Student Work

  • Fashion Studies (MA)

    Anthony Palliparambil, Jr.

    Floral Flaneurs: Flower Beards and 21st Century Masculinity on the Internet

    Driven by a desire to eschew the seemingly superficial and feminine pastimes enjoyed by metrosexuals at the turn of the twenty-first century, men are now asserting and redefining their own conceptions of masculinity and gender expression in novel ways. Enter the decorated beard: a practice in which men adorn their beards with flowers, glitter, candy, and toys and subsequently share their elaborate creations on various social media platforms. This thesis examines the nature of masculinity as it expressed online in the twenty-first century and explores the importance of considering social media as a legitimate site of significant cultural discourse, with flower beards being a specific case study in how notions of gender are being challenged and addressed on the Internet. This research not only provides a glimpse of how masculinity is being navigated and expressed by younger generations on the Internet but further offers a new mode of manliness: a hybridized male who exists between hegemonic masculinity and decidedly queer gender expressions.