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16th February 2015

Feminism and fashion: a perfect pair?

Kassi Allcock explains why fashion and feminism are more compatible than you might think

“If you’re a feminist, why do you care so much about fashion and beauty?” is one of the questions I am most frequently asked whenever the topic of feminism is raised. Too many people assume that having an interest in equal rights for men and women entails a hatred for the fashion and beauty industries. Despite how strongly this assumption may be held, the two worlds can correlate. I am well within my rights to preach that men and women should be attributed the same level of respect, as well as being fully knowledgeable about the upcoming trends in SS15, and which high-end make up brands are worth the extra few pennies.

The key reason for this misconception is the wrongly associated link between beauty and intelligence. In the past, men have been seen as the smarter sex, and have therefore been taken more seriously. Stereotypically, people tend to paint an image of a hard-working and studious woman to be one with little care for her appearance. The reason for this might be that she cares more about her brain than her body, or that she finds fashion and beauty to be an inferior interest. Making the assumption that all intelligent women think this way is wrong. It is equally wrong to assume that all women who care about their appearance are unintelligent. Just because a woman likes to wear make up does not mean that she has a small brain capacity—it just means that she likes to express herself.

I consider myself to be an intelligent individual and I also look forward to applying my make up in the morning, am constantly scrolling through Pinterest for new hair style inspiration, and a bubble of excitement pops inside of me when the delivery man hands over an ASOS package. The fact that there are people out there that think the latter three facts dilute my intellect really grinds my gears. Feminism is something to be celebrated, and so is the fashion and beauty industry. Brains and beauty can easily go hand in hand.

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