The revenge of the bimbo

The revenge of the bimbo

return of an underestimated wardrobe

It is everywhere. On Tiktok, Instagram, in magazines, in the street … The fashion of the 2000s long relegated to the bad taste of the too wild bimbo takes the gallon and recovers what is his right. To understand better, it happens below.

by Carla Thorel

“Doesn’t that sound like a bit of a hussy?” this sentence, which comes up after ten desperate attempts at wondering if it’s really reasonable to wear a crop-top to dinner, every young woman if not pronounced has heard it at least once before. But you will say to us, what does the cagole come to make in all that?

The cagole, the bimbo, is often southern, has mostly bleached hair, false nails French manicured and willingly wears dresses tight as desired.

Appeared in the 2000s, the latter have not had an easy life as their ultra feminine and assumed look was quickly judged “superficial” and “scatterbrained. We know, the trend 2000 revives its hour of glory. Low-rise jeans, baby tees, and baggy bags share the spotlight in stores, on instagram, and in magazines. But seeing Kendall Jenner attend her best friend’s wedding in a tight, openwork black dress, seeing Bella Hadid’s nails so long and colorful, and seeing Euphoria heroine Alexa Demie wearing candy pink lip gloss in each of her appearances, one question nags at me.

As much as the “Paris Hilton” look can seduce and inspire, wouldn’t the return of the bimbo’s wardrobe become political?

« Empowerment »

Like in the movie “Revenge of a Blonde” where Reese Witherspoon excels in her law studies to fight against the sexist prejudices of her relatives, the so-called “bimbo” is now back in service by playing with codes.

As an arm of honor to the bad tongues: tight tops and mini skirts are in order. We are witnessing a revalorization of subjects that could still seem uninteresting, too feminine, and too girly twenty years ago … Jennifer Padjemi, journalist and author of the book Feminisms and Pop Culture has a clear reading “these codes, many women voluntarily reappropriate them to highlight their bodies, their choices, and their revenge. 

While in the years 2000, the aspect too “pop” of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears served them, Jennifer specifies that it is not surprising: “the pop-culture” it was limit degrading before. There’s too much of a mainstream, grassroots feel to it that’s too off-putting to be taken seriously. So it’s clear that 16-year-old Britney Spears never deserved to be interviewed in the media about her creative process, her videos or her choreography because that’s not why she was invited…”

Twenty years later, in addition to a guilty media coverage due to the way the press unfairly treated these young women, we actually realize that they embodied what had never been observed or named in any of them before: entrepreunariat. 

Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski, Kylie Jenner, Nabilla, and many other powerful women now embody huge empires in their own right. Although most of them come from wealthy backgrounds, unlike Britney or Gwen Stefani who came from the hinterlands of Texas and California, these women are taking over, and taking back a voice that their elders had been confiscated. By playing with hypersexualization, and by surpassing by thousands the subscribers and sales figures of yesterday’s media (and male) elites, the bimbos are now presenting themselves to the world as strong and independent. Although this “comeback” of the 2000s is positive in many ways, we want to play devil’s advocate. Who really has the right to combine empowerment and sexiness?

(Un)past and (un)complexed?

It is always interesting to question why a past fashion stopped, and why it is reappearing.

Jennifer Padjemi recalls, “Let’s not forget that the fashion of the 2000s was deeply grossophobic. How many size 40 women did we see at the time wearing low-rise clothing? The social aspect of its revival is totally understandable and commendable given the sexist issues we’ve faced in recent years. But the sheer trend of these clothes remains questionable as it is implicitly exclusionary for a portion of women. Ultimately, to whom is the takeover limited?” Unequivocally, it is to be deplored that no photo of this era featuring the 2000 idols let us glimpse a little bulge protruding from Christina Aguilera’s VanDutch joggers or Ferggie’s Juicy.

Certainly true for the past, Melissa, a fashion school student in Toulouse, believes that these diktats are no longer relevant. “With all the movement that there was on self-acceptance a few years ago, I find that there is no longer a dissociation between what can or cannot be worn by certain morphologies. (…) this revival also became viral by the collective feeling of gloom that we had at the arrival of the pandemic. Via Instagram and Tiktok, we wanted color, lightness and cheerfulness that is what the look 2000 gave us, and I saw all the bodies identify with it. In their sauce I find that influencers like TyciadChannel or Evenora.a who surely make a 40 do it more than well by wearing wide pants, corsets, miniskirts … ” It must be said, that the 2000s have a wide range of identity accessories. “The look 2000 is so rich by these accessories and trends! From velvet outfits, to slightly baggy jeans, workers’ pants, mini skirts, and colored sunglasses…I think that if there is a fashion that is accessible to all tastes and bodies, it is this one,” says Melissa.

Decomplexed, the revival of the years 2000, whether adopted on the networks or in real life has by its legendary frivolity known to show its power and gravity. Twenty years later, let Britney’s words resonate when you’re about to post a photo that’s “too naked” or put on a top that’s “too low-cut”. “Oops, I did it again, and I’m not about to stop…