Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/25/2011

Body Image in the Media: Glee Gets It Right, But Are We Ready?

Every once in a while, usually when 30 Rock is a re-run, I’ll flip over to the CW. And I kind of get the draw of the utterly escapist fantasies that shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl offer. Serena Van Der Woodsen / Blake Lively is like 14 feet tall with blonde hair that cascades over her shoulders as she effortlessly hails a cab on her way to a club – that just so happens to blithely serve the underage – in order to sabatoge another rich, white, tall, thin, personality-less girl in a plan that always seems to involve drugs or faked pregnancies or a trip to Geneva or something that probably could’ve been solved had she invited her nemesis to have a nice talk over Chai tea. But …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Dina L on 03/10/2011

GaGa: The Image of a Pop-Star

I was lucky enough to recently see Lady Gaga in concert–it was fantastic. She was fantastic (her voice is really good), the show was fantastic, and the world that she created onstage was fantastic. If you’ve ever seen her live or in a video, you know what I mean. If you ever, ever get a chance to see her in concert, go–it was that good.

One thing that stood out about her show was the way the she constantly reminded the audience of the fact that she–or at the least the version of herself that she is onstage–is fake. She is a reflection of what her listeners and audience expect and what from her; she is there to be whatever we want and need her to be. Towards the beginning …

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Feminism | Posted by Regina on 02/23/2011

The Link Between Beauty, Privilege and the Media

We don’t live in a vacuum. Our ideas, our lexicon, and our beliefs are shaped by outside forces like society, culture, environment, and religion. Fields like sociology and anthropology prove that.

Words matter. You said something heterosexist because your parents / the media / your religion told you; you weren’t born a bigot. Forces like that reflect and shape your ideas. When people, especially celebrities, say transphobic things they fuel transphobia and other people think it is ok because their ideas aren’t challenged. Their bigotry is reinforced every day by outside forces like that. We are conditioned to say things that hurt other people, but we don’t change it because it seems like it doesn’t affect your reality.

That’s where privilege comes from. If the dominant culture constantly puts out …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 11/20/2010

Saturday Vids: I Am This Land Video Contest

Breakthrough is thrilled to announce the launch of the I AM THIS LAND video contest, a campaign that aims to start conversations about diversity, acceptance and the future of this country. I AM THIS LAND is a response to a year of divisive rhetoric. We’re saying, enough is enough: the new year provides the opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity and recommit to a country where we value difference and one another.

We want you to make a video using the phrase “I AM THIS LAND” to express your hope for a more positive and open-minded America. You can make any type of video: an animation, short documentary, music video, any other genre or a mash up- just give us goosebumps!

As part of the project, we …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 11/11/2010

Not So Gleeful: What’s Wrong With GQ’s Latest Shoot

So, I know this is kind of dated, but please make fun of me, consider my humble excuse of being a senior coming up on college application deadlines, and then attempt to enjoy!

The reaction from feminists to the “Glee” themed photo shoot in the newest issue of GQ – a popular men’s magazine – wasn’t exactly surprising. The shot, which was done by infamous photographer Terry Richardson (no stranger to overtly sexual photo shoots and even sexual harassment claims) features three of the main stars of the Fox TV show in almost pornographic poses. Of course, there has been plenty of uproar concerning the fact that these overtly sexual images are borderline pedophilic – due to the fact that these actors portray teenaged characters and cater to a …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 10/28/2010

My Feminist Photo Shoot

By now, some of you may be aware that I (on behalf of this here ole’ webblog) was recently chosen as one of 12 “new” feminists by More Magazine. Obviously, this is an amazing honor, and the fact that I’m in the same article as some of my all time heros (Jessica Valenti is mentioned in the article and I was freakin in the same room as freakin Shelby Knox!) is kind of mind blowing. And Jane Lynch is on the cover. As a Gleek, and more importantly as a Christopher Guest mockumentary fan (that’s really where it’s at) and just general supporter of Jane Lynch’s mind blowing awesomeness, a better cover girl probably couldn’t have been chosen.

However, the concept of having a “feminist photo shoot” …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kate T on 07/27/2010

Free to Be You and Me

On my last procrastination streak, in addition to watching dozens of videos of young children singing pop songs on YouTube, I stumbled upon a gem from my childhood – all 44 minutes of ‘Free to Be… You and Me’. I don’t know how many of you watched, read or listened to ‘Free to Be,’ as kids, but for those who didn’t, it is a movie, book, and CD created in 1972 dedicated to entertaining kids without reinforcing gender stereotypes – boys are told its okay to cry, “mommies’” and “daddies’” jobs are unrelated to their gender, and princesses travel the world and remain single. I still remember my first “feminist moment” when, at age six, my jam sesh to ‘William’s Doll’ was interrupted by my dad saying that it was …

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Feminism | Posted by Kate S on 05/28/2010

Affirmative Action?

Maren H. wrote a great piece on the importance of feminism and focused on gender discrimination in hiring. It coincided with something that ticked me off today so here is my rant.

As my tradition-bound boarding school continues to figure things (substitute with race, gender, sexuality, etc.) out, the issue of gender disparity arose in Academic Council, a committee of department chairs and major school authorities. Of course, as a student, I am not supposed to know about this but let’s just say that I have my ways.

A lot of faculty members are leaving the school this year, which means that our only female academic department chair, an English teacher, will be leaving as well. As a result, the Academic Council—composed of the movers and shakers of the …

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