Soraya was updating our blog roll (over there --> to the right... make sure to check it out later), when she turned to ask me a question.
"I've got Feministing, Racialicious and Salon up here... what else do you read?"
"They're all listed on my blog," I said. Then I realized I needed to warn her. "Oh yeah... They're all hair, beauty and fashion blogs."
That's when I got it. The Soraya Side-Eye. Punctuated with: "...I mean stuff that's relevant."
Well, I never! "How is it not relevant?!" I demanded to know. "Being fly is part of being Awesome & Fabulous!, is it not?"
She cocked her head, half in agreement, half in knowing I wasn't going to budge on my position, and relented. (That's when we decided to include our own personal blog rolls.)
The one thing I've noticed as I've gone through these past years exploring the online feminist community is that we can talk about a lot of things... but we don't talk about being pretty. As if there's some kind of unspoken rule that talking about your love for lipglass or passion for party dresses makes you a less serious, more superficial person. And it's always a bit of a downer for me because, well... I like to look cute.
But who ever said you can't be groundbreaking and gorgeous at the same time? I have a personal admiration for women who do the damn thing AND look good while doing it (i.e. Fairy Fly Mommy Michelle and former Lehman Brothers CFO Erin Callan). And I see nothing wrong with taking pride in how you present yourself to the world, just as much as you take pride in the work you do for the world.
Neither does Robin Givhan. From her coverage of Glamour's Woman of the Year Awards:
...the subtext running through each award is the notion that style, glamour, fashion and all its variations can be part of a serious life. One would think that such a declaration would be unnecessary. But we remain a culture that is quick to declare any conversation about style as shallow, any acknowledgment of a woman's appearance as sexist and any attention to the semiotics of attire as undignified.
So although the Women of the Year awards are meant to be a celebration of accomplishment, not style, the fact that they are given out under the auspices of Glamour serves as a license for serious women to mention the unmentionable: Fashion can be fun, confidence-building, lucrative and symbolic.
So... see Soraya? Fashion and beauty are very much relevant. Ain't nothing wrong with a woman wanting to be awesome... AND look fabulous at the same time.
(Nah, nah nah, boo boo.)