Feminism | Posted by Mai D on 04/27/2016

The Truth About Having “Bad” Hair

One brand of hair relaxer.

I am a young Senegalese woman with “kinky” hair — specifically, type 4A/4B according to Andre Walker’s hair chart  — and I have heard every comment in the book about it. Since preschool I have been told I have “bad hair” by everyone from Dominican hair stylists to my African family members who have constantly begged me to relax it in order to look “proper” and “decent.” No matter the specific critique, my hair has always been deemed wrong by others.

My older, female cousins were the first to influence my hair. I grew up with three older brothers and my mother usually kept my hair braided so neither of us had to think too much about it. At the ripe age of eight, however, …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 04/22/2016

The Surprising Way Social Media Can Shape Young Girls’ Bodies

The truth about social media.

The colossal expansion of technology has revolutionzed young women’s lives in many ways. With the click of a button, girls can immediately become informed about what’s trending and playing, who’s commenting and posting, what they should perceive as right or wrong, and beyond. But while the way in which the Internet is shaping young women’s minds has been relatively well publicized, less attention has been paid to the way in which it impacts their bodies, too.

The Internet has certainly been a source of body positivity and empowerment in recent years. Many plus-size models have seen unprecedented success and visibility thanks to social media, for example, and plenty of body positive hashtags have trended over the past year or so.

But the addition of these

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 03/21/2016

Bust Ghosts, Not Women: Sexist Responses To The ‘Ghostbusters’ Trailer Have Got To Go

The new Ghostbusters cast.

The new Ghostbusters cast.

From Fantastic Four, to Zoolander 2, to Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, it seems that 2016 might be the year of cinematic reboots, remakes and sequels. Perhaps one of the most anticipated reboots of the year, however, is the all-female Ghostbusters. Yet the response to the recently released trailer was more critical than were previous, celebratory headlines about the film — for reasons both valid and upsetting.

Plenty of people feel a unique sort of discomfort about sequels or reboots of beloved movies. It’s easy to feel unsure how the new film will be unique without losing the essence of the original on which it’s based. Nobody wants a new addition to ruin or taint their memory of the original.

As …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/4/2016

This Burn Survivor’s Story Proves Wearing Makeup Can Truly Be Empowering

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Shalom Nchom

I have never met a woman who isn’t plagued by insecurities about her appearance. It seems so much easier to pinpoint the qualities you lack or dislike instead of those you have and admire. I’ll admit, the first thoughts I have about my own appearance on any given day are usually negative. I frustrate myself to no end by critiquing everything from the breakouts on my face to the uncomfortable tightness of my jeans.

Many women develop coping mechanisms that allow them to cope with this ongoing battle against their perceived shortcomings. Shalom Nchom, who is known as “Shalom Blac” on YouTube, did just that. At 9 years old, Nchom had an accident with frying oil at her family’s store that left her with severe burns. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 02/15/2016

Are Diverse Barbies Really Progress?

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Diverse Barbies

I played with Barbies a lot as a little girl. I remember looking at the nude body of one plastic, blonde doll and marveling at her wrinkle-free knees, being baffled by her hard breasts, and wishing my waist could be as narrow as hers. I was only seven years old.

In late January, Mattel released a line of new, diverse Barbie dolls. These dolls now come in three body-types — “curvy,” “tall,” and “petite,” although the original model, complete with large bust and tiny waist, is still available — seven skin tones, twenty-two eye colors, and fourteen “face-sculpts.” Altogether, there are now thirty-three versions of Barbie.

It didn’t take long for the media to react to and pose explanations for this significant change. Writer Megan Garber, for instance, …

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Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 01/18/2016

The Hypersexualization of Female News Broadcasters Proves Sexism Is Alive and Well

Why is beauty a requirement for broadcast journalism?

If you google “Fox News female anchors,” the first few results that pop up include, “Top Ten Hottest Fox News Girls,” “Sexy Fox News Anchor Suffers HUMILIATING Wardrobe Malfunction,” “19 Sexiest Women of Fox News,” and “CNN Women versus Fox Women.” Search a little deeper and you’ll find PunditFact’s sorting of these women by hair color and Howard Stern’s NBA-playoffs-style seeding of their hotness organized into a bracket. The prevalent hyper-glamorization of these female journalists sends a clear message to their viewers: There is a beauty qualification for women in this profession that just doesn’t exist for their male counterparts.

This double standard is undoubtedly hyper-evident in this industry but hardly limited to it. …

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Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 12/28/2015

How I Discovered The Power Of Black Womanhood

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Source: Flickr

After spending the last school year immersed in political turmoil and tension on my college campus, I decided this past summer that it was time to actively choose to either eject or change the things in my life that make me unhappy. So I did: I stopped wasting time on people who didn’t reciprocate the energy I put into our relationships and stopped participating in activities that were not directly contributing to my happiness of self-betterment.

In addition to rejecting negative influences, I decided to allow myself to indulge more in the people and daily activities that I enjoy, including things that are societally labelled as feminine, such as makeup and fashion. I initially rejected such practices upon first identifying as feminist because I thought they were at …

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Feminism | Posted by Amber B on 11/11/2015

What I Learned When I Refused To Shave

Miley embraced her armpit hair and so have I.

I recently decided to conduct an experiment. I decided to stop shaving my armpits to see if the seemingly insignificant factor of visible body hair would cause people to treat me differently — especially guys.

Shaving has long been part of my attempt to seek a sense of control over the way I look. Shaving was part of a routine that included plucking my eyebrows, putting on perfume, wearing a nice outfit, and maybe dabbing on some lipstick. I felt I needed to do this out of my desire to feel more socially powerful and worthy.

Additionally, before this experiment I felt I could only hook up with guys if I had shaved. There had been one exception: I once hooked …

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