Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Shavon M on 05/6/2013
Bright Like a Diamond, White Like a Princess
In recent years, Disney has been toying around with their “Princess” brand, making their popular films and characters even more marketable to children–namely, to young girls. This isn’t really new: Disney has changed the designs of their princesses to fit with market trends numerous times since the first princess, Snow White, debuted in 1937. Controversy arose, however, when Disney began retooling their princess brand for new products last summer, tweaking their make-up and outfits, and changing other, more integral aspects of their characters.
The redesigns are noticeably more glamorous and more bedazzled. Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty, 1959) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast, 1991) no longer have the visually-flat hair of their movie counterparts, and are instead featured with the shimmering, flowing locks frequently seen in magazine …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/28/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Nadine Shah
Of Norwegian and Pakistani ancestry, British born Nadine Shah is an uncompromising vocalist/composer hailing from a small coastal village in the North East of England called Whitburn. Her dark tales of love, loss and lust are fast earning her favourable comparisons such as ‘the female Nick Cave’. Sonically, she counts her inspirations as artists such as Scott Waker, PJ Harvey and Dirty Projectors, though lyrically her tales are better informed by love, tragedy, the sea and more abstractly the works of Philip Larkin and Frida Kahlo. ?Nadine is currently working on her debut album with producer Ben Hillier.
Nadine Shah on iTunes:
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/24/2013
Why The New Dove Real Beauty Campaign Video Is Less Than Perfect
I (reluctantly) admit it: I am one of the many women who teared up watching the new Dove Real Beauty campaign’s “Beauty Sketches” video:
As a 20-year-old college student who, like many (most? All?) other women my age, has struggled with body image for years, the prevailing message of the video – you are more beautiful than you think and other people think so, too – was too enticing to resist. Under the influence of this video, I immediately began calculating how many minutes of time spent putting on make up I could reappropriate for sleeping now that I am apparently more beautiful than I think I am. Because, yes, as a college student that’s where my mind went first.
But more than that, watching that video I just felt…relieved. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/21/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: AlunaGeorge
AlunaGeorge, featuring chanteuse Aluna Francis, is quickly becoming one of the breakout bands of 2013. Consisting of Francis and producer George Reid, the electronica group combines intimate vocals with synthesized pop, house, R&B, and dub-step. Though already pretty big in the UK—the duo nabbed second in BBC’s Sound of 2013 contest—Francis’ voice will likely get way more air time in the US in the coming year.
Francis, who is half Indian and half Jamaican, worked as a reflexologist and previously sang for the band My Toys Like Me. She first met Reid when he remixed one of My Toys’ songs, and they paired up and released their first commercial single (“Your Drums, Your Love,” above) late last year. Though minimalist and futuristic, AlunaGeorge’s songs are made human by Francis’ …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/14/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Lake Street Drive
Hailing from such disparate locales as Tennessee (Price), Iowa (Kearney), Minneapolis (Olson), and Philadelphia (Calabrese), Lake Street Dive first gathered in a room together when they were students at Boston’s New England Conservatory. “Mr. McDuck assembled the four of us, said we were now Lake Street Dive, and we were a ‘free country’ band,” Bridget Kearney remembers. “He wrote this on a chalkboard in the ensemble room that we had our first rehearsal in. We intended to play country music in an improvised, avant-garde style – like Loretta Lynn meets Ornette Coleman. It sounded terrible! But the combination of people and personalities actually made a lot of sense and we had a great time being around each other and making music together.”
Lake Street Dive makes the most of pop …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/13/2013
Saturday Vids: Reversing Gender Roles in Ads
I recently got an email from Dylan Lambi-Raine, who wrote: “I’m a feminista, Genders Studies and Social Work student. I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and am interested in sharing a video that a group (Kayla Hatzel and Sarah Zelinski) and myself made. We were hoping to show the ridiculousness of gender stereotypes and tropes in advertising through switching gender roles in the images.”
I think their idea to reverse roles in sexist and sometimes violent ads is really thought-provoking. Check it out and share your thoughts! And for more on sexism in the media, check out one of my favorite organizations Miss Representation.
Pop-Culture | Posted by Jasmine W on 04/12/2013
The Straight and the Narrow
Sometimes I look at the pieces of my chemically-straightened hair that are scattered around my bathroom floor, and I wonder what it would be like if things were different. What if relaxers were never invented? What if having afro-kinky hair was okay?
I’ve been getting my hair chemically straightened since I was around eight, and before then, I got my hair pressed with a straightening comb each week. I have no idea what my natural texture looks like besides from what I can guess from childhood pictures and the tiny bit of roots that grow out before I straighten them again. My hair is at my shoulders and will not grow past them because of breakage.
The answer to my dilemma may seem simple: just go natural! But here’s the …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Noelle S on 04/8/2013
On the media coverage of the Steubenville and Delhi Rape Cases
Over the past several months, two rape cases have received widespread media attention. While the media could have used these cases as an opportunity to educate people and condemn the crime of rape, the media has instead reinforced rape culture.
The first case is the Steubenville Rape Case. On March 17, two Ohio high school students, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, were sentenced to Juvenile Detention in Steubenville, Ohio for raping a sixteen-year-old girl. What I find most disturbing about this case is that a number of the rapists’ friends knew about this rape and yet didn’t think the rapists had done anything wrong and failed to speak up about it.
When the judge found the two young men guilty, neither of them apologized. In fact, their complete lack of …