Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Jasmine W on 02/18/2013

Defeating the Enemy: Me

About three days out of every week I have what I like to call “ugly days.” These are days where I feel like I look like crap and nothing I do can change it. This puts me in a terrible mood, and it makes me lose focus. As I walk through hallways of crowded people, hallways of classmates, of peers, I am wondering what they’re thinking about me. Did they notice the swollenness of my face, the scars left by acne, the dark circles under my eyes? Are they judging me because of how I look? They must think that I didn’t even try, but really I did. I tried so hard.

That is when an important question appears: why? Why am I trying so hard? Whose approval am I …

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Feminism | Posted by Carmen G on 01/14/2013

Skirt

It’s so damn hot out. I open the door to the oven outside, and the idea of walking to Safeway for a smoothie and some moisturizer seems like something worth procrastinating. I’d like to shut the door on the sweltering heat, the desire to lie in the shade, panting like an animal, was prominent. I need a drink. I need moisturizer. God it’s so hot out!

I change out of sweats and into a skirt, rotating slowly in front of the mirror by the front door, eyes roving over the reflection, making sure I’m covering up what society’s deemed tasteless of my body. My brother breezes past with a hello goodbye, artfully flicking his hair before slamming shut the door behind him with the self-approving glance lingering in his demeanor. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Callie B on 03/19/2012

Why the Jersey Shore is No Longer On My DVR List

When I first saw Miss Representation it stunned me—in the best of ways. I didn’t immediately take the time to reflect on it, but then a few nights ago I was unlucky enough to witness the newest Carl’s Jr. commercial, where a very hungry Kate Upton seductively devours a burger while wearing basically, well, nothing. And after 23 years of demeaning media onslaught, I’m thinking I’ve had enough.

Before watching Miss Representation, I indulged in the occasional “guilty pleasure”—reality TV being my wind-down-at-the-end-of-the-day treat. I saw no harm in it. It’s just mindless entertainment, right? Shows like Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardashians were among my favorites. But that was before the film, before my eyes were opened to the very (real) poison of this seemingly harmless …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Fiona L on 11/2/2011

There’s Nothing Real About These “Real Beauty” Campaigns

Although at first it appears that companies like Dove and Bare Minerals have taken a step in the right direction by running “Real Beauty” campaigns, there’s often nothing real about them.

When I see an ad that claims to feature real women, yet the woman are still remarkably flawless, it doesn’t do a whole lot for me. At least when I see a model in an advertisement I can tell myself that the way she looks is fake, enhanced by photo shop, and probably required harmful eating practices. When I see an ad that claims to be “real” or represent “average women,” yet not a single woman weighs over 140 pounds (the average weight of an American woman) I can’t help but feel as if I’m imperfect, and the rest …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/6/2011

Saturday Vids: Zappos – More Than Sexist?

Two young women, Bree and Molly, making change by walking the streets, opposing Zappos’ new advertising campaign. AWESOME. Sign their petition here.

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicky C on 12/27/2010

Diamonds Aren’t a Girl’s Best Friend

Ah, the holidays. The time of year when houses are lit up, the streets are crowded with shoppers, and the whole family spends quality time together watching specials on television.

It’s all well and good, until little gems like these pop up.

I’m sure you’ve all seen this lovely commercial from Kay Jewelers. Where a couple is watching the storm outside, and suddenly the thunder scares the poor little girlfriend into her man’s arms. Then he gives her a sparkly necklace and everyone’s happy!

…Wait, what.

You know, I was actually thinking the last fifty-or-so years of the women’s movement actually had some impact on the way women were portrayed in the media.  When I watched this commercial, my mouth literally dropped in shock.

Because along with enticing me to …

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Feminism | Posted by Maia M on 12/20/2010

NuvaRing: Sexual Misinformation?

So I’m watching Glee on Hulu because homework is boring and the internet is slowly but surely taking over the world. And because I don’t like interruptions, I opt at the beginning of the clip to watch the two-minute NuvaRing spot, instead of watching the whole episode with commercials throughout.

The scene: there are a bunch of women (props to NuvaRing, they’re not all white) sitting around a pretty garden table, laughing together as they share their hilarious, completely relatable experiences with birth control pill mishaps. The woman in purple embarks on a gripping story about how she dropped a pill while on the subway, and started calling around to pharmacies to ask “if they had any extras.” One pharmacist tells her, “You could probably just use protection, like condoms…”…

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Feminism | Posted by Jocelyn A on 11/18/2010

“Feminist” Advertisements: Exploitation or Progress?

Peggy Orenstein’s “The Way We Live Now” piece in New York Times Magazine a couple months ago explores what she calls the “empowerment mystique,” or using themes of girl power to sell products that have nothing to do with promoting equality. She mentions several recent commercials by companies selling products unrelated to gender or discrimination, such as Verizon and Target, which send a message of empowerment for girls and women. This kind of ad, she claims, manipulates people to associate the company with sincerity and hopefulness. It is also a reflection of a society in which women hold the majority of jobs, and earn more bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorates than men.

Orenstein draws a distinction between the Verizon ad, which shows a series of young women speaking proudly …

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