Fashion is a Feminist Issue

VogueA friend over on Facebook posted this excellent article by Greta Christina recently. Here are some key snipets:

“fashion and style are so much like a language, I’m always a bit baffled when people say things like, “I want to be judged on who I am, not on the clothes I wear.” It’s a bit like saying, “I want to be judged on who I am, not on the words that come out of my mouth.””


“It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.”

The topic of makeup and fashion, as it pertains to my feminist sensibilities, is something I think about a lot. I think about why I do what I do or wear what I wear, and have again and again come to the conclusion that it feels great to ME, but I acknowledge also that I don’t tend to do makeup, hair, or get dressed up when I plan to stay home. See what I mean? It’s not JUST for me. It is also for the way I feel when I go out among people, perhaps collecting a compliment or an appreciative gaze now and again.

The fact is, I am a social creature, and fashion for me is an expression of self–a way of telling the world who I am and what I am about without speaking a word. And quite naturally, I think, as that social creature I want “who I am” to be pleasing to those I come in contact with. Thus the way Greta likens our choice of fashion to a language really resonated with my opinion of “fashion as wordless communication” I always held.

What do you think? Go give it a read and share your thoughts in the comments below!