Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 01/9/2017
What A Hijabi Beauty Contestant Means To Hijabi Teens
Ever since reading the work of authors such as bell hooks, Simone de Beauvoir, and Naomi Wolf, I have dismissed the concept of physical beauty as a trivial social construct. The mainstream narrative of beauty glorifies Eurocentric beauty ideals and promotes unrealistic body types, which in turn plays into deeper, systemic issues of racism and sexism. What I failed to realize by making this assumption, however, is that despite the reality of their roots, physical beauty and outward appearances still effectively play a significant role in how many aspects of societies function — and it is therefore very impractical to dismiss them as petty and irrelevant.
Perhaps I was so willing to ignore these social constructs, though, because I was personally clueless as to where exactly I …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 02/15/2016
Are Diverse Barbies Really Progress?
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, …
Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 01/9/2016
How To Put Your Resolution of Self-Love Into Action in the New Year
It’s harder than it seems.
I have always struggled with New Year’s resolutions because they so often revolve around losing weight — to look “good” in that bikini this summer and to achieve that “perfect body.” I am no stranger to negative body image spirals and have obsessed over my diet, frequently compared myself to others and allowed toxic messages from all intersections to infiltrate my mind. Given that we already live in a society plagued by -isms that constantly marginalize us in a variety of other ways, too, these negative forces work in particularly strong conjunction to bring my own self-esteem down around the beginning of January.
For the first time, however, I feel I’ve heard fewer conversations about what people want their bodies to look like and how …
Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 12/28/2015
How I Discovered The Power Of Black Womanhood
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 08/5/2015
We Need To Stop Trying to Convince Girls They’re Beautiful
I was lucky enough to have a healthy body image for most of my childhood. I consistently played on various soccer and basketball teams, and between going to practice and scrambling to finish my homework, I did not have a spare moment to think about whether I was too skinny or not skinny enough. I cared about my strength and speed, not my looks.
This past year, however, I have thought more about my appearance than ever before. Last August I sustained my fourth concussion and was forbidden from exercising. For four months, I did little more than sit on my couch and ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. I always preached that everybody is beautiful no matter what, but suddenly found myself horrified that I was …
Feminism | Posted by Alexis T on 06/25/2015
10 Lessons For Young Feminists
This is what I’ve learned.
I was a teen in the ’90s, and heavily influenced by Riot Grrrl feminism. Everything was DIY, dress how you want, and live with a militant independence. My feminism was raw, precocious, and wild. Now that I’m over 30, married, and have a son, I have a gift: I can look back at everything I experienced and see how it has made me the person I am today. I know a few more things now than I did when I was in high school or college student and, as a slightly older feminist, I wanted to share with you ten lessons I’ve learned about being a powerful woman.
10. You need to trust others — even though it’s often the people closest to you …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Antonia Bentel on 10/27/2014
Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” Is No Feminist Anthem
Listening to (and belting out) Top 40 songs in the car is non-negotiable if you’re riding along with me. I love the bubble-gum-for-your-brain songs and gush over new pop tunes. However, I also identify as a feminist and am inclined to listen to these songs with critical ears, ready to pick up on any all-too-common sexist remarks. So, when the radio host proclaimed, “I’ll be playing a song from Meghan Trainor, called ‘All About That Bass’ – some call this catchy song the new pro-women song of the decade,” you could safely assume that I was beyond excited to hear it.
As the first few beats bubbled up from the speakers, I was instantly captivated. The repetition of the phrase “Because you know I’m all about that bass, no treble” …
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 …