I can honestly say that the majority of my time is spent either discussing feminist politics or talking fashion, so when the two come together I have a lot to say. The first piece by Young presents an explanation of how women utilize and interpret clothing. Young quotes Hollander in saying, “In wearing our clothes, Hollander suggests, we seek to fashion ourselves in the mode of the dominant pictorial aesthetic.” As a woman who is very interested in clothing, I agree with several of Young’s points in addressing the problematic nature of clothing acting as way to appear desirable to the male gaze. Additionally, clothes are used as a tool to encourage consumerism usually targeted at women. Young also says that there is “no subjectivity that is not his, there is no specifically female pleasure I take in clothes,” for me this is hard to believe because I have viewed my style as intrinsically mine, although her argument has made me consider some of my own motives.
On a different note Young does write, “Clothes often serve for women in this society as threads in the bonds of sisterhood. Women often establish rapport with one another by remarking on their clothes, and doing so often introduces a touch of intimacy or lightness into serious impersonal situations.” I can recall several times that I have gone out of my way to compliment a stranger on her clothing in a situation that I may not have spoken to her.
The Bust essay embodied a challenge that I have often faced being a “fashionable” feminist. Although it has been suggested through Young’s essay that clothing often represents to women the greater problems in our social and economic realms, I don’t agree with the analysis of the fashion spread. I personally enjoy Bust because it allows me to indulge in to two things that I am passionate about. I think that the publication acknowledges that although we may not agree with society we are still a part of it. I actually hope to someday write for them.
I often feel that in certain situations I am not taken seriously because I don’t fit the stereotypical image of a feminist. I think that essays like this focus on which focus on what you shouldn’t be so much that it creates a binary of what you should be, when really everyone should just be themselves. Bust offers a feminist agenda in a different light, but a feminist agenda nonetheless which can’t be said for the majority of women’s magazines.