beauty

Yep, you can be a feminist and a fashion addict. These women prove it.

We present: seven women who prove style and feminism are far from mutually exclusive.

Who said you can’t be fashionable and a feminist? (No seriously, if you find that person, show them this list.)

KATHARINE HEPBURN

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

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Katharine Hepburn. Image via: thefabricsocial

An original boss from way back, Katharine Hepburn caused a very famous stir by wearing (wait for it)… pants. This was one of the great scandals of classic Hollywood. Thanks Katharine, I quite enjoy wearing pants, and no one can give the stink-eye quite like you.

She is even more awesome because she was totally unappreciated in her time:

“But before we get too nostalgic, we should remember that Hepburn was widely resented in her own time, vilified for her patrician affectations and trouser-wearing audacity; and, along with other idiosyncratically independent stars [Dietrich, Crawford, Davis], classified as box-office poison.

“Every concerted push towards women’s rights and freedoms has produced a corresponding backlash. Hepburn, who was abrasive, brash, full of herself, terrifyingly androgynous [and the daughter of a card-carrying suffragist in feminism’s first wave], had to pay for her insolence in movies that contained their own backlash.”

Truth.

LESLEY LAWSON

“Back in the ’60s, there was a car sticker that read, ‘Forget Oxfam, Feed Twiggy’.”

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Lesley Lawson. Image via: thefabricsocial

More commonly known as Twiggy, Lawson was an integral and formative member of the swinging sixties. Although not self-identifying as a feminist (sigh), Twiggy was part of the Fashion Revolution that brought hem lines up to the ass. This came at the same time as second wave feminism, The Feminine Mystique, and other cultural revolutions that redefined women’s ownership of their own body and sexuality.

Basically everyone who has ever attended a Slut Walk or shared the Free The Nipples campaign, can thank the swinging sixties and its humble mini skirt for paving the way.

JANE FONDA

“Revolution is an act of love; we are the children of revolution, born to be rebels. It runs in our blood.”

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Jane Fonda. Image via: thefabricsocial
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Jane Fonda personified the sixties on the other side of the pond – with her no-fucks-given anti-war, pro-civil rights California style.

Fonda is a chairperson of the Vagina Monologues, a long time supporter of V Day and flew to Sweden in 2006 to endorse the new feminist political party Feministiskt Initiativ. She might be 77 but she is still using her substantial powers for good.

Plus, y’know, Barbarella was the sickest.

PATTI SMITH

“Some of us are born rebellious. Like Jean Genet or Arthur Rimbaud, I roam these mean streets like a villain, a vagabond, an outcast, scavenging for the scraps that may perchance plummet off humanity’s dirty plates, though often sometimes taking a cab to a restaurant is more convenient.”

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Patti Smith. Image via: thefabricsocial

An absolute legend of androgynous minimalist style, poet and muso, Patti Smith obviously gets a mention on this list. She tends to shy away from direct questions on women’s rights, letting her songs speak for themselves. Nonetheless, we just love her gender bending ‘tude.

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MADONNA

“I feel like I’ve earned the right to say: bitch – I’m Madonna.”

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Madonna. Image via: thefabricsocial

We couldn’t agree more. If anyone knows how to manipulate the media and shock the pants off the populace, it is bad-ass Madonna herself. It mightn’t seem too racy anymore but in the 80s she sang about virginal sex and banging Jesus. Miley Cyrus, eat your heart out.

Madonna has also become more open and analytical about her beliefs in recent years. She opened up about being sexually assaulted at knifepoint as a young woman when she first moved to New York. She doesn’t shy away from the issues, and argues that women are still the most marginalised group in society. That the fight for women’s rights isn’t over — but is actually just beginning.

Amen, sista.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.

“God forbid I exude confidence and enjoy sex.”

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Image via: thefabricsocial
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Not technically a real person, but a 90s style icon nonetheless. I couldn’t put it better than this article from Bitch Media:

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s eponymous protagonist kickboxed her way, via the big screen, into our heroine-starved, media-junkie feminist hearts, along the way reconfiguring the popular vampire/horror text.

“Buffy was explicitly conceived as a feminist re-imagining of the horror genre. Buffy’s exploits implicate the audience in a witty defiance of genre conventions: Instead of shouting, “Don’t go in there!” to the naive gal traipsing through the darkened vacant house, we shout, “Go, girl!” as Buffy enters the dark alley to dispatch the monster of the moment with her quick thinking and martial-arts prowess”.

TAVI GEVINSON

“Feminism is not a rule book, but a discussion, a conversation, a process.”

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Tavi Gevinson. Image via: thefabricsocial
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Named the world’s most influential teenager, insanely cool pint-sized feminist Tavi Gevinson is the founder of Rookie Magazine, an online rag that seamlessly folds in original style articles with actual voices of young women talking about the issues that matter to them. She gives us so much hope for the future, plus her distinctly contrarian style always hits the mark.

BEYONCE KNOWLES

“I’m over being a pop star. I don’t wanna be a hot girl. I wanna be iconic.”

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Beyonce. Image via: thefabricsocial

We are so glad she finally gets it. Despite writing appalling lyrics such as “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it,” she is keenly aware of the line between owning her sexuality and letting others exploit it.

As one of the most powerful women on earth, we were so pleased to see her ‘come out’ as a feminist — even if only to explain to everyone that feminists aren’t all flannel-clad beasts.

She also makes some of the catchiest tunes around and gets women worldwide to shake their booty – not as a display for men, but because it is fun and it feels good. So there.

This post originally appeared on thefabricsocial.com and was republished here with full permission.