While she’s ostensibly the most popular creator on BimboTok, Chrissy Chlapecka didn’t refer to herself as a bimbo until her TikTok followers did. To be fair, commenters weren’t shaming her; they were embracing her. Far from its derogatory use in the early aughts, a new community of women are describing themselves as bimbos—establishing themselves as an inclusive, queer subculture that is no longer exclusively made up of cis women, but has been recontextualized as open to anyone who finds confidence in expressing femininity. Today’s bimbos retain the feminine aesthetic but have pivoted to a platform of far-left politics, using their followings to advocate for feminism, sex work, and racial justice. Chlapecka, for instance, frequently posts about police brutality, taking advantage of her popularity to inform viewers. In a conversation with Lithium Magazine, Chlapecka recounted her path to embracing bimboism and gave insight into the emerging community.
Lithium Magazine: What drew you to reclaim the word “bimbo,” both personally and for an audience on TikTok?
Chrissy Chlapecka: I’ve always been a really hyper-feminine person and [while] growing up, I was mocked for it—just for how outspoken I was and loud I was. I was never fully taken seriously in school or in public group settings. I was always made fun of for being the bimbo girl, the dumb girl. “She’s got nothing behind those eyes,” stuff like that. I see myself as someone who really embraces her hyperfemininity and intelligence, especially intelligence in ways that society maybe doesn’t deem as real intelligence, such as communication skills, emotional intelligence, strength, et cetera.
On TikTok, people were adoring my content and lovingly calling me a bimbo—not in the way I’d heard it the majority of my life but in a way that was like, “yes, bimbo,” with all these sparkles and hearts. It became a really safe space for me to embrace myself and my hyperfemininity, and to make a comfortable space for femme people to embrace that as well. I don’t want to give myself all the credit for the new-age bimbo, because a lot of people have helped each other [redefine] it in a way. It’s really important that it’s not just [centered on] the male-serving white cisgender woman because that’s really not it at all. Bimboism means liberating yourself, your body, and your aesthetic to be what you want them to be without the judgment of others.
Lithium: You always address “girls, gays, and theys” in your TikToks, so I’m curious—how do today’s bimbos align with and provide allyship for the LGBTQ community?
Chrissy: A lot of new bimbos are LGBT—like me, I’m bisexual. I think the majority of the bimbos I know on TikTok do identify with that. We’re all outspoken, loud, and don’t care what others think. It not only encourages femme people to embrace their aesthetic and their femininity, but it also encourages members of the LGBT community to fully embrace themselves.
Lithium: You identified with being a bimbo in high school, even before joining TikTok. What was it like to embody this identity when women like Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith were constantly being criticized and villainized for doing so? I’m wondering if the mainstream perception sparked a negative connotation of the term for yourself.
Chrissy: The mainstream perception of bimbos was literally just making fun of them—making fun of their femininity and who they are. [Britney Spears] is a good example of someone who was perceived as a bimbo and was then completely made out to be a joke. Growing up, I was confused by it because I didn’t understand what was wrong with femininity or what these people were mad about. I really resonated with Britney.
[Bimboism at the time was kind of male-serving, though,] and that’s not necessarily what me or anyone else is doing now, especially as someone part of the LGBT community. My preference is women. I’m bisexual, but I’m not doing it to appeal to women or men.
Lithium: There’s this association of bimbos with leftist politics. How do you see the two converging? What causes do you see the bimbo platform taking on?
Chrissy: Being a woman is political, period. That’s why bimboism is so intertwined with leftist politics because unfortunately, leftist politics literally means fighting for human rights. I think being a woman and feminine-presenting and part of the LGBT community is a political stance in itself. As someone who’s white, cis, and has a platform, it’s really important for me to be using my voice to talk about marginalized groups who are being greatly affected by the patriarchy and the straight cis white men who believe they run everything. Anybody with people listening to them needs to be talking about these things. Bimboism means liberating yourself and being an advocate for people.
Lithium: What are some ways that new-age bimbos—even those who don’t have an online platform—can engage with different forms of political activism?
Chrissy: Keep up the conversation, not just online but with friends or your homophobic uncle. You have to have uncomfortable conversations with people you care about. That’s part of it. Call out people when they need to be called out.
Lithium: Do you have any advice for those seeking to embrace bimboism, especially if they’re currently surrounded by misogynistic influence?
Chrissy: Femininity is power. Femininity is intimidating to misogynistic men. Men are going to harass and hurt other women regardless of what we’re wearing or doing. I don’t want to be harassed on the street for wearing a tank top or a mini skirt, but understand that it isn’t your fault. It’s a man’s fault for the way he treats you.
You don’t have to fit whatever you think a bimbo is, either. It’s subjective and can be whatever you’re comfortable being. In the end, it’s just about being proud of yourself, loving yourself, being loud, and fully embracing who you are.
By Sarah Kearns
Cover Photo by Jacki Huntingdon for Rolling Stone