We live in an age where multiple different worldviews and opinions are available at our fingertips. While this is a wonderful opportunity to educate oneself and expand ideological knowledge, it also poses some risks. Social media is a breeding ground for the spread of harmful ideas and misinterpretations. One of these examples includes an “aesthetic” with misogynistic roots; bimbo feminism.
This aesthetic portrays a hyper feminine lifestyle; lots of pink, lots of makeup, and lots and lots of glitter. While I personally love this feminine style, this aesthetic promotes harmful behaviours and an unhealthy self image. This includes a shallow, materialistic attitude and portraying oneself as helpless and dumb. These women internalize that they can’t do anything remotely difficult because “I’m just a girl.”, and promote this idea to the women around them. Not to mention excessive consumerist behaviours, despite claiming to be “anti capitalist”. l want to emphasize that the actual clothing style itself isn’t the issue at all; it’s the harmful mindset that you are adopting, and the toxic history behind it.
We see examples of this mentality through common TikTok trends such as “girl math”, “girl hobbies”, “girl politics”, “girl dinner”, and the classic “I’m just a girl”. Though these seem innocent enough at first, they can be problematic. These ideas reduce women to nothing more but their exteriors and appearances. Everything they do aligns with improving their physical appearance, like shopping and doing makeup. While these are fun harmless hobbies, that I also personally enjoy, it’s not the only thing that makes a woman a woman. These consumerist appearance-focused ideas do have a misogynistic foundation as well. Through frequent repetitive exposure, eventually young minds will begin to internalize these ideas, and carry them throughout their development into adulthood. It’s important to remember that there are many young impressionable people on these apps, so we must be cautious about what kind of ideas we’re preaching.
We didn’t always have access to these types of opportunities. Women have been fighting for decades for the right to an education and to basic rights. Even to just be taken seriously by others. We are fortunate enough to have this. In many places in the modern world, young girls and women still don’t have access to an education. Statistics show that 130 million girls around the globe are still prohibited from attending school. The article states that through denying these girls education, they are also denying them “…a fundamental, transformative, and empowering right for every human being.” (United Nations Human Rights). Independence is something that should be cherished, not minimized and swept under the rug.
Embracing femininity is a beautiful thing, but dumbing ourselves down shouldn’t be a part of it. It’s not empowering, and it’s undoing years of hard work. If we want to uplift a generation of strong hard working women, we can’t spread these sorts of ideas to younger girls. ultimately, this type of “feminism” needs to go.
Citations: United Nations Human Rights, The world is failing 130 million girls denied education: UN Experts, https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/01/world-failing-130-million-girls-denied-education-un-experts
Sophie is a second year Psychology student at the University Of Alberta. She is excited for the opportunity to write about women's issues, especially involving women's health. In her spare time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, doing jazz dance and going for drives.