Baylor University freshman basketball star Brittney Griner first drew attention with her talent on the court, and now her androgynous look has sparked a discussion about what defines beauty. Standing at six-foot-eight, Griner boasts defined, sculpted features and a toned, muscular physique. Stylists and casting agents are attracted to her look, which they find beautiful in a nontraditional sense. Love editor and stylist Katie Grand thinks someone with a look like Griner’s would be “fantastic to work with, since I try to work always with people who are interesting on a lot of levels.”
Model agent Paul Rowland, who recently left Women agency to head up the women’s division at Ford, said he loves her look. “I always love one-offs and amazing creatures,” he told the Times of the 19-year-old student. “Maybe I should represent her? Why not? I can imagine a market for that.”
Over the last three decades, [Terry Castle, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University] added, “There’s been increased visual and possibly social tolerance, especially in the realm of women’s sports, of individuals who could reasonably be called androgynous.”
Fashion’s gravitation toward Griner’s look further suggests we’re entering a time that’s about truly powerful women. Pantsuits dominated the fall runways, showing up at Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, Vera Wang, and more. Clean, makeupless faces emphasized natural beauty at Louis Vuitton, BCBG Max Azria, and Yigal Azrouël, among others. Curvier figures were seen on Miuccia Prada’s fall runway, while fashion editorials in V and French Elle recently featured plus-size women. Maybe Griner’s ascent will also help usher in a new era of androgyny defined by presence and poise instead of having the hips of a skinny 16-year-old boy.