FBFF Questions for 03.25.11 - This week, the topic is feminism, courtesy of ModlyChic.
1. Do you think there is an incapability between feminism and a love for fashion?
Hell no. Feminism is the simple belief & understanding that women & men are equal as human beings & should be treated equally. Fashion draws distinctions in form, but not in treatment. Or at least, it shouldn't. If I'm wearing high heels & a dress, that doesn't mean I am worth less as a person than a man wearing pants. Or worth less than a man wearing high heels & a dress, for that matter.
It's a huge & unfair stereotype that women who love fashion are somehow less smart, less serious, & generally less capable than men. For fuck's sake, the modern fashion industry is RUN by men, so why does such a stereotype persist??? Christian Dior (& everyone who headed the House of Dior since Dior died), Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian La Coix, Armani, Salvador Ferrangamo, Emile Pucci, Vercacci, Fortuny, Etre, Charles Frederick Worth, Karl Lagerfield, Kenneth Cole, Perry Elis, Halston, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Bob Mackie, jeez, do I really need to list the hundreds of hugely influential men in the fashion industry? And no, not all of them are gay either, so there shouldn't be an automatic feminization of these guys for *their* interest in clothing, accessories, & the design thereof. Most of them started creating clothing for women & later branched out into men's clothing (if they did).
Point being, I find it rather ridiculous that fashion continues to be belittled as a solely female & therefore frivolous & unworthy pursuit, not to be bothered with by serious people & those seeking respect as equal human beings (such as feminists).
2. There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?
Well, I do try to keep this blog separate from my other interests because I have plenty of places online where I do other things. I really wanted one single place to show my CorpGoth outfits on a semi-daily basis. If anyone is curious, they can follow the sidebar links to my personal website, my work website, & even my husband's work website.
Otherwise, I let my outfits speak for me. My clothes incorporate my goth side & my professional side, along with whatever mood I'm in that day.
3. With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?
I think the one thing that women might conceivably change would be the range of sizes available, particularly in high-end designs. Unfortunately, this may be more affected by marketing & merchandising than strictly by designers -- I'm not sure. After all, women seem to dominate fashion publishing a la Anna Wintour at Vogue. Magazines attempt to set the trends & tell us what to buy, via both editorial content & their ads.
I don't think we can easily blame any problems with fashion on men or women. It's a collective, societal issue that has far deeper roots than one industry.You could say that fashion, merchandising, & advertising are tools of the patriarchy, & both genders can get wrapped up in sending sometimes sexist or misogynistic messages through these tools (particularly when it comes to body image & sexuality).
4. How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?
"To thine own self be true" has long been my motto in all things. Whether in my work, personal life, or dress, I strive to be true to my inner self. I couldn't wear a uniform, I couldn't be a stay-at-home wife/mom type, those are all lies to my independent spirit.
5. Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?
I don't think fashion is, by definition, superfluous. What you wear, the image you create, has strong meaning. Whether you like it or not, you will be judged by your appearances, & you have the power to influence that judgement by what you wear & how you present yourself.
I feel that my clothing/makeup/hair creates the image of a creative woman with an edge. That could be seen as being hard or it could be seen as being innovate; I'm ok with both interpretations. But foremost, I am creative, I don't want to blend into a crowd, my work is unique, my interests are varied, my opinions are strong. I think this is all hinted at in my clothing. At the same time, I don't dress to scare people off or freak them out -- I am still approachable & appropriate for whatever setting I'm in. That speaks to my professional capabilities & my willingness to work with different people.