Opinion – Bimini Bon Boulash is shaking up fashion’s gender norms

Bimini Bon Boulash announces their signing to model for Next and remains a much needed voice for Gen Z.

Despite still not having fully recovered from the disappointing finale of Drag Race UK season two, I wasn’t surprised when last Monday Bimini Bon Boulash announced their signing to the Next model’s main bookings list.

Bimini Bon Boulash’s insane trajectory during the competition will be difficult to forget. In the first episode of the season, they were relegated to the bottom two queens and had to lip-sync in front of the other contestants and judges in order to scrape through to the next round.

Already back then, Bimini’s smart and disruptive approach to style was clear, challenging the hyper-masculine realm of football matches by pulling off an extra femme Norwich City FC football kit (which did not leave much room to imagination).

With more than half of Gen Z not fully recognising themselves in the stifling gender binarity, Bimini Bon Boulash becomes the spark of a revolution that will strike the fashion industry for the next few years.

On their Instagram post announcing their signing with the prestigious model company, Bimini says that ‘for the average person walking down the road, being seen as androgynous is not easy. There’s just not been that many people out and proud as non-binary.’

They then continue, ‘the tide, however, is turning and gender constructs are becoming more fluid, thus encouraging people to feel freer.’

Incredibly creative and always pushing their boundaries, their outfits during the competition were a circus of volumes and geometries, textures and optical patterns, each one depicting a new and unique side of this outstanding artist.

Their fame also showed how much there is still to do for trans and non-binary rights. In fact, a mural celebrating their success on the show, painted on a Norwich underpass, was defaced a few days later.

The performer did not hesitate to comment on this violence saying on Twitter that they felt sorry for the people who felt threatened or intimidated by a message portraying love, positivity and kindness’.

They also added: ‘I will never stop being myself. I’ll never shy away from living an authentically queer experience even if there are people that disagree with our existence. Trans rights are human rights and I will push that message until the end.’

Bimini already has shown themselves to be the highly-needed voice of expression for many young individuals, and I am sure we will keep hearing from them for a long time.

In fact, they have also just announced their first book with Penguin. You can bet they will definitely have something interesting to say.

 

This article was originally written by Tom Crestani. ‘Hi, I’m Tom and I’m currently studying Arabic and Classics at the University of Oxford. Having lived in Jordan for a year, I now find British weather intolerably humid. Apart from devolving my time learning obscure idioms, you can normally find me reading about literary analysis, intersectional feminism and the Queer world. Oh, I am also Italian and (unironically) coeliac, hence I barely eat any pasta’. View Tom’s LinkedIn for more.

@thredmag

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