Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Sophie M on 12/30/2013

Helle Thorning-Schmidt vs. Mary Beard or Why Women Just Can’t Get It Right

You’ve been living under a rock if you’re not in the know about the Obama #selfie pic which circulated after the Nelson Mandela memorial service. If you have in fact been residing under said rock then here’s the low-down: Obama, President of the United States and Leader of the Free World teamed up with UK PM David Cameron to sandwich Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt for perhaps the most powerful selfie ever taken.

While I personally do find it a little inappropriate that these three world leaders deemed it the opportune moment to snap a pic for posterity, I don’t think it deserves the hysteria it’s amassed. Especially since the photographer who took the picture has admitted that their behavior was actually in tone with the jovial atmosphere of the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 11/9/2013

Saturday Vids: Ur Allure

I think we can all agree that, generally, when it comes to the portrayal of women in the media — in terms of everything from gender roles, to beauty standards to depictions of female sexuality and beyond — there are few sources of positive and empowering messaging. Well there’s a company out there that want’s to change that: Ur Allure, a website that “creates media content for you, the young women of today’s generation” using the formula of  “MEDIA + ENTERTAINMENT + SELF-WORTH MESSAGE.” I for one can’t wait to see what they do.

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Feminism | Posted by Natalia R. on 10/31/2013

Young, Feminist and Hungry: An Insider’s Perspective On Body Image

As a teenage girl, I’m constantly haunted by social and cultural standards that dictate harmful and confusing messages, like that a low weight is correlated with beauty, that you need to be thin to be desirable, and that young women not only individually need to be thin but should attack those who don’t live up to these standards.

I started to experience issues related to weight and beauty at around the age of 9-10. Most people point to the media as the culprit for these messages and while it certainly plays a part, I actually don’t remember watching shows that portrayed only (or, at least, mainly) thin actresses the way they seem to now. In fact, I remember these shows featuring actresses who would be considered “normal” (which would now …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by YingYing S on 10/7/2013

Julie Chen Didn’t Betray Me

CBS “The Talk” host Julie Chen revealed on Thursday that as a young journalist, she was pressured by racist comments from a boss to undergo surgical procedures to enlarge her eyes.

“He said, ‘Let’s face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community?” she recalled. “How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton? On top of that, because of your Asian eyes, I’ve noticed that when you’re on camera, you look disinterested and bored.’”

Julie, I admire your tenacity and willingness to do whatever it takes to realize your dream. Thank you for your success, thank you for being an Asian-American role model for girls who look up to you, and thank you for being frank enough to discuss your surgical procedure.

However, I deplore the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/31/2013

Saturday Vids: You’re Not Pretty Enough

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Jennifer Tress’ “You’re Not Pretty Enough” movement on The Huffington Post. I encourage everybody to read that post and visit the YNPE website, but basically the deal is that Tress is trying to start a video-based movement about body image and beauty standards in the vein of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better.” Here’s Jennifer’s intro video and one of the user-submitted videos from the website.

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Feminism | Posted by Erin M on 08/14/2013

Body Positivity: A Primer

Let’s face it: our society is full of messed up messages about our bodies. We are told that we are too fat, too old, too short, too hairy, toosaggy…and the list never ends. Our culture doesn’t embrace diversity in bodies, instead glorifying a certain type– a type that less than 5% of us have and can never achieve. If you don’t fit that type, you are shamed, made fun of, and discriminated against.

The world is telling us that we are not good enough, that we must be actively taking drastic measures to change this—measures like plastic surgery, Botox injections, hair treatments and extreme dieting. If we aren’t taking these steps, then we’re “lazy” and are treated as if we don’t care about our bodies or our lives. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/19/2013

Why Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Tootsie’ Confession Is More Than A Personal Epiphany

A clip of Dustin Huffman’s emotionally charged recounting of a decades-ago epiphany that cross-dressing for his role in ‘Tootsie’ forced him to recognize how men are brainwashed to value women based on their beauty above all else recently inspired rampant, viral support. Some intrepid voices, however, were thoroughly unimpressed. Mansi Kathuria of Feminspire.com wrote, “Yesterday, I was cat-called on the streets of Chicago three times within a couple of hours, and Hillary Clinton’s new haircut made several news articles. Meanwhile, millions of people continued to share and watch a video of Dustin Hoffman realizing that society has taught him to value women only for their physical appearance.” Tyler Coates of Flavorwire mused, “isn’t there something a little uncomfortable in the notion that it takes being transformed into an unattractive woman …

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Feminism | Posted by UnpopularPerspective on 06/19/2013

On Having Big Boobs: My Anatomy Has Nothing To Do With My Morality

As a kid, I was taught to believe many restricting things about my body, but one stuck with me more than others: the bigger your boobs, the better — but they better be covered. I accepted that. Then, out of nowhere, I got boobs (at the age of fifteen, I now have have triple D’s). And everything changed.

For a long time, I hated them. My friends teased me about them, I got unwanted attention, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) find a bra that fits. But over the years, I’ve discovered some positive things about breasts. They aren’t just objects for men to drool over and indulge in as they please (although that’s how they’re almost exclusively portrayed by the media): they are a friggin miracle that nourish and …

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