11 Feb 2011

Cross-dressing ancestors

The practice of dressing up as somebody from the opposite sex does not particularly fascinate me, but, I suppose, whatever turns you on....!

It is quite interesting though to look at what have been matters of current and regular behaviour, imposed by parents on their young offspring even in quite recent times. Here are a couple of examples from my own family, which show how it was, even in the early part of the 20th century, the "done thing" to dress small boys as if they were girls.

This is my father, who was born in 1906, and who must have been aged around three years old at the time. When I think about the war he waged against me for my "beatle" haircut in the early 1960's, not to mention my rapid slide towards the Stones a couple of years later! This was Pretty Things stuff in about 1909. Here's another one from what must have been the same session...

Seemingly it was only at about the age of five that boys of this generation (and, possibly, social group), started to be dressed like boys. Here is a picture of him as a page for a wedding, a few years later (he is the smallest one on the far right!)....

Going back to the 19th century, this habit was probably even more widespread. Below is a series of photos of my maternal grandfather, which show the gradual shift from being dressed as a girl, to having boy's clothing while retaining long hair, and finally to the then accepted apparel and hair style (more or less) for a young man.  I am sure that someone can come up with a smart theory for all of this. I find it quite touching, as well as ironic when I remember the hard time these generations gave me for my seemingly (to them, and much later) eccentric dressing habits.