Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 11/3/2014

An Open Letter To Urban Outfitters

Dear Urban Outfitters,

My thirteen-year-old self thanks you for having provided trendy, vintage looking clothing at an affordable price. You are cheaper than Aritzia, edgier than American Apparel, and were undoubtedly my favorite clothing store. Were.

I am now a legal adult. I can vote, buy cigarettes and decide my own bedtime. I was raised with the ability to distinguish between “right” and “wrong” and I would like to believe that I’m a good person. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not perfect and the line between good and bad became a little blurry when I was a younger teen. But as I’ve matured, I’m confident that I’ve become adept at judging when something is just not right.

How dare you make shirts baring the words “Eat Less.” Did you know …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 10/31/2014

Subway: Please Don’t Use Halloween To Make Women Feel Fat

Whether it’s the annoyingly catchy five-dollar footlong jingle or Jared Fogle’s promise that you will lose weight by eating sandwiches, Subway commercials are abundantly recognizable in our culture. These advertisements have ranged from harmless, to annoying, to misleading (sorry, the Subway diet doesn’t seem plausible to me) but the latest addition to the repertoire has been attracting a lot of negative press for being sexist and sizeist.

In order to capitalize on Halloween, Subway recently released a commercial in which a woman calls out two of her coworkers for eating burgers. She advises them that in order to be thin for Halloween costume season, they should eat Subway. She then explores her costume options, which include an “Attractive Nurse, Spicy Red Riding Hood, Viking Princess Warrior, Hot Devil, Sassy …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Preya P on 10/29/2014

Teen Social Media Stars and Sexism: When Will It End?

“Entertain me.”

“If you play too hard to get, then it’s just like, ‘Oh, she doesn’t even like me,’ but if you play easy, then it’s just like, ‘Oh, she’s a whore.’ Find a balance.”

“Wax, shave. It’s the worst when there’s hair.”

Wait, stop. I’m sorry but last time I checked it wasn’t the early 1900s and women don’t exist solely to appease men. And yet if comments like these in Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, and JC Caylen’s video “What Guys Look for in Girls” is any indication, there are still young men around today who didn’t get the memo.

This video was made several months ago, but I just recently saw it and since it has received over 3 million views, I think it’s worth discussing …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Antonia Bentel on 10/27/2014

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” Is No Feminist Anthem

Listening to (and belting out) Top 40 songs in the car is non-negotiable if you’re riding along with me. I love the bubble-gum-for-your-brain songs and gush over new pop tunes. However, I also identify as a feminist and am inclined to listen to these songs with critical ears, ready to pick up on any all-too-common sexist remarks. So, when the radio host proclaimed, “I’ll be playing a song from Meghan Trainor, called ‘All About That Bass’ – some call this catchy song the new pro-women song of the decade,” you could safely assume that I was beyond excited to hear it.

As the first few beats bubbled up from the speakers, I was instantly captivated. The repetition of the phrase “Because you know I’m all about that bass, no treble” …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 10/22/2014

Embracing Taylor Swift’s Feminist Awakening

It’s that time again. Every two years (like clockwork) we get a brand new Taylor Swift as the young starlet reinvents herself with each new album release, the fifth of which will be released in just a few days. Back in 2006, a doe-eyed, bouncy-curled country singer got us all crying on our guitars. In 2008, we got the relatable, romantic high-school years Taylor, followed by the more angsty, revenge-driven, and revealing Swift in 2010. Two years ago, the pop star, clad in short-shorts, rang in the fun, dubstep Taylor. However, the 2012 Taylor also came with a horrible, sad revelation that caused some of us to tear down our posters and feel betrayed by America’s best friend.

Let me refresh your memory. In 2012, Taylor Swift made some …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Atiya I-M on 10/15/2014

My Problem With The “Powerful Bitch” Trope

Blair Waldorf from "Gossip Girl"

Lately I’ve noticed a trend in some of my favorite shows that makes me uncomfortable on a number of levels. From Blair Waldorf on “Gossip Girl” to Sadie on “Awkward” it appears that if you are a female protagonist on TV, mean is the new black and being good gets you nowhere. These protagonists are catty and manipulative. They’ll stab you in the back, make fun of your clothes, and do it all with a smile on their face in a fierce outfit. I’m talking about the powerful bitch.

Disclaimer: I know that historically and currently “bitch” is a sexist term that is often applied to women who have the audacity to speak their minds and have ambition. I’m not speaking in that context. The …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014

Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?

Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"

Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.

Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/6/2014

The Naked Celebrity Photos Aren’t A “Scandal” — They’re A Crime

Jennifer Lawrence: one of the hacked celebrities

When I first read that 100 celebrity women were hacked and their private photos stolen then distributed online, the incident was framed as a scandal. The first article I read ridiculed the women whose privacy was violated for being so stupid as to have nude photo of themselves on their personal devices and blamed them for the incident. It questioned how they would show their faces in public and, of course, the word “slut” was thrown around quite a bit. It wasn’t until I read an article written by Scott Mendelson on Forbes that regarded what had happened as a sex crime that I fully appreciated the magnitude of this event.

Many people seem to argue that this crime would have been prevented …

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