Elena Rossini is a film director, cinematographer and editor from Italy. She’s also a really awesome woman who is working on multiple feminist projects, including a documentary about the manipulation of women’s bodies in our culture (The Illusionists) and an awesome blog (No Country for Young Women) that works to connect women across generations (that I happen to have been featured on). One of my favorite works of Elena’s, however, is her short film “Ideal Women” which was commissioned by ARTE/the Louvre Museum’s project “4 Semaines” and which I was lucky enough to see at the Endangered Species Summit. Enjoy!
Endangered Species Summit: Our Generation and Body Image
The Endangered Species Summit – an international movement focused on improving the way women around the world view and treat their bodies, in the media and beyond – took place last month. There were branches in London, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Sao Paul and New York. I was lucky enough to be involved with the New York branch thanks to the incomparable Courtney Martin, who is a goddess (and who flawlessly planned the NYC summit). I had the daunting task of representing our generation on the Intergenerational Panel, which also included such amazing women as Jean Kilbourne, Erica Watson and Rachel Simmons. So, you know. No pressure or anything.
Needless to say, it was an incredible experience, but more than talking about my impressions, I figured I’d share …
Now, the typical response to this is, “Yes, you are!” Even if the people in question have never even met in person. Because maybe this person seems pretty, in the sound of her voice or the style of her writing. Maybe this consoler is one of those people who truly believes that everyone is beautiful. That is a lovely, wonderful ideology that I too subscribe too. Every person is beautiful. But not every person is pretty.
I certainly am not.
Pretty can be hard to define; or, at least harder to define than those words considered its synonyms. And its only companion that carries nearly as much weight is “thin.” I have many friends who do not believe that they are pretty, as well as many …
Glennis McMurray is the founder and editor of the website, G.L.O.C. (TheGLOC.net) the first large-scale blog by and for all the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy. Glennis is a seasoned musical improvisor having started and starred in the acclaimed I Eat Pandas (Time Out New York Critics Pick, ECNY Award-winner: Best Improv Group). She can now be seen performing with the NY cast of Baby Wants Candy every Saturday night at the SoHo Playhouse. In January 2011, her solo musical Disco Balls: Into the Light debuted at the Charleston Comedy Festival, and she was recently seen as Coach Betts in Half Straddle’s production of In The Pony Palace/Football at the Bushwick Starr. In addition to the two variety shows she produces, Dream Role and Supercream Supreme!, Glennis can …
Every morning, you pull out your makeup bag before rushing out the door. As you pencil in your eyebrows, your waterline and around your lids, you don’t even think about what you’re doing and why. It’s as ordinary to you as brushing your hair and teeth.
Every morning, men don’t pull out their makeup bags like we do (for the most part). They don’t pencil in their eyebrows, their waterline and around their lids. They don’t make sure their flaws are covered and their cheekbones are flushed. And that’s normal — because something would be ‘wrong’ with them if they did. Men don’t wear makeup (for the most part).
But I want you to think about something that occurred to me the other day. My boyfriend and I were waking …
Saturday Vids: In Honor of the Endangered Species Summit
Today, I’m honored to report that I’m one of the panelists for the New York City branch of the Endangered Species Summit - an international summit occurring during March 2011. The aim of the summit, as the London branch put it, “is to save future generations of girls from the misery that turns women against their own bodies. The challenge – to make people understand how and why this is an emergency, to show them how they can do something about it, and to inspire them to embrace change.”
In honor of the summit, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite videos on the topic of body image (and how generally fucked up it is in our society).
We don’t live in a vacuum. Our ideas, our lexicon, and our beliefs are shaped by outside forces like society, culture, environment, and religion. Fields like sociology and anthropology prove that.
Words matter. You said something heterosexist because your parents / the media / your religion told you; you weren’t born a bigot. Forces like that reflect and shape your ideas. When people, especially celebrities, say transphobic things they fuel transphobia and other people think it is ok because their ideas aren’t challenged. Their bigotry is reinforced every day by outside forces like that. We are conditioned to say things that hurt other people, but we don’t change it because it seems like it doesn’t affect your reality.
That’s where privilege comes from. If the dominant culture constantly puts out …
When I was nine years old, I secretly dreamed of becoming a model.
I still wanted to be a writer, of course, but hey, a girl can dream, right? My family doctor had told my parents that because of their heights (my mom is 5’6” and my dad is 6’1”), my twin brother and I were likely to grow like bean sprouts to over 6 feet. I liked being tall for my age. Being my nine-year-old-self, I thought my potential height would be the key to becoming a model. (Also being young and naïve, I succumbed to society’s spoon-fed diet of telling girls that beauty is limited to certain numerical requirements. Thanks, society.)
I also liked the way models looked so serious as they strutted down the runway. (I distinctly …