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A few notes about the look before we really get into it: For this outfit, I wanted to play with the retro vibes from this Everyday Unicorns baseball tee, so I added a belt that I stole from my dad – it was his back in college. In case you can’t tell, the belt buckle has a big A&M logo (my alma mater….and my dad’s, too). This was also the perfect opportunity to debut my red slouch boots I picked up at Charlotte Russe. They’re serving up 1980s GLOW vibes, which y’all know I’m all about. I also always associate red boots with Dolly Parton, a hella strong woman that I adore, so it just felt right.
I should’ve known someday I would turn into a big ol’ feminist. But honestly, up until about my sophomore year in college I was NOT at all. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I was pretty conservative going until about midway through college. What I’ve never mentioned is that I was kind of misogynistic. *hangs head in shame*
I specifically remember saying once that a woman shouldn’t be president because she would be too emotional and impulsive. I SAID THAT AND I REALLY BELIEVED IT, YOU GUYS. Also comments like “women aren’t really that funny” and “I like male singers better, women just aren’t that good” are things I remember just off the top of my head. Patriarchy is so damaging and it can make women think, say and do some awful things too. Internalized misogyny is real (and thank you to Nicole for reminding me of this phrase…I originally wrote this post really late at night, y’all).
Then around age 20, it all kind of came together. I met some new people, I took some college courses that expanded my horizon, and I realized that I didn’t want to be like the extremely conservative people I saw around campus at A&M. That wasn’t me. But the more I look back at my childhood, I feel like my upbringing was just preparing me for the woman I would become and it’s pretty dang cool. It just took me a while to get there. Some examples:
- My mom is sooooo dang awesome. I know everyone loves their mom, but mine really showed me early on that you can balance independence with femininity. She’s a strong, powerful woman who defied gender roles because honestly they didn’t matter in my family.
- My dad is also awesome – see above regarding gender roles.
- As a kid I was OBSESSED with the Spice Girls (like most 90s girls). Ginger was always my favorite, which makes me laugh looking back because she was a feminist, and was very open about it. She took “girl power” a step further. Don’t believe me? Watch Spice World!
- Recess was my favorite show and Miss Grotke was like the most hardcore liberal feminist I’ve ever seen in a kids show.
- Other 90s pop culture things I was obsessed with that definitely made me into a feminist as an adult – 10 Things I Hate About You, TLC, Lisa Simpson, Sydney Prescott from Scream, etc.
Even if you don’t self-identify as a feminist because you don’t like the word (I’ll get you eventually), I think we can all agree that strong women help girls become strong women later in life. Being surrounded by strong women and seeing representations of strong women in media made me into the person I am today….even 20 years later.
It’s not always easy to be a strong woman, but you never know whose life you’re changing with your influence. I also wanted to post this as a reminder to not give up on people. It only took a few years for me to really do a 180 with my politics, so don’t completely discount someone – just keep planting the seeds and the changes might happen.