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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Creative | Posted by Jordan P on 12/4/2015

Are You Beach Body Ready?

“Beach body ready?”

The words claw at my brain

digging between the intricate folds of my unconscious

the instant I step onto the crowded subway.

My legs move to a seat as if they had brains of their own

because my eyes are transfixed on the neon yellow billboard ahead

I stare.

 

At the white woman’s sultry facial expression

her breasts protruding out of her yellow bikini

the frizzless blonde hair

size 20 waist

large hips

arched back

small nose

opened legs.

 

This woman doesn’t exist.

She is an object used to sell.

Exploited across Manhattan

telling women to try her weight loss powder

because just look how well it worked!

Isn’t it so nice of her to want to help womankind?

 

I know she is photo-shopped.…

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Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 09/23/2015

Why ‘Free The Nipple’ Is An Important Feminist Movement

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YouTube

“It’s just an excuse for sluts to be naked all the time.”

This was my mother’s response to my attempt to explain the importance of the Free the Nipple movement. Although I disagree, I also know that the discussion surrounding the inequality at the heart of public nudity laws and the stigma that surrounds exposed female nipples is one that has been heightened more than ever before in recent years.

No matter the movement’s relative newness, however, I’m still baffled by the fact that the female body is still seen as inappropriate and worthy of censorship. We are all born with nipples, so why must half the population live in a censored world where their nipples are unacceptable while the other half has the right to expose them as …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 08/25/2015

How Television Continues to Normalize Eating Disorders

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_21wWPHQZI

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_21wWPHQZI

“Please don’t hurl too much, because if you get any thinner I’m gonna start looking fat,” Brooke, the head cheerleader in the show One Tree Hill, nonchalantly says to her best friend in an early episode. It’s unclear if her friend really is bulimic, but regardless, viewers learn that purging isn’t the issue — making your best friend look “fat” is.

Even young viewers are targeted: The seventh episode of the Disney Channel show Shake It Up portrays a model who, in awe of the two thirteen-year-old main characters, declares that she “could just eat you guys up! You know, if I ate.” The entire cast laughs. Refusing to eat is normalized, not raised as a point of concern or serious issue.

The truth of the matter is …

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