Taking a Stance with Tees

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How A Simple Shirt Can Be A Platform

Many of us have heard the phrase “the future is female,” and probably have seen someone sporting the simple white-fabric-black-font “the future is female” T-shirt. The slogan and shirt itself, designed originally for Labyris Books in New York, gained momentum when model and actress Cara Delevingne was photographed wearing the phrase back in 2015. From then on, more and more “slogan” T-shirts have popped up in pop-culture, on celebrities, on the runways and even on everyday political activists.

As clothing is a common way of self-expression, it’s not shocking that the popularity of these tees has skyrocketed in a time of such controversy, political divide and social movements. From slogans like “Black Lives Matter” to “We Should All Be Feminists” to “Make America Great Again” and “I’m With Her,” people of all different values, ages, races and genders have a platform to express themselves.

Similar to the idea that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” slogan T-shirts were an especially common weapon of sorts during the election season this past year. While T-shirts supporting one candidate or another weren’t an entirely new concept, the way and the quantity in which they were worn was different than it has been in the past. Celebrities such as Delevigne use this T-shirt trend as a way to express their opinions and influence their audiences.

The designer brand Dior made a political statement by sending down the runway a T-shirt reading “We Should All Be Feminists.” Designer Prabal Gurung also presented a politically-fueled finale in his latest show at New York Fashion week, proving that designers, celebrities and everyday people have voices that can be expressed through a simple T-shirt.  

While celebrities and influencers have the ability to bring awareness to a large audience with slogan T-shirts, don’t underestimate the voice you have that comes from simply saying, or wearing, what you believe in. There are a multitude of outlets at hand, from social media, getting involved in your community to simply wearing a T-shirt that shares a platform you believe in and identify with.


Leah Boelkins is a junior studying professional writing and Spanish. She also works for VIM Magazine on campus and loves reading other culture and lifestyle publications. On a typical day, you can find her working at Starbucks making Frappuccinos by the dozen or trying really hard to make her Instagram more aesthetically pleasing. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @leahboelkins.


Tags: activism, fashion, leah boelkins, t shirts