CHEMICAL X! A POWERPUFF GIRLS RETROSPECTIVE
Naomi wears bow, William Wilde / top MINKPINK / skirt, Fleamadonna / shoes, Minna Parikka
Mélanie wears jewellery, Rokit / latex top, William Wilde / skirt, Rokit / tights, SUPERSWEET x Moumi / shoes, Minna Parikka
Demi wears necklace, Rokit / green latex body, Helena Juric / shoes, Stylist’s Own
photos / Ana Barreira
styling / Hannah Grunden
makeup / Holly Reza Westwood
hair / Chloe Alice Frieda
models / Demi, Mélanie, and Naomi @ Named
photo assistance / Vladimir Potop
story / Augusta Gail
I was nine years old when The Powerpuff Girls made its debut on Cartoon Network. It would be another fourteen years before I declared myself a feminist, but there’s no doubt that those colorful crime-fighting sisters played a role in my journey toward girl power. A pre-teen at the time of the show’s peak popularity, feminism wasn’t even on my radar. I didn’t know the inequalities that would face me as I got older; I couldn’t have predicted the things that would be said or done to me, simply because I was a girl. I was only beginning to realize that the world would treat me differently than it treats men. It was only just starting to sink in that society wanted me to be sugar, spice, and everything nice—a perfect little girl.
I remember the first time I met confident Blossom, punky Buttercup, and sweet Bubbles. Curled up on the couch, I was scrolling through channels when the show’s opening theme started playing, telling the story of Professor Utonium and his three adorable lab creations. And while I wasn’t thinking in terms of feminism at the time, I do remember thinking how cool these characters were. Here were girls, presumably around my age, who were so much more than just sugar, or spice, or everything nice. Here were three sisters who spent their time kicking serious bad guy butt! Sure, Chemical X is what gave the girls their super powers, but to me, it was an indicator of something different, something bigger than just another trope of femininity. These girls were quirky and funny and tough; each had their own unique personality, and each of them was multidimensional, with their own flaws and challenges to overcome.
The Powerpuff Girls made their debut in 1998, but now, in 2016, their impact is stronger than ever: This year, the girls are starring in a highly anticipated reboot series, as well as part of the inspiration for Jeremy Scott’s SS16 Moschino collection. And to this day, I still consider Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles a part of my grrrl gang. I’m so thankful they were fighting the forces of evil—and maybe even the patriarchy—when I was a kid.
bow, William Wilde / jacket, Perfume River / top, To Be Adoredplaysuit + skirt, SUPERSWEET x Moumi jacket, CHEEK LDN / latex body + skirt, William WildeDemi wears jacket + shorts, CHEEK LDN / sunglasses, Rejina Pyo / shoes, Stylist’s Own.
Naomi wears bow, William Wilde / jacket, CHEEK LDN / dress, Rokit / tights, SUPERSWEET x Moumi / shoes, Minna Parikka
Mélanie wears jacket, CHEEK LDN / skirt, To Be Adored / shoes, Melissa