Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 07/21/2015

What Misty Copeland’s Success Reveals About Race In The Arts

Misty Copeland in an Under Armour commercial

Misty Copeland in an Under Armour commercial

Misty Copeland made history on June 30th when she was promoted within the  American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first African American ballerina to reach the rank of Principal Dancer after being the second-ever black soloist in the traditionally white ballet company. Considering that almost all principal ballerinas around the world have historically been white, Copeland’s promotion is an immense achievement in an artistic tradition that still largely favors pale skin and extremely thin bodies.

Copeland rose to fame amid circumstances that, for elite ballet, seem at odds with her success. She took her first ballet class at her local Boys & Girls Club at 13-years-old — a relatively late start — and lived with her single mother and siblings in relative poverty …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 07/16/2015

How One Anti-Body Shaming Campaign Actually Reinforced Beauty Standards

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#DontJudgeMe Challenge

I have a mole on my right cheek. As a child, it was the physical feature about which I felt the most insecure. For years, however, my mother insisted that what I considered a flaw was actually a “beauty mark.” Thanks to her persistence, I eventually realized that my mole is not something to be ashamed of, but part of who I am. I slowly learned to love this beauty mark and ultimately discarded my life goal of getting it removed as an adult.

I recalled this experience when I learned about a recent social media trend called the #DontJudgeMe challenge. This challenge simply required that individuals post pictures of themselves appearing as ugly as possible — by drawing flaws onto their images or purposely applying grotesque makeup. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Natalie H on 07/9/2015

‘Miss USA’ Switched Networks, But Should It Be Retired Altogether?

Miss America 2014.

NBC recently dropped the Miss USA Pageant, but the pageant quickly found a new home with cable network REELZ. However, it seems like this could have been a good time to stop televising the pageant altogether — and probably should have been.

Although the pageant often highlights the fact that it provides scholarships to its contestants and is thus an academic opportunity, this argument is undeniably incompatible with the contest’s emphasis on beauty. If the pageant is truly a contest of academic achievement, appearance should not factor into whether or not participants receive a scholarship or have any chance to enter the so-called ‘academic’ competition in the first place. How does the way one’s body looks in a bikini relate to their academic capability?

What’s more, the …

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Feminism | Posted by Mackenzie H on 05/13/2015

The Problem With ‘Strong Is The New Skinny’

Via Flickr

Let’s stop idealizing bodies altogether

The “ideal figure” of a woman has changed a lot over the years. But beauty has undeniably always been determined in relation to patriarchal standards.

During the Italian Renaissance, fuller figures were determined to be a direct reflection of one’s husband’s social and economic status and therefore plump bodies were considered ideal. By the Victorian Era, the hourglass figure — made possible by corsets — was popular. In the 1920s, when women won the right to vote, a sort of curve-less, boyish figure was fashionable. Marilyn Monroe arguably popularized a curvy figure with a slim waist but then the 1960s saw the origins of the skinny, tall, supermodel look that has since dominated the image of the “ideal figure” of a woman in Western culture …

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Feminism | Posted by Carolina G on 03/16/2015

If You’re Latina, Then Why Are You White?

A few weeks ago, I was at a party with a few of my friends. I had been casually using a new dating app and had been talking to a guy that seemed pretty nice. He mentioned that he happened to be out in the same area, so I told him where I was, figuring we could have a drink. He arrived with a few of his friends and I said hello. The first words out of his mouth? “False advertising. You’re not Latina.”

Sofía_Vergara_May_2014.sized

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Sofia Vergara

I wish I could say this surprised me but it really didn’t. Ever since I joined the world of online dating, my ethnicity is question

You may be thinking, “Oh, a white girl is complaining about being white.” That’s not the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Pippa B on 12/3/2014

Is This Barbie Alternative Really Progress?

A second-grader with the Lammily doll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jue_JlxnPGM

Lammily, a crowdfunded plastic doll based on the proportions of an average 19-year-old girl (according to CDC data), has been named the new Barbie by dozens of top publications. Trading a tiny waist and permanently heeled feet for a more athletic figure, Lammily strives to show young girls that “reality is cool.” The doll’s creator, Nickolay Lamm (age 26), came up with the design when he witnessed first hand the lack of realistic dolls on the market — a problem that has been increasingly spotlighted as body positive movements gain momentum. While Lamm’s doll is more realistically proportioned, it still falls far short of the lofty goals he set for it.

One of the most problematic issues with this doll is …

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Feminism | Posted by Holly L on 11/28/2014

The Mannequin Does Not Control Us

The mannequin has been a popular topic for debate for years, but has recently reached the headlines once again. Specifically, Topshop stores across the UK are under scrutiny for mannequins that appear “too thin.” However, while it’s easy to point fingers, I believe the true problem runs much deeper than any store or single corporation.

The mannequin can never be defined as an ideal representation of a woman’s body because no mannequin can represent all women. That’s the beauty of being human: we can’t be summarized by one shape. I was lucky enough to have been taught growing up that I didn’t have to look like the Barrie dolls I owned, that Barbie isn’t real but a toy. My body doesn’t look like that because I’m a human and I’m …

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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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