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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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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Feminism | Posted by M.Wil on 10/10/2014

How To Deal With Insults About Your Body

I must say for a teenage girl I have always been pretty confident about my body. I have never been a twig but am also not overweight and have never felt bothered by my appearance. Every year, I fly to Germany to spend two months with my slightly crazy family – especially my grandma, the boss of the family and a woman who inspires me deeply. So you can imagine the sharp sting I felt when the last time I arrived at the family home and greeted my grandmother she kissed me, gave me a once over and declared: “My, have you grown. And fat.” I hadn’t seen the woman who means the world to me in six months, and all she could do was comment on my body.

A …

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Feminism | Posted by Lana S on 10/1/2014

The Importance of Colored Feminism

Alice Walker: proponent of womanism

As a Latina living in a society in which white privilege is very real, I have come to understand the importance of colored feminism. It turns out that while the fight against racism and the feminist movement are similar movements in many ways, it’s important that the feminist movement lives up to these ideals and features the voices and perspectives of women of color.

There are many ways in which sexism and racism in this culture create unique situations that only women of color experience and these experiences deserve to be addressed. Take for example the various racist and sexist ways porn depicts women of color. Many people assume Latinas are “spicy” in bed and that Asian women are quiet and submissive because this is …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/25/2014

‘Do My Boobs Make Me Look Slutty?’ And Other Busty Girl Problems

We must, we must, we must increase our bust. The bigger, the better, the tighter the sweater, the boys will like us.

This is the jingle my friends taught me in the gym locker room in the fifth grade. Many of them had learned the literary rhyme from their mothers and friends, without knowing it actually came from the New York Times bestseller Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. If only we knew that, in the years to come, we would soon discover that trying to “increase our bust” or even just being “blessed” with large breasts might actually cause us more pain than pleasure.

To this day, I still haven’t encountered a guy who knows how to take off a bra my size. I have this crazy idea …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/8/2014

What Makes Asian-American Men ‘Undateable?’

When I look in the mirror, I do not see someone that I understand to be handsome by Western standards. I look mostly Asian, and like so many other heterosexual Asian males before me, I have internalized a lifetime of believing that my features, my face, my skin tone, in tandem, make me unattractive and undesirable.

- Noah Cho, “How I Learned to Feel Undesirable

Several studies have found Asian-American males to be the “least desirable” bachelors, a trend that may be exacerbated by a seeming across-the-board preference for dating Asian-American women by men of all races. The term Asian-American, in this case, covers a broad ethnic spectrum, including, but not limited to: “people who have origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East,

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Caitlin L. on 06/23/2014

Why the Entertainment Industry Defining Beautiful Women as Young and White Has to Stop

Does the entertainment industry actually have that much power to teach girls what is beautiful? Certainly, words are impactful but how much do simple images really matter? Are girls really absorbing and comparing themselves to images of women in the media or are we selling girls’ intelligence short by assuming that they don’t understand that these images are not representative of reality?

Thinking about these questions led me to search for an as-yet unexplored historic root of the entertainment industry in actively defining beauty — one that especially validates the outcry against the lack of diversity of representation of women in the media. Examining the history of the display of women to ease social anxiety against whiteness in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries is useful for understanding the necessity of …

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