Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014

Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?

Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"

Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.

Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/25/2014

‘Do My Boobs Make Me Look Slutty?’ And Other Busty Girl Problems

We must, we must, we must increase our bust. The bigger, the better, the tighter the sweater, the boys will like us.

This is the jingle my friends taught me in the gym locker room in the fifth grade. Many of them had learned the literary rhyme from their mothers and friends, without knowing it actually came from the New York Times bestseller Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. If only we knew that, in the years to come, we would soon discover that trying to “increase our bust” or even just being “blessed” with large breasts might actually cause us more pain than pleasure.

To this day, I still haven’t encountered a guy who knows how to take off a bra my size. I have this crazy idea …

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Feminism | Posted by Paulina P on 05/23/2014

Don’t Blame Girls for Their Own Sexualization

I was over the moon when I was able to attend to the Women in the World Summit this year, thanks to my best friend generously giving me her ticket. It was was awe-inspiring and powerful day. I felt like I was watching history being made while sitting in Lincoln Center with so many women who had and are making history. The entire day was constructed in a way that highlighted so many accomplishments, and I felt like I could achieve anything; I was ready to leave that conference and change the world. But this all came to a screeching halt when the discussion turned to the sexualization of women in the media.

Here are a couple quotes from the panel that sent my head spinning:

“I don’t understand why …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sam H on 10/28/2013

The Black Girl Conundrum

I will never forget the noise that my mother made when she first saw it. We were navigating the streets of New York on a busy Saturday in 2011, running late for a hair appointment. She was walking so briskly that I struggled to keep up. But then she stopped dead in her tracks and made a sound of absolute disgust. I looked around, trying to figure what would make my mother risk being late for an appointment. Then I saw the massive billboard with a black child and the words “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb.” At the time I didn’t understand the message: I could think of hundreds of places that I felt unsafe as a black child. To me, volcanoes, tigers, …

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Feminism | Posted by Sara Wong on 07/24/2013

On Being ‘Friends With Benefits’

Not quite.

The tricky thing about friends with benefits is that the lines you painstakingly set up get blurred so quickly; before you know it, there are no longer any lines discerning black from white — it is all just a pale shade of grey. You question all your emotions and when you start doing that, nothing is simple anymore. You constantly have to stop and think — the spontaneity that was once so attractive disappears. As the feelings increase, so does the hesitancy. And for me, the only time I felt truly comfortable was during sex, because we did not need to say a word. Too bad sex can’t last forever.

He knew he was hurting me — or rather, that our arrangement was detrimental to me. I hated …

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Feminism | Posted by UnpopularPerspective on 06/19/2013

On Having Big Boobs: My Anatomy Has Nothing To Do With My Morality

As a kid, I was taught to believe many restricting things about my body, but one stuck with me more than others: the bigger your boobs, the better — but they better be covered. I accepted that. Then, out of nowhere, I got boobs (at the age of fifteen, I now have have triple D’s). And everything changed.

For a long time, I hated them. My friends teased me about them, I got unwanted attention, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) find a bra that fits. But over the years, I’ve discovered some positive things about breasts. They aren’t just objects for men to drool over and indulge in as they please (although that’s how they’re almost exclusively portrayed by the media): they are a friggin miracle that nourish and …

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Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 11/28/2012

“How Do I Look?” “Do You Think He Notices Me?” And Other Useless Questions

Calvin Klein Ad For Jeans featuring Jamie Dornan and Eva Mendes Photo Credit: Steven Klein

As our culture evolves, I find that one of the most important aspects of our evolution is technology. From the wheel to the internet, every invention has contributed to a change in the way we go about our lives. This is why I think the media plays a key role in the way we conduct ourselves.

My parents have always said that they didn’t have to experience the publicity that technology has brought to society to the same extremity that we do. It gets worse for every generation and the surplus of messages about how we should live our lives has grown to be outrageous. Everything is accessible to everyone at any time.

Our culture …

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Feminism | Posted by Carina on 07/16/2012

How the Media Sells Pimp Culture

"Girls Like Us" by GEMS founder, Rachel Lloyd

Every morning when I take the train, I put my iPod on shuffle and let various thoughts run through my head. But as I think about how tired I am or about the math test I have during first period, I don’t pay attention to the lyrics that are being whispered into my ear by various artists. As the E train pulls up to Roosevelt Avenue, I hear Kanye West talking about a girl who “got an a** that can swallow up a g-string/and up top, uh, two bee stings.” And as I step off the train on Spring Street, I listen to Fergie telling me about how guys love her “lady lumps…spending all your money on me and spending time on …

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