Amelia Bloomer: 1818-1894
Amelia Jenks Bloomer was a revolutionary women's rights activist, who also happened to popularize the term "bloomers". Her work has been a great source of inspiration in my own endeavors personally and professionally since the day I married a descendant of her nephew.
In the 19th century, Amelia edited and produced the first women's newspaper The Lily, promoting events and discussing issues important to women of the time. But she truly became famous when she wore a reformed style of dress that gave women more flexibility, mobility, and freedom than the constricting costumes of the day. She caused such a stir nationwide that the outfit became known as "bloomers."
"The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort and usefulness."
I’d add that it’s not just the costume of women that impacts her life, but also her environment. Everyone should live in a space that is intentionally organized, one that suits their wants and needs and also enhances their mental and physical health. Every day, I’m able to move about freely and comfortably as I work in my clients’ space. Without Amelia to pave the way, I wouldn’t have had this daily opportunity to put on my pants one leg at a time.
Amelia was not only one of the first women bold enough to wear pants, but also introduced her friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton to another like-minded activist named Susan B Anthony. Those two women went on to fight and win the right to vote for women. Amelia was later nominated to the Women's Hall of Fame and that famous introduction enshrined in bronze (note: Amelia wearing the famous "bloomers").