How the Modern E-Boy is Challenging Gender Stereotypes


ShopLook: Created by Hanabs

A collage made of different outfits that are a staple of E-boy fashion.

Emily Ito , Editor-in-Chief

Since the beginning of civilization, gender norms have persisted as a leading component of modern culture. The male and female have often been forced to conform to the roles society has assigned them. In order to maintain the patriarchy that has long existed in the world, men have been expected to uphold certain “masculine” characteristics. The concept of machismo has often been associated with assertiveness, power, independence, and athleticism. If a man was to fall short of the expectations society has set for him, he would be shamed and disparaged. 

Yet with the progressiveness of the era in which we live, these views regarding gender and stereotypes have evolved. Female empowerment has taken center stage and the world has begun breaking down barriers and removing labels. Although, despite these changes, men continue to feel the pressure of asserting dominance and masculinity. To counter this backwards and ignorant mentality, an entire youth subculture has emerged. The modern E-boy is challenging gender stereotypes and influencing the way society approaches sex and identity. 

Many of these E-boys sport the haircut that is reminiscent of a young Leonardo Dicaprio or Devon Sawa. Their hair is long and split down the center. Others, like Jacob Viveros (12), may “identify an E-boy by their painted nails or their striped long-sleeved shirts worn beneath a black band tee.” And, of course, don’t forget the chains. Chains around their necks. Chains in their pockets. Chains on their keys. 

Growing one’s hair out and painting one’s nails has often been labeled a feminine activity, yet the modern E-boy defies this stereotype with his fashion and choices. Their confidence to show off multi-colored hair and jewelry is a stark contrast to the traditional views of what masculinity is. 

While it is easy to mistake the rise of E-boys as a mere fashion trend, the culture that their brand has created is promoting progress and acceptance of varying identities and preferences. 

The movement took off with the help of social media sites such as Instagram and Tik-Tok. The fashion is one of the key aspects of an E-boy, but it is the complex characteristics that one must zero in on. 

The name, E-boy, is derived from the concept of an emo (emotional) individual, thus the brand is associated with more gentle and vulnerable traits. In contrast to the male stereotype of asserting dominance and disregarding others, many E-boys are vocal and honest about their sensitivity or if they desire a stronger romantic partner. They are also often covered by layers of clothing, rejecting the notion that men must show off their muscular physique. 

E-boys have adopted and celebrated traditionally female characteristics, integrating these aspects into their identities and thus blurring the lines between femininity and masculinity. 

With the rise of this subculture of trend setters and heartthrobs, it is easy to say that the world is proudly progressing and society’s perceptions and ideas are changing.