I’m tired of the cliché strong women. When people use the phrase they seem not to talk at all of courageous women, but of cowardly women who use outward trappings to seem strong.
At Olympus Fashion Week in NYC in early September, a reporter asked designer Nanette Lapore about her inspiration. Lapore designs kind of ‘50s-style, half housewife-inspired, half-Carmen Miranda-inspired, fun clothes. While I’m sure strong women wear them—but probably not to sit on the Supreme Court or hold children or write poetry—I’m not sure that when I look at the clothes, they scream: feminism, bravery, resistance, etc.. But I have been in the store, and I consider myself strong, so. And I've worn the clothes. But I just didn't feel like Wonder Woman when I donned them.
To the reporter, Ms. Lapore gave her inspiration as “strong women everywhere.” How does that notion manifest itself in her clothes? What is a strong woman? I suspect it’s someone who might dare to wear green instead of black. I guess sartorial spontaneity is an element of strength, but probably not the most essential one. Integrity, ingenuity, loyalty, passion, etc., would seem more important markers of female resilience.