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Anoush Froundjian

How a mini skirt is ingeniously confronting slut-shaming

The little black dress also got a feminist af makeover.

 

Nayomi Reghay

IRL

For women, the simple morning ritual of picking something to wear can be a fraught decision. “Does this blouse make me look powerful?” “This sweater is comfortable, but do I look frumpy?” “Can I wear this skirt on a first date?”

Artist and designer Anoush Froundjian is all too familiar with these thoughts.

Froundjian told the Daily Dot, “As someone who sees how often sexual assault happens, and as someone who’s experienced it, I feel like there’s this [desire] to feel safe and strong and pretty at the same. And I never feel those things at the same time.”

That’s why Froundjian’s “Mine” collection of skirts and dresses turns the “Did you see what she was wearing?” myth on its head.

Anoush Froundjian/Art of Where

The collection of feminine wear is both revealing and empowering. The text places the wearer firmly in a position of ownership, and reminds onlookers that the clothes a woman chooses to wear, no matter how revealing, are never a signal that she has surrendered autonomy over her body.

Froundjian has been creating hand-drawn designs on clothing for years, but she never emblazoned them with a feminist message until recently. A few months ago, riled by the election and eager to take action, the artist got inspired. She recalled the poem “My Short Skirt” from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, and created a simple design: the words mine, scrawled in white in repetition against a black background.

Recently, Froundjian was delighted when a friend purchased and donated one of the skirts to a production of The Vagina Monologues at Hunter College in New York City.

https://www.facebook.com/anoush.froundjian/posts/10100555599336734

Froundjian attended a performance and was thrilled to see the monologist wearing the skirt.

She also has high hopes for future sightings of her skirt in the wild. When we asked her who she’d like to see wearing the collection, she responded instantly, “Lady Gaga! I think she’s really great and I love everything she wears.”

But Froundjian added, “Anyone [can wear it]. But I think of all of the girls who are struggling to find themselves in middle school or high school… Girls who need to believe in themselves.”

For Froundjian, the message goes beyond the issue of sexual assault and extends to a deeper sense of confidence.

She explained: “It takes years, decades to figure this stuff out, and wouldn’t it be nice to say, ‘You know what? I’m fine.’ I want women to feel okay saying, ‘I’m good at things.’ I’m good at music or I’m good at art. It puts color in your cheeks when you express that—the good kind, not to be beautiful, the kind that makes you look vibrant.”

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