Writers and critics tend to focus on Bikini Kill’s politics and feminism, but Hanna says she put a lot of thought into her on-stage outfits. “Fashion really was a big part of our band, and we really liked goofing around with fashion, but people think it’s antithetical to feminism.”
On the contrary, she says, she used costumes to play with gender, like the hairy-chested pirate costume she cut into a shirt and paired with a Betsey Johnson miniskirt, or the dress with a photo of a Speedo-clad “Chippendale’s kind of guy” on it. (“It was the man inside me,” she says.) Others, like a Girl Scouts uniform, spoke to their anger at having been “ripped off” of their childhoods. “You remember the times when you were 15 and you should have been having fun but guys were driving past you in pick-ups, calling you names or trying to get you in the car,” Hanna says.
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