My ramblings

Role models, feminism and blogging

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Feminism

Zoella was one of the first blogs I read.  

Zoe Suggs, the woman behind Zoella, came across as a sweet and lovely 24 year-old with an interest in fashion and beauty.

I warmed to her personality, quirkiness and writing style. She covered topics that I found interesting. I enjoyed her sweet friendship with fellow blogger Louise at Sprinkle of Glitter. And I admired the honest way she wrote about her struggles with anxiety.

Zoella doesn’t drink, smoke or take drugs. She is a loyal friend who has a strong work ethic. And she talks openly about her struggles and how her perfect-seeming life can be anything but. I think the Mental Health charity Mind have made a brilliant decision by announcing her as their first digital ambassador. She is the right choice to lead their #DontPanicButton campaign. 

She seems to be an excellent role model. But apparently, I am wrong. 

According to Chloe Hamilton’s recent article in the Independent Zoe Suggs is a terrible role model for young girls and Zoella’s “sickly sweet brand of girl power” brings poor Chloe out in hives. 

Hamilton’s main argument is that Zoella can not be taken seriously when she “uploads videos to her YouTube channel in which she squeals with excitement over new brands of mascara.” She suggests that rather than blogging about beauty and make-up she encourages girls to buy books and spend more time with their friends.

This article made me angry

I believe that the argument that you can not be taken seriously if you are interested in make-up and clothes is flawed. It is an extension of the theory that you can’t wear make-up and high heels and be a feminist. Bollocks!

I like to think of myself as a feminist. I believe that women are equal to men and should be given the same rights and opportunities. I believe that society should not pigeon-hole a woman or discriminate against her just because she has two ‘X’ chromsomes. And every woman should have the right to do or be whatever she wants.

But I also like to wear make-up. I like to put on a dress and high heels. I like to do my hair and paint my nails. I do not feel forced to do this by society. These things bring me pleasure and I choose to do them.

Does this mean that I can not call myself a feminist? Does it mean that I am a bad role model for my daughter? Does it mean that anything serious I have to say is immediately made redundant because I may be wearing red lipstick?

Of course not! If that were the case, then Ban Ki-Moon made a serious mistake when he asked Emma Watson, the actor and U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, to deliver a speech launching the HeForShe Campaign on gender equality. A killer speech which she delivered whilst wearing killer lipstick and killer heels. 

As a woman, my appearance and how I present myself to the world is just a small part of who I am. My slight obsession with lipstick and nail varnish does not define me as a person. It is a piece of the jigsaw! 

The beauty vlogs of Zoella are also a small part of Zoe Suggs. They are not all she is or all she has to offer the world.

Zoella has found legions of fans because she vlogs about her passions and interests. She appeals to young girls because she is open and honest. She does not try to hide who she is. That is why young girls love her.

This is the perfect time for her to partner with Mind. She is now in the position to talk more openly about self-confidence and anxiety. And she can do so in the knowledge that her fans will listen and will look to her for support and advice.

I don’t think that makes Zoe Suggs a bad role model. I think it makes her a very inspirational young woman.

Hugs

Mrs H 

xxxx

P.S. What do you think? Do you think you can be a feminist and wear make-up? Is the Independent article correct? I would love to hear (your nice) opinions.
P.P.S. If you would like to read more, then please check out this brilliant post from Kate Takes 5 about feminism: Pink is a feminist issue (apparently).
P.P.P.S I have linked this post with #SundaysStars and Brilliant Blog Posts over on Honest Mum’s blog.

 

Mami 2 Five

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

32 Comments

  • Reply
    Emma
    April 25, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I have no idea who Zoella is!
    I’m with you though! I am very passionate about standing against gender stereotyping, but that does not mean swinging the other way and making DM boots and bowl cut hair do’s mandatory!
    I believe men and women, girls and boys should be free. Want to wear make up, wear it. Want to spend hour colour coordinating your nails with your socks, rock it. Want to shop till you drop for that perfect outfit, hell-go-for-it! Like you say these things do not define us, these things shouldn’t be frowned upon for a male or a female!
    I have spent a lot of time looking at this recently, particularly from the prespective of gender stereotyping children and piegon holing them into little gender coloured boxes with gender specific toys and it’s utter bull crap. High five from everyone at Gecko Clothing for you x

  • Reply
    Sarah Kirkup
    April 1, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Really interesting post. I love these types of discussions and they are ones that make me think about the messages I send my five year daughter. I would also call myself a feminist in the sense of championing equality between the genders. I love the #thisgirlcan and the #heforshe movement. I also love make-up and heels!
    Sarah Kirkup recently posted…Monthly Bucket List – AprilMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    November 21, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Hi lovely Steph. Thanks for your great comment. You are right. Feminism is about having the opportunity to be whatever to want to be (without judgement) whether that is a super model, teacher, writer or surgeon. Women should be given the freedom to make their own choices. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    diary of a midlife mummy
    November 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Like Heledd above, I’m all for equality too, and feminism to me is being able to do and choose and live how I want to as a female without getting judged or discriminated for it. It should be our choice to do as we please. Great post! love Steph xxxx #SundayStars

  • Reply
    Honest Mum
    November 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with you-Zoella is a brilliant, inspiring role model for many young and older women out there, she’s created an incredible business by being herself and taking vlogging professionally. I am a feminist who loves style and make up-feminism is about equality and freedom, the freedom to be who you want to be. Thanks for this fab post and linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment and for hosting #brilliantblogposts. Feminism is about a woman having the right to wear make up and heels but also having the right to go fresh faced and wear biker boots if she wishes. And on a typical week you can normally catch me doing both these things. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Maria (notyouraveragebaby)
    November 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    It’s completely ridiculous to suggest that feminism and make up are mutually exclusive. Considering the prominent instances of sexism and misogyny that are topical at the moment, now’s hardly the time to be turning on each other. Great post. Maria x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Oh Maria, I completely agree with you. I believe that the greatest example of anti-feminism is when women bash other women. We should support and respect each other’s choices. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Emma
    November 13, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Being a feminist for me means being what the bloody hell I want to be and I think Zoella is a great role model for young girls because she shows that you can do anything you want…I do sort of know what that article means though, I would much rather my girl squealed over books than mascara! Just saying..gulp! x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Emma, thanks for your lovely comment. To be honest, i’d probably prefer Little Miss to spend money on buying books too. But I didn’t like the articles implication that the two are mutually exclusive. I definitely spend more money on books but I do like to treat myself to the odd nail varnish or lipstick every now and then. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Heledd in Lavender
    November 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I’m all about female power and equality for the sexes but that doesn’t mean I won’t wear heels or apply make-up. I have two daughters and I want them to have strong female role models – Zoella has so many great qualities and I’d be happy for them to follow her (when they get to that age). Great comment xx

    #SundayStars

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I also would be happy if Little Miss H admired someone like Zoella. There are some awful role models out there and Zoella is not one of these. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Ellen O'Keeffe
    November 9, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Completely agree. I only recently heard of Zoella (I know!) but it seems like she has worked hard to get where she is, what makes that a bad thinf for a young girl to look up to? x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      I think it is a good thing for a girl to look up to. At least, she doesn’t make provocative music videos or walk around practically naked. Thanks so much for commenting. Lovely! Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Alyssa Mumtoamonster
    November 9, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Completely agree . Zoella has done amazingly well and I’m sure people who write badly of her are just jelous

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      I am sure you’re right. There was an element of jealousy in the Independent article. Thanks for commenting. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    amy cooper
    November 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Brilliant post I think zoe is a great role model for young girls she hard working, positive, driven and sucsessful what is wrong with that!

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Exactly. I don’t think anything is wrong with those attributes. In fact, they are highly commendable. She is a much better role model than Miley Cyrus or Rihanna. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Jenna Richards
    November 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Brilliant post. I agree with you, Zoella is a great role model for young girls.The opinion that you can’t be a feminist because you wear make up or interested in fashion is complete tosh. xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Ahhhh, Jenna, I am so glad you agree with me. Plus you used the word tosh. I love that word. I need to use it more. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Julia Bryson
    November 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Completely agree, well said! Xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      I am so glad you agree. It seems that I am on the same wavelength as most people. Which is grand. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    November 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Well said. I wrote a piece in reaction to Emma Watson’s speech at the UN. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you want to be a man! Saying to a woman to not wear make up is like saying to a man you aren’t allowed to use deodarant in case people think you’re too feminine. Madness!! Brilliant post! Well written. I love this!! Xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I love the piece that you wrote about Emma Watson and her amazing UN speech. You are right. I love being a woman. I don’t want to be a man and i don’t hate men. But I am a feminist. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Elsie Godwin
    November 5, 2014 at 8:36 am

    This paragraph said it all – “As a woman, my appearance and how I present myself to the world is just a small part of who I am. My slight obsession with lipstick and nail varnish does not define me as a person. It is a piece of the jigsaw!”
    make up doesn’t reduce us from being capable. Thank you for the article Mrs H

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Hello. Thank you so much for your comment. You are right, make-up DOESN’T reduce us from being capable. The sooner society realises that the better. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    mummyofboygirltwins
    November 5, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Too right! Of course you can! I agree…and the fact that Zoella is becoming incredibly powerful and influential within the media, is even more inspiring – because she is a woman!! OK so she talks about makeup and relationships, but she’s a young woman, and she reflects what a lot of young woman are thinking and want to chat about! Great post – Jess xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Jess. You are exactly right. I think one of the main points is that Zoella only appeals to young girls and has a huge fan base because of the topics she had blogged and vlogged about in the past. Which are predominantly about fashion and makeup. She is now in the position where she can talk about more serious subjects. And it is therefore perfect that she has partnered with Mind. Thanks for commenting. You are ace. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    sarah Christie
    November 5, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Love this Mrs H, I totally agree my post today is about struggling to be a domestic goddess and a professional woman. Why can’t we dress up if we so wish and anyone is against woman being who they want to be has got it so wrong x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Sarah. I love your post about being a domestic goddess and a professional woman. Sometimes needs to buy you an AGA. I agree with yoy anyone who is against women being who they want to be is wrong. Sadly, it seems like a lot of women believe that they know exactly how we should live our lives. Wrong! Thanks for commenting lovely. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 5, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Love this! Completely agree.
    Feminism for me is all about having the choice to do what we want and not being judged for it.

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      HI Karen. Thank you for your comment lovely lady. You are 100% correct. Feminism is about choice. It is about all women having the same rights as men regarding having control of their life and making choices. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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