You can have a voice and an immaculate fashion sense – both of these traits are not mutually exclusive. Today, many women are rising up, picking other women up to the pedestal, drawing a line at how women should be treated – not with women’s rights but human rights.
The glass ceiling is being bombarded, cracked and in many occasions, broken. However, it did not happen naturally, but because women who believe in women, women who believed in themselves, and women who knew that their position in society is not to aid men’s victories, stood up and challenged the status quo of society – and they did it fashionably.
Who are they?
Image from @janellemonae
A vocalist with a vocal stand on feminism, Janelle Monae used her platform at the 2018 Grammy’s to bring down the house with her speech ‘Time’s Up’. In interviews, she often speaks about how politicians try to dictate a woman’s body, confining it to what it can or cannot do.
She is often spotted in a tuxedo in different styles, she also mentions how she feels empowered when she is suited up in a tux.
Image from Harper’s Bazaar
No stranger to the world, the former first lady is still the voice for many women today. Despite ‘spousal loyalty’ she did not hide behind the spotlight of ex-President, Barack Obama. In fact, she shined in her charitable endeavours, raising her two daughters and leading by example.
She is a prime example for women who think they have lost their voice once they get married – because, no – their position in a marriage is equal, taking on roles that build each other up.
Often credited as the first lady of style, Michelle Obama never shies away from colour and a good flattering design. She wears her power suit and evening gowns the way she wears her confidence – always there to make a statement.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Image from Time
An American lawyer jurist, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. At 86, she shows no signs of backing down when it comes to letting her voice be heard. Almost all her life, she is seen being consistent in fighting for the rights of women to be protected and also co-founded the Women’s Rights Project.
The octogenarian is often seen expressing herself through her sense of style. She is often seen swapping her jabot for statement necklaces, wearing dainty lace gloves when she is gracing official events.
Image from @the_press_tour
Young Hermione has grown, establishing her looks and her voice, with a message on feminism for men. She has spoken with regards to this in the United Nations, establishing her role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Not only that, she is championing her gender equality campaign, HeForShe that strives to educate men to support this equality and states that feminism is not about ‘man-hating’.
In recent years, Emma Watson is also taking a stand when it comes to what she is wearing. She has started The Press Tour, advocating sustainable fashion, advocating local craft and production that focuses on environmental sustainability.
Image from ET Canada
Angelina Jolie has been the face of controversy in the past but today, she is a woman to be admired. Her young wild days have been swapped with her fight for feminism and engaging in humanitarian work. She believes that this equality brought about by feminism is not about us all being the same, it is about the freedom to make choices and live lives fully, not at the expense of men but alongside men.
In 2013, she made a decision to understand a double-mastectomy when she knows that she had a BRCA2 gene, a mutated gene that put her at an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of getting ovarian cancer. This she showed the world that a woman is not being defined by her body parts. She still remains true to her style all these years, in ravishing black that invites attention.
Image from @team_kangana_ranaut
Sometimes considered the black sheep of modern Bollywood, Kangana Ranaut breaks the mould set by society when it comes to voicing up for women’s rights. Not only that, she managed to cause a stir when she fought back against nepotism in Bollywood, calling out blatant sexism when she was at it.
When it came to her sense of style, she is up for anything. From casual, funky to traditional, she is ready to take it on, push it to the edge to match her feisty, unapologetic personality.
Dato Ruby Khong
Image from Kee Hua Chee Live
President of Kechara Soup Kitchen, Dato Ruby Khong is selfless when it comes to meeting the community where they need it most. She is also a special advisor to the United Nation’s World Food Program (UNWFP) and a Project Consultant of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).
As much as she is at the forefront of giving, she is also at the forefront with her elegant dressing that exudes her youth.
Image from @aimeesong
Aimee Song is a Korean-American influencer, blogger and vlogger that rose to fame in the fashion industry. A New York Times bestselling author and joined the ranks of Forbes 30 under 30, she is also seen making a stand for feminism in Prabal Gurung’s statement tee’s calling out for gender equality.
She recently partnered with Revolve and her first collection was sold out within 5 minutes. Before this, she collaborated with ME to WE and designed three bracelets with the help of women in Kenya, to be sold. The proceeds are to help 2,500 women, giving them financial empowerment.
Image from @margaretzhang
Margaret Zhang is an artist actively involved in photography, directing, styling and writing. The Chinese-Australian currently resides in New York and identifies as an intersectional feminist – believing that different forms of discrimination overlap, be it gender, race or ethnic. She is seen creating conversations on her Twitter, highlighting gender stereotyping she faces in her daily life.
Her style can be said to be a cross between casual with an edgy artsy theme underlying every put together piece. She highlights the use of accessories and blazers with minimal makeup and outrageous hair colours.
Image from @neelofa
Donning the hijab is fast becoming a taboo in some western countries, with political rulings that deem wearing the headscarf, illegal. However, Neelofa seems to be able to transform what is thought of as a fear-mongering piece of fabric to a fashionable headpiece. Striking a perfect balance between faith and fashion she also talks about feminism. She believes that there should be equal pay and freedom of choice between men and women.
Her influential platform has caused a stir among the hijab-wearing community – but she forges on, one look at a time, dictating that you can be anyone you want to be.Tags: Aimee Song Angelina Jolie Emma Watson fashion fashionista female empowerment feminism Janelle Monae Kangana Ranaut Margaret Zhang Michelle Obama Neelofa