Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 09/23/2016

The History Of Banning Black Women’s Hair

Amandla Stenberg wearing her hair natural

When I turned twelve, I started faithfully straightening my hair every single week. By the time I was fourteen years old, therefore, I had straightened my hair at least one hundred and four times. At least. But eventually my hair started falling out in large clumps and my mom demanded that I stop severely damaging my hair.

It was then that I began the emotionally draining process of learning how to love myself. I read countless books about feeling beautiful in your own skin and body, stuck a number of pictures of beautiful black women wearing their natural hair on the walls of my closet, and followed Instagram accounts that celebrated the beauty of having black curly hair. With time, I began to love …

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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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Pop-Culture | Posted by Antonia Bentel on 10/27/2014

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” Is No Feminist Anthem

Listening to (and belting out) Top 40 songs in the car is non-negotiable if you’re riding along with me. I love the bubble-gum-for-your-brain songs and gush over new pop tunes. However, I also identify as a feminist and am inclined to listen to these songs with critical ears, ready to pick up on any all-too-common sexist remarks. So, when the radio host proclaimed, “I’ll be playing a song from Meghan Trainor, called ‘All About That Bass’ – some call this catchy song the new pro-women song of the decade,” you could safely assume that I was beyond excited to hear it.

As the first few beats bubbled up from the speakers, I was instantly captivated. The repetition of the phrase “Because you know I’m all about that bass, no treble” …

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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.

A …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/24/2014

The Freedom of Topless Beaches

Why can't we go topless?

In popular culture, women’s breasts are often seen as the ultimate symbol of sex. Women are bombarded with a variety of consumeristic options to “improve” our breasts: we can buy numerous types of bras (gel, push up, “bomb shell”…the list goes on), which all seem designed to emphasize women’s breasts up to the point of actual exposure. It’s a thin line: women are encouraged to clearly demonstrate their cleavage, yet actually going topless is considered shameful and reserved for Playboy. In settings where men can acceptably go shirtless, like the beach, breasts “need” to be covered. But why do women “need” to constantly cover — yet simultaneously strategically expose — an ultimately benign aspect of our bodies?

This past August, I was fortunate enough to …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Paulina P on 02/24/2014

Body Positivity Looks Different For Each Person

I clearly did not wake up like this. There is liquid eyeliner on my eyes to create this cat eye, there is bronzer on my cheekbones to create the illusion that I have been in the sunlight, and there is fire-engine red lipstick on my lips to make me feel like Marilyn Monroe. But let me tell you, I feel fierce. I feel sexy. I feel unstoppable.

My friend and I recently held a Body Positive photo shoot campaign as a publicity event for the Eating Disorders Awareness and Body Positive Week we are organizing at Columbia University. Since the week is Feb. 24 to 27, we wanted to get people excited and involved before our week of events. We asked students to come in their most confident form and …

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Feminism | Posted by Erin M on 08/14/2013

Body Positivity: A Primer

Let’s face it: our society is full of messed up messages about our bodies. We are told that we are too fat, too old, too short, too hairy, toosaggy…and the list never ends. Our culture doesn’t embrace diversity in bodies, instead glorifying a certain type– a type that less than 5% of us have and can never achieve. If you don’t fit that type, you are shamed, made fun of, and discriminated against.

The world is telling us that we are not good enough, that we must be actively taking drastic measures to change this—measures like plastic surgery, Botox injections, hair treatments and extreme dieting. If we aren’t taking these steps, then we’re “lazy” and are treated as if we don’t care about our bodies or our lives. …

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