Women’s clothing is designed for men. At first glance, that may seem a little odd, but the lack of diversity and presence of excess stereotypical feminine qualities (i.e. Lace, pink, floral prints, cropped) alone is a huge sign of the fashion industry creating clothes to make women seem more lady-like, feminine, girly and attractive to men. Although women can walk into Forever 21 and spend hours sorting through thousands upon thousands of articles of clothing, all of the clothes are the same thing. Or at least they convey the same message. All of the mainstream styles of clothing and what is “trendy” or “in” are all created with the focus of attracting the attention of men, not what is liked by, or even comfortable for women.
Side Note: What really gets me bitter about this is the lack of practicality in the clothes that are being designed for women, whether it’s skintight athletic clothing or pants without pockets. Like pockets. Really? Are you kidding me? Pockets for carrying my pack of gum and house keys are too masculine for your taste, Society? Please tell me why when I have on a pair of jeggings you are going to give me FAKE POCKETS, Fashion Industry. But I digress.
But just in case you didn’t know, let me fill you in:
Not all women to dress the way they do to attract the male gaze.
Yep, believe it or not, there are many of us that want to fit our own standards of beauty or take different styles and looks and make it into our own to represent who we are as individuals, not to impress men. Now, I’m not saying that it’s a problem if you want to go and put on something revealing or sexy to feel flirty and dangerous (go get em girl). What is a problem is that when women do dress in something that shows off their bodies, society seems to think that its only because we want a man to look at us. Women should be able to wear what they want, when they want, and not let it define them or lock them into the box of the fashion media’s representation of a woman.
However, despite this societal norm impressed on women by the fashion industry, there are SO many women lashing out on these expectations. One way women are firing back at the fashion industry is by wearing shirts, accessories, and other clothing, that only redefines the standards on feminine clothing, but actually graphically displays feminist statements. There are so many new brands and pop up businesses, like http://www.feministapparel.com/ that are creating t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other gender neutral pieces to be worn to embrace feminism. This new form of activism is strategically utilizing the male gaze to empower women and support feminism. Women are selectively choosing their clothing to defy the norms of women’s fashion and make a statement to spread and encourage feminism and gender equality.
From average women to celebrities to even men, individuals are taking action and fighting against the stereotypical “feminine” idea of clothing, and making a statement; that is, figuratively and literally. Ariana Grande (pictured right) is a celebrity who speaks out pretty often in support of feminism and gender equality on Twitter, on radio shows, and through her clothing.
The ever gracious and well spoken, Emma Watson (video below), continuously preaches gender equality and feminism. Just one of the ways she lashes back at the media’s representation and oppression of women is through fashion and style.
And actress Sophia Bush courageously fought back against Urban Outfitters in 2010, after a notably disturbing t-shirt for women was designed and put on sale on the UO website. Bush then designed her own t-shirt to tell women that they do not need to reduce themselves down to nothing in order to be beautiful, and that there is so much more to value women on than their size or looks in general.
The amount of women lashing back at the fashion industry is already such a large population, the future seems promising in the women finally getting what women want out of clothes. Hopefully, it won’t stop there.
So go ahead ladies (and men!), make a fashion statement.