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The It girl is a well-documented phenomenon. Cool, stylish and in possession of magic that makes them the centre of the room. The It girl was also somewhat voiceless. The combination of being beautiful and well, a woman, meant that generally these women weren’t taken seriously. Even when they were speaking, they weren’t being listened to. But in 2023 that’s changing. Today, It girls around the world are speaking up, reclaiming their narrative, challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers. From how fashion to reinvention and one It girl who is setting the record straight, this is everything you need to know about the new era of the It girl.

The word icon is overused. But if it applies to anyone, it applies to Pamela Anderson. Perennial It girl, actor, activist and model, Anderson’s career is awe-inspiring. And in 2023, she’s making waves once again. Following the release of Hulu’s controversial miniseries Pam & Tommy, - which was released without her consent - Anderson is telling her story, in her own words, for the very first time with her memoir, Love, Pamela, and her Netflix documentary Pamela, A Love Story. Created with the support of her sons, the film will explore the intricacies of a woman’s life that has been lived in the spotlight and give Anderson herself a space to tell her truth.

From style to scandal, Anderson is setting the record straight. When Hulu released the Pam & Tommy miniseries last year, Anderson’s name was once again, a hot topic. The series follows her marriage with Motley Crue member Tommy Lee, and the theft of the pair’s sex tape. The – now infamous – tape went viral before going viral was really a thing and saw Anderson embroiled in controversy for years. She became a punchline while Lee’s career went on unscathed.

In the documentary’s teaser, she says – “I blocked that stolen tape out of my life in order to survive, now that it’s all coming up again, I feel sick. I wanna take control of the narrative for the first time.” This is Pamela like with never seen her before.

The key takeaway? The power of a woman telling her own story, owning her image and being unapologetically herself. Anderson is blowing stereotypes about women and sex wide open, proving that you can be blonde, be sexual, be a fashion icon, at the same time as being an activist, a mother and a woman with something to say.

When it comes to Anderson, always expect the unexpected. A forever muse, today Anderson’s style is inextricably linked with the history of fashion. From her close friendship with the late Dame Vivienne Westwood to her personal style which would go on to epitomize ‘90s fashion, Anderson’s influence on fashion can’t be underestimated.

One of the most remarkable things about her fashion? That it was all her. Today, we’re living in the age of the celebrity stylist and the looks we see on our Instagram feed are often crafted with the help of an image architect, makeup artist, hair stylist and more. But Anderson’s looks were all her own. Speaking to Vogue, she explained: “I didn’t have a stylist, I didn’t have anybody”. Even when it came to her most iconic looks, like that outfit she wore at the 1999 VMAs. Talking about the iconic look she told Vogue: “I don’t think any stylist would’ve let me walk out of the house that way. I just put that pink hat on, those sparkly pants and a corset. It took me five minutes. Tommy did my makeup and I was out the door. This was just pure fun.”

Unapologetic, authentic and magnetic – these are hallmarks of Anderson’s style, and perhaps why it remains so covetable. The fashion archives are filled with iconic Anderson looks. From little black dresses and that signature messy blonde updo to massive wide-brim hats, leather pants and baby tees, her style defined a generation. The relationship between Anderson and fashion is one that has withstood decades – and her style has always belonged to her, even when her identity didn’t.

Today, she remains an inspiration for some of the biggest names in fashion. Most notably, for Simon Porte Jacquemus. Sitting front row at the brand’s SS23 runway show, she put her own spin on the naked dressing trend, donning a sheer, white silk dress, cut with clever wrap detailing, a high neck and OTT feather embellishment. The look, which was paired with a huge hat and a single sheer glove, instantly made headlines, proving that her style is as impactful now, as it was twenty years ago.

The appearance came just as the documentary was announced. Through style, Anderson put her body – the subject of scrutiny, scandal and punchlines – front and centre. And this time, as she reclaimed her narrative, her body was all hers.

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And Anderson isn’t the only one reclaiming her narrative. With her book, My Body, Emily Ratajkowski redefined what it means to be an It girl, creating a space where women can have more autonomy and be taken more seriously. And it’s worked – just ask Donatella Versace, who, like Emrata, is living in her self-proclaimed ‘B**h Era’. With the rise of stars like Chloe Cherry and Mia Khalifa, it’s clear that our image of the It girl is changing – and that from Emily Ratajkowski the fashion world is putting women in charge. A new era of It girls is being ushered in – and this time, they’re in control of the narrative.

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Emily Ratajkowski’s multi-hyphen approach to her career is transforming our perception of the It girl. The model-come-actress-come-author-come-podcast-host has shown that no territory is off limits – and no perception of her will hold her back. Emrata was scrutinised throughout her career – specifically after appearing in the Blurred Lines video. Throughout her career, she was met with a rhetoric of shame and sexism. Questions like – Can she be a feminist and look like that? Can she be empowered and be a model? What kind of a woman is she? – echoed throughout her career. When Ratajkowski spoke publicly about her experiences with sexual violence, the shaming continued. And said scrutiny increased tenfold after she gave birth to her son.

The model-turned-author explained on her podcast, The High Low, that as a result of the constant shame, she was questioning everything: can I wear this, can I do this, can I go on dates? But instead of shrinking behind the scrutiny? Ratajkowski is getting louder. The effect – which Elle dubbed “the audacity of Emily Ratajkowski” is simply, the joy of a woman doing – and wearing – what she wants. From starring in a Versace campaign to walking the biggest runways (think Miu Miu and JW Anderson) Ratajkowski is breaking new ground – and she’s doing it in visible underwear and no f**ks given.

Meanwhile, other stars – like Mia Khalifa and Chloe Cherry - are following suit. Khalifa for one is in her era of reinvention, with a little help from the fashion world. Her latest endeavour? Transforming into the quintessential Aries girl. Cool, calm and collected, Khalifa stars in their AW23 campaign. Speaking to Emily Ratajkowski on her podcast, Khalifa spoke about how the role she plays has changed: “Whoever they’re looking at is not me. I don’t look the same, I don’t think the same, I am not the same person, and I’ve been able to kind of, separate myself from that and, doing so has given me my individuality and my identity back to an extent.”

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Euphoria’s Chloe Cherry is following a similar path. Like Khalifa, Cherry has entered the fashion world after a career in the adult film industry. Today, Cherry is a certified Versace girl and recently a poster girl for the latest Saint Laurent collection, sitting front row at their AW23 show alongside Jenna Ortega. For these stars, fashion is a platform to reinvent themselves, to explore their identity and navigate the ever-changing landscape of what it means to be a woman in public. It’s hard not to see the parallels with Anderson’s career. The difference today? That the women are in control.

From Pamela Anderson to Emily Ratajkowski, women are done being talked over, they’re taking their voices back and they’re being loud while they do it. This is the new age of the It girl, and this time, the women are in charge.




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