Celebrating International Women's Day with our Note to Self sweatshirt.
On the eve of International Women's Day 2019, we got to talking about what feminism means to us. On a day that's supposed to empower women, why does the the word 'feminist' still bring negative discussions? Some people still have the idea, that being a feminist means you either 'hate men', don't care about fashion or make up or are going to start lecturing people on why women are better than men (not saying a word!), when actually, it's just about wanting equality for everyone, and surely everyone wants that right!?
Empowering women is a massive part of our goal here at ROR. Holly is a powerful girl boss, who employs and supports other strong women (and men) and has created a business that regularly promotes powerful statements through fashion. Yes, 'traditionally' the fashion industry and feminism doesn't fit together with what people could assume a feminist would be. Caring about your image, clothes and the latest trends are important to us and a lot of women; does this mean we can't be feminists? Of course it doesn't!!! The illusion that women who are powerful and successful, can't also care about things some people may describe as 'trivial' is absolute rubbish.
However; from personal experience, I know when I say I work in "fashion" people definitely have preconceptions about my beliefs and values. Of course, this isn't fair or correct, but why does it still happen in 2019? I LOVE clothes. I can't get enough. I love the way the look and how they make me feel. I also love reading, politics, history, campaigning and cocktails (obvs) - but why do some people think feminism has to be exclusive of liking how we look?
A women's image is vital in making her feel confident and empowered. For some women, this will be no make up, for some it will be fake lashes and lippy. It doesn't matter what makes women feel good, what matters is that it shouldn't matter! Women are constantly judged. Last year, Little Mix made a stand against the abuse people had shown them about their "skimpy" outfits and released an image of them naked, covered in the words people use to describe them; most of which were derogatory. Here at ROR we loved it. The girls felt empowered and comfortable enough to be in their own skin. However...it got a backlash. People said they were using their bodies to make a point and it was setting a bad example for your girls. Many journalists said it went against feminism, and that they should "make their point in clothes". ARGHHHH! So they completely missed the point. The girls, were trying to say that they were still comfortable with their bodies, despite what media and society have said. Surely this is a great step for feminism? If you don't agree, then surely you can still accept that women can do what they want with their bodies?
People may love stars like Beyonce, Ariana Grande and Shakira, but each one of these powerful, beautiful and strong women, have all been attacked for what they wear. Yes, something as seemingly unimportant as how they dress, has become a reason to attack. Yet all three women have written empowering feminist anthems that have motivated and encouraged young girls, should we forget that because they like make up and wearing short skirts - of course not.
Men don't get evaluated on what they wear. No one mentioned David Cameron's shoes when he was Prime Minister, yet Teresa May is constantly judged on her choice of footwear. A powerful, intelligent women who runs our country (whether you support her or not) is not judged on her party politics, but rather her leopard print kitten heels (which we loved - YAS girl). Sad. Yet, there is progress. Women in all industries are standing up to the feminist stereotype. Feminists can be pretty, fashionable, silly, fun, sexy and WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT TO BE!
What do you think a feminist should be? Is it fair to be judged on our appearance? We'd love to hear your thoughts!