Feminism | Posted by Jessie W on 12/7/2010

Veganism, Dieting and Why I Felt Like I Had to Change

My sophomore year of high school, thinking I’d be healthier, skinnier, and for humane reasons, my parents coerced me into becoming vegan. I hardly ate – because of my dislike of beans and other vegan staple foods, I had basically the same food for every meal – and despite constantly exercising, my metabolism slowed and I gained twenty pounds over a five month period. Both of my parents’ cholesterol dropped by one hundred points and they were losing weight, so why wasn’t I? My doctor told me I was still growing, not getting necessary nutrients, and eating too little, therefore I had to return to eating meat and oil (which we were also avoiding).

In a way, I felt like a failure, but I decided to focus my energy on …

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Feminism | Posted by Janani B on 08/30/2010

Mad Men, Body Image and Feminist Critiques of Size-Positivism

A few weeks ago various entertainment blogs and news sites were running a series of stories about Mad Men‘s Producer Matthew Weiner. Feminist bloggers and health writers soon joined the conversation. Now Mad Men is no bastion of feminist drama and critical theory, but these bloggers were veritably showering praise on Weiner. Why? Because, reportedly, he doesn’t allow his actresses to exercise and encourages them to eat plenty in order to look “soft and voluptuous” like “healthy women.”


I’m going to make this as coherent a criticism as possible, but Weiner’s comments and the subsequent feedback from bloggers anger me as symptoms of much broader problematic conversations. So I’ll break the issues down systematically:

The idea of fattening up or slimming down for a role is nothing new in …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Jamie N on 03/4/2010

The Healthy Aesthetic?

I’ve had a theory brewing in my head recently: if all the women in the United States were a size 2 yet as a society we still struggled with heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers then the “health” argument would be very different. After watching the recent Nightline segment “Is it Okay to be fat” my theory was confirmed. The title should’ve read, “Is it okay for women to be fat?”; and then at least it would have been more honest.

It’s hard to debate health when what you’re really debating aesthetics. A serious debate on health would’ve seen men on the panel, since this issue is a societal problem and not something women should have to shoulder alone (though we often do).

I struggle with body image. I’m in …

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