Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 05/12/2014

On Overcoming Body Hatred

The first time I felt bad about my body was at my best friend’s swimming pool birthday party, when I was just 11 years old. My friend, who has a very different body shape than I do, was much smaller than me at the time and I felt too conspicuous. It made the party I had been so looking forward to into a miserable experience. I felt like I was taking up too much space– a hard thing to conceptualize at any age, let alone 11.

As I got older, my dislike towards my body became less vague and more intense. I started hating my calves; I began to loathe my thighs. I constantly compared myself to others, and I thought about my weight way more than anyone should. It …

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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 Julia B on 12/16/2013

The Art of Recreating Yourself

I’ve always made “New Years Resolutions” and “School Year Resolutions.” Sometimes, “Summer Vacation Resolutions.” The idea of change has always appealed to me, and that includes feeling the need to change myself. I always felt really guilty for feeling that way, probably from always hearing about how I was “fine just the way I am,” from my parents and teachers.

My resolutions were never about losing weight, getting a boyfriend, or being “cool.” They were always about things I wanted to be, things I wanted to do, and ways I wanted to act because I thought it would make me happy. Does that mean I have bad self esteem? Maybe somewhat. Or maybe it means that I’m a teenager, and most teenagers don’t really know what we’re doing or who …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Jasmine W on 02/18/2013

Defeating the Enemy: Me

About three days out of every week I have what I like to call “ugly days.” These are days where I feel like I look like crap and nothing I do can change it. This puts me in a terrible mood, and it makes me lose focus. As I walk through hallways of crowded people, hallways of classmates, of peers, I am wondering what they’re thinking about me. Did they notice the swollenness of my face, the scars left by acne, the dark circles under my eyes? Are they judging me because of how I look? They must think that I didn’t even try, but really I did. I tried so hard.

That is when an important question appears: why? Why am I trying so hard? Whose approval am I …

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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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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Marie B on 10/21/2011

FBomb Talks Sex: First, Do You

When I was fourteen, my dad told me that the most important thing I would ever learn was how to be alone. Granted, he said this as he took away my cell phone, Facebook and cut off all ties I had to the outside world. I was crushed to say the least. At the time, high-school-freshman-me felt like my dad was completely overreacting to the fact that I had made out with a boy, especially since he was my boyfriend. That meant something, right? And my friends had all kissed boys, so I didn’t understand why it wasn’t okay that I had, too.

However, the time spent on my virtual desert island, as sucky as it was, really allowed me time to think. During this period I spent most waking …

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Feminism | Posted by Alexa S on 06/8/2011

Breaking My Rules

For over a year not very long ago, I had a plethora of very strange rules for myself to follow. I could only eat certain things at certain times. I had numbers that dictated my actions, numbers of calories and daily intake percentages and pounds. It was a suffocating process; luckily, I never followed my regulations enough for it to impact my health. Still, it affected my mind quite a bit.

Perhaps more damaging to my self-esteem was my body image. Unlike the majority of the population, especially teenagers, I really don’t enjoy food very much. This made any disordered eating-type behaviors extremely easy for me.

Most of my friends are exceptionally thin, as in magazine-ad thin. Most of them are athletic and/or naturally thin; as far as I know, …

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Feminism | Posted by Chelsea B on 05/25/2011

Fat Is Not A Personality Trait

It sickens me that one of the most common issues plaguing young females today is that of body image distortion.

I say this as a person who once hated her body so much she welcomed the idea of going to extremes to obtain perfection. Whether it was by starving, purging, or over-exercising, if it “guaranteed” perfection, I would do it. It never occurred to me that the perfection I had in mind would never be obtainable. Nor did I realize that recovery would be a life-long struggle to relearn what it felt like to be full.

A year ago, I decided it was time that self-loathing relinquished its firm grip on my life. I did not consult a psychologist because I thought of my recovery as a journey I would …

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