There is great importance in the visual elements of historical moments–no matter how small. So often, politics can feel far removed from daily life, but the accessibility of imagery and small acts of resistance are crucial in preserving a snapshot of the most socially relevant issues of a specific period. These buttons represent matters of their time which carried enough importance to pervade even small daily choices like style and accessorizing. What was significant and relevant enough in those times of turmoil to the point that someone would wear it? By broadcasting your stance on a particular controversy, you create an ability to start discussions that may not otherwise be approachable. And by de-mystifying seemingly exclusive socio-political topics, you begin to empower the public and build the power of the people.
In my own personal life, I emulate this mindset through my hair. As a 22-year-old woman who wears her hair in an 1/8th inch buzzcut, I get a lot of attention. Yes, it is convenient, but it’s also a reminder that there is no social measure for physical value and external beauty. My hair felt like a shield I could hide behind for a long time, but now I force myself and other people to look beyond the conventional belief that being “attractive” or “feminine” in a traditional measure has any bearing on my worth. I wear a huge conversation starter on my head, and when people ask why I cut all my hair off, I tell them the truth: that it’s my own fight with myself and with society for my worth as a human being, despite how anyone else may want me to look, think, or act. Women’s rights is unfortunately a fight that never dies, and I would like to think that I play my small part in carrying on in the legacy of self-acceptance and empowerment.