Sheezus has a brand new beanie, and it's got a message for everyone: see you next Tuesday. Lily Allen wore a controversial hat embroidered with a rather taboo term for lady parts which caused everyone to collectively lose control of their bowels. I have two slightly conflicting thoughts about this. Does this beanie bother me in the way that all beanies do? Or, is this Lily Allen taking a stance on reclaiming a misogynistic term that is well, kind of right on? Or do I hate this politically and stylistically all together? Let's talk this out.
While en route to an after party following her concert in Los Angeles on Friday, Allen was spotted wearing a bright pink knit cap embroidered with the C-word. The Mirror called the hat "offensive" and the Daily Mail said Allen has "overstepped the mark" with her statement. Some may interpret this style choice as something that normalizes a hateful word, and condones its usage against women a la Tina Fey’s speech in Mean Girls. You remember the one: "You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores."
While I can’t I’d wear this topper to babysit, from where I'm standing, this looks like this it could be interpreted as a statement aimed at reclaiming an epithet rather than an instance of ignorance.
Historically though, Allen has a few issues with fumbling her execution of gender political statements. If you'll remember, the "Hard Out Here" video had serious race issues and seemed to expound the ideals of feminism while ironically objectifying female bodies of color. Ok, so that wasn't doing anyone any favors. Is this fashion statement an instance of hipster racism continuing into hipster misogyny?
Reclaiming oppressive language in the fashion that Allen does with a "C***" hat that, on a level, is subversive in the right way. Reappropriating a historically chauvinistic term like this one has clear politically powerful in itself. Rather than attempting to normalize the usage of the term, a statement like this says "The patriarchy can't use language like this to make me feel inferior." So, that's all well and good. Where you'll run into issues though, is when young girls have no context for images like this. If kids who don't understand the fraught background of this term begin to use it as cool because it's offensive, it can once again become employed as a tool of oppression.
Just some Sunday morning thoughts, y'all. What do you guys think?