Tavi Gevinson is a an adorable 16-year-old fashion blogger who has a bone to pick: She thinks the fashion industry and feminism are often considered mutually exclusive, and that they really shouldn’t be. And we think she’s absolutely right.
Tavi, the wunderkind behind The Style Rookie fashion blog (she started it when she was just 11!) who now sits comfortably in the front row at Fashion Weeks worldwide, explained to AdWeek, “Sometimes I even still get embarrassed when people are like, ‘You have that blog, right?’ And I worry that they’ll think I’m shallow because I write about fashion, or used to.”
But you can like looking at awesome clothes and still, you know, think women should be able to vote and stuff. And she expresses herself beautifully when she explains her position.
“I definitely think that fashion and feminism can be friends,” she said. “I even think that fashion can be a tool of feminism and of self-expression and individuality and empowerment. But clearly there are flaws with the industry that still really grind my gears.”
How awesome is this girl? She doesn’t specify what those flaws are, but we can think of the media selling sex and a false body image ideal to name a few of them–and we think Tavi would probably agree.
A lot of people have an idea that feminism means hating men, not shaving your pits, not wearing dresses and generally not “acting girly,” but they’re wrong. Feminism is simply the belief that we, as women, deserve the same treatment and rights that men have. In fact, it can be considered almost anti-feminist to say a girl can’t appreciate the art and expression that exists within fashion, because it means you’re still trying to mold a woman into a certain ideal, because it’s denying someone the right to be who they are and invalidating a means of their self-expression. And if you’ve ever seen some runway shows, you know full well that fashion isn’t just about superficially looking good–it’s an expression of what you think, what you feel and who you are.
The idea of feminism isn’t anti-man or anti-feminine. It’s just pro-equality. And you can fully support that idea while still flipping through an issue of Vogue or drooling over a Marc Jacobs handbag.
Do you think fashion and feminism can go hand-in-hand? What changes do you think should be made to the fashion industry for it be more feminist? Do you follow Tavi Gevinson’s blog? Do you agree with Tavi Gevinson about feminism and fashion? Sound off in the comments!