I’m fashionable, it doesn’t mean I’m pandering to patriarchy

Leanne on Saturday|Preferring to look elegant and well polished should not be seen as adverse to feminism. I find that there is a general assumption of how feminists should look as opposed to how feminists should think. But, feminism is an ideology, it’s not a work suit, might I say.

Women who prefer to look dapper, dressing in trendy clothing and designer shoes are often seen as frivolous and are not taken seriously because a strong woman has been stereotyped as one that is uptight and dressed down.

While feminism no doubt needs a degree of ‘uptightness’ to progress, this so-called ‘uptightness’ should not be prescribed for every woman. The essence of the free international woman is just that, to be free!  And I think the feminist ideology itself is grounded in the concept of freedom too – to be able to do, and receive, the same as men in all aspects.

But, wanting to be viewed as an equal human should not stop me from wearing my nude lip balm on a weekday or a bright red lip stain on a Saturday night! Or sporting some Louboutins if I feel like. It’s all about choice. And freedom. That’s what makes up a strong woman.

If a woman makes a choice to be fashionable and trendy that should not be seen as pandering to “antiquated patriarchal ideals of feminine beauty…” as Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS, rightly said. 

It should be seen as making a choice and taking back personal power about how I want to look, whether that means wearing makeup or not.

Another celebrity, Gwyneth Paltrow, said it perfectly too: “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”

What Gwyneth gets right is that there are two choices for a woman, you can feel comfortable in your own skin or you can enhance your own skin, either way, you are still beautiful. So, choosing the option which suits you best is exactly what women need to do – make their own individual choices about their own damn lives.

I do understand why beauty and fashion is a contentious issue. Most beauty standards which have been set are disempowering and designed to shape women as sex objects.

Therefore, making a choice to be a fashionista should be because that is what you want not because that is what people want of you.

In addition, the line between activists and ordinary women who just want to live their lives is pretty much blurred.

There are women who prefer not to be activists. All they want is to just live their lives and just be beautiful. That, too, is feminism I think. Because staying true to yourself and refusing to be driven to conform is the definition of power.