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FBFF Q&A: What does a feminist wear?

25 Mar
Daily outfit black dress with blue bows and blue tights.
Bows and boots, perfect for a feminist
Daily outfit wearing orange ombre scarf
Wearing my Style Nation swag from Cheeky Boutique

Feminism and fashion have been a hot topic lately, one I touched on briefly a few days ago. What does being a feminist have to do with anything? If the way I dress gets attention, more specifically male attention, does it revoke my license for gender equality? Am I to be taken less seriously because I’m deemed feminine or sexy? Am I taken to be taken more seriously for hiding my body? This week’s questions revolve around this exact topic.

FBFF: Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion?

FJ: No. It’s a matter of perception. I would turn the question around and ask, what would make you believe that there is? Does my love for a male dominated sport make me less feminine? These are all stereotypes and perceptions. I believe that the point of feminism is not just gender equality but freedom from gender-based behavior and obligations. In fact, I would add to this and say there is no obligation to equate fashion to stereotypical femininity. What if my love for fashion was simple, masculine lines? Would it suddenly be deemed appropriate feminist garb? Of course not.

FBFF: There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?

FJ: I don’t, nor do I feel the need to. I bring up different topics that I’m passionate about and speak in my own voice but my blog is mostly about my fashion so it will not feature every aspect of my personality or interests. I might loosely cover unrelated topics which will shed light on my personality, of course, but my assumption is that most readers didn’t come here to read about how things are going at work or my family dynamics, for that matter.

FBFF: With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?

FJ: I don’t know. I’d like to think that there would be more emphasis on comfort but what we purchase and how we choose to dress ourselves is still a personal decision at the end of the day. Therefore, who’s to say that anything would change? Frankly, I don’t know enough about the fashion industry to understand what goes into it. I can say that perhaps the same changes we’ve seen as a society by having women in the workplace and in power would be reflected within the fashion industry. Would there be more compassion in the industry? Would we have realistic models, realistic size? I would like to think so.

FBFF: How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?

FJ: I believe I’m free to carry myself any which way I choose. It is my choice to be androgynous or glamorous, sexy or covered up, feminine or not. I’m not naïve and understand that each choice I make carries with it an impression, people will see me and judge me. It doesn’t matter what I wear, we’re human animals looking to identify and understand. We do this by categorizing, stereotyping and judging. Hopefully we take it further by looking at the entire picture in and not just the first aesthetic impression.

It would be false to say we don’t judge a book by its cover, we do. Then we continue to create this judgement or impression by reading the title. Perhaps the author’s name lends an additional amount of information, the description on the back cover, the content of the story. The point is that it is up to us to remain open and continue taking information in with the understanding that our first impression is still only a portion of the whole. It’s up to me to communicate other aspects of my personality as I go through life, it is up to others to remain open from the time of their first judgement.

FBFF: Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

FJ: Both. They are decorations but we live in a society where such decorations are the norm. If I were the only person in the entire state to fancy makeup, perhaps I’d only wear it once in a while, or perhaps never but I’m not. I may not consciously apply makeup every morning thinking to myself I must compete with other women, I must blend in, but these are subliminal and primal actions. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I have no problem leaving the house without makeup but it is a choice not a pressure I feel to do so. Everything I do, every way that I decorate myself is appropriate for the context of living in this society but ultimately I do it so that when I look in the mirror I like what I see.

I feel it does reflect the truth about myself. It says I take pride in how I present myself. I could expound further by using examples of inner dialogue versus public discourse, it’s all a choice. This is how I want to be seen. I exercise the freedom to choose how I want to be perceived every day. Exercising our freedom of choice is what defines our character and separates us from other animals.

I wear what I want.

 

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting these questions. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

If feminism and fashion have piqued your interest, check out Feminist Fashion Bloggers for more information on getting involved.

 

Deets: Black dress with blue bows/ModCloth, butterknit pumpkin shawl/Cheeky Boutique, blue tights/We Love Colors, black boots/Nordstrom’s, bracelets/H&M.

 

 
 

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  1. Apple A Day

    March 25, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I’m really glad I found your blog. Lots of great writing about a great subject. I never realized just how many feminists out there who were interested in fashion. Obviously my feminism puts a spin on every choice I make and the fashion world can offer a lot of conflicts.
    I write about this over at my blog too:
    http://appleadayproject.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/what-does-a-feminist-teacher-dress-like/

    I’d love for some opinions from other bloggers. Stop by sometime if you like!

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      I was actually surprised at the same. Thanks for visiting and commenting, I’ve been reading your post on the topic. So many (extra)ordinary people out here!

       
  2. Collette Osuna

    March 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Loved all of your honest answers:0 and of course the photos….what a fabulous background too!!!

    Stop by and say Hello:)
    Enter my Fique Mochila Bucket Bag Giveaway!!♥

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks, darlin’. Congrats on the followers, you’re doing something right just being yourself!

       
  3. Even Better Than School Lunch… « The Apple A Day Project

    March 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

    [...] fashion and feminism! Mrs. Bosa has a post on what is quickly becoming my new favorite topic and A House in the Clouds gives you her take on what a feminist would [...]

     
  4. Fashnlvr

    March 25, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Love your answers sista!! Number 4 & 5 are really spot on – such a great way to think about it. I wish I had your skin – you look amazing without any makeup at all! Hugs to you!!
    Happy Friend Friday!!
    http://www.fashnlvr.blogspot.com
    Fashnlvr recently posted..FBFF- Feminism

     
    • Vonnie

      March 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      I especially loved your reply for #5, so much truth to that. “Everything I do, every way that I decorate myself is appropriate for the context of living in this society but ultimately I do it so that when I look in the mirror I like what I see.” exactly, brilliant!
      Vonnie recently posted..Beauty Looks for Charity- Japan Disaster Relief

       
  5. Sydney Shop Girl

    March 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Great answers and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

    SSG xxx

     
  6. Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby

    March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    if that is your backyard in that window….i might have already packed my suitcase to come live with you. magical!!
    Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby recently posted..style and intention

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      You’re totally welcome to come for a visit! The Oakland hills are beautiful:) xo!

       
  7. Emma at Daily Clothes Fix

    March 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Great post. I love your writing.

    Interestingly we agree on many of these answers (although you’re more optimistic about female designers). :-)
    Emma at Daily Clothes Fix recently posted..Friend Friday- Fashion and feminism

     
  8. Allyson

    March 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    “I believe that the point of feminism is not just gender equality but freedom from gender-based behavior and obligations.”

    I could not agree more! I think this was a failure of second wave feminism. While it liberated some women from some gender norms, it vilified other expressions of femininity, inaccurately categorizing them as weak and inadequate. I think one of feminism’s goals today ought to be the creation of a world where all are free to express themselves however they choose as it relates to their gendered identity. We’ve got a long way to go.
    Allyson recently posted..Friend Friday- Fashion and Feminism

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Allyson, thanks for sharing your thoughts. We DO have a long way to go but at least we’re headed in a better direction. It’s up to us to live as true to our hearts as possible. :)

       
  9. Ofelia

    March 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Very direct and expressive responses!!
    At the end of the day the best answer is when you said you wear what you want!!!!
    Ofelia recently posted..Washer- dryer and much more

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      Ha Ha, yeah, no matter what, I always end up in that place, regardless of context or expectations. It works for me!

       
  10. Jodi

    March 26, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Hey my fav gal pal blogger hot momma!! love your answers, what a great batch of questions this week.. I didnt get it together to answer them this time around.. ohhh I am baaaaddd :P

    I love your reflective thought put into your answers!!
    have a great weekend beautiful.. catch ya monday!! xoxo jode
    Jodi recently posted..Robin Hood

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      Oh you ARE bad! Busy busy gal! I think you have a lot of good excuses. I skipped running to catch up, (kind of!) xoxo!

       
  11. Lee Oliveira

    March 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Great interview.. Love the way you speak very strong about feminism.
    Lee x

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks, Lee. I always appreciate everyone’s perspective. It rounds out my experience:)

       
  12. hurricanekerrie

    March 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I love this dress! The bows are gorgeous!
    hurricanekerrie recently posted..Matchy-Matchy Much

     
  13. Joy

    March 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Well said, Fabienne! I enjoyed reading your responses. I applaud your realistic and rational outlook — and the fab photos of you as well.

    ~Joy
    Joy recently posted..Feeling Lucky Giveaway Ending on April Fools Day – Enter Today!

     
  14. SACRAMENTO

    March 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Very wise answers my dear friend.
    Thank you for your help with my outfit.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..New Platforms and Round the World project list

     
  15. Monica

    March 29, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Good, juicy, thought provoking stuff, girl!

     
    • Fabienne Jach

      March 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks lady. I haven’t forgotten that I owe you a full report. Xo!