By Sarah Hudson
I am proud card-carrying feminist. Although this article focuses on these three influential feminists’ hairdos (rather than their incredible contributions to feminism), it is in no way meant to demean their work snub their accomplishments. I simply like hairdos, and I like feminism—why not discuss them both?
Maybe it’s because she worked undercover as a Playboy bunny or because of her influence on the 1970s women’s movement, but either way Gloria Steinem is my favorite feminist. Steinem rocked a bangin’ bouffant complete with face-framing highlights as she combated patriarchy. She demanded legal and social equality for women and looked damn good while doing it. Steinem worked tirelessly for women’s reproductive rights, marriage equality, the passage of the ERA, and much more. Her theories and commentary on liberal feminism were vital in shaping the issues of the movement, and her humor and bluntness attracted budding feminists across the country. Though her bouffant has slightly deflated in recent years, her vivacious feminist agenda is still in motion. At 75 Gloria is lookin’ good and posing big problems for patriarchy.
What famous feminist was a commie, a fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, a member of the Black Panthers, AND rocked a bodacious afro? Why Angela Davis, of course! Davis’ no-nonsense approach to issues of racism and patriarchy made her a force to be reckoned with in the 1970s and 80s. Her unapologetic kinks made her an icon, and her incredible contributions to the women’s movement made her a legend. Capitalism, racism, and sexism were no match against Angela Davis in her book Women, Race and Class. While Davis and her ‘fro have evolved over the years, she still remains a prominent feminist and one of the pioneers of the global feminist movement. With style and street cred to boot, Davis is an ideal role model for any budding feminist eager to take a stand.
All three of these fearless feminists played a critical role in claiming the rights for women that so many of us take for granted today. Even when they were pinning up curls, teasing their crowns, or picking their ‘fros, these feminists were constantly at work against patriarchy—and damn did they look good.