Bimbofication: what it means now compared to what it used to mean

By Harriet Piercy

Updated Mar 9, 2021 at 03:38 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Let’s get a few stereotypical facts straight and have a bit of a history session at the same time, because on Wednesdays we wear pink… smartie pants. Sorry, not sorry. Moving on! What is a bimbo exactly, and how has the term changed over the years?

What is a bimbo?

In terms of a more mainstream understanding of the word, especially between 2000 and 2010, bimbo was reserved to describe a girl who doesn’t hugely make use of her common sense, who slaps on a hefty load of makeup, and is obsessed with ‘fashun’ and fuckboys, duh. Generally, bimbos were assumed to be blonde and leaning towards platinum blonde, but there were exceptions. Bimbos were obviously expected to be friends with other bimbosthink a Mean Girl-inspired gang strutting down highschool halls, or as an opposite in personality, a not-so-mean and actually illegally sweet pink bombshell trotting in itty bitty heels. I’ll go into the severely problematic side to these clichés below.

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A bimbo is also a soft white and probably heavily sugared bread (and snack) company founded in 1945, in Mexico—the sugar assumption is my opinion. Hit me up if I’m wrong though.

The new age bimbofication

Leaving all things bimbo from the noughties behind, from Paris Hilton in a pink Juicy Couture tracksuit to bedazzled Motorola Razr, the term bimbo meets a new generation (gen Z), leading it to take an interesting turn in meaning. TikTok has brought us all, even the ones who have yet to fall down the download spiral (myself), much to think about. The prospect of prioritising beauty over brains is being explored by a new era, with the term ‘bimbofication’ in the spotlight. Using their impressive online communities, new age bimbos are now encouraging everyone to embrace their inner bimbo by spreading goodlookin’ love and kindness. Hello, I’m here for this already.

One TikToker in particular, Chrissy Chlapecka, is one of the platform’s most known bimbo babes. She reached the height of the description because of opinionated commenters, who essentially granted her the gift of bimbodom. Chlapecka now owns it, and while speaking to Refinery29 the trendsetter said that “The bimbo is somebody who radiates confidence, is comfortable in themself, and doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone says to them,” adding that today’s bimbos are expanding and updating our understanding. “The bimbo is pro-choice, pro-sex work, pro-BLM and she, he, or they likes to look pretty. We like to look pretty while we’re doing it.”

@chrissychlapecka

I SPOKE FACTS!!! #nothingmatters #impretty #bimbo #fyp

♬ original sound - chrissy

With regards to our above definition of the term bimbo, it has obviously been used in the past as an insult—all looks and no brains? Yah, no. The word is sexualising. A himbo also apparently exists, for any hims out there.

Women now want to be able to fit into the ‘aesthetic’ of what a bimbo used to be, without having to deal with the negative connotations behind the term. Bimbos are fighting back, basically, and have created a movement where stereotypes are broken and rebelled against. Of course, sexual fetishes have their rightful place, and bimbofication is also used by bimbos themselves to hypersexualise their image on purpose. That being said, I’d like to re-ask a question that the StanFord Arts review asked: Why is a woman wanting to appeal to a certain kink or style considered a bad thing?

The last decade, and arguably even earlier, brought a cultural pivot to the way society viewed women as a whole; supermodels, reality TV stars and booby blondes met girl bosses—which aesthetically meant short haired ‘smart’ women with ‘depth’. Refinery29 wrote about this too, and said that women “wanted to take over the world, be president, run companies, and aggressively and unerotically show nipples on Instagram. Even though this aesthetic was billed as being empowering, it proved to be as oppressive as every other feminine ideal—not least because it was another way of perpetuating the white supremacist patriarchy.”

New age bimbos choose to be true to themselves over socially-imposed ideals, and according to TikToker and bimbo historian Syrena, it is “not a protest against intelligence, it’s kind of a protest against academia and how elitist and classist it is.” In other words, the movement is challenging institutional conventions one outfit at a time.

Conforming to the status quo is temporary, and intelligence as well as attractiveness are two regular judgement stabs against not only women but also people of colour, the LGBTQA+ community, neurodivergent people, and even men. And I don’t know about you, but fuck that—I’m cheering for any body out there who wants to wear whatever they like to feel good about themselves, for themselves.

@fauxrich

like thank you misogynist for always thinking of me when you illustrate these memes

♬ original sound - princess

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