Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 02/27/2017
This Eating Disorder Survivor Is Making A Difference
“There’s beauty in everything and everyone, and that shouldn’t be decided by the media or anyone,” Dayna Altman — a 24-year-old eating disorder survivor, graduate student, and mental health activist from the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) — told me in a recent interview.
Dayna, who agreed to share her story with the FBomb for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, is from Massachusetts, and grew up dancing. As early as elementary school, she told me, she started experiencing and depression, anxiety, OCD and eating disorder habits. She wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety and major depression until her first year at Providence College, however. At that point, she received several months of clinical treatment, which in turn informs her work as an activist today.
Looking back, Dayna believes her …
Feminism | Posted by Corinne Singer on 07/25/2016
An Open Letter To Principals Enforcing Sexist Dress Codes
To My Middle School Principal (And to School Administrators Alike),
I’ve observed from afar, with horror and disgust, as you’ve punished young girls for their school attire. Nearly every day my little brother comes home and shares that another girl has been interrupted, pulled out of class, and sent to the office only to be reprimanded for her clothing. While I understand the attempt to maintain a “serious academic environment,” you are completely butchering your execution of this goal.
Creating a focused, educational environment is a vision that is contingent upon the comfort and inclusion of all students. A truly thriving educational community is an inclusive community, which requires the full embrace of every member’s whole self. By demonizing developing girls and their bodies, you effectively reduce girls …
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 06/10/2016
#Fitspo: Inspirational or Harmful?
Whether you’re a Tumblr fanatic, an avid Twitter user, or Instagram-obsessed like I am, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve seen posts captioned with the hashtag “#fitspiration” come across your News Feed at some point. #Fitspiration, or “#fitspo,” began to emerge on social media over the past few years, supposedly to inspire others (specifically women) to achieve fitness regimes. On the surface, #fitspo may seem like the ideal hashtag to empower women and encourage them to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle. But, for many, it actually comes at a cost.
As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder in the past, I can definitely attest to feeling terrible as I scroll past these “motivational” pictures. The images themselves — of ripped abs, toned legs and slim physiques…
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,” …
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, …
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
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
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 …