Oped

Lingerie and feminism

  • Unlike the days of yore, women have come out of their closets; they have broken the glass ceiling
- VINAYA GHIMIRE

Jan 21, 2018-

The concept of feminism first evolved in the 19th century with its emphasis on women rights and gender equality in different walks of life. Feminism resurfaced strongly in the 60’s and continued throughout the 80’s. The most recent uproar was in the 90’s and all the way to the turn of the new millennium, when more advanced tools were used to campaign for the feminist cause.

From equal pay and equal work opportunity, to access to health services, education, and political representation, feminism is involved with a lot of things. Billboards, banners, television adverts, radio programs, social media, newspapers, magazines, reality shows, talk programs, news shows are some mediums that have been used to promote feminism.

The lingerie manufacturers and lingerie designers have also been involved with the promotion of feminism, and still continue to significantly contribute towards this campaign. Lingerie is women’s underwear and nightclothes, and the involvement of lingerie manufacturers and designers in popularising feminism rightly serves the purpose. The lingerie industry is continuously sending messages for respecting women, and accepting women as individuals rather than physical objects.

The fierceness within

Lingerie is not just a piece of clothing to be worn inside other layers; it is something that expresses a woman’s sexuality. In fact, lingerie defines a woman in totality: her body and her attitude. What a woman wears underneath reflects her fragility as well as her strength, and her grace as well her fierceness—it symbolises a woman’s beauty, boldness and versatility.

The kind of lingerie that a woman wears expresses her mood, comfort levels, her position and role in the society. Just like any other clothing item, appropriate lingerie also has found a place in daily clothing. Today, lingerie is not just an intimate item of clothing, women are wearing lingerie as outer wear too. For example it is common to see women wearing fitness bras and leggings.

Akin to how skirts or gowns were meant primarily for women, lingerie a universal symbol of feminism.

How lingerie has been evolving is an interesting phenomenon. It has now taken on an entirely new meaning; the modern lingerie designs have reflected and supported the liberal move and hence defined the concept of feminism.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

The fashion industry gave a new definition to lingerie by organising lingerie fashion shows. The bold and beautiful models who walk the ramp while wearing designer lingerie redefined the concept of feminism. This did not happen in a day, though. It took years for society to shatter the taboos associated with women in inner wear and accept it as an expression of women’s beauty, sexuality and feminineness. Today, lingerie is no longer a close-lid issue. This social acceptance of lingerie as a means of self-expression in itself is a tremendous achievement.

In the past few decades, the lingerie industry has gone through a revolution. Women around the world are realising how important it is to think about comfort, style and self-confidence. Therefore, the demand for modern and trendy lingerie has escalated.

The lingerie industry is a multibillion dollar global industry. Since lingerie is an essential wear for the women, its market has grown tremendously. Just like other commodity market, lingerie products have a large share in the world trade.

Unlike the days of yore, women have come out of their closets; they have broken the glass ceiling. When it comes to self-expression and adornment, women are no longer subjugated or intimidated. The stigma of being frowned upon or being called names is passé. If a woman wants to be comfortable and look her best whether in private or public, nobody is putting restrictions on her. Thus, the discussion on how lingerie defines a woman’s beauty is readily being accepted even in the most conservative of areas the world over.

Ghimire is a freelance writer

Published: 21-01-2018 08:15

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