Spoiler Alert: YES!!
I don’t want to sound too BBC Women’s Hour here, but I absolutely think you can be interested in make-up and still be an active feminist. I’ve found the lack of blogs reflecting this duality surprising, considering feminism is BLOODY COOL these days and important to many stylish, attractive women: think Grace Dent, Caitlin Moran, Lauren Laverne, Gizzi Erskine, Lena Dunham, Josie Long, Bridget Christie, Tina Fey, Sali Hughes, and loads, loads more.
So why is the fruitful domain of young, cosmopolitan, educated women writing beauty, home or lifestyle blogs not touching feminism with a bargepole? Many, if not all of these bloggers are likely to be feminists.
I don’t know if it is because there is inexplicably still a cultural misnomer around feminism – ie. that feminists are a hoard of ugly lesbian man-haters who’ve never had a decent shag – which is so clearly not the case. If you think that, you’re wrong, get out of the 80s. But even if the minority still thinks this, I imagine most people writing and reading life and beauty blogs respect and are even involved in the current feminist movement, and I don’t think a misperception of feminism is the issue there.
The beauty and lifestyle blogs I read are clearly written by independent and ambitious women, who have set up and run their websites themselves, many of which are very lucrative. I think the lack of feminist comment is more likely due to finding it tricky to find room for feminism on a beauty or home blog. It’s not what their readers tend to expect, and so perhaps they’re worried about pigeon-holing or ostracising themselves from a wider readership. I’m not complaining here: I’ve found my purpose in the blogosphere!
For over two years now I have been an avid blog reader. I’ve even dabbled in blogging myself before, which never lasted because it was too closely linked to my PhD research rather than writing about things that genuinely and constantly interest me. I didn’t want a blog to be about work, I wanted it to be about life. Although my PhD life features on somethinking, so does everything else that affects me: a great home life, fun adventures and travel, beauty, style, and feminism.
Sure, chat about scented candles, lipstick, shopping and homewares may not always crop up next to discussions about the feminist movement or misogynistic elements of society, but as far as I’m concerned there is a natural place for such topics side by side. When the majority of lifestyle and beauty blogs are women, modern young women who are up-to-date and interested in our current culture, why not branch out to discuss this pivotal time in women’s liberation that we are undoubtedly living through?
The majority of blogs on my Bloglovin’ feed are related either to lifestyle/beauty and feminism. Somewhat inconveniently though, these two related but seemingly unrelatable worlds rarely meet. I’ve been looking for a blog to bridge the gap between excellent feminist blogs like The F Word, Feministing and The Vagenda and excellent beauty/lifestyle blogs like Lips So Facto, Vivianna Does Makeup and Essiebutton. Notable exceptions to this are the excellent websites Sali Hughes Beauty and Jezebel, but these are rare and not strictly blogs. Both great sites though, check them out. And so combining the two is absolutely what somethinking is about.
When I set up this blog just over a week ago, I wanted to cover lots of things that are interesting and important to me. This encompasses everything from beauty and film, style and music, home and books. It also covers, for the exact same reasons, the current feminist debates that are becoming ever more pertinent in our society. Just as I want to cover all sorts of things from haircare to the best make-up available, so too do I want to discuss the ethics of Page Three and the habitual removal of pubic hair.
I find the possibilities of discussing all the topics that interest me, in one place, really exciting. As I’ve said, I think a lifestyle blog is the natural environment for feminist chat as well as discussing the best skincare, and hopefully many of my readers will enjoy it too. As far as I can see, if anything is the sore thumb of this website it’s the film and music reviews, not its political and cultural commentary.
This blog is, like me, unapologetically feminist. I’ve been inspired by beauty and fashion blogs and books as well as feminist blogs and books, and all this website does is reflect these interests. The feminist element of my website is not going to be flung in your face it’s all neatly stored on the ‘Comment’ section of this blog, but it’s not hidden away either. It doesn’t by any means come up in everything I post, as admittedly there’s not much room for a discussion of marxist-feminist paradigms when discussing my favourite mugs. At the same time, with topics such as weddings, relationships and hair removal so closely related to lifestyle and beauty culture, there is an obvious space for thoughts on this too.
If you’re not interested in my thoughts on feminism, that’s okay, and I don’t think that means you won’t enjoy other aspects of somethinking. As you’ll see the site is categorised into clearly set-out sections: you can pick and choose or view it all together, entirely up to you.
Do you know of any websites or blogs where beauty and lifestyle are discussed openly in relation to feminism? I’d love to know!