The Feminist Wears Prada!
What do people know about feminists? They believe in equality of the sexes and advocacy of women’s rights. Well, many students in Delhi University feel that feminists are “girls” who want women empowerment and have a “bohemian dressing style”. They do not wear makeup and like to be messy. First of all, Feminist is anybody who believes in gender equality and secondly feminism doesn’t command one’s dressing style or get up.
In a number of gender meetings feminists have shared the idea that we must love ourselves the way we are, with body hair and without makeup because the society has internalized the concept of beautification of women. But at the same time it doesn’t close the possibility of fetish for fashionable clothes, jewelry or high heels. I remember a peer of mine telling me right after we got out of a beauty parlor to head towards the gender meeting venue, “Look at me all red with threading, and there I have to face all these hardcore feminists”. This is how our concept of feminism gets messed up! Body and facial hair or no such hair, is completely one’s personal choice, and it does not indicate feminism or anti-feminism in any way.
Talking about clothing, Coco Chanel revolutionized the corset culture in France, to liberate women from the pain of grasped ribs and breathlessness, by her own line of casual clothing. Are corsets gone? No, women still use them. If one knows whatever they are wearing or whichever fashion they are following and they follow it by choice, because they themselves like that get up, then there is no question of oppression or awkwardness. The world is composed of amazingly different types of people and one’s ideology cannot be foisted on the other, for both are very different in nature and psyche. Feminism has no relation to how one dress ups. I know of men who flaunt their high heels and flawless make-up and there are women who walk the ramp bald-headed. One could be a lookist; one might just not like the sight of hair on body. Many women get their whole body waxed for they love skin as smooth as silk and “so do many men”. Some men get their eyebrows trimmed, when they love to keep stubble too.
So, a Feminist really doesn’t look like this or that, if people in khadi kurtis and sling bags can be feminists then people with high heels who love it all jazzy, can also be feminists!
———— About the Author: This article has been contributed by Aqsa Zaidi, our intern. Aqsa is a Botany Hons. Student from Hindu College, Delhi University. She feels it’s her constant struggle and effort to understand and redefine independence and equality in its purest form through her writing . Believing in women and youth empowerment, Aqsa wants to induct the same in her readers.