Reflections.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #56, 1980

Picture the scene: an art gallery in central Germany. A 17 year-old girl in skater gear stands admiring an intricate textile piece. Then she realises it’s an embroidered pornographic image. She blushes. She never forgets it.

Such was my introduction to feminism. Ghada Amer’s controversial pieces made me realise not only that I felt strongly about pornography, but also that I too wanted to reclaim traditionally ‘female’ pursuits and use them to dramatic effect. I got the message about the ‘male gaze’ right there, and realised I wasn’t happy about it. By the time I’d turned 18, I’d covered myself in paint and made imprints of my body on perspex. I wanted to be an active participant – not a passive role-player.

Ghada Amer – don’t look too closely…               [source]


Fast forward a decade: I’m writing a fashion blog, and am also an active member of a local feminist group. I start to feel…well, a bit weird that I’m writing posts about ‘the 12 best winter hats’ in the same week as a letter to my MP about lapdancing clubs. I figure: there must be some way that these two parts of myself can co-exist, online and everything? And what do you know? I was right.
With the Feminist Fashion Bloggers, we set out to write a batch of posts on fashion and feminism for Women’s History Month, and I don’t think anyone was prepared for what surfaced. Between us we covered everything from modelling to Marxism, body-image to beauty icons, stereotyping to slave Leia costumes to soldering in heels. As individuals writing about the fashion/feminism crossover, we contributed to the wild array of topics and opinions, made an impact in the blogging world, gained new readers and discovered new  blogs. But for me, when 40 bloggers participated in March 16th group event, our thoughts became an inspiring collective voice. I ain’t gonna lie to you, folks – I felt so excited that day.
So what has this project taught me? I’ve learnt that whether you want your fashion/feminism funny or gritty, subtle or meaty…you’ve got it. I’ve learnt that there are tons of fashion bloggers who aren’t afraid to align themselves with another ‘f word’…and some who ferociously and unashamedly wear it on their sleeves. I’ve learnt that however different our views may be, there are at least 70 women who want feminism and fashion on the agenda, who want to discuss feminism in line with their other passions and are fired up enough to keep the conversation going. We’re not done yet.
Back in January, the fabulous Citizen Rosebud asked: “where are the feminist fashion bloggers?” Two months on, I think we can all join together in saying, “Here we are.”
Have you been reading Feminist Fashion Bloggers posts?
How do you feel about the recent fashion-feminism mash-up?!

* * * * * * * * * *
This is the last part of the series of posts by the Feminist Fashion Bloggers for Women’s History Month.
Click here to read the other submissions on the new FFB blog.
And click here to join the discussion in the Google group.


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17 thoughts on “Reflections.

  1. Yay! I agree, this was a really enlightening and encouraging experience. Let’s hope it continues to be one even though there will be fewer posts in the coming months!

  2. Oh, sweetie, I too was overjoyed to mingle with like-minded fashion-forward feminists during this wonderful month. All we had to do was put out the call to find that there are so many women like us that align with feminism, even when we don’t know what that word means! I’ll be writing my post later today and I think the greatest thing about this project has been the feeling that we are not alone and allowed to explore this topic in an accepting environment: there are no wrong answers in this forum, just personal truths.

  3. I was in a psychology class in college and the professor, who was from Italy, talked about the “male gaze” and I thought it was some sort of translation error, but I’m glad it’s an actual thing LOL.

    You did an amazing job with all this. I really applaud you for pulling everyone together. It’s crazy it started with a one question and turned into a worldwide movement.

  4. Amazing post. It really is incredible how sometimes looking at a piece of art can change your perspective in a matter of moments. My relationship with my body, my feminism and my love of dress is still evolving. In some ways I think it always will be. As a friend of mine once said, “Feminism may be about choices, but we don’t make those choices in a vacuum, every choice we make has a cultural context.” I think this is true but I’d like to add that we are also redefining culture as we go along.

  5. Ive been reading the posts and loving them! That above ‘we are here’ statement made my arm hairs stand up. Whats that all about?? Im not really sure,but, if I was to guess, Id say it was part excitement and part pride, to have seen all this take off and to follow it and to see it grow even more is going to be pretty spectacular!
    ps I gave you a stylish blogger award on my blog today, x

  6. For me, feminism is all about pushing the fact that women have the right to make whatever choices they want in their lives and encouraging the masses to stop judging eachother for it…especially other women who can at times be brutal to one another. There is a quote I saw the other day, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.” ~Madeleine K. Albright, and even though I don’t believe in hell, I understand her sentiment.
    We have more power to change things when we band together and support one another, so I really commend you for putting so much thought into creating this group and “rallying the troops,” because there is much more that goes into fashion and feminism than, “who you are wearing.”:)

  7. Your post gave me goosebumps. It’s so cool that from a simple question-“Where are the feminist fashion bloggers?”-a group formed and continues to grow. I’ve loved the range of topics and perspective posted by the group this month and I’m looking forward to more in the future.

  8. Loving the FFB! You cant beat a bit of unexpected historical pornography, I had a book about it from ancient Egypt on my desk, I cant tell you the amount of people to pick it up, fill through, then BAM they realise what they are looking at he he!

  9. FFB has taught me that the fashion blogosphere is full of intelligent, social conscious females and i discovered some new blogs in the process. Hallelujah 🙂

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