Feminism | Posted by Gina S on 05/27/2016

Is It Possible To Help Friends Through Their Body Image Issues?

She didn’t want to go swimming for health, but to lose weight.

We all have body image demons, but some of us host demons that are louder than others. Some are lucky enough that their demons only appear on universally hellish occasions — like when standing in front of a 360-degree mirror, trying on swimwear. But my friends demons accompany her to everything she does, all day, every day.

My friend tells me she feels guilty and “fat” every time she orders dessert at a restaurant. She refuses to go into clothing shops because she dreads the crushing feeling of her “failure” to lose weight. When she does deign to go shopping, she leaves feeling upset and even worse than she did before. She asks me if she “looks fat,” …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 05/18/2016

Comparing Kim Kardashian to Ayesha Curry Hurts Us All

Comparing Kim to other women hurts all of us.

Our society has long been obsessed with comparison. Girls are routinely pit against each other to “win” the supposed honor of being the “hottest” in the halls of their high schools. They’re even encouraged to put down their perceived competition to do so.

There are likely many reasons why young women feel encouraged to do this, but the way media gossip analyzes and criticizes female celebrities — and compares their talent and/or bodies to other celebrities — is a big one. It has become normalized for people (who don’t know these celebrities personally) to happily explain and/or rant about their actions, decisions and lives because the media makes them feel that they have the right to attack and shame people (specifically, …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 05/4/2016

How I Learned Being Seen As “Sexy” Doesn’t Equate To Happiness

Beauty doesn’t equate to happiness

I was 10 years old the first time someone commented on my appearance in public. I was walking with a boy in my class down the narrow, dark street of East 86th street in New York City. As we reached the end of the street, the boy looked at me and said, “You’re going to be sexy when you’re older.”

I was surprised and a little baffled. The city itself already intimidated me: I had just moved from the suburbs of California and New York felt grand and confusing in comparison. But especially because the city was my new home, and as a generally insecure child, I desperately wanted to be part of this city full of exotic faces and tall boys.

I had only

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 04/22/2016

The Surprising Way Social Media Can Shape Young Girls’ Bodies

The truth about social media.

The colossal expansion of technology has revolutionzed young women’s lives in many ways. With the click of a button, girls can immediately become informed about what’s trending and playing, who’s commenting and posting, what they should perceive as right or wrong, and beyond. But while the way in which the Internet is shaping young women’s minds has been relatively well publicized, less attention has been paid to the way in which it impacts their bodies, too.

The Internet has certainly been a source of body positivity and empowerment in recent years. Many plus-size models have seen unprecedented success and visibility thanks to social media, for example, and plenty of body positive hashtags have trended over the past year or so.

But the addition of these

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Feminism | Posted by Rachael H on 04/4/2016

Growing Pains: What Growing Up With Cerebral Palsy Taught Me About Life

What I learned from my operation.

Like so many others my age, at 14 I desperately wanted to be just like everyone else. But unlike most of my peers, I had spent 14 years trapped inside of a body that wouldn’t let me move. I was born with cerebral palsy and had dealt with mobility issues my entire life. These issues included spasticity in my legs due to improper neuron reception — an experience that led me to believe I would never live pain-free.

When the spasticity got even worse as I started to go through growth spurts, however, doctors told me I could have orthopedic surgeries to release the tension in my muscles. I chose to have them. I couldn’t be free while my muscles were in a constant …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/4/2016

This Burn Survivor’s Story Proves Wearing Makeup Can Truly Be Empowering

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Shalom Nchom

I have never met a woman who isn’t plagued by insecurities about her appearance. It seems so much easier to pinpoint the qualities you lack or dislike instead of those you have and admire. I’ll admit, the first thoughts I have about my own appearance on any given day are usually negative. I frustrate myself to no end by critiquing everything from the breakouts on my face to the uncomfortable tightness of my jeans.

Many women develop coping mechanisms that allow them to cope with this ongoing battle against their perceived shortcomings. Shalom Nchom, who is known as “Shalom Blac” on YouTube, did just that. At 9 years old, Nchom had an accident with frying oil at her family’s store that left her with severe burns. …

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Feminism | Posted by Siena R on 02/7/2016

This Is What It’s Really Like To Recover From An Eating Disorder

It’s not what you think.

I have anorexia. My first instinct was to at least shield you, random stranger on the Internet, from that truth, to ease you in. But there’s no way to put that gently. That’s not my reality. My reality is that I have been living with this mental illness since I was 14 and in my freshman year of high school.

Contrary to popular belief, this eating disorder isn’t just a “phase” or something that will go away once I “just eat.” Anorexia is not a choice nor is it directly or solely caused by images of excessively thin models and actresses in the media. Eating disorders are crippling mental illnesses. They can be genetically inherited from your parents or relatives, just like one inherits …

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 01/9/2016

How To Put Your Resolution of Self-Love Into Action in the New Year

It’s harder than it seems.

I have always struggled with New Year’s resolutions because they so often revolve around losing weight — to look “good” in that bikini this summer and to achieve that “perfect body.” I am no stranger to negative body image spirals and have obsessed over my diet, frequently compared myself to others and allowed toxic messages from all intersections to infiltrate my mind. Given that we already live in a society plagued by -isms that constantly marginalize us in a variety of other ways, too, these negative forces work in particularly strong conjunction to bring my own self-esteem down around the beginning of January.

For the first time, however, I feel I’ve heard fewer conversations about what people want their bodies to look like and how …

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