Here it is! This is Part 2 of 2 on challenging our conceptions of feminism and femininity. Part 1 may be found here.
In Part 1, we discussed how femininity and feminism are not antithetical to one another, as inspired by this Feministing post. Here, I want to discuss the image and presentation of femininity, and how it influences our perceptions.
One of the tumblrs that I follow is La Douleur Exquise by Miss Wallflower that is basically a celebration of all things feminine. Every day dozens of pictures are uploaded that reflect the general theme, emphasizing fashion photography, bon bons, woodland creatures, books, tea and inspirational quotes. I am acutely aware of its flaws. The majority of women featured are white and waif-like. It emphasizes traditional gender roles and promotes women’s sexuality and aesthetic appeal as their primary quality. But for its artistic merit, it also forces me to confront these images, and question how their meaning is received today.
My feminist theory professor was also really into art, so receiving the presentation and questioning the meaning of these images goes hand in hand with cultural feminism for me. For example, here are a few photographs that piqued my interest: