What Taylor Swift Topping Maxim's 'Hot 100' List Means For Feminism

Maxim and feminism: not usually two words that would crop up in the same sentence. But it's something we could definitely get used to.

Men's magazine, Maxim, recently named Taylor Swift as their number one gal in the 'Hot 100' list.

In previous years, the magazine has focused strongly on bikini-clad supermodels in traditional lad's mag-style. But this year - and we put this down to the introduction of new editor, Kate Lanphear - they swerved away from "sex sells" and instead focused on the accomplishments of their honoraries.

And Swift, being the wonder woman that she is, took the opportunity to preach about feminism.

She told the magazine: "To me, feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it's just basically another word for equality."

Swift also explained that she didn't know the accurate definition of feminism when she was younger and didn't see the ways that it is "vital to growing up in the world we live in".

She added: "I think that when I used to say, 'Oh, feminism's not really on my radar', it was because when I was just seen as a kid, I wasn't as threatening. I didn't see myself being held back until I was a woman. Or the double standards in headlines, the double standards in the way stories are told, the double standards in the way things are perceived.

"A man writing about his feelings from a vulnerable place is brave; a woman writing about her feelings from a vulnerable place is oversharing or whining. Misogyny is ingrained in people from the time they are born."

It's not the first time that a men's magazine has steered away from typically sexist traditions either.

Earlier this year, AskMen rebranded their "hottest women" list as "outstanding women". On the site, they wrote: "We’re celebrating the beautiful, talented, glamorous and just plain kickass women who are defining the world we live in."

But Amy Richards from feminist site Soap Box Inc isn't entirely won over by this new approach.

"I want to say 'Go Maxim' and give them the benefit of the doubt," she tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

"But Maxim is also a glossy magazine that needs to sell magazines - so they likely went with a famous personality, who they knew would sell, and thus had to accommodate what Swift was willing to do.

"There is also something slightly perverse about a raunchy men's magazine promoting strong women! Dare I say... if their readership is known for getting off on their content, could the joke be on us?"

Richards added that regardless of their intentions, she's happy that Swift was able to be honest and vocalise her feminism and believes its a step in the right direction.

"That reality will supersede any fictions Maxim or others perpetuate about feminism," she adds.

Regardless of your thoughts on lad's mags and feminism, one thing's for sure - as Neha Prakash finely puts it: "Taylor Swift has officially made feminism the hottest thing in 2015."

Taylor Swift

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