It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This: Stella Ehrhart

By now you’ve all heard of 8 year old Stella Ehrhart, right? She is an inspiration, donning the garb of a different famous woman from history every day. Now THAT is what we call dress-up!

 

5 ways to tell if what you are consuming is Feminist

It may seem like what we post on The Closet Feminist is arbitrary or not-all-that-feminist. We do have a criteria though for determining if what we watch, read, or otherwise consume is feminist, which, let’s be honest here, usually gets an automatic thumbs up from our editorial team.

Of concern for this website in particular is of course, other fashion-y or personal style websites/blogs, magazines, fashion shows, designer collaborations, etc–which is what this list is curated for in particular.

For those of you who want to know the method behind the madness, here is what we consider before calling something ‘feminist‘ or at least female-friendly. There are LOTS of articles on this kind of a thing, so be sure to explore at your own pace elsewhere, too! In the meantime, here are 5 ways to tell if what you are consuming is feminist:

1. Is what you’re reading/watching/wearing involve the creative input and leadership of women?

Why this is important: Part of feminist theory and action suggests that women don’t have nearly as much power and opportunity as men. Just look around and think how many women are directing movies, designing couture fashion shows, running successful fashion or style-related businesses? Content made by and for women makes a big difference.

ex: women designers like Vera Wang, Donna Karan. Anna Wintour being the editor of Vogue. Mindy Kaling writing, producing, and directing The Mindy Project (all while looking terribly stylish).

2. Does what you’re reading/watching/wearing feature folks who may identify as being part of minority? (i.e., women of colour, folks who self-identify as being part of the LGBTQ2S communities)

Why this is important: Feminism and the theory of anti-oppression often collide and have much in common. Between these two theories, it is suggested (and followed by us at The Closet Feminist) that including and valuing the voices and presence of people belonging to a minority is extremely important for advancing a society and communities that are safe and inclusive for all. Translating this into the interests of this blog, diversity is the key. Most of the women in the world are of colour, yet the majority of supermodels strutting down the runway are not of colour. This is not to say that white models are not important. This is saying that diversity and representation of people of all colours, sexual orientations, and abilities is important!

ex: Rumi of Fashiontoast being one of the most popular bloggers in the world and also being of mixed race is actually a pretty big deal. Tamu McPherson running the wildly popular All the Pretty Birds is a big deal, too. Marlene Dietrich was a famous movie star and muse for many designers–she was also bisexual, and her visibility as a self-identified LGBTQ2S was-and still is, super, super important. Also, we’re assuming you’ve heard about Andrej Pejic by now?

“When I was younger, there were certain designers who hadn’t used models of color in their shows, and Christy [Turlington] and Linda [Evangelista] said to them, ‘If you don’t take Naomi then you don’t get us.’ My friends and comrades stuck up for me-and t hat doesn’t happen in fashion. I will never forget that. I don’t forget what people do. No matter how many years go by, I will always remember.”

– Naomi Campbell in Interview

3. Does it contain images or references to women of all ages and body sizes?

Why this is important: Do we really need to re-hash the fashion world’s obsession with not aging and body image? We think not. Women are subject to time and processes of nature, but, unlike men, they are expected to age gracefully and once their youth has expired, too bad.

ex: Yoko Ono-seriously, Yoko forever. Vogue’s annual Age Issue (though we think every issue should feature women and models of all ages). Nicolette Mason. Advanced Style. Rosario Dawson.

4.  Are self-identified women the ‘stars of the show’ and cast in a powerful, positive way?

Why this is important: We’ve heard a lot this past year about the ‘rise of women‘, whether it’s in comedy, business, etc. The truth is, women of course have always have been funny, good at business, etc, but unfortunately men still seem to always steal the show. Think about it. Bridesmaids was a BIG deal because it was the first comedy blockbuster with an all-women cast. Women aren’t just bitches, whiny, emotional, etc. Women are just as multifaceted and complex as men, though this is often lost on audiences. Too often women are shown as victims, helpless, or without any agency.

ex: Gwen Stefani, Emily Haines, Anne of Green Gables. Oprah, and O Magazine. Salma Hayek. Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation.

5. Are women and other minorities speaking, being listened too, and talking to one another?

Why this is important: Three words-The Bechdel Test. And we really can’t explain it better than this video done by the Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian:  and this fantastic article by Alaya Dawn Johnson.

“Modern society either obliquely or overtly tells women and girls that you’re not really all that. So women have to be detoxed from that kind of poison and informed how important they really are and that they need to protect themselves and give voice to their own thoughts”

-Maya Angelou in Parade

 

 

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