Beyond Lipstick: Expressions of Queer Femme Identity in Dress & New Media
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 16:54 by Concettina Maria Laalo
This paper and its corresponding creative project beyondlipstick.ca, an online gallery of self-identified queer femmes, seek to examine queer femme-ininity through the lens of academic fashion theory. A call for submissions invited femmes to submit self-portraits and answer a questionnaire on the subject of femme identity and dress. Through the visual and content analysis of submitted self-portraits and questionnaire responses, I investigate visual signifiers of femme identity and position queer femme-ininity as self-aware, intentional and distinct from heteronormative femininity. Themes that emerged from the submissions include; excessive femininity, embracing femininity, empowered femininity, and femme as an identity rather than a style. The beyond lipstick.ca project engages queer femmeininity on three levels: first, as a visual articulation of queer identity; second, as a conscious appropriation of contemporary Western heteronormative femininity; and third, as an expression of femme visibility and community on an online platform.