Androgyny is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics and androgynous models are often overlooked in the fashion industry, with representatives of this style being few and far between. However, model Rain Dove wants to challenge the narrow standards of beauty. Rain is an androgynous model and is currently the face of multiple beauty campaigns, as well as having walked in New York Fashion Week.
At 26 years old, Rain certainly has the figure of a stereotypical model. The former firefighter and paramedic is 6’2” with a slim 26” waist and 32DD breasts. But because her strong facial features and short haircut are considered ‘masculine’, she is often mistaken as male or transgender.
After breaking into the modelling business over a year and a half ago, Rain has appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Elle. But since having been told by designers and advertisers she’d make a great parts model, Rain wants to change our perceptions of beauty. ‘Designers and advertisers like the idea of my breasts, waist line, long legs and long neck. But have literally made gagging noises at my facial features.’
To highlight how much of an issue this is in the fashion industry, Rain has started a campaign using Victoria’s Secret’s ideas of beauty. She has staged her own lingerie photo shoot wearing the brand’s designs, before superimposing the real Angels’ faces onto her own.
‘You don’t see Victoria’s Secret women running around with even short hair. That’s too crazy for them. I want to tell people that there are more ways to be beautiful, there are more ways to be handsome.’
The aim is to have Victoria’s Secret expand their beauty standards, showing that just because a woman doesn’t fit their ideal feminine archetype, it doesn’t mean she’s not beautiful. These altered images serve to show that while many people would consider her to have the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, she is limited by the industry’s ideas about her face.
Rain hopes that people will be reminded by her campaign that beauty is subjective. She believes that she has the power to change society’s ideas about beauty, and that one day beauty will not be so limiting.
‘The face of beauty literally needs to change, which means the way we think of beauty needs to as well. That starts with us. Individually. Not hiding ourselves and standing up to say “I exist. That alone is beautiful.”‘