Culture 

Why TikTok's Bimbocore Trend Is an Act of Modern Feminism

Empowering women to embrace themselves — “what, like, it’s hard?”

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Why TikTok's Bimbocore Trend Is an Act of Modern Feminism

Empowering women to embrace themselves — “what, like, it’s hard?”

Growing up, Elle Woods was my idol. Her love for everything pink and scented paper, along with her flawless legal skills, spoke to me as a book worm obsessed with her Hello Kitty makeup set. In a world that views women as inferior, Elle proved femininity and intelligence could exist in the same sphere, defying not only the expectations of her entitled boyfriend and creepy boss, but also her own.

Thanks to TikTok and the return of nostalgic Y2K fashion, young women are reclaiming the bimbo trope, exploring hyper-femininity as an act of resistance against a culture that has deemed anything and everything remotely girly as weak. Our society’s ingrained mistreatment and discrimination against women has rendered anything related to femininity as less than, even stupid sometimes. When we think about “the cool girl” who insists that she’s not like other girls, or the very fact that certain part of the female anatomy can be used as an insult, the emergence of TikTok’s bimbocore trend — the #bimbocore hashtag has accumulated over 16 million views on the app as of writing — feels all the more important. Thankfully, our culture has come some way, recognizing Paris Hilton‘s impact on a billion-dollar industry as the queen of social media, and Kim Kardashian as a bona fide business woman who turned her sex tape scandal into an empire.

TikTok’s bimbocore trend rejects the impossible standards women are held to, demonstrating it’s okay to embrace the things you truly enjoy, regardless of how society views you.

TikTok users like Chrissy Chlapecka, who has over 4 million followers, celebrate their unabashed Barbie doll style. The TikToker tells her fellow lovers of pink to be confident in their fashion expression and ignore judgmental khaki wearers, while parodying misogynistic male podcasters. Wearing moon boots, mini skirts and corsets has become an act of feminism, as Chlapecka’s videos and her comments section shows that many bimbos in hiding, as well as other unconventional dressers, have avoided being themselves and wearing what they want out of fear of judgement. While on the surface, indulging in such a display of hyper-femininity and sexuality could be seen as catering directly to the male gaze, it’s important to remember the double bind the patriarchy places women in. Women who are often perceived as attractive or whose sense of style fits into the bimbo aesthetic may experience a degree of pretty privilege because of their desirability, but as the word “bimbo” suggests, they are also seen as inherently less intelligent and are objectified, because of their appearance and demeanor. Elle Woods’ path to Harvard begins because her jerk boyfriend doesn’t take her seriously and deems her not to be “girlfriend material” during their cruel breakup.

Today’s bimbos wholeheartedly embrace their sugary, bubblegum rendition of femininity and sexuality as an act of liberation, as a response to our culture’s double standards.

As many women have been tirelessly and annoyingly warned that men don’t like too much makeup among other idiocies, the bimbo paradox compels women to police their behavior and appearance to not be seen as too “ditzy,” denying themselves the pleasure of being girly and wearing pink for the sake of being taken seriously by men, as well as other women who have internalized these misogynistic messages. TikTok’s bimbocore trend rejects the impossible standards women are held to, demonstrating it’s okay to embrace the things you truly enjoy, regardless of how society views you. A bubbly, bow-wearing gal deserves no less respect than the woman who opts for jeans and work boots.

Today’s bimbos wholeheartedly embrace their sugary, bubblegum rendition of femininity and sexuality as an act of liberation, as a response to our culture’s double standards. Refusing to dampen their sense of self for a society that is either unwilling or unable to view women as whole complex beings is an act of feminism itself. As Chlapecka reiterates in her videos in her infectious, candy-sweet, high-pitched voice, “there are straight men who only wear navy polos and khakis” who have the audacity to be confident. You are hot — wear what you want.

@chrissychlapecka u heard me! listen up! #slay ♬ original sound – chrissy

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