Fashion and Feminism
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Join Date: Feb 2008
I'm not going to go into too much detail about it since I'd be here all day if I did...
I do believe fashion and feminism can coexist. Or more accurately,
and feminism can very happily coexist. It's not a betrayal of feminist ideals if you like to wear lipstick and pretty clothes and shoes, since IMO the whole point of feminism is to enable women to have choices in the way they live and present themselves, and to have those choices respected. It's a means to express yourself, and I think that's an amazing thing.
On the other hand, I think the fashion
itself can be appallingly misogynistic in its treatment of women (who constitute a large chunk of its work force). Just look at the treatment of models- I can't help but think of the stories of Ali Michael, Coco Rocha and Natalia Vodianova- or the reports about Terry Richardson (in any other industry, a man "requesting" sexual favours from a young woman in order to work with her would be likely to be slapped with a lawsuit, but in his case? Business as usual).
And I'm not even going into debates on the blind consumerism encouraged by mainstream fashion magazines (with the messages being: change your wardrobe every six months! Buy ugly sh*t because it's trendy! Expensive clothes and shoes will change/complete your life!).
I'll sum it up by saying, you
engage with fashion in a feminist manner if you so choose, and it is possible for fashion and feminism to coexist- but the industry doesn't really value that. Also, I believe that fashion gets a very bad rap partly because it's seen as a thing for women- I see men spending more on cars and electronics (iPads? come on!) than women do on clothes (which are, after all, a necessity) but because fashion is more "frivolous" than electronics, it's easier to criticise it. I realise I sound rambly, but I'm sorry- v. sleepy here.
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