“Hello my pretty bimbabies, how are we doing today? You okay?,” is a breathy introduction to BimboTok, a space dedicated to hyperfeminine “girls, gays and theys” on TikTok. Decked in Juicy Couture, hoops and lashes, creators in this community are backed with one strong purpose: challenging gender inequalities to help build an inclusive future.
Among its pioneers is Chrissy Chlapecka, a ‘new-age bimbo’ addressing toxic masculinity and gender oppression, leading the change to transform the word ‘bimbo’ into an “all-inclusive, gender-neutral leftist icon.” To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Screen Shot spoke to Chlapecka to highlight her commitment towards challenging norms through her community, platform and online presence, in turn inspiring others to do the same.
“Fighting gender inequality means being yourself, loving yourself and not letting any misogynistic person get in your way,” Chlapecka preaches. The 20-year-old creator is a “radical leftist who is pro-sex work, pro-BLM, pro-LGBTQ and pro-choice.” She believes everyone deserves a space in this world despite society straitjacketing these terms of living. According to Chlapecka, challenging gender inequality includes putting our foot down and telling the world “I’m here. I’m going to take up my space and rise to the occasion. I’m going to be myself, do what I want and not apologise for it.”
With close to 80 million likes on her TikTok, Chlapecka is the creator of ‘Bimbo Bibble’, a manifesto of 10 ‘cummandments’ which include being bad at math and “barking at straight people.” The radical creator perceives bimboism and femininity as self-love with a jab at societal standards. “My community, the BimboTok, the place that I’ve created, is so important to me because all it means to me is self-love. I will wear a mini-skirt with pride and you’re not going to blame me for the way that men treat us. We’re going to blame men for the way men treat us,” she adds.
Chlapecka pens her TikToks as an open letter to viewers, seeking to foster a safe space for those who want to “embrace their femininity.” “The message that I’m sending on my platform is extremely important to me because it is something I needed to hear long ago,” she admits. With #godisawoman, #femininityispower and #stopmen, Chlapecka advises viewers to “not listen to those who are constantly bashing us, telling us that we aren’t enough,” instead churning wholesome content “for those who need somebody to tell them ‘Hey, you’ve got this. You’re okay. I love you’.”
In a recent video, Chlapecka addressed the concept of a ‘bimbo girlfriend’ with redeeming qualities such as “asking about your day, listening and actually knowing how to make you cum” with side effects including “falling deeply in love, not knowing 3+3, obsession with the colour pink, the need to castrate homophobes and stepping on patriarchy while wearing a mini skirt.” Amassing over 1 million views, Chlapecka is set to reclaim the word ‘bimbo’ in a positive, self-loving light by fearlessly embracing all of the pejorative aspects that come with the term.
The “proud bimbo” admits to valuing her emotional intelligence in efforts to transform the age-old pejorative term into a badge of honour—now worn proudly by emotionally-intellectual and sexually-empowered icons.
From challenge comes change, and when asked about her advice to other young women out there looking to challenge gender identities themselves, Chlapecka stresses the need to “fully embrace who you are” and remember that “femininity is power, femininity is beauty, femininity is everything this world needs.”
“Do not let people who are energy-suckers take that away from you because you are beautiful,” Chlapecka adds, “It does not matter how you look on the outside, what matters is inside. If you’re spreading soft love and accepting everybody, that’s what it is—that’s the key.”
And quoting Chlapecka’s iconic, Pinterest-board-worthy outro to celebrate International Women’s Day this year: “I love you, now say it back.”
This year, and more specifically this month, the conversation around both online bullying and toxic masculinity has been incessant. For Anti-Bullying Week 2020, as part of the Not Just A Comment campaign, Screen Shot spoke to British South Asian, gender non-conforming makeup artist Zain Shah about the hate he receives, his fight against toxic masculinity through makeup and his advice for anyone else doing the same or struggling to shake off the haters.
There’s a lot of hate, from people who don’t understand what I do. These people truly don’t want to understand and are fuelled by insecurities of their own. Being a queer POC and an individual that challenges gender stereotypes makes me a target on many different levels.
I would say thank you for speaking about a topic that so many turn a blind eye to. It’s easy to get burnt out when being a social activist, so my advice would be to protect your energy and remember to take care of yourself in the process.
Differences aren’t celebrated. I realised this as a young teen who enjoyed doing things society deems as typically ‘feminine’, and being called out for it at school; not just by students, but teachers too.
I don’t engage with the hate. Often, these individuals are looking to get a rise out of you or to start an argument. Nobody has power over you unless you allow them to. I choose not to give value to their opinions or to give away my precious time to negativity.
I would say that while cultures and values can give us a sense of belonging, they don’t often care about the individuals’ happiness. Prioritise yourself, and choose your happiness first.
I’ve seen other young South Asians step into their own power and reject society’s narrow standards of beauty. A few beauty brands are on the path of championing true diversity by moving past tokenising people of colour.
To be honest, I don’t factor it in anymore but I did at the start. If you’re proud of your work, nothing else matters. Stand by your art.
As I mentioned, I don’t engage with the hateful comments and messages I receive. I also give myself frequent breaks from checking my social media, especially after I post.
You’ve got to make bad choices to learn how to make better ones. Live in the moment and enjoy every aspect of what you do. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself!
Check-in with yourself and address any negative behaviours and patterns you may have. After you’ve done that, start a discussion with your friends and family and call out any ‘bullying’ that you see.
Online bullying can affect everyone, including children, teens and adults. No one should go through the distress and loneliness that the brutality of hateful comments can lead to. With the help of Ditch The Label, we found it crucial to encourage others to open up about the hurtful comments they receive in order to knock down the idea that online abuse is acceptable.
You too, share on social media a picture or a video of the meanest comments you’ve received. Use the hashtag #NotJustAComment and encourage others to do the same. Reach out to anyone who you think might be suffering from bullying and donate if you can to help support the incredible work Ditch The Label is doing!