Pop-Culture | Posted by Fiona L on 11/2/2011

There’s Nothing Real About These “Real Beauty” Campaigns

real beauty?

"real" beauty?

Although at first it appears that companies like Dove and Bare Minerals have taken a step in the right direction by running “Real Beauty” campaigns, there’s often nothing real about them.

When I see an ad that claims to feature real women, yet the woman are still remarkably flawless, it doesn’t do a whole lot for me. At least when I see a model in an advertisement I can tell myself that the way she looks is fake, enhanced by photo shop, and probably required harmful eating practices. When I see an ad that claims to be “real” or represent “average women,” yet not a single woman weighs over 140 pounds (the average weight of an American woman) I can’t help but feel as if I’m imperfect, and …

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Feminism | Posted by Marissa K on 08/13/2011

Saturday Vids: Magazines, Media and Myself

I used to have a little tradition of buying a cheesy teen magazine during the first week of summer and lying on the beach reading about the perfect nail polish color, or how to make your skin appear flawless. The primary reason I enjoyed this was because I knew it was pure junk, and that most of it could not be accurate. Yet I recently began to look into how inaccurate these magazines are in portraying how teenage girls are and should be, while also considering the effects on the self-esteem of many readers. Because even I, who laughed at most of the spreads on the glossy pages, felt my happiness with my body disintegrate a bit each time I picked up one of those magazines. A few weeks ago I attended the Young Women's Leadership Institute at Barnard College, and I decided that I should focus on body image and the media's effects on the minds and bodies of young girls. I learned so much from all the girls I talked to at the program, from the classes and workshops I participated in, and from all the research I conducted on the subject. There is just so much to say about the issue of magazines and media and their effects on teenage girls' perception of themselves. One portion of my group's project included a video in which we interviewed many girls participating in the Young Women's Leadership Institute. I hope you watch this video and spread the message!

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 08/2/2011

Like When We Were Eight

A little while ago, I was at my friend’s house for the weekend. Her younger sister, who was in second grade, had a friend over (let’s call her T) on Saturday night. According to today’s beauty standards, T is absolutely gorgeous, despite the fact that she is only eight years old. In addition to being physically appealing, her personality is totally adorable.

The thing I remember T most for, however, is the fact that she laughed. That is, that she laughed despite the big gap between her two front teeth.

It struck me that this little girl wasn’t afraid to laugh out loud, that she wasn’t afraid to smile. She wasn’t trying to hide her “imperfect” teeth. She didn’t feel self-conscious about it. She just didn’t care that her teeth …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Angela G on 07/22/2011

“The Illusionists”: How Insecurity Sells

Elena Rossinis The Illusionists

Elena Rossini's The Illusionists

As long as I can remember, I have had a great deal of respect and gratitude for the body. I like my body in particular. It works. It is the reason I am me. When I was three years old my mom gave birth to my little sister. Delighted to have a younger sibling, it was a hard pill to swallow when we came to find that she was born with some very severe disabilities, including something called Down Syndrome. Her body was very different from mine inside and out. It was always, and will always be, a great weight on my heart to know that she will never know what it is like to have a body like mine. Because of that, gratitude comes easy.…

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Feminism | Posted by Bre K on 06/28/2011

When Parents Are Wrong

Do I have to be business Barbie?

Do I have to be business Barbie?

Lately I’ve been getting into fights with my parents. Well, one main fight. They want me to find a job.

The argument part started when my hair turned out three different colors by mistake this year and I really wanted to dye my hair back to its natural, dark color. They said they will pay to dye my hair, but only dirty blond because I need to have “sex appeal” in order to find a part time job while going to school. Gross.

I want to be all natural and real, not fake like I’m trying to look like workplace Barbie. They told me, “You need to use your femininity to get a job. Half the workers are male workers and you can’t …

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Creative | Posted by Halee K on 06/24/2011

Feeling Beautiful

I can shoot lightning bolts from my fingertips

Poetry spouts like jewel-encrusted bullets

From my chapped lips

Soul shining like a beacon

Behind my eyes

Creating tiny worlds

With each sleepy sigh.

Beautiful is a fecund seed inside

Empowering all, despite the lies.

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Danielle B on 06/22/2011

Love The Body You’ve Got (Take It From A Fat Girl)

Beth Ditto

I've never seen anybody like Beth Ditto in the limelight before; I think her beauty is absolutely magnetic. Hooray for confidence!

I recall a time in elementary school when a friend tried to defend me from a few bullies by saying that I “wasn’t fat, just big-boned.” A few years later, I had a teacher who — probably in an attempt to keep my ego intact — wouldn’t let kids say “fat” in class, only “fluffy.”

To set the record straight, I do not have abnormally large bones. And I am not, nor have I ever been, a rabbit. But whether it’s these sugar-coated terms or the painfully unoriginal “ugly fat girl,” I’ve never quite been able to shake my overweight status for long.

Despite a few traumatizing events (i.e. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/10/2011

Seventeen’s Pretty Amazing Contest Is Pretty Amazing

ohmahgawd an actress! lets look up to her!

ohmahgawd an actress! let's look up to her!

I’ll be honest: I have my issues with Seventeen Magazine. It’s not just that most of the magazine revolves around a traditional and restrictive definition of beauty and their idea of “health” still revolves around dieting and working out in order to achieve your “best body ever.” My biggest problem is what the magazine overall promotes as being important to its readership of teen girls. Are we really just obsessed with how to impress the guy we like and what  celebrities are up to? (No, hence, the FBomb exists). And even when “real” issues are brought up – like eating disorders or sex – they’re non-committedly grazed over (Again, oh hey, FBomb).

That being said, I think Seventeen has been …

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