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 Camille E on 06/17/2013

What If I AM Like The Feminist Stereotype?

Am I giving feminism a bad rap by not shaving my armpits? I worry that people will take one look at my pits, label me as “one of those feminists” (the only kind they think exists), and dismiss what I say and stand for. I don’t want people to further solidify the stereotype that all feminists are hairy mammoth, lesbian, man-hating bra-burners, except it’s more important to me that we get across that there isn’t anything wrong whatsoever with being a lesbian or a woman who doesn’t shave in the first place. I also firmly believe that not shaving is a feminist statement, albeit one I do not expect many to understand or apply to their own lives.

I love my armpit hair. At the moment, it’s my special little …

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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, 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 Erin F on 12/26/2012

Embracing Femme

Ever since I was 11 years old, I’ve always been femme, to some extent. The extent of my femme depends really on my overall well-being. The better I feel, the more femme I am. The more makeup I put on, the better clothes I wear, the more I take care of my hair.

I remember when I first started getting interested in feminism, when I was about 15, I was going through a really tough period of my life. I was depressed and was at my least femme. At that point, I also thought that beauty and fashion were patriarchal constructs designed to subordinate women and I stayed as far away from looking femme as I possibly could. I became angry and would always think to myself “why don’t men …

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Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 11/28/2012

“How Do I Look?” “Do You Think He Notices Me?” And Other Useless Questions

Calvin Klein Ad For Jeans featuring Jamie Dornan and Eva Mendes Photo Credit: Steven Klein

As our culture evolves, I find that one of the most important aspects of our evolution is technology. From the wheel to the internet, every invention has contributed to a change in the way we go about our lives. This is why I think the media plays a key role in the way we conduct ourselves.

My parents have always said that they didn’t have to experience the publicity that technology has brought to society to the same extremity that we do. It gets worse for every generation and the surplus of messages about how we should live our lives has grown to be outrageous. Everything is accessible to everyone at any time.

Our culture …

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Feminism | Posted by Elizabeth M on 10/26/2012

Female Bodies and Positive Rhetoric

Is celebrating celebrities like Christina Hendricks really radical?

I recently came across a great article over at Healthy Is The New Skinny. I love it not just because it celebrates Christina Hendricks as one of the few contemporary celebrities who has healthy amounts of flesh on their bones as standard (not just ‘for a role’ or because they’re in some sort of emotional meltdown….can’t blame the latter really), but, in contrast, because it also succinctly exemplifies the quagmire of public discourse around female bodies. The article is cited from NY Daily News, but it popped up in my newsfeed from Healthy is the New Skinny, which is a “multi-platform movement to bring a message of health, joy and responsibility to the beauty and the fashion industries.” I was happy to …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by YingYing S on 09/14/2012

Skin Is Just An Organ – But Insecurity Sells

The whitewashing of Beyonce

I am not white.

Yeah, I know, stating the obvious, but in fact, even for someone of Chinese ethnicity, I am decidedly not on the pale end of the spectrum. And every time I flip open a fashion magazine here in America or visit my home city of Beijing, decked out with all its skin-lightening billboards, I am reminded that because of my skin tone, the world wants me to change.

Previously referenced as “the Snow White complex,” the pressure to be white has overtaken most of the world as an indisputable standard of beauty, despite the fact that every standard of beauty we try to mold ourselves to is culturally constructed.

In Asia and India, skin lightening has soared into popularity thanks to …

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