Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 11/3/2014

An Open Letter To Urban Outfitters

Dear Urban Outfitters,

My thirteen-year-old self thanks you for having provided trendy, vintage looking clothing at an affordable price. You are cheaper than Aritzia, edgier than American Apparel, and were undoubtedly my favorite clothing store. Were.

I am now a legal adult. I can vote, buy cigarettes and decide my own bedtime. I was raised with the ability to distinguish between “right” and “wrong” and I would like to believe that I’m a good person. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not perfect and the line between good and bad became a little blurry when I was a younger teen. But as I’ve matured, I’m confident that I’ve become adept at judging when something is just not right.

How dare you make shirts baring the words “Eat Less.” Did you know …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 10/31/2014

Subway: Please Don’t Use Halloween To Make Women Feel Fat

Whether it’s the annoyingly catchy five-dollar footlong jingle or Jared Fogle’s promise that you will lose weight by eating sandwiches, Subway commercials are abundantly recognizable in our culture. These advertisements have ranged from harmless, to annoying, to misleading (sorry, the Subway diet doesn’t seem plausible to me) but the latest addition to the repertoire has been attracting a lot of negative press for being sexist and sizeist.

In order to capitalize on Halloween, Subway recently released a commercial in which a woman calls out two of her coworkers for eating burgers. She advises them that in order to be thin for Halloween costume season, they should eat Subway. She then explores her costume options, which include an “Attractive Nurse, Spicy Red Riding Hood, Viking Princess Warrior, Hot Devil, Sassy …

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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” …

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Feminism | Posted by M.Wil on 10/10/2014

How To Deal With Insults About Your Body

I must say for a teenage girl I have always been pretty confident about my body. I have never been a twig but am also not overweight and have never felt bothered by my appearance. Every year, I fly to Germany to spend two months with my slightly crazy family – especially my grandma, the boss of the family and a woman who inspires me deeply. So you can imagine the sharp sting I felt when the last time I arrived at the family home and greeted my grandmother she kissed me, gave me a once over and declared: “My, have you grown. And fat.” I hadn’t seen the woman who means the world to me in six months, and all she could do was comment on my body.

A …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014

Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?

Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"

Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.

Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 08/18/2014

Why I Need Feminism: Overcoming My Self-Loathing

As a kid I was very chubby and sturdy, but that all changed once puberty kicked in. People wondered if I went on a diet to lose weight when I was younger, but my eating habits hadn’t changed. This complacency didn’t last for very long, though. As I entered high school, I realized that I began to look at my body a lot and focus on my weight more than before. These percolating thoughts soon impregnated themselves deep into views on my body and self-esteem.

In October, I was already considered thin for my 5’5″ frame, but by the end of December, I made it my New Years’ resolution to lose 10lbs. In my head, I was just going to cut down on what I ate. Of course, this easily …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 08/13/2014

Talk the Talk: On Being A Role Model

Always' "Like A Girl" Commercial

Lately, I have been swept up in the flurry of beautiful videos detailing why what we say to young girls matters – videos from companies like Always and Verizon. Videos that remind me why I am thankful every day to have attended an all-girls school that planted the seeds of early feminism.

I am, perhaps, more attuned to these videos right now. I spend my summer months on staff at a performing arts day camp at which I was a camper for most of my life. Our camp teaches its staff skills in child development and social work. Staff members recall their time as campers and recount how little things their counselors said – cheering them on in rehearsal, congratulating them after a performance, …

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