“Don’t Compromise Yourself. You Are All You’ve Got.”

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to sit down with two lovely ladies from Soft Revolution to chat about You’ve Got No Reason Not to Fight, memories from the 90’s, teaching and parenting, self-perception and feminism. They asked me my opinion on feminism in the world of fashion blogging, a question which left me baffled. There would be much to say about this topic, because it has so many cultural implications: is this an example of democracy and creativity (everyone can express her own style and maybe make a career out of it)? Is it a media phenomenon driven by commercial purposes? Is it only a gilded ghetto specially intended for women (it’s like playing a living dress-up doll game)? Whatever your opinion, it’s true fashion bloggers – like any other blogger who is focused on a specific field – are often reluctant in speaking out on political and social issues. I don’t know if they’re afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone or it’s a question of reserve; in any case, I must admit I was positively surprised when one of my favourite fashion bloggers accepted to give her contribution to my project.

Paula, from Great Britain, is not a conventional fb: her blog, Pink Bow, is imbued with a unique sense of style and deals with fashion, music, literature, food and travels. Paula is also a terrific photographer and a vintage lover, two more reasons why I admire her so much. Here is what she replied to my questionary.

Paula holding a musical carousel and wearing her ‘Cotton Candy’ vintage dress

* What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Locked within your own mental torture, whether that be through regrets or experiences.

* What is your idea of earthly happiness?
For me, and ideally those around me, to try as much as possible to live in the moment. Buddhist principles I suppose. Not to fret about the future or have regrets about the past is ideal. Simple but difficult to achieve.

* Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The book as well as the film. A simple, yet complex character but very endearing. And with an amazing wardrobe in the film, fashion generally comes into it for me at all times!

* Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
I find Madonna’s life very interesting. She has experienced and lived quite a life from what I can see.

* What is your most vivid memory of the 90s (from music, fashion, politics, culture)?
I spent my key growing up years in the 90’s, so I have fond memories of my time at university, living away from home for the first time and all of the experiences as a result. Mostly though, it would be the “rave culture” in Britain that first comes to mind.

* What does “feminism” mean to you?
Having an equal stand in life, being able to achieve as much out of life as a man. Only if you so desire of course.

* Have you ever given an active contribution to the feminist cause?

* Have you ever experienced sexism?
I suppose in the workplace yes, disguised with humour.

* The quality you most admire in a man?

* The quality you most admire in a woman?

* What is your motto?
To be comfortable in my own skin.

* What is the object that represents you most?
My home. Is that an object that can be counted?

* Who would you have liked to be?
Nobody else, I’m happy.

* Could you put your identity (for example, student/journalist/clerk or whatever) into a few key words?
Advertising Executive within a media company.

* How do you imagine your identity changing in ten years? Or twenty?
Drastically I would imagine. Or perhaps I hope. I am not married & have no children, those life changes bring with them a new identity. At least in the eyes of others.

I’d like to thank Paula for her kindness. I can totally relate to her 90’s memories (in that decade, I lived far from home because I studied at university) and I think it’s particularly interesting what she said about the identity change. When it comes to events considered life-changing (being married and having children, for example), are they such because they actually change us, or are we supposed to change because someone expects us to do so? Does the new identity come from an inner change or do we change because of social pressures instead? As a mother and a wife, I think the social pressure plays a very important role, and the same can be said for the relation between self-perception and the way others see us.



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