Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fashion or Feminism?: I'll take them both and in every colour!

Yesterday, I was reading my weekly copy of 'Grazia' magazine when I came across an article by Polly Vernon. In the article, Polly looked at the recent furore surrounding Louise Mensch (author and Tory M.P) who appeared in 'GQ' magazine. Following on from her appearance in the magazine, some newspapers started to compare her to Katie Price. Janet Street-Porter also criticised her in an article entitled 'You can't be a clothes horse AND a feminist'. Whilst Polly Vernon didn't defend Louise Mensch personally, she was determined to "defend a feminist's right to fashion", and describes herself as a "fancy, furious, frock-wearing feminist". 

The piece really struck a chord with me, as on a number of occasions I have had comments (or worse the condescending 'look') from people who are dismissive of my love of fashion and beauty, as if it is impossible to be interested in both Chanel AND what's going on in society. I might have Chanel 2.55s in my eyes (a girl can dream!), but that doesn't mean that I am blind to anything outside the world of fashion and beauty. It also raised a wry smile, as it reminded me of a comment one of my house-mates made to me when I was in University: "You would definitely be my 'Phone a Friend' Lou, as you know what nail polish is in this season and also lots about History & Politics." Which was just as well since those were my degree subjects! Although I'm not sure why she thought these were mutually exclusive.

Louise Mensch (Photo: Simon Emmett/GQ)

I agree wholeheartedly with Vernon's take on the issue, that "good clothes can be empowering". It's not about having to wear hideously expensive pieces. but rather pieces that express who you are, or that make you feel good. I am really interested to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever had any negative comments about your love of fashion and beauty? What was your response to those comments?


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