Thursday, 20 April 2017

What Does a Feminist Look Like?

by Naeve Molho

The inspiration for such an article came as Lola Kirke made headlines for her ‘nicely grown armpit hair’ at the 2017 Golden Globes, instantly brandishing her as brave and a raging feminist ‘breaking the stereotypes’ for women.  The fact that this made numerous headlines is insulting to Feminism.  It’s showing the ignorance and lack of understanding of Feminism and its true meaning.  In the article published by ‘Yahoo style UK’ any information surrounding Lolas actual career or achievements was completely ignored, instead they chose to focus on the peaking wisps of body hair beneath her arms. 

The fact that the media is endorsing the stereotypes of what Feminist should look like is insulting.
Google tells us the top three attributes of all Feminists are angry, men-hating, lesbians.   This could not be further from the truth. In actual fact a Feminist can be anyone, of any ethnicity and of any sex who believes in gender equality.  Having an excess of body hair does not make you a feminist.  It’s important we stop connecting feminism with a certain type of person or style because it’s a degrading stereotype that has no truth.  The fact that the Huffington post felt it was necessary to write an article on ‘23 was to make your clothes radiate feminism’  shows the true definition and justification for being a feminist have been forgotten.  In fact the slogan on one shirt ‘The future is female’ does not promote feminism at all because feminism is not saying that women deserve better than men but that they deserve the same as men.  If the roles were reversed and that top read ‘The future is male’ there would be severe backlash and criticism. 

It has also come to my attention that Feminism has become somewhat of a style or accessory.  There is much debate about whether wearing revealing outfits is desexualising women and promoting feminism or whether it is just an inappropriate way to dress that gives off the wrong message.   A recent example of this would be Nicki Minaj’s most recent outfit which she wore at the Spring/Summer 2017 runway at Celine in which she wore a sculptural Thierry Mugler jacket exposing her left shoulder and breast. According to the ‘Globe and mail – her outfit was a refusal to conform, a topless political demonstration’. 

I think the integration of politics and fashion is a very important and modern technique which can help to bring numerous issues to the surface in the fight for equality.  The message that should be conveyed here is that it does not matter what you wear because that is not what defines Feminism, it’s your mentality and approach not your physical appearance. 

A Feminist is anyone that recognizes the equality and full humanity 
of women and men – Gloria Steinman.

1 comment:

  1. Anne Stephenson21 April 2017 at 11:20

    An excellent thought provoking article. As someone who grew up during the feminist movement of the 1960's it seems to me that many girls and young women today are not feminists and are happy with the status quo. I feel male attitudes to women have gone backwards in recent years and women are complicit in this.


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