Maybe one of the most distinctive aspects of our generation is how we slowly but increasingly merge into one homogeneous society. The Nice Generation, as the New York Times would label us, (rather nodes along than questions) does not ask questions and is known only for one specific talent, the quality of selling themselves.

But something else of significance is going on lately: the rebirth of feminism. From Emma Watson to Beyonce; they all openly embrace female empowerment. The feminist icon even becomes a fashion worthy marketing strategy:  Chanel kicked off with a feminist protest at Paris Fashion Week and Celine contracted Joan Didion as their new role model.

Equally, GET ME noticed this strong female lead so this year’s archetypes are represented by our female fellow creatures. Redefining the anarchic 80s, spirituality, the Islamic Identity and femininity, multi-faceted as she is.

To be honest, I’m quite into the subject femininity. Especially as a young black woman with a short haircut. In certain clothes I can feel a bit boy-ish sometimes. Still, for me, femininity is something extraordinary, something very beautiful, that reveals herself in the smallest details, like in the way how someone blink their eyes.

THE 80'S EMPOWERMENT (REPRESENTED BY RITA BALRAK)

A recall for the 80's, derived from the club scene, is now embraced by even the biggest fashion companies. H&M is busy reprinting old concert shirts of gigs you could never have attended, and vintage stores sell in abundance old motorcycle jackets and Dr. Martins, thus signalling that the 80's might contain more than just a cosmetic appearance. With the capitalistic ‘us’ on one side, and the communistic ‘them’ on the other side, the 80's were very much about cold war walls.

Now, controlled by threats from the Islamic State, increasing tension with Russia, Europe has to redefine its identity more than ever. As a result she is harking back with nostalgia to a less complicated time. A time of anarchic hedonism, of great fearlessness or maybe just an indifferent attitude to the issues which are now heading our way and which, in a sense, are  too big for us to solve.

I can be very direct, and sometimes people find me a bit odd, but at the same time I think I’m very sweet, trustworthy, and loyal. Actually you could describe me as a jug full of contraries. And to me, femininity means that you can be full of contradictories.

PITCH HOLY INDIE (REPRESENTED BY AAFKE KLOPPENBURG)

Searching in our lives for a substance like the alchemist's new gold, more than ever religion seems to confuse us. Although religion could be the answer to this internal need, it can also be seen as a new fashion commodity. 

 The enlightened partner of religion, in particular spirituality, seems to get more fame.  Jewellery in the form of crosses, endless colour run events, and FKA twigs are the new queens of spirituality. It is clear that spirituality transcends elderly mindfulness fanatics and reclaims the youngster again.

 Like you might see our quest for religion externally within the visibility of our fashions, you may find that internally we try to find a certain peace. We get almost religiously obsessed with the way we eat, drink and cater to our body. From our daily rituals of raw vegetable smoothies to hot yoga sessions: are we just trying to get in touch with ourselves or are we in  need of  something more solid?

As an artist I like to explore the sexualizing of men. By minifying, eroticise, or creating sexual objects of our manly counterpart, I like to place gender roles in another perspective. It’s a responds on how the Western society is sexualizing women. So, I thought it would be time for some visual appetizers for our females counterpart.

THE JOYFUL FEMINIST (REPRESENTED BY TATIANA STOUTE)

Being part of generation Sell, which grew up within a full advertising based society, she learned that it is more effective to advertise something in a positive tone of voice.

Thus, she approaches our concerns in a cheerful way. The new female empowerment is about consciously flaunting what you got and approach sex in the same way as a man would. Dicks are funny, and so it should be with our female sexuality.

As Karl Lagerfeld already made clear this Paris Fashion week, feminism should be fashionable. Actually, he re-emphasised  again that feminism today is all about femininity. Today’s femme encompasses multi-faceted roles, from carrier tiger at daytime to romantic lover at night.  Women need to transform themselves maybe more than five times a day. And so does a man except no one tells him how to do it. So may be this is what the fourth feminist wave should contain: a focus on our confused man.

In my work as an artist, female empowerment is a returning subject. Not so much the exposure of female body parts, but moreover her internal strength and vulnerability. That is what femininity should behold. A woman in her purest form: honest, vulnerable and yet very powerful.

THE PRAGMATIC RADICAL (REPRESENTED BY AFAGH MORROWATIAN)

While the media seems to have quite a fixed idea about  ‘Islamic Identity’, reality turns out to be more hybrid. This new generation of oriental beauties are approaching their dual identity as an opportunity rather than as a threat.

 Rather than waiting for acceptance within national borders, they see the world as their playground.  With little trust in either politics or  institutions, they like to discover the world for themselves.  They create a grounded sense of balance through they oriental roots while also being inspired by the Koran.  

Inspired by the critical nature of the West but formed through Islamic opportunism, these new radicals are ready to conquer the world. Sheltered by collective Muslim networks reaching out for support whenever they can, these empowered women are organised to initiate a real radical change. 

 

 

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