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 …
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
At the white woman’s sultry facial expression
her breasts protruding out of her yellow bikini
the frizzless blonde hair
size 20 waist
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.…
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 09/23/2015
Why ‘Free The Nipple’ Is An Important Feminist Movement
“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 …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 08/25/2015
How Television Continues to Normalize Eating Disorders
“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 …
Feminism | Posted by Allie J. on 05/20/2015
Why Sexist Dress Codes Have Got To Go
Stop policing my body.
Shopping for school clothes was a nightmare in high school. Attending a private Christian school with a strict dress code, I had a lot of rules to follow: No jeans, sweat pants, yoga pants, or anything tight, revealing, or body forming. Basically nothing that was in style or readily available in stores.
Yet despite following the dress code to the best of my ability, I was still told that my pants were too tight, my shirt too low, or my skirt too short. I vividly remember being taken aside one day on the way to chapel to kneel down and have my skirt measured with a ruler. It was humiliating. I was told my favorite Old Navy skirt was a quarter of an inch too short, …
Feminism | Posted by Mackenzie H on 05/13/2015
The Problem With ‘Strong Is The New Skinny’
Let’s stop idealizing bodies altogether
The “ideal figure” of a woman has changed a lot over the years. But beauty has undeniably always been determined in relation to patriarchal standards.
During the Italian Renaissance, fuller figures were determined to be a direct reflection of one’s husband’s social and economic status and therefore plump bodies were considered ideal. By the Victorian Era, the hourglass figure — made possible by corsets — was popular. In the 1920s, when women won the right to vote, a sort of curve-less, boyish figure was fashionable. Marilyn Monroe arguably popularized a curvy figure with a slim waist but then the 1960s saw the origins of the skinny, tall, supermodel look that has since dominated the image of the “ideal figure” of a woman in Western culture …
Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/25/2015
Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling and the Importance of Live Panels
I’m a fan of both Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling. Yet I found myself somewhat surprised by just how impressive I found both women while recently watching their contributions to a Sundance live panel moderated by Emily Nussbaum via YouTube. I tried to pinpoint why exactly I was so taken with the extent to which I found both women endearingly self-aware, thoughtful and humble.
Perhaps, I finally realized, it had something to do with the panel format itself. Instead of answering the typical lazily sexist questions both women are frequently asked — like about existing as a female in Hollywood or what it was like to work with [insert male co-star here] — these talented individuals were given open platforms to discuss substantive issues they actually care about. Dunham, Kaling …
Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 03/18/2015
How Weightlifting Helped One College Student Overcome Her Eating Disorder
When Nika Shelby, a student at Union College, started weightlifting it wasn’t to get fit. She was fighting to save her life.
In high school, her friends knew her as a powerhouse. She was the strongest member of any team and a force to be reckoned with. But the parts of her body that gave her strength — the thick legs and strong arms that identified her as an athlete — were also her greatest enemies. Determined to attain the body that she wanted, Nika pulled away from sports and retrained her laser focus on getting skinny.
She was good at it too. She spiraled into a destructive eating disorder complete with food-free days and an Adderall prescription obtained with the intent of appetite suppression. She successfully sent her metabolism …