Amelia Bloomer, born in 1818 was an American women's rights activist who had great impact on society today. Although in Victorian society, some women did wear trousers, that was mainly for work wear and Amelia Bloomer reinforced the idea of women wearing trousers outside of that. During the Victorian era, to achieve a certain figure, petticoats were layered upon each other which although stylish, caused great discomfort. Bloomer had written about the trials and tribulations surrounding this in her newspaper ‘the lily’ but her views often weren’t noticed by others. In her newspaper she had mentioned practicality, or lack thereof, of women's fashion but due to societal expectations many women weren’t willing to try out these new concepts.  


There had been quite a few articles circulating between Bloomer and a male journalist who had – although differing views – proposed the idea of women wearing short/medium skirts and Turkish style trousers to which Bloomer had responded to on numerous occasions. This had sparked intrigue in Victorian society and so Bloomer and a few friends had begun to act on this. A fellow feminist and friend of Amelia Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was her name, as well as another woman named Elizabeth Smith Miller began walking around the area with a similar outfit to what the male journalism had described: a sort of tunic, skirt and such trousers. Miller had already been wearing this for a fair few months, however this journalist had caused more of an engaged audience towards it. Stanton too had gained interest in the outfit not long after. So, hence in 1851 in Bloomer’s newspaper, the lily, she published an article after adopting the style about the why’s and how’s of her clothing choice. Although the lily was a relatively small newspaper, the article soon grew large, and the picture attached to it soon became everywhere. The response had quite a mixed audience. Bloomer had noticed that the fashion seemed to always be attached to her name although it was Miller’s project that had first begun but ‘Bloomerism’ had already begun to be used everywhere. Unfortunately, the later response wasn’t well met, and many pieces of art were made mocking the style. It mainly included women wearing Bloomers and doing what Victorian society believed to be ‘manly’ things such as smoking, attending gentlemen clubs or proposing. One thing Bloomer had mentioned was how she never truly had ill treatment, she had spoken as to how she was never ridiculed, and the press even said positive things about her lectures for most of it.  


Bloomer had later stopped wearing these clothes however these weren’t for reasons one would expect. The dresses had, over time, become less uncomfortable and generally liked wearing other clothes sometimes. There were a few other reasons, however it was in no way due to force on another person but just her own personal changes through life. One important factor was how she felt that the attention was on the wrong point – she had mentioned how the attention was drawn to the trousers themselves but not the rights to education and such. Gradually the attention died out, but her mark was made within society.  


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