British journalist Kirsty Wark, in an article in The Guardian, dismisses this to be an imaginary obstacle: "Why would it be antithetical to feminism to be interested in style, in design, in line and colour and cut? Why would a desire to feel good about yourself, to look modern, be at odds with feminism? Look at Simone de Beauvoir! She looked fabulous."
The long-standing presenter for BBC's Newsnight went on to discuss her wardrobe choices in the context of her career. When asked whether or not "power dressing" ever came into play, Wark responded, "It used to. When I was first in front of the camera, a suit was a suit of armour against the world, to give gravitas. But as you get older, that gravitas comes from within."
In response to my sister's ponderings, I told her that dying her hair or putting on makeup can be a way of expressing herself, and that she shouldn't be ashamed to have fun with it - a piece of advice that I promised I would continue to give to myself. The thing is, it's quite simple to explain to girls that success and making yourself look good are not mutually exclusive. However, to make girls feel that this is true, especially concerning industries that are pre-dominantly male, is a more complex problem. Part of the solution is to provide role models like Wark, to show that there are women were once just as apprehensive, but decided to spend less time worrying about who they should be and more time just being who they are, regardless of the stereotypes that are attached to success.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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