Natural health, beauty and fashion

The Witch: Our New Feminist Fashion Icon?

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The Fourth Wave of feminism: bred from a world online, the feminists born from our Mother Earth come together to rise against the inequalities of the sexes, that many still experience every day. The Fourth Wave is focusing particularly on that inequality of sexual violence against women, and questioning something that had perhaps not been seriously questioned on this scale for many years. Why are we still accepting this patriarchal view of womanhood? The notion that we should be seen but not heard? Viewed and used as sexual objects, portrayed as fragile and weak?

This new wave of millennial feminism received another upsurge in 2017 after America’s Trump Administration reared its ugly head. Many countries were up in arms, experiencing political crisis, war, climate change, and an ever growing list of injustices towards minorities. We as women needed to take hold of our power more than ever before.

Power comes in many forms, and historically women have been denied power of every kind, particularly when it comes to taking ownership over one’s mind and body, our intelligence and our sexuality. However, women have always found ways to express themselves in any way possible. Society, despite our great efforts is still using our clothes, (usually a lack of) as a way of controlling female power, making fashion a key mark throughout history for female expression. Sexuality and intelligence have historically been associated with Witchcraft. So what more fitting fashion movement for our modern day feminists than that of the witch?

Image from Unsplash

Clothing has been used against women for centuries, branding women witches if they were dressed in a manner that the church or the male population didn’t approve of, assuming their consent if they were showing too much flesh. Yesterday’s witches are today’s ‘sluts’, but women have always tried to take power from this wherever possible, something Kristen J. Sollee perfectly highlighted throughout her 2017 book ‘Conjuring the Sex Positive: Witches, Sluts, Feminists’:

“Clothing has always been used as an excuse to hang women for witchcraft and to sexually assault them for centuries, but clothing has also been a source of empowerment for women, offering a visible threat to gender norms.”

– Conjuring the Sex Positive: Witches, Sluts, Feminists (Sollee, Kristen J. 2017)

Possibly taking influence from icons of previous decades, from the bohemian looks of 70’s stars like Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush. To the gothic and grunge styles of 90’s Courtney Love and Winnona Ryder. Nostalgia may certainly be playing a very big part in this style movement, especially in celebration of strong women who influenced our childhoods, particularly as we saw the 20th anniversaries of the female led film, ‘The Craft’ and television show, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.

But whoever the icons for this fashion style may be, the movement seems ultimately rooted in the freedom for women to confidently bend the gender norms and take back the power that has been consistently taken from us for centuries. This is certainly the case for fashion blogger and instagrammer Darcie, aka ‘Bound in Bone’ who sees all powerful women as witches:

“I wouldn’t say that I identify as a magic-practicing witch, I feel more akin to the idea that if you own your power as a woman, then you’re a witch… The Idea of loving yourself as you are is a radical act, saying f*** you to gender binaries and stereotypes and just loving yourself as you are is something that capitalism and the patriarchy don’t want, and if you do that, you’re a witch (or a slut).”
– Bound in Bone https://boundinbone.com/

With 70s and 90’s style dominating current fashion trends and the fourth wave of feminism stronger than ever, what better time to bring back the witch? This reinvented movement is a powerful look that stands out, and isn’t just something you’d find on goths or pagans, you certainly don’t have to practice any witchcraft to join this coven. It’s for all of us, for any woman taking back and owning their power. The witch is the feminist, fashion icon we’ve all been waiting for a time to embrace, and the time is now.  

Image from Unsplash

 

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