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?
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 bimbos—think 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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”