Wednesday

A Feminist in Pyjama Pants

From The Vagenda
I AM A FEMINIST. Caitlin Moran told me so. In fact, she told me and the millions of other readers of the brilliant How To Be A Woman to stand on a chair and shout it out at the top of our voices. A BIG FAT FEMINIST. That's me.

You are probably reading this and sniggering. Admittedly, this post feels rather incongruous alongside the the rest of SW Fashion. A feminist? Who writes about self tan, post-cupcake guilt and how to wear neon? Nah.

Well, my cynical friend, I have had an epiphany. This sun soaked fortnight in Spain has confirmed what I have spent months speculating. How so, you ask? Did all that €1.45 Cava (with brekkie, lunch and dinner obvs) go to my head? Well, not quite. Alongside the numerous glasses of fizz and pans of paella consumed, I have also digested every last word of Moran's iconic book.

This book is essential reading. It ain't pretty but it's honest and it is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. It is the best book I have read since The Bell Jar and it is a tad more uplifting.

How so good? Well, Caitlin has redefined feminism and has kick-started the new wave of feminism. One for the normal woman. Women like me.

Granted, I'm not your average woman. In fact, I'm a total loony. I'm obsessive, I'm unable to sit still and I'm trying with every scrawny bone in my body to break into the already over populated fashion industry. But, in many respects, I am as ordinary as they come. A plain Jane... Just one who likes a nice Mulberry and her Jeffrey Campbells.

Back in the day, the feminists were to be feared, but this new age feminism has been a very long time coming. It isn't about man hating, or about not shaving or burning bras, it's about not putting up with any of the nonsense we face on a daily basis. And boy, once you start noticing the nonsense we ladies encounter, it's hard to ignore.

If you need further confirmation I urge you to visit the cutting Vagenda blog. Even though some of their articles are controversial, and I don't necessarily agree with all their comments, I do find it to be the best thing on the Internet. I feel like a total hypocrite for reading it before I read, and enjoy, Grazia (the magazine which the Vagenda ladies rip to shreds on a weekly basis) but they talk a lot more sense. They simply point out the glaringly obvious: magazines are not really our friends anymore.

Of course, there are exceptions, but by large magazines aren't as uplifting and empowering to women as they really should be. I hope that this can change over the next few years as a new wave of journalists storm Bauer, Hearst and Conde Nast with their lady-friendly articles. Writing that is a million miles away from the shocking nonsense that occasionally finds its way to our weekly magazines and plagues that god-awful (but rather addictive) Daily Mail website.

I do not want this to come across as slandering all current magazines as I do still love to read what The Vagenda mocks. I love pyjama pants, hell, I'm wearing them right now. I love fashion and I love preening myself for cocktails or a night out, but what I have come to realise is that I do all this stuff for ME and for no one else. I have also come to realise that many magazines are depressingly derogatory, pressing women to change when they do not need to. It's taken me 18 painstaking years to realise that, actually, I'm fine as I am. I do not need 6 WEEKS TO OMG, I do not need to have it all and I do not need a magazine to tell me that "Hey, It's Okay" to eat tomato sauce and Lurpak sandwiches or drink with breakfast occasionally. I'll do what I fancy, ta.

This, my friends, is an exciting time for women (and men, you can be feminists too!). I do not urge you to burn Grazia or Cosmo, read it and enjoy it, but remember not to take it all to heart. You don't need a gap between your thighs to be beautiful, or a collection of LBDs to get a man. You need to be yourself, coz you're great.

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