I can’t think of a better example of owning ones beauty than the world cup-winning women’s soccer team. Here’s a great article on the team’s use of fashion to challenge our stereotypes of women’s gender presentation and owning their own individual beauty.
Two quotes from the article here:
I want to be clear: The holy admiration these shirtless suit jackets inspire in me has nothing (well, maybe the smallest bit of something) to do with what’s exposed between the lapels. It has everything to do with the style statements these women are making. They’re wearing clothes traditionally known as menswear, but they’re emphatically not men. They’re showing skin, but they don’t appear to be contorting their style instincts to appeal to the male gaze. They’re subverting expectations of gender, formality, and fashion in their own gorgeous and extravagant ways. These things are called power suits for a reason.
There is pure aesthetic pleasure to be taken in looking at beautiful people wearing beautiful, expensive things. But I’m more excited by the USWNT’s vigorous rejection of the stereotype that female athletes are dowdy or don’t care about their appearance, and that lesbians in particular are frumpy and unfashionable. I love that the gays on the team have been playing with their gender presentations in media appearances, with feminine touches and masculine silhouettes, or masculine touches and feminine silhouettes. I love that they don’t seem to feel boxed in to one end or the other of the gender spectrum—boxes that, for all their stifling, can also feel safe and comfortable. Their looks augur a bright future for gender-expansive fashion . . .
Beauty isn’t a matter of trying (trying) to conform to some external ideal or expectation. It can be playful, even provocative, self-expression, dancing with social conventions. Every woman was meant be free to explore and express her own unique beauty without feeling pressure from inner critics, marketing campaigns or societal judgements.
Bravo, team USA. You challenge me to expand my expectations of beauty.