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Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

[EDITORIAL] The coquette trend infantilizes women

Bows and ruffles in pink make feminism difficult.
The coquette aesthetic is all over social media, but there is a darker side to this trend. (Photo illustration created by Wildcat Chronicle Staff using an image by Moose via Pexels)

Women are setting themselves back centuries with one of the most stereotypical, diminishing trends that has risen to extreme popularity recently: the coquette trend.

In recent months, the coquette trend has become the face of fashion. “Coquette” is a French word that translates in English to flirtatious and that is the inspiration for the new aesthetic. To spot for the trend, look for dainty dresses, dreamy silhouettes and lots of pink, according to People magazine.  The style is perhaps described as romantic, soft and elegant. These characteristics draw many women in – as well as celebrities, some of whom have been recently seen dressed in the trend. 

Additionally, the fad stems from old Victorian fashion styles. Coquette pulls ideas of lace and ruffles from the Victorian area to appeal to the modern women. 

“I would describe the coquette trend as hyper-feminine. It’s kind of in a way something like being girls together and it’s cute,” senior Nirali Kadakia said.

The trend brings back bows and soft pinks from a girl’s childhood and allows her to wear these things in adulthood. Celebrities have been seen sporting coquette looks on the red carpet and in everyday life. Lana Del Rey, a singer songwriter has been said to be one of the front runners of this trend, especially with her song “Let the Light In” which is a mystical love song seen playing in the background of many TikToks promoting the coquette movement. 

Everything in the coquette trend is soft in color and most things are a light pink. (Photo by Sasha Baumgartner)

Although the trend sounds girly and fun, it cannot be ignored that this style is encouraging women to dress innocently and young which are not traits the modern women is fighting to be. The coquette trend encourages skirts and the color pink being traits of femininity and beauty – utterly encouraging things to reverse in terms of gender roles. 

Throughout the past century, women have been fighting for additional rights in society and in the workplace. Females worked extremely hard for pants to become an acceptable clothing item for their gender; however, the coquette trend reverses these milestones by encouraging the opposite: skirts and dresses.  

Huffpost published an article on women’s fashion liberation and included the point that “pants can be seen as the material manifestation of women’s desires to have different lives during times when they were greatly oppressed,” fashion historian Sara Idacavage said. 

Even today, women are patronized: they are constantly questioned for their decisions and talked down to on a regular basis. The coquette trend encourages infantilization of women by convincing women to dress in an innocent way, thereby motivating others to look at women as less than or as vulnerable.

Before standing in full support of a new fashion trend, take a moment to contemplate if these characteristics of women are really something we want to highlight to the world. Women have – and are – fighting for equal chances against men and sometimes showing the flirtatious and feminine side lands women in despair. It is an unfortunate truth that women have to sometimes hide their femininity and maturity in order to be treated the same as a man.

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About the Contributor
Sasha Baumgartner
Sasha Baumgartner, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha is a senior, and this is her third year being a part of the Wildcat Chronicle. She found a swift passion for journalism during her sophomore year, learning how to write for fun and in many different ways. She has continued with the paper since 2021. Outside of journalism, Sasha is a member of the WEGO Dance team, a ROAR mentor and a member of National Honors Society and WEGO Global at the high school. Sasha’s main hobbies outside of school include working at a retirement community serving guests in the dining room, spending time with friends and family, and finishing up work for the Wildcat Chronicle. In the future, Sasha plans to attend college for psychology to be able to help people on a daily basis. 
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  • KatherineFeb 27, 2024 at 11:18 pm

    Women fought and are fighting for more than pants. It’s not about pants. The coquette trend unapologetically embraces the feminine traits and interests that we are so often scrutinized for (like in this article). Liking skirts and dresses is not reversing feminist milestones.

  • Kerlly SchellingJan 30, 2024 at 11:14 am

    But what is the matter ? We can be female, feminine, sweet, beautiful, strong; nothing change because of a trendy thing. We are most than that. And also boys. Both have space in here! I do not support any movement in the world 🌎. Let’s no be in defense.

  • Mrs. Gierzynski, subJan 24, 2024 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks, Sasha, for such a well-written essay. This is another example of back-lash from a society that has been slowly pushing toward equality for all. But some resist change and yearn for the “halcyon days of yore,” back when white men ruled everything and were default for all jobs. Now they have to compete on a more level field, and to some, that’s degrading and an insult to their (to them) obvious superiority.