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Monica Lewinsky, Fashion and Stereotypes

A little different than my usual content but I wanted to take a second to marvel at the collab that is Monica Lewinsky x Reformation. Celebrity collaborations are everywhere and some are oh so good and some are oh so bad. After this year's Super Bowl commercials, I am a Ben Affleck x J-Lo x Dunkin fan. The commercial was excellent and hit home for me in so many ways but nothing has been as exciting to me as the Monica Lewinsky x Reformation collaboration. Monica f*cking Lewinsky.


Credit: Reformation


For those of you that don't know (maybe my Gen-Z followers?) a very young Monica Lewinsky had basically the worst rep possible in the late 90s for a sexual relationship she had with then President Bill Clinton. A girl in her mid twenties was skewered in the media while President Clinton seemed to walk away scot free.


The story is: a young driven woman with political aspirations is ultimately taken down by a mistake she made with a man twice her age. I can't help but think of America Ferrera's Barbie speech,


"You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you're supposed to be a part of the sisterhood."


Monica Lewinsky had a job at the White House but unfortunately she tempted the wrong man. In her twenties she made a mistake she had to pay for for the rest of her life. Meanwhile our President went on to notoriety for other important things. He got to continue to be a politician. He was the adult in the room, yet Lewinsky was the one who truly suffered.


Anyway fast-forward to 2024. Lewinsky looks stunning and powerful as the new face of Reformation. When I saw her name pop up in my email via Reformation, I was stunned and intrigued. This woman is an advocate for women, for kids. She stands against cyber bullying and she stands for reinventing yourself.


The collab seems to poke fun at her scandal, while also embracing who she is. The striking image of her in the sexy, yet professional scarlet red look is iconic.


Women and girls are often between a rock and a hard place in society. For as long as I can remember I was an academic, a career-driven gal. I got good grades, I aimed for the best academic achievements and jobs and that is how I thought of myself.


I put myself in a box and I put aside other things I cared about that didn't necessarily "go with" that image I had laid out. Caring about fashion or what I looked like did not fit with this image. I remember so clearly in 7th grade wearing a Hollister t-shirt and solo pants that I thought were the ultimate fashion statement. I also looked in the mirror at 13 and thought I looked amazing. A teacher at my school came up to me and instructed me to change my clothes. She said "you have a lovely figure but that doesn't mean you have to show it off, it's not appropriate for school".


We're sexualized and put into boxes so young and when we embrace or lean into them too much, we end up being scolded or called a slut, a bimbo or any other slew of names.


I never really felt confident in my love of fashion and style because I didn't want to be put in a box. I didn't want to be judged. I love fashion. I don't dress for men, I don't even really dress for women (though there is nothing better than when a stranger on the street compliments your outfit-- and means it), I dress for me. When I have a great outfit, I feel great. I feel powerful and I feel confident.


Moral of the story is Monica Lewinsky I salute you. I salute you for using fashion to make a statement. I salute you for using your voice and your power. I salute you for growing but also embracing your past. I am incredibly impressed by the collaboration overall and even more so by Lewinsky who is owning being smart and sexy all at the same time. Let's not tell women that they have to be everything or they can only be one thing or another. Let's tell women that it's okay to be smart, beautiful, sexy, stylish, interesting and anything and everything else.


Oh also take a look at the FABULOUS collection that Reformation has curated.


Credit: Reformation

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