All Hail Gloria Steinem, Who Proved Feminists Can Kill It in Miniskirts and Leather Pants

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"The miniskirted pinup girl of the intelligentsia."

That's the description reportedly used by a Washington Post columnist to describe Gloria Steinem back in the day. Reductive? Yes, incredibly so. But there was a kernel of truth in it, too: Steinem, an activist, writer and trailblazer for modern-day feminism, is also really stylish.

Steinem, who turns 82 (!) today, has always been subject to the gaze of critics, many of whom have fixated on her good looks. "She was so glamorized by the male world and treated for her exterior more than her interior," her friend Robin Morgan told the New York Times

With Gail Sheehy, a fellow editor of New York Magazine, discussing current affairs on CBS' "The Urbanites," September 28, 1970Source: Getty Images
With Gail Sheehy, a fellow editor of New York Magazine, discussing current affairs on CBS' "The Urbanites," September 28, 1970  Getty Images
At a news conference at the American Civil Liberties Union, July 12, 1973Source: Richard Drew/AP
At a news conference at the American Civil Liberties Union, July 12, 1973  Richard Drew/AP
December 14, 1971Source: Getty Images
December 14, 1971  Getty Images

Like so many other women, Steinem's beauty and style have been a double-edged sword, earning her attention and praise but also the judgment of men who would dismiss her. 

"There is the notion that an attractive woman, whatever that means in society, a pretty girl can't be smart," Steinem told Teen Vogue in 2011. "We are still identified by our looks instead of our hearts or heads."

But Steinem has spent her life turning that assumption on its head. Since the 1960s, with her long, bouffant hair, through the 1970s, when she sported her iconic aviator glasses, up through today, when she's still rocking leather pants and perfectly painted nails, Steinem has proven that style and substance are not mutually exclusive.

All hail Gloria, still a feminist fashion icon at 82. 

On the "Helen Reddy Show," June 21, 1973Source: Getty Images
On the "Helen Reddy Show," June 21, 1973  Getty Images
With Geraldo Rivera, April 3, 1974Source: Getty Images
With Geraldo Rivera, April 3, 1974  Getty Images
April 3, 1974Source: Getty Images
April 3, 1974  Getty Images
With Pat Schroeder, October 3, 1974Source: Getty Images
With Pat Schroeder, October 3, 1974  Getty Images
July 9, 1983Source: Ted Powers/AP
July 9, 1983  Ted Powers/AP
With Nancy Dick, July 1, 1984Source: Getty Images
With Nancy Dick, July 1, 1984  Getty Images
February 13, 1986Source: Getty Images
February 13, 1986  Getty Images
With Dottie Lamm, December 12, 1986 Source: Getty Images
With Dottie Lamm, December 12, 1986  Getty Images
Protesting outside the South African embassy in Washington D.C., December 20, 1984Source: AP
Protesting outside the South African embassy in Washington D.C., December 20, 1984  AP
At the Ms. Foundation for Women 3rd Annual Gloria Steinem Awards, May 20, 1991Source: Malcolm Clarke/AP
At the Ms. Foundation for Women 3rd Annual Gloria Steinem Awards, May 20, 1991  Malcolm Clarke/AP
At the 10th Annual Reproductive Freedom Award Luncheon, October 9, 2002Source: Getty Images
At the 10th Annual Reproductive Freedom Award Luncheon, October 9, 2002  Getty Images
In New York City, July 4, 2005 Source: Getty Images
In New York City, July 4, 2005  Getty Images
At Sundance Film Festival, January 2011Source: Danny Moloshok/AP
At Sundance Film Festival, January 2011  Danny Moloshok/AP
At a preview for photographer Annie Leibovitz's exhibition, "WOMEN: The New Portraits," March 22, 2016Source: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images
At a preview for photographer Annie Leibovitz's exhibition, "WOMEN: The New Portraits," March 22, 2016  Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images