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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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, …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Paulina P on 07/18/2014
The Problem With Bethenny Frankel Wearing Her Four-Year-Old’s Pajamas
I did not get rid of my seventh grade wardrobe until my sophomore year of college because I told myself that I would fit back into those tiny excuses one day. Just to clarify, that is a solid seven years of lying to myself.
When I would come back to my childhood home during school breaks, I would get together with my friends and I would attempt to dress myself in my pre-pubescent wardrobe. We would laugh and laugh as I tried to fit both butt cheeks into a pair of tiny short-shorts. And then they would leave. And then I was stuck there, alone with my reality: I was “Fat.”
I did this because I was (and probably still am) slightly sadomasochistic, but also because at the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Mariama T on 06/13/2014
The Eating Disorder We Never Talk About
When you suffer from compulsive over-eating, it feels impossible to resist the urge to eat, even when you’re not hungry. Maybe you’re watching TV or talking on the phone when you feel it: That glitch in your brain that compels you to wander to the kitchen and eat.
You might try to ignore it, to continue your activity with the intention of not giving in. “This time I’ll do it,” you say. “Today will not be like yesterday.” But thirty minutes later you feel that compulsion and even though you don’t want to eat and know you’re not hungry, it won’t go away.
Is it the taste or something about the food itself? Or is it because in those few minutes of eating, nothing matters? You have no problems or …
Feminism | Posted by Tasha S on 05/30/2014
Anorexia: A Disease, Not A Diet
“She was like, totally, anorexic,” my coworker stated, gesturing towards my other coworker. The formerly “anorexic” coworker in question nodded her head enthusiastically, as if being referred to as having suffered from a disease was one of her greatest accomplishments. I stared at her, wide eyed. I couldn’t tell if she was being serious or if they, like so many other people I came across, were throwing the term around loosely. “I dieted constantly and I was so skinny. I fit into the best jeans. Now I’ve gotten all flabby. I need to get anorexic again,” she commented. Oh. It dawned on me that anorexia, in her mind, was just a code word for restrictive dieting. It was painful to hear these things, having, by literal definiton, recovered from anorexia.…