Feminism | Posted by Marissa K on 08/13/2011

Saturday Vids: Magazines, Media and Myself

I used to have a little tradition of buying a cheesy teen magazine during the first week of summer and lying on the beach reading about the perfect nail polish color, or how to make your skin appear flawless. The primary reason I enjoyed this was because I knew it was pure junk, and that most of it could not be accurate. Yet I recently began to look into how inaccurate these magazines are in portraying how teenage girls are and should be, while also considering the effects on the self-esteem of many readers. Because even I, who laughed at most of the spreads on the glossy pages, felt my happiness with my body disintegrate a bit each time I picked up one of those magazines.

A few weeks ago I attended the Young Women’s Leadership Institute at Barnard College, and I decided that I should focus on body image and the media’s effects on the minds and bodies of young girls. I learned so much from all the girls I talked to at the program, from the classes and workshops I participated in, and from all the research I conducted on the subject. There is just so much to say about the issue of magazines and media and their effects on teenage girls’ perception of themselves. One portion of my group’s project included a video in which we interviewed many girls participating in the Young Women’s Leadership Institute. I hope you watch this video and spread the message!

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/8/2010

Circle Contact Lenses: The Terrifying Future of Beauty as We Know It

As Joan Jacobs, in her great book The Body Project illuminated, the idea of teen girls working to improve their bodies in a detached way – as if it were a project with perfection as its goal, rather than relating those alterations to ourselves – is not a new one. Girls have been focused on the pursuit of changing our appearances for at least a century, probably longer. At first it was “slimming,” or reducing what we ate, and wearing specific clothes (thank god the girdle is gone; I take pride in my food babies). And now we’ll do just about anything; whether it’s a diet of dexatrim max and laxatives or a $500 facial, all so that our waistlines, our skin, our [insert body part here] will be more …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Markita S on 06/23/2010

Being a Comfortable “Other”

You live in a world where, from a young age, girls are taught that their appearance is valued above anything else. Girls must live up to this standard or the ridicule that follows will be a deserved consequence.

“Too much advertising depicts women, and to a lesser extent men, as just pretty objects. Flip through the pages of Vanity Fair or even GQ, and you can’t help but feel all there is to life is pouting your lips, sucking your cheeks in, and looking pretty. Preferably with an off-camera fan blowing your generously conditioned locks,” says Paul Venables, founder of the San Francisco advertising agency Venables Bell & Partners. He’s talking about the growing societal problem that is the objectification of women. We need more realistic and positive images …

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