Culture

'Pantsuit Nation': Inside the secret Hillary Clinton Facebook group

A private social media group, which serves as a safe space for the candidate's fans, tallies up 2 million members and spawns a movement.

The secret Facebook group "Pantsuit Nation" started as a Hillary Clinton fan club but has morphed into a movement of its own.

Just a day before the US presidential election, the group has exploded in popularity -- racking up nearly 2 million members and spawning its own Twitter hashtag, #pantsuitnation. In the last 24 hours, members of the secret group have doubled, and a separate, though less popular, public Pantsuit Nation Facebook page has popped up, too.

In a vitriolic election season, Pantsuit Nation has provided a safe space where fans can tell their personal stories and praise their candidate.

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Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the final day of the Democratic National Convention.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"I grew up in South Carolina, the only daughter in a big red family full of conservative white Christians," one member wrote on Monday. "I am a blue speck in the family roll call; it gets a little lonely, a little intimidating."

Another member posted a photo to two young girls dressed in Halloween costumes and wrote, "Male. Gun owner. Business owner. Registered republican. I am voting for Hillary Clinton. Why? 2 reasons."

The secret group's account shows photos of Clinton overlaid with the words, "President of the United States," and members post pictures of themselves wearing "I voted" stickers. They also cheer each other on with comments like "Nasty Woman," "Yes!!!" and "Yassss."

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Pantsuit Nation was started after the last presidential debate by Maine resident Libby Chamberlain, according to CNN. The initial aim of the group was to get people to wear pantsuits on Election Day to show their commitment to Clinton. In Chamberlain's view, the pantsuit lets women confront gender norms by wearing something that is normally seen as men's clothing.

"It's a symbol that might be lost on younger women," Chamberlain told CNN, "and so I wanted to do something to re-appropriate that symbol and everything that it means to me as a feminist and Clinton supporter."

Chamberlain didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Pantsuit Nation isn't the only place where Clinton's pantsuits are being lauded. Instagram account @hillarystreetstyle shows images of Clinton with celebrities, like Selena Gomez and David Bowie, wearing similar styles. Beyonce and her backup dancers celebrated Clinton's pantsuit by wearing the clothing item during a rally for the candidate on Friday. And a 102-year-old woman made headlines last week when she went to the polls in a white pantsuit to cast her vote for Clinton, the first female presidential nominee from a major party.

Donald Trump supporters intend to show loyalty to their candidate on Election Day with their clothing too. Some fans have said they'll wear the color red and others may even don one of Trump's "signature collection" neckties (which are made in China).

As of this writing, the secret Pantsuit Nation Facebook group has tallied up 1.9 million members and that number is rapidly rising. The account has also become an impromptu fundraising platform. As of Sunday night, members say they've raised $140,000 for Clinton.

Despite the group progressing into much more than a forum about wearing pantsuits on Election Day, the plan to dress up is still on. In fact, Chamberlain's newest post said professional photographers will be out in major cities tomorrow taking pictures of voters in pantsuits.

"Grab a friend, #pantsuitup," she wrote.