Peter Nyong’o, the son of Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o shocked social media when he was recently photographed wearing a red thong, matching heels, makeup and lipstick.
Junior Nyong’o, as he is often called, is the youngest brother of Oscar Award winning actress Lupita and Zawadi Nyong’o. His studio photos drew varied reactions, some not so flattering.
The photo-shoot concept was dubbed, ‘What if Adam was Eve?’ Photographer Lyra Aoko tried merging Adam and Eve into one person. In her response to Kenyans seeking explanations about the concept, she said the photo-shoot was meant to create visuals challenging stereotypes related to gender clothing.
“We have all been trained from an early age to regard some clothes as strictly for men, and other clothes as strictly for women. And anyone who refuses to follow this code is seen as making a huge statement,” she explained in an Instagram post.
She added that the shoot connoted the value attached to masculinity and femininity, since “when a man wears trousers, most people will think little of it. The rules are, however, very different for men wearing clothes that are deemed to be for women. Put a man in a dress and it’s the stuff of comedy and ridicule, as if there could be nothing more absurd than a guy in a skirt.
Underlying these reactions is a profound disrespect for women and all that we associate with femininity. In the end, the “rules” around gendered clothes aren’t about fashion or taste. They’re about how we mark difference, enforcing and reiterating restrictive ideas about what it is to be a girl or a boy, a man or a woman.”
Lyra says that featuring Junior Nyong’o in the shoot “would challenge the rules of fashion” which in turn would “challenge our settled ideas about gender roles.”
Junior Nyong’o made his debut to the public limelight when he appeared in Ellen DeGeneres’ star-studded selfie during the 2014 Oscar Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles. His sister won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in Steve McQueen’s film, 12 Years a Slave, which won the Best Picture award.
Junior Nyong’o graduated at Stetson University in Florida, US. Like Lupita, he’s an actor who has won the Majorie Foster Gilbert Award for Outstanding Student Performer. His hobbies include playing soccer, reading, watching movies and TV series.
This is not the first time he has cross-dressed. During the 10th anniversary of Blankets & Wine in October 2018, Junior wore a maxi dress and defended it as liberal and looking good while in other occasions, he has been spotted posting half-naked photos with flowers pinned on his hair and is often unbothered by haters and naysayers.
Lupita tweeted that she had never thought of gender identities as narrated in the biblical story of human evolution as her brother portrayed them in the shoot.
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