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

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 has become hyper-sexualized due to the evolution of the media. It’s so hard not to …

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

Female Bodies and Positive Rhetoric

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 come across this blog and I think their …

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

Skin Is Just An Organ – But Insecurity Sells

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 modern procedures. In places …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Leora M on 08/3/2012

Dear Anthropologie: A Letter of Complaint

Dear Anthropologie (and all other stores pertaining to this issue),

I love your store. I love the scent when you walk in, the feel of the material, and the creative way everything is displayed. I love the candles, the sweaters, the doorknobs, the dresses, the high-heels, the many patterns, and the painted dishes. I love getting the catalog in the mail and dreaming about a reality in which I, too, am able to pitch my tent in the tide of the Bahamas, just because it would be a beautiful sight.

I am not complaining because I am one of those curvy, big-bosomed women who never see anyone their size in a magazine. I am a tall, petite young girl who usually fits in a size small, does not have to …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Gina S on 07/18/2012

The Headline Project

As a little project, I recently decided to compile the gender presentation as depicted in the headlines on various popular ‘news’ websites over 3 days. Having rolled my eyes so strenuously as to pop several blood vessels at the ridiculous scandals I’m subjected to each time I checked my email, I decided to monitor sites like AOL, Yahoo, and MSN News to dissect how they depict famous women.

Day 1

AOL’s headlines regarding famous women:

“Brittany Spears flaunts assets”
“See what (Kate Middleton’s sister) Pippa’s wearing at Wimbledon”
“Who’s the British beauty showing off her armpits?” (No, I’m not kidding…)
“Miley Cyrus wears daring LBD”
“Megan shows off baby bump in bikini” – (Translation: “show off” = wearing a biking while pregnant and famous).

MSN messenger news:

“Katy …

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