Robyn MaydayRobyn Mayday blog
Recently, high-street retailers have been flogging tees, sweaters and hoodies featuring bold statement prints. No, I'm not talking about zebra print (even though it's admittedly wonderful)...  I'm talking slogans.
Feminist, girl power, viva la vulva-esque statement garms are everywhere right now. A bit of a Spice Girls 'Girl Power' tee revival, if you will. I had one of those from a 90s tour! And I wore a hoodie from H&M repping the same statement only a couple of months back.
I get why these tops could be interpreted as commodification of feminism, or even hypocritical in some ways (remember that 'this is what a feminist looks like' tee scandal a few years back?).
But to me, the recent boom in the use of these slogans forces us all to think about what they mean and enables us to wear our hearts on... well... our chests.

Unsurprisingly, the recent resurgence in feminist slogans on the high-street mostly circles back to big-name designers. Including Dior's 'We should all be feminists' tee as explained on i-D here.

Many retailers are simply translating these designs into viable options for less wealthy folk. Selling words on t-shirts to us, because Dior are doing it.

As I mentioned earlier on, my very first touch point with feminism was commercial. It was the Spice Girls. Probably something many of you can relate to!

This introduction to feminism consisted of a (fabulous) hefty dose of 'Girl Power'... and crop tops, Buffalo platforms, trackies and sequins. 

It might sound a bit ridiculous, but this had a huge impression on me.


Robyn Mayday Robyn Roxburgh

Sadly, I genuinely can't recall a single time within my compulsory education where feminism was mentioned. I could be wrong about that, it was almost 10 years ago - gulp. But even if I'm gold-fishing on you right now fashion, music... popular culture had smacked me in the face with a movement.

I loved being a girl, and I'd never really thought about that before the Spice Girls. The message had been dispersed by a money-making industry, but that didn't make it meaningless. It was meaningful and consumable for 7-year-old me.

I may have looked more like Baby Spice as a kid, but I channelled my inner tomboy into being Sporty Spice with my pals in the playground.  Good old Mel C was actually someone (a female) I could relate to, especially in how I liked to dress as a sprog. I've written more about my tomboy nature here if you can relate!

I guess as a kid, inequalities aren't so obvious, until you collide with them.

And for my collision with gender inequality specifically, I'll be forever grateful to the Mels, Geri, Emma and Victoria Beckham.

(Even though Geri left and fucked everything up.)

And pretty proud to be a 90s kid.

pink wide leg trousers boohoo wide pink trousers

I really hope that by seeing these garms on our Instagram feeds we've all been prompted acknowledge the slogans and think about their meaning - more recently than you would have otherwise.

And I also hope that for young people, seeing these slogans on the high-street or worn by their favourite influencers provokes curiosity. Maybe it'll be their first meeting with feminism, as the Spice Girls were for me back in the day.

Perhaps minus the Buffalo platforms...

And with a few less sequins.


Topshop feminist jumper

"Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them."


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