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Feminism

Bimbos are back

Margot Robbie as Barbie: a “feminist edge”

In a somewhat surprising “twist of girl power”, Gen Zs have identified a new pop culture hero, says Deborah Linton in Vogue: the bimbo. On TikTok, #bimbo videos have been viewed more than a billion times. Some give bimbo-y fashion advice, others offer tutorials on how to live a more carefree, ditsy existence. In one bimbo-based video, the caption reads: “No one can out-bimbo me, I’m literally brain dead.” The pro-bimbo movement has captured Hollywood too. Next year Margot Robbie will star in an updated Barbie film with a “feminist edge”.

And why not? For years, these “girly, ‘empty-headed’ glamour seekers” have been the punchlines of jokes written mostly by men. By reclaiming bimboism as an act of self-love, Gen Zs are undoing the tedious and nasty connotations of yesteryear. What’s more, being a bimbo has its perks. “You can be ditsy and bubbly and have fun and not have to prove anything to anyone,” says 19-year-old Fiona Fairbairn, who hosts The Bimbo Manifesto podcast. There’s something powerful about “being underestimated and using it to your advantage”. That’s the difference with bimbo 2.0 – it’s a choice, not an insult. As Paris Hilton put it: “I’m not a dumb blonde. I’m just really good at pretending to be one.”

👙🤦‍♀️ For heaven’s sake, says Celia Walden in The Daily Telegraph, there’s nothing feminist about being a bimbo. If Gen Zs start boasting about being brain dead and wearing skimpy clothes, the only people who benefit are men. When my husband (Piers Morgan) once questioned whether wearing only a bra on the red carpet was appropriate, he was bombarded with pictures of angry, lingerie-clad women. “There was only one clear winner: the man grinning from ear to ear as he scrolled.”