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‘Making Feminism Fashionable’ – guest post

Guest post by Tania Shew, member of  Camden School for Girls Feminist Club.

 

I had never set a trend at school before. But against all odds I am part of starting one now and, even more astonishingly, it’s a feminist one!

We at the Camden School for Girls 6th Form Feminist Club (which does include boys too!) have designed and started selling ‘This is What a Feminist Looks Like’ t-shirts at school to raise money for women’s charities. We originally ordered just 50 t-shirts in the hope that between our friends and family we might just be able to break even but we ended up selling out entirely within just three days and are having to order another batch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only have we already raised £350 for charity but we have also started to visibly spread the word of feminism out into the wider school community. Even though in a recent poll conducted by our school magazine, 50% of students said they were ‘put off by the term feminism’, everyday i’m seeing a new group of friends proudly parading the t-shirts around school and i’m warmed to see how many girls outside of fem club are so eager to label themselves as feminists.

Camden School Feminist Club

 

As part of our publicity for the t-shirts we held a feminist fashion shoot. Boys and girls, from year 7 to year 13, and even a couple of teachers all volunteered as models in the name of both fashion and feminism.

 

 

 

 

 

This has got me thinking about what other ways we could incorporate these two, seemingly quite different, movements. Our school has already had a ‘no make-up day’ to encourage us girls to love our natural beauty and think about how societal pressures can affect our everyday life. We could have a feminist cat-walk I suppose, but apart from the t-shirts, i’m not sure what other clothes would constitute as feminist? Whatever we come up with next, i’m beginning to see how making fashion feminist can make feminism fashionable.

Tania Shew

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COMMENTS

  1. @GLJoyce

    Great work! Keep going, I’m sure I can see this taking off all over the country :) x

  2. Daisy Prout

    What a fab article! well written and full of passion and great ideas…

  3. Lizzie

    Congratulations, ‘trends’ start in strange ways! Love the feminist club, and fashion idea and that you’re committed to bringing feminism to the 50% who squirm at the word. I presume CGS is a fairly diverse community culturally, your picture post only shows white kids is there a reason for this?
    PS Hope you’ve read How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran

  4. Ellie

    Good on you! It’s about time feminism became fashionable again, and we dispelled the myth of “dungaree-wearing-man-hating-feminazis”. Feminists can be female, male, or anywhere in between. Feminists can wear dresses, trousers, make up, no make up, have long hair, short hair…feminism is a wonderful thing, and congratulations to you all for showing your school that it is great to be a feminist!

  5. Mia

    Hey guys, this is such an amazing story! And i have a suggestion about your feminist cat walk idea.. Instead of using clothing that could be described as ‘feminist’, how about using a catwalk to challenge the tired stereotypes about what feminists look like? Ask girls (and guys) in the group to model their own clothing to demonstrate that you can be feminine and a feminist! I hear so many people saying that to be a feminist you have to have short hair, no make up and masculine clothing – this is just internalised misogyny, and you could use a catwalk to show that these ideas are false. I think this would work particularly well if you have a lot of people with very different ‘looks’, such as girls who dress very feminine and others that don’t. Think about it!

  6. LILLY

    You’re such a super lot of people! IT GIVES ME GREAT HOPE FOR YOUR GENERATION – TO FREE YOURSELVES FROM THE PRESSURES LURKING AROUND FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUNG WOMEN. keep it up!
    CONGRATS ALSO TO YOU, YOUNG GUYS – YOU’RE SUPER!

  7. Laura Fraser

    WOW….Some great work here……We need more schools like this……
    Wonderful work you should be proud of yourself

  8. Jane

    Wow! This is excellent – would you consider coming to talk to some of the Brownies and Guides in Camden?

    • Tania

      Hi Jane,

      Sorry for the late reply! We would definitely consider that, sounds great! Do you have an email so that we can discuss this further?

      Best Wishes
      Tania Shew

  9. susie orbach

    Yeah on you. This is fabulous……and I love that this is my old school ..check out http://www.london.endangeredbodies.org

  10. Patricia Murphy

    Dear Tania and Supporters,
    This is so cool! Please do have your catwalk, film it and hopefully it will go viral!

    I applaud your energy and creativity,

    all the very best,
    Patricia Murphy

  11. CD

    This is SO inspiring! I love it and am so proud of you!!!

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