Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fashion & Feminism: Will They Be Friends?

This article on feminism and fashion is a bit old but very relevant for me these days. It briefly discusses Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism, a book by University of Illinois professor Linda M. Scott. A woman's interest in the way she looks and the possibility that this interest can be used to question her integrity as a feminist is a fascinating investigation, I find. I've been musing over this subject a lot and I want to know what other women's thoughts are. In a previous post observing riot grrl Tobi Vail's thoughts on the matter, I alluded to my personal battles with fashion and feminism wondering, at points, if the battle was fictitious; forged within myself in order to convince my inner monologue that I was indeed only a real feminist if I neglected the oppressive culture purportedly established by the fashion industry.
However, I still don't really think I've talked that much about it with other women, nor have I heard many firsthand opinions on the matter being voiced by my fellow feminists. I adore dressing up. I have time and time again come to realizations on how what we wear speaks wild volumes about our identities... sexually, intellectually, and influencially. I can't help but see "fashion" as a mysterious and very beautiful artform - a documentation of human history as with body modification, paintings and photographs. Are these not things that feminists have the freedom to enjoy and acknowledge unforgivingly? Where do we stand in this whole thing?

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