Friday, March 25, 2011

FBFF for March 25: Feminism and Fashion

Hello, All -

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another FBFF post.  Today’s Fashion and Beauty Friend Friday topic is Feminism.  This is a topic that has been making the rounds through the blogosphere for the past couple of months, but this is the first time I've posted anything on it.

1.      Do you think there is an incapability between feminism and a love for fashion?

Absolutely not.  I don’t think having a love for fashion means you can’t be a feminist or that being a feminist means you can’t love fashion.  That’s like saying you can’t love art because you’re a trucker or you can’t be a trucker because you love art.  That’s ridiculous.  Fashion, and other art forms are universal – that’s what makes them so wonderful.  Having a love for fashion, whether for form or function or both, is accessible to everyone.

2.      There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog? 

I don’t.  I mean, I want to, but I’m not very good at it.  Usually, if I do discuss anything, it generally has to do with what role fashion played in that particular something.  I'm easing into opening up about myself though.

3.      With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role? 

I really don’t know much about the inner workings of the fashion industry but as an outsider, I can’t see that it would change much.  For example, I don't believe it would be more compassionate – fewer sweatshops for example – because some women care just as much about “the bottom line” as men do (ahem, Kathie Lee Gifford).  Maybe I could say that if women played a larger role, the clothes would be more comfortable or more flattering to women of all shapes and sizes, but I don’t know that I believe that.  There are men in the industry who make comfortable clothes and women who make uncomfortable clothes.  And of the designers who make clothes in sizes bigger than 8 or 10 or 12, it seems to already be a mix of both men and women.

4.      How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs? 

I believe in accepting the way I look and the way I’m built and not trying to change either of those.  I make a conscious effort to work with what I have so that I look my best and still look like myself.

And I think my self-image and the way I carry myself is very informed by those beliefs.  For example, I am pretty comfortable with how I look.  Face-wise, I describe myself as being “on the pretty side of average.”  And I’m very comfortable with that.  I don’t ever look in the mirror and wonder what the heck my face is doing. 

Body-wise I am a little less comfortable.  It is a little harder and I do sometimes look in the mirror and what the heck my thighs, or upper arms or muffin top is up to.  When I’m feeling that way, I just make sure that I wear something that does make me feel comfortable in the body I have and by the next day I’m usually fine.

5.      Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

I think my clothes definitely indicate the truth about myself.  I purposely wear clothes that communicate who I am and how I feel about myself.  I like to be comfortable, I like to be able to move, I like color, I like being tall, I don’t love my thighs but am otherwise comfortable with my body – my clothes show all of this.  I wear clothes I can ride a bike in, I wear color almost every day, I wear heels regularly, and I wear a lot of a-line skirts and dresses because they flatter my thighs.

I don’t wear makeup or do my hair with any regularity, but I think my lack of a hairstyle or a beauty regimen also communicates a truth about myself.  As I said above, I am comfortable with my looks and don’t believe they need to be “enhanced” in any way.  If I started wearing any more makeup than mascara and the occasional lipstick, I wouldn’t be true to myself.  It’s important to me that I be able to look at myself first thing in the morning and last thing at night and be okay with the face I see there.  I’m afraid that if I wore makeup, I wouldn’t like how I looked without it.  And that sounds like a slippery slope to me.

As always, thank you to Katy of Modly Chic for preparing these questions.