WOMEN
02/24/2014 10:32 am ET | Updated Feb 24, 2014

What Does It Mean For Feminism If Feminism Becomes Trendy?

Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

2013 was a Big Year for feminism in pop culture. The media's endless hounding of female celebrities regarding whether they identify as feminist has finally paid off — several prominent figures, including Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Claire Danes, Selena Gomez(ish), Rashida Jones, Ellen Page and even Courtney Stodden have all announced that they do, in fact, think of themselves as feminist. And famous women who've aligned themselves with feminism from the start, like Lorde and Lena Dunham, are becoming increasingly ubiquitous.

And feminism's sudden popularity doesn't end with celebrities — media purveyors of all that's trendy, too, are aligning themselves with the movement. This year, Cosmo declared itself "deeply feminist." Elle UK went perhaps even further, setting up three feminist activist groups with three advertising agencies in order to facilitate a "rebranding." And Bing — a search engine whose ad team knows what's up, having previously not-so-subtly placed the service in Gossip Girl — recently came out a weird, pandering womyn power commercial. In the fashion world, critics are taking the sudden influx of woman power-themed lines and the sudden preponderance of flats and formal sneakers — and, more significantly, the industry's sudden awareness of racism — as a sign that "feminism is back in fashion." Hooray! It's back! Whatever that means! So now, like the pop-culture polluted feminists we might become, we have to wonder: is this a good thing?

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