FBFF is thanks to the lovely Katy at Modly Chic.
This weeks topic is one that Ive been struggling with since I saw it posted in this months friend friday questions. It appeared around the same time that a group of fabulous lady bloggers that I follow, started up the feminist fashion bloggers group.
The struggle I had with it is this : how do I to participate in something that Ive never paid much attention to.? To clarify, (before I upset anybody) it is not that I dont care about having equal rights for women, I most definitely do. It is just not something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about in the past, which in hind-site maybe makes it seem like I dont care. I dont want to seem like a hypocrite by participating in this weeks fbff. Truth be told the word feminism kind of intimidates me, because I feel like by not fully understanding/embracing it, I seem like an uniformed airhead. I assure you Im no airhead. Easily distracted? Perhaps.Not well enough informed? Probably. Am I choosing to be blissfully ignorant? I dont know.
I have nothing but admiration and respect for the women who do spend a lot of time thinking about womens rights and all the women who actively campaigned to get us to where we are today, even though I know we still have long way to go.(according to a recent survey women are still paid an average of only 78% of what men are paid, for the same jobs, Yikes.)
While trying to get my head around feminism and how or if, I could contribute to both groups, I reached out to a very dear friend of mine, who I imagine came into the world screaming “I am a feminist!”. I thought by hearing her answer and a few others I might be able to answer the questions better myself. I asked her how she felt feminism affected the way she dressed and this was her awesome response. (Hello, Ciara x)
” I found this a tough question to answer. I suppose I express my feminism in the way I dress by using my clothes to express myself fully. I dont generally follow trends and I like to dress in a mixture of different aesthetics. Sometimes I like to throw on a biker jacket with some pvc boots and leggings and feel like a rock chick. Other days I like to wear a 50s pin up look with pencil skirt, cardi and fascinator. I do see gender as a performance and sometimes I like to “perform” a real femme look, other times I prefer to look more edgy. I either wear a lot of makeup, or none at all. Im a burlesque performer so a lot more thought often goes into my costume than my everyday wardrobe. Since performing, Ive begun to see my whole wardrobe as a costume. Like my makeup, my clothes are all-or-nothing. I have 2 settings – very casual, trackies/leggings and tshirts, or high glam, OTT drag queen…. I like to be playful with clothes and take risks, Im not afraid to wear something bold, like a demure pencil skirt with a latex belt and leather jacket with 6 inch spike heels. I suppose the freedom and playfulness I have with clothes mean I dont allow myself to be constricted by them. I know that in the past, I felt I needed to look a certain way in clothes, that there was an expectation on my by society to dress a certain way in order to appear attractive. I suppose my feminism helped me to outgrow that expectation and rise above it. ”
I doubt anyone could come up with a better answer than that, and that is why I love her. If she found this question tough, then I truly have no hope. Either way instead of answering the questions posed to us this week, I am just going to say that I dress the way I want to dress. FOR MYSELF. I enjoy dressing up, wearing makeup and heels but I dont feel like I have to do any of these things to look good. Have my views on how I dress or how I want to look, been influenced by the society I was raised in, one that expects women to be seen in a certain way and look certain way? Probably to a certain degree yes, but, I am happy in my own skin. Was this all just a way for me to avoid answering the other questions? Nah, (well maybe a little) Ill leave you with a link to a really great article I stumbled upon about feminism in the 90’s (the 90’s yay!) as well as this lovely quote stolen from the above mentioned awesome friend’s facebook page. I really love it and I think it sums things up rather well.
“There’s a simple way to look at gender: Once upon a time, someone drew a line in the sand of culture and proclaimed with great self-importance, ‘On this site, you are a man; on the other side, you are a woman.’ It’s time for the winds of change to blow that line away. Simple.” – Kate Bornstein