So why do the words “Mulberry” or “Louboutin” set our hearts a’flutter? Well, because we emerge from our aggressive social conditioning more than just slightly fixated on aesthetics. It’s a trait that spills over from past centuries, where draping yourself in the ideals of your time was only a tool to boost desirability on the marriage market; the only respectable achievement in a woman’s life. Thus another social constraint hinders us from unfolding our true potential, and as an incarnation of the women’s oppression makes itself a target for feminist condemnation.
But must it really boil down to a clear cut choice: be a blank emblem for whatever is attractive or reject every beauty standard set forth by male-dominated society to live out the rest of your days in recycled hemp and Birkenstocks? It is an unfair choice, and it is indeed unfair that this is a choice only women seem to be forced into. Our past has left us more adrift and isolated than our male counterparts, who seem to have no trouble producing camaraderie without the taint of competition. As lone individuals we are more receptive to the role-models and advice the media spew forth. Today, buying that statement shoe isn’t just peacocking anymore but buying into womankind.
And this is why in our time a fashionista has a right to feminism: fashion is no longer just vanity’s idle child. Balmain’s shoulderpads, plain-glass spectacles, fluoro paisley…with liberal minds come the liberal building blocks to express your own personality, whilst also being part of a greater whole. Contemporary clothes are not just trappings to increase our worth at the cattle market but our blank canvas. You can defend your values with your look to achieve calculated effects, which is an empowering thing when done with the right agenda. Feminism has made our comforts, liberation, education and opinions possible - and now we also have the equipment to display them. Use it well.