Feminism | Posted by Elizabeth M on 10/26/2012

Female Bodies and Positive Rhetoric

I recently came across a great article over at Healthy Is The New Skinny. I love it not just because it celebrates Christina Hendricks as one of the few contemporary celebrities who has healthy amounts of flesh on their bones as standard (not just ‘for a role’ or because they’re in some sort of emotional meltdown….can’t blame the latter really), but, in contrast, because it also succinctly exemplifies the quagmire of public discourse around female bodies. The article is cited from NY Daily News, but it popped up in my newsfeed from Healthy is the New Skinny, which is a “multi-platform movement to bring a message of health, joy and responsibility to the beauty and the fashion industries.” I was happy to come across this blog and I think their …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 10/8/2012

Ladies Abound On The Small Screen–But Not Behind It

Mindy Kaling, breakout star of the Emmy-winning TV show, The Office, garners a lot of attention for her wit and comedic timing as Kelly Kapoor, Dunder Mifflin’s token mean girl and general hot mess. Eventually, Kaling became the only female writer on the hit NBC series, writing and directing numerous episodes before ultimately being promoted to Executive Producer. This season, FOX gave Kaling a seven-figure deal to create her own pilot. The Mindy Project, which premiered on September 25th, is an ingenious blend of Kaling’s typical humor: girly naïveté mixed with feminism, a different take on the modern woman looking for love.

In an interview with New York Magazine, Kevin Reilly, an executive at FOX, said of Kaling: “She has a very contemporary voice. She’s really smart about how open …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by YingYing S on 09/14/2012

Skin Is Just An Organ – But Insecurity Sells

I am not white.

Yeah, I know, stating the obvious, but in fact, even for someone of Chinese ethnicity, I am decidedly not on the pale end of the spectrum. And every time I flip open a fashion magazine here in America or visit my home city of Beijing, decked out with all its skin-lightening billboards, I am reminded that because of my skin tone, the world wants me to change.

Previously referenced as “the Snow White complex,” the pressure to be white has overtaken most of the world as an indisputable standard of beauty, despite the fact that every standard of beauty we try to mold ourselves to is culturally constructed.

In Asia and India, skin lightening has soared into popularity thanks to modern procedures. In places …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Callie B on 03/19/2012

Why the Jersey Shore is No Longer On My DVR List

When I first saw Miss Representation it stunned me—in the best of ways. I didn’t immediately take the time to reflect on it, but then a few nights ago I was unlucky enough to witness the newest Carl’s Jr. commercial, where a very hungry Kate Upton seductively devours a burger while wearing basically, well, nothing. And after 23 years of demeaning media onslaught, I’m thinking I’ve had enough.

Before watching Miss Representation, I indulged in the occasional “guilty pleasure”—reality TV being my wind-down-at-the-end-of-the-day treat. I saw no harm in it. It’s just mindless entertainment, right? Shows like Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardashians were among my favorites. But that was before the film, before my eyes were opened to the very (real) poison of this seemingly harmless …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Avigayil H on 03/2/2012

Giving It Up

If you had asked me six months ago if I was affected by the media’s presentation of women, I would have responded with an unequivocal no. Yes, TV and magazines bombard us with horribly warped images of what a woman is and should be, but after all, I’m a feminist. I can expose myself to images of impossibly skinny, tall, well-dressed teens and look at them with clear eyes and my self-esteem intact. I know they’re not real! Besides, I think I’m attractive already, and just like to read the fashion magazines for the outfits, and nothing else. So what if I skim over the “how to get a hot guy to hook up with you” sections? This stuff really can’t possibly have any effect on me!

This was my …

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Creative | Posted by Bryan N on 02/3/2012

Beauty Chase

society told her she was ugly and she bought into the lie
she dissected every bit of herself for judgmental inspection
and tried to feel beautiful all in vain
comparing herself to photoshopped figures on a magazine page
I saw the sadness in her eyes
as she flipped through the shit they use sexualized bodies to advertise
subliminal brainwash since birth that writes on the mind
I want her to feel beautiful in the body she was born with
feel happy in her skin
never satisfied with the body she is in
compliments never do shit so where do I begin
she points at bodies she says are perfect
not knowing that she is too
sadness blooms as she starts to slip
downward spiral spin
cuts down on meals to …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Brian S on 01/4/2012

Rudolph the Sexist Reindeer

With the holiday season just behind us, we’re all probably a little tired of Christmas movies. Many, it seems, are tired of one specific movie: Rankin/Bass’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. As a young child, I had my mother record this on VHS and I would watch it on loop until well into January.

It wasn’t until I got this movie on DVD a few years ago that I began to notice that the movie isn’t really that good. The animation is crude, even when compared to other stop motion animation of the time. The sound quality is a notch below what you hear in those singing Hallmark cards. The plot barely holds together under even the loosest scrutiny. Also, the messages in the movie are rather objectionable.

A few …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Talia on 12/28/2011

Down With Photoshopping

Retouching photographs of models in magazines and newspapers has been a point of controversy in the publishing industry ever since technology like Photoshop has become readily available. Most magazines, especially ones dedicated to fashion and/or celebrity stalking, have no qualms about retouching “imperfect” pictures. I think this practice is absolutely reprehensible.

There are instances when it’s appropriate to retouch photograph. For example, if a person in a photograph has red eye or some stray hairs, or the lighting isn’t good, or if there’s some other imperfection that doesn’t change the concept of the picture to a ridiculous degree, I don’t see a problem with that. I do take issue with pictures retouched to the point that the original subject is unrecognizable or completely changed, especially in the mass media.

Dozens …

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