As the more evolved of the two sexes, women's liberation isn't summed up solely in terms of brute strength and power structure. Historically, a women's political movement is also expressed artistically by redefining, refiguring or even dismantling the current fashion norms. Power shifts are reflected in wardrobes, and miniskirts and UGG boots are iconic of this female phenomena. When a woman wears UGG boots with a miniskirt (shown below in Classic Tall) she is merging the women's liberation movements of today with those of yesteryear.
During the 1920s hemlines rose above the ankle as suffragettes fought for the vote. In the 1960s, hemlines became crotchlines as women donned mini-skirts and fought for social and reproductive rights. The popularity of the miniskirt was especially shocking in a culture where wearing patent leather shoes meant you were promiscuous, because the reflection of your genitals supposedly glimmered atop your toes.
As women gained command of their sexual identity, they were confronted by new voices that claimed a woman's only power is her sexuality. Women raised their fists against being pigeon holed as vixens in both political and fashion circles. As sexual harassment laws cracked down in the workplace, women ditched their high heels and form-fitting power suits for velour sweatpants and UGG boots, both of which have about as much sexual appeal as Kevin Costner.
When UGG Australia began advertising to female consumers, they launched an oversexualized campaign to downplay the non-sexual nature of UGG boots. Because UGG boots are about as scandalous as a winter parka, UGG photographed half-naked models wearing their UGG boots. (See Sundance II from UGG ad campaign below, right). In later years, as UGG Australia became accepted as fashionable and feminine, the ads became less raunchy and more down-to-Earth.
In coupling UGG Boots with miniskirts, women are merging the liberation movement of the 1960s with the de-sexualizing liberation movement of the new millennium. This hybrid look of sexy miniskirts with dumpy UGG boots presents a woman who is confident in both her sexuality and her non-sexuality.
Balance is not only the key to life but also the key to fashion . A tight, low-cut blouse perfectly blends with a loose pair of slacks creating a sophisticated look. Meanwhile, the same risqué blouse clashes with a pair of hot pants, creating (if you're not careful) a look of unbridled crass. Likewise, a miniskirt with tall, strappy heels can make a woman look like she's playing dress up, while a flirtatious miniskirt coupled with homely UGG boots shows a levelheaded woman who knows how to balance flair with comfort .
The introduction and widespread acceptance of both miniskirts and UGG boots to popular culture created similar social stirs. Both miniskirts and UGG boots were either adored or deplored by their contemporaries.
Miniskirt lovers lauded the playful advancement in fashion. Best-selling author Tom Robbins went so far as to say that owning a miniskirt shows you can stitch a zeitgeist into a few square inches of cloth.The naysayers wagged their fingers and claimed that the scandalous attire was physical proof of the decline of society's moral character.
UGG lovers contend that wearing a decidedly ugly but comfortable boot ( and having the audacity to call it fashionable!) liberates women from years of limping in painful stilettos and other so-called feminine shoes. Of course, change always faces strong adversity, and many fashion mavens refuse to call UGGs (or anything that looks like a baked-potato) fashionable or feminine. But UGG fans, in search of equality and comfort, have convinced a great majority of the public that UGGs such as the Knightsbridge, are chic and feminine, if not by traditional standards, then by the New Woman's standards.
Because of the pervasive and controversial nature of both UGG boots and miniskirts, it is important to realize the social relevancy that lies behind the fashion. An UGG is not an UGG,but it is an expression of a women's fight for equality. Wearing UGG boots expresses a woman's desire to able to dress as comfortably as a man, without being chided for looking unattractive, which makes UGG boots a metaphor of women's struggle for social equality.
In the end, fashion is a language that is constantly undergoing redefinition . In the 60s as the miniskirt took the world by storm, even Queen Elizabeth eventually lifted her hemline, which relays hope that even the staunchest anti-UGG fuddy-duddies will one day see the light and give UGG boots a chance.