doesn’t want to give up his oh so cool five o’clock beard?
    His excuses are pathetic.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Errm, what kind of work does this person believe it will find. I know Hollywood has very fluid standards of beauty (I.e. Lena Dunham). But seriously what is this dude/duddette going to do when nothing less than the casting couch is the only option to get work in a film? Ugh…….

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So, he wants to be a rich old lady. An old famous actress of days gone by. ‘No wire hangers!’

    Well, guess what, dude, you’re not and you never will be. Pretend all you want, it doesn’t mean we have to as well! And that’s what he really wants, what he really cares about, for us to pretend too to make his fantasy real. Nope, sorry, nuh-uh, not happening.


  15. Pingback: I Wake Up Screaming | Lee Duigon

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