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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Erin F on 12/26/2012

Embracing Femme

Ever since I was 11 years old, I’ve always been femme, to some extent. The extent of my femme depends really on my overall well-being. The better I feel, the more femme I am. The more makeup I put on, the better clothes I wear, the more I take care of my hair.

I remember when I first started getting interested in feminism, when I was about 15, I was going through a really tough period of my life. I was depressed and was at my least femme. At that point, I also thought that beauty and fashion were patriarchal constructs designed to subordinate women and I stayed as far away from looking femme as I possibly could. I became angry and would always think to myself “why don’t men …

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Feminism | Posted by Rinckey R on 02/20/2012

Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly”

As Grand Rapids, Michigan yawned good morning at 7:45 am and the sun began blinking hello, I sat in my human sexuality and relationships class, watching one of the best videos I have ever seen in an academic setting. I strongly recommend that each and every one of you watch Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly 4”.

As an advocate for women’s rights, I found this video very compelling and inspirational. It describes the advertising business and its push for narrowly defined sexuality, materialism, and the objectification of women.

The funny thing is that I have always been infatuated with the glossy covers of Cosmo, Glamour, and Vogue. There was something so undeniably glamorous and appealing to me about these magazines and the flirty techniques they promoted. I even used to …

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