yes, fashion and feminism are still issues at odds with each other for some people and i'm tired of it. i'm tired of this concept that women who are into fashion aren't feminist. i'm tired of the notion that a woman who works hard at the gym and watches what she eats is doing women everywhere a disservice. and i'm tired of women who think feminism is no longer relevant to today's society. (because the fact that women still get paid less than men in today's MODERN, DIGITAL WORLD isn't completely OBSCENE or anything. it isn't HOLDING BACK the human race or anything.) ugh. i gag.
saying it's wrong for women to care about fashion is A STEP BACK, NOT FORWARD. many men care about fashion and appearance, and the reaction is significantly less negative. if you do it to women then you're creating more double standards and inequality, more things that are ok for men to do but not women. if a woman likes fashion she's vapid and setting back the feminist movement, if a man likes fashion he's polished and well-dressed. does that sound like equality to you? the second you perpetuate this mentality in the name of feminism you're exhibiting hypocrisy and your own lack of understanding. it belittles the things countless men and women throughout history worked diligently to correct. and it makes feminism seem like something it isn't, causing people to rally against it instead of behind it. such as miuccia prada who basically said that being a feminist caused the parameters of female beauty to get narrower.
which brings me to my next point. if you're judging women for giving a damn about their looks, all you're doing is stereotyping and calling it feminism. "she cares about her appearance, therefore she's shallow and empty." that's on par with discriminating against someone's race. i've seen it happen time and again. a very confused girl whose "feminist" beliefs make her think she mustn't exhibit signs of femininity or creativity of appearance for fear of being viewed as "another vapid female." feminism is NOT about women attempting to morph into men. being a feminist is about being being equal while being yourself. and that is accomplished through strength of character, which you can't possibly have if you're pretending to be something you're not. besides, even the aforementioned description is an example of caring about looks. it's just wrapped in the pretense of not caring, which i would argue is far worse.
i understand wanting to broaden the standards of beauty by giving it depth and variety. but i really can't stand behind this concept that women who watch their eating and work on themselves are ruining things for other women. and just so we're clear - by "work on themselves" i don't mean undergoing surgery or taking pills or going on ridiculous diets. i don't mean taking extreme, drastic or unhealthy measures in order to "get skinny." to me that seems obvious but i have to state it because it's as though people have stopped differentiating.
generally speaking, health and beauty go hand in hand. leading a healthy lifestyle will make you look and feel better. and there's nothing wrong with watching what you eat or working out in order to achieve that. there's nothing wrong with NOT giving into cravings for pizza and cake every day. if you want to, that's fine, i'm not judging. but don't judge others for not doing what you do. don't tell people they should stuff their faces with sugar every time they crave it in the name of feminism. that's not ok. fighting against the mentality of 'all women MUST conform to a certain standard of beauty' with the exact opposite isn't progress, it's backlash.
i'm not suggesting there aren't shallow people in the world who actually do value appearance above all else. of course there are and they come in both male and female. but it's hardly the unifying characteristic of all people who like fashion. in fact, the people i look up to, be it in real life or the blogging world, exhibit a remarkable aptitude for being well-rounded and interesting with a strong sense of character. fashion is their hobby or their career and their involvement in it is bettering the industry. their understanding of fashion revolves around creative concepts and the artistry of design, not some ill-conceived personal agenda. and as a result, they're creating positive changes that do much more for equality than many so-called feminists i've met.
calling fashion anti-feminist is like calling cooking anti-feminist due to some cockeyed notion that, because women were traditionally the homemakers, they must now shun those things in the name of equality. it's misinformed, particularly if you take a moment to recognize how many women are able to excel on the business side of fashion versus other industries. expecting women to turn their backs on something they enjoy is not going to happen. shunning fashion won't end inequality and not caring about your appearance won't solve body image issues. telling women that's what it takes only makes feminism seem like a ridiculously dumb concept and makes people not want to be associated with it.
so for the sake of feminism and womankind everywhere, it's time to realize that fashion is not feminism's anti-christ. it's just like any other industry, and it doesn't define anyone. your actions and convictions do. if you believe that women ARE equal to men and should therefore be regarded that way, then you ARE a feminist, regardless of your gender or the industry you work in. and you can help propel the world into a new, better age of gender equality with your mentality. (in fact, i think we're about due for a 4th wave, don't you?) and if you love fashion, don't listen to anyone who says you can't be a feminist as a result. to them i say: "WATCH ME."