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Monica Lewinsky on the sidelines of the 2023 Oscars

Photo: Danny Moloshok / REUTERS

In 1998, she was at the center of a scandal in which she became a pawn of political interests and a scapegoat of the American public.

Now Monica Lewinsky is back – as the face of a fashion campaign with a political message.

“You’ve got the Power” is the name of the Reformation label’s campaign.

Lewinsky stands there, all in red, with his legs apart and looks challengingly into the camera.

The campaign runs in cooperation with the organization vote.org, a non-partisan initiative that aims to make it easier for people to vote.

»Together with Monica Lewinsky and Vote.org, we remind you that you have the power.

And that you must vote this year,” says the Reformation website.

And further: “Voting means making your voice heard, and that is the most important aspect of our democracy.”

About the campaign's frontwoman, the website says: "Monica has long encouraged women to use their voice and feel empowered.

So it's only logical that it helps us do the same. Good clothing can't solve everything, but going to the polls well-dressed is a good start.

It's not the first time Lewinsky has made fashion news.

In 2000, she desperately needed money to pay her estimated $1.5 million in legal fees.

At that time, she designed fabric bags and offered them for $100 each, which was laughed at by the fashion industry.

Things might be different today.

Once a synonym for sex, today a #MeToo frontwoman

Monica Lewinsky's image has changed since her affair with then US President Bill Clinton became known in 1998.

Lewinsky was 24 years old at the time, and she became synonymous with sex in the White House and the target of hatred and malice.

Paparazzi hunted her and her family.

The White House, especially First Lady Hillary Clinton, demonized her, and the right-wingers made her the leading figure in their culture war against the president.

Today her story is seen as an example of sexist power structures in this society, of the cruelty of public exposure and of the unfair treatment of victims.

Above all, her TED talk about “the price of shame” in 2015 and the #MeToo movement since 2017 helped to realize that she could only lose in the power imbalance between her as an intern and Clinton as US President and that she was being exploited.

Her fate was more prominent than that of other women, but it was not an isolated case - as many #MeToo reports showed.