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New age bimbos: a cultural reset?

drawing of a woman with blonde hair, blue eyes and red lipstick. She has a blank speech bubble over her head and the drawing has a blue background.
Saturday 20th March 2021 04.39

Shallow, dipsy, promiscuous, and vain. These might seem like insults, but a new wave of self-identifying bimbos are reclaiming what it means to be a bimbo. This man-made term has been assimilated into our language as an insult. But what is the insult it carries? Urban dictionary defines the word as “a physically attractive but unintelligent woman”. Other common traits across various definitions use words like “stupid”, “obsessed with boys and clothes”, “egotistic, “unoriginal”, or perhaps the hardest blow of them all: the “only attraction to such a person is purely physical”. ​Altogether, this paints the image of a person who is undeniably gorgeous, but somehow equally threatening to society. And so we must ask: what is it about being attractive that is so offensive to so many?

This misogynistic and alleged insult carries a didactic value, instructing women and others who choose to bimbofy, what is and is not an appropriate way to act. For example, women traditionally must look attractive to men, but simultaneously cannot appear to have tried, otherwise, we are bimbos, which, according to the patriarchy, is catastrophic.

Any traditionally feminine traits, such as being emotional, under the patriarchy are deemed as less valuable, whereas traditionally masculine traits, like assertiveness, are considered admirable. Likewise, when a woman or other embraces their femininity - be that by being a bimbo - society recoils and deems them as unimportant. Is she superficial, or is enjoying clothes and makeup - because of its association with women - just seen as a less important art form? 

This movement reclaims ‘femininity’, showing the power in having confidence in yourself, and the importance of enjoying everything you love to the fullest, including all the pink and glitter you could ever imagine.

With the ever-rising popularity of TikTok, neo-bimbos are reclaiming the label. Most famously, Chrissy Chlapecka forces us to ask ourselves why being a bimbo is seen as such a bad thing. In songs of positive words of affirmation, Chlapecka reassures us that being a bimbo is not, in fact, the insult society wants to make us believe it is. She whimsically instructs us to “put some sparkles on your face and stomp on anyone who gets in your way” as she models how being confident and feminine are not mutually exclusive capabilities.

Similarly, far from the unintelligent stereotype the insult often insinuates, new-age bimbos are definitively smart and au courant. Much of the movement seeks to educate people on many social issues, from Black Lives Matter to dismantling capitalism but rightly packages this education in ‘femininity’.

Loving pink, loving makeup, and loving fashion does not make you a bad feminist, nor shallow. These qualities should also be valued as much as their counterparts, and this movement highlights their worth. You’re not vain; you’re confident. You’re not promiscuous; you’re sexually autonomous. You’re not dipsy; you’re an educated and intelligent feminist. And most importantly: you’re not shallow; you just know you’re hot.

Image: no-longer-here via Pixabay