Creative | Posted by Tiffany C on 05/3/2013

Barbie

Let me ask you this:
What do we teach our daughters
When the bestselling doll on the market, Barbie,
Has a made-up face and mascara-ed eyes and lips as pink as grapefruit,
But not enough ambition or intelligence to calculate her net worth?
What do I tell my daughter
when we pass through Toys-R-Us
And she wants that artificial décolletage in a box,
This trickery, chicanery of Mattel
who fashioned this doll, this plastic piece of shit
With a serial number lingering on her lower back like a tramp stamp
Above slim thighs which gap and disproportionate legs,
Legs, I tell her, that would snap beneath
Barbie’s weight if she were real
That would make her fall at the slightest step,
Only for the purpose of mass-production and consumerism
which …

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Feminism | Posted by Dani R on 04/29/2013

On Fat-Shaming

I thought I would stop being defined by my weight after middle school. When it kept happening, I thought, Okay, maybe after high school people will leave me alone. Again, I haven’t been so lucky and something that happened today only emphasizes that. While this incident is hard for me to repeat, I want everyone to know that even as an adult, I am still defined by my weight.

I went to the Pin Up BOOtique today in Ontario Mills, California and I spotted a really cute halter top that I wanted to try on. I asked a girl working there if she could get it for me in an XL and she said, “It runs small, so it’s not going to fit you.” I told her I wanted …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/24/2013

Why The New Dove Real Beauty Campaign Video Is Less Than Perfect

I (reluctantly) admit it: I am one of the many women who teared up watching the new Dove Real Beauty campaign’s “Beauty Sketches” video:

As a 20-year-old college student who, like many (most? All?) other women my age, has struggled with body image for years, the prevailing message of the video – you are more beautiful than you think and other people think so, too – was too enticing to resist. Under the influence of this video, I immediately began calculating how many minutes of time spent putting on make up I could reappropriate for sleeping now that I am apparently more beautiful than I think I am. Because, yes, as a college student that’s where my mind went first.

But more than that, watching that video I just felt…relieved. …

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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 Chelsea L on 04/3/2013

On Witnessing Beautiful, Real Bodies

I recently spent two weeks traveling with a group in Morocco and was fortunate enough to have the experience of going to a hammam. A hammam is a type of spa where women and men (separately) go once a week for 2+ hours to perform ritual cleansing. It’s relaxing, exfoliating, and a great time for female bonding. The “catch”? You must be completely naked. Maybe for some people this isn’t a big deal, but for me it was horrifying. My body has been a constant issue for me. I’ve done crash diets, Weight Watchers, lost weight, gained it back, struggled with days of self-loathing and through countless workouts. I have done many things to feel comfortable—much less beautiful—in my own body, and yet I found unexpected inspiration in this hammam.…

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Feminism | Posted by Joelle M on 03/13/2013

I Don’t Know How I Feel About My Body

I was getting ready for my birthday dinner. I was wearing my new favorite dress, with a sort of waffle-velvet thing going on, which was sleeveless and beautiful. As I put on my tiara (because, you know- I’m a princess), I noticed that between my arm and my dress, there was this sliver of flesh- some sideboob- that was absolutely disgusting.

When I thought this to myself, I was shocked. I generally love my body, because it can run, jump, feel pain, feel pleasure. It works for me, and our love is mutual. Most days, my body is my temple. I know that I am lovely. All 155 lbs. of it, size 6 or 8. My body is perfect. I am beautiful. I love my hair. Feminism has worked in …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Jasmine W on 02/18/2013

Defeating the Enemy: Me

About three days out of every week I have what I like to call “ugly days.” These are days where I feel like I look like crap and nothing I do can change it. This puts me in a terrible mood, and it makes me lose focus. As I walk through hallways of crowded people, hallways of classmates, of peers, I am wondering what they’re thinking about me. Did they notice the swollenness of my face, the scars left by acne, the dark circles under my eyes? Are they judging me because of how I look? They must think that I didn’t even try, but really I did. I tried so hard.

That is when an important question appears: why? Why am I trying so hard? Whose approval am I …

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Feminism | Posted by Shanzeh K on 01/28/2013

Your Happiness Is Not A Competition

Most of us tend to compare ourselves to others and then determine our self worth depending on how we measure up. This habit of comparing and competing might be addictive, but it can also be very harmful to our self-esteem, and lead to feelings of not being “good enough.”

As women, we’re taught to believe that there can only be one smart girl, one pretty girl, one popular girl. Most teen movies highlight this girl rivalry and further suggest that girls should view pretty, popular girls as threats. There seems to be one basic ideal—thin yet curvy, perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect features—that girls are expected to conform to. And that’s kinda impossible for 99% of the female population. Even though I don’t read magazines, I can’t help but be …

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