Pop-Culture | Posted by Caitlin L. on 06/23/2014
Why the Entertainment Industry Defining Beautiful Women as Young and White Has to Stop
Does the entertainment industry actually have that much power to teach girls what is beautiful? Certainly, words are impactful but how much do simple images really matter? Are girls really absorbing and comparing themselves to images of women in the media or are we selling girls’ intelligence short by assuming that they don’t understand that these images are not representative of reality?
Thinking about these questions led me to search for an as-yet unexplored historic root of the entertainment industry in actively defining beauty — one that especially validates the outcry against the lack of diversity of representation of women in the media. Examining the history of the display of women to ease social anxiety against whiteness in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries is useful for understanding the necessity of …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Colleen Giles on 06/11/2014
Obvious Child Was Obviously Awesome
Last week, I was able to score some passes to a screening of Obvious Child from Feministing.com. Just the idea of a romantic comedy about abortion made my feminist mind little-kid-giddy. Obvious Child was everything that society needs it to be: funny and important. This film changes the narrative about abortion so often portrayed in television and films, including plots in which abortions are depressing, dark and complicated. Obvious Child instead portrays a very relatable array of characters who navigate the circumstances around a pending abortion.
The main character, Donna Stern, is a comedian and bookstore saleswoman who is in the midst of dealing with a heart breaking betrayal involving her friend and now ex-boyfriend. In an effort to foster her emotional resiliency and enjoy herself, Stern has sex with …
Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 06/4/2014
“You’re Pretty, For A Black Girl”
“My dick really isn’t attracted to black girls.”
I tried to explain how his comment could come off as a tad bit racist.
“Well, it’s just that I don’t usually like girls like you.”
“You mean, you usually like girls with blonde hair and blue eyes?”
No, this conversation wasn’t with John Mayer. It was with a caucasian male in a fraternity, one of my peers at USC.
I cried that night on my two-mile walk home from “frat row.” I cried the next day. Ok, I cried for countless nights. Not because I was sad about some guy, or because he claimed he “wasn’t interested.” I cried because I was disappointed that American Eurocentric culture still produces people who fear challenging what they have been taught. …
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.…
Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 05/28/2014
Why Does ‘Success’ For Women Still Ignore Tech?
I recently had the chance to attend two events meant to inspire my burgeoning professional career: Glamour Magazine’s “Top Ten College Women” event and the Bloomberg Enterprise Tech Summit. However, I felt that both events’ presentations of the meaning of success left a lot to be desired.
At the Glamour “Top Ten College Women” event, each finalist was briefly described, called up on stage, and presented with a framed certificate before being ushered off stage to make room for a panel entitled “How to Get Your Dream Job in 2014: Secrets of Success from Women who Know.” Every few minutes during the panel, the girls I was with and I would look at each other and chuckle. Yes, the women participating were all wonderfully successful, but …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Alice W on 05/27/2014
Why Sansa Stark Doesn’t Owe You Anything
I’m hesitant to trust people who call Game of Thrones’ Sansa Stark whiney, basic, boring and weak. How someone feels about Sansa Stark tells me a lot about how they think about women.
Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter of the once powerful House Stark. She’s watched her own father be beheaded, had her fiancee point a loaded crossbow at her while knights ripped off her clothes — all in the first season. Since then she has been forced to marry into the family who had her mother and brother killed. And many fans of the show hate her.
Sure, she is not the most sassy or kickass woman in Westeros, where Game of Thrones takes place. Daenerys is badass, beautiful, taking what is hers with fire and blood. …
Feminism | Posted by Louisa G on 05/21/2014
Why We Need To Stop Romanticizing Mental Illness Amongst Teen Girls
I realized recently that my generation has a strange fascination with the perception of mental illness, especially as it relates to teenage girls. I’ve noticed young women posting many quotes about mental illness on their Instagrams and Tumblrs — the sadder, the better, it seems. I think this increasing fascination with and performance of depression may stem from the media through the likes of movies and books where “broken” girls are seemingly put back together by the undying love of a man. This goes further than the typical boy-meets-girl cliché of an 80s movie and delves into the fantasy that someone with severe depression can be simply “fixed” by the right guy.
The infatuation people have with making mental illness something that can be seen as beautiful and even romantic …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 05/19/2014
The Fault In This Star
Shailene Woodley certainly seems to be a star on the rise. She has starred in numerous successful teen movies in the past year alone, such as The Spectacular Now, Divergent and the soon to be released and much anticipated, The Fault in Our Stars. These roles and previous interviews had led me to conclude that she’s a great advocate for the current feminist movement and a marvelous role model for younger girls. She cares about the environment, she doesn’t seem totally obsessed with her appearance and she’s a driven, successful young actress. So, I was a bit taken aback when I read an article where she clearly stated that she did not identify as a feminist.
However, what shocked me was not just that she didn’t adopt the …