Feminism | Posted by Kate M on 02/28/2014

What Happens After You Lose Weight

I wouldn’t say that I was ever fat. I was always just overweight enough that girls would tell me I looked “fine” and guys wouldn’t tell me much of anything (because I guess my dazzling intellect and sense of humor wasn’t high on their priority list). As a feminist, I always tried to feel proud of my body. I really did want to accept it and love it for what it was. But that was easier said than done.

Last summer I lost about 15 pounds. When I came back to school in the Fall, I was showered with compliments. “How did you do it?” everybody asked. I told some that I hardly even noticed my weight loss and that I had no idea how it happened. I …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/17/2014

Why #Unapologetic Barbie Might Just Help The Body Positive Cause

As a feminist blogger who consistently deconstructs the way things like Barbie and digitally altered images of models objectify women and hold them to unachievable standards of beauty, I completely understand the growing rage over the frame of Barbie’s newest job as an #unapologetic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model. What exactly is Barbie refusing to apologize for, one is left wondering? Her anatomically impossible proportions that have, in fact, been proven to make young girls feel badly about their bodies? Or for sending the message that not even digitally altered models (most of whom meet the criteria for anorexia) are suitable for idealized objectification? But critiques that frame this campaign as the peak of such sexist objectification (though certainly valid — it’s hard to think of a more …

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Feminism | Posted by Natalia R. on 10/31/2013

Young, Feminist and Hungry: An Insider’s Perspective On Body Image

As a teenage girl, I’m constantly haunted by social and cultural standards that dictate harmful and confusing messages, like that a low weight is correlated with beauty, that you need to be thin to be desirable, and that young women not only individually need to be thin but should attack those who don’t live up to these standards.

I started to experience issues related to weight and beauty at around the age of 9-10. Most people point to the media as the culprit for these messages and while it certainly plays a part, I actually don’t remember watching shows that portrayed only (or, at least, mainly) thin actresses the way they seem to now. In fact, I remember these shows featuring actresses who would be considered “normal” (which would now …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/31/2013

Saturday Vids: You’re Not Pretty Enough

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Jennifer Tress’ “You’re Not Pretty Enough” movement on The Huffington Post. I encourage everybody to read that post and visit the YNPE website, but basically the deal is that Tress is trying to start a video-based movement about body image and beauty standards in the vein of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better.” Here’s Jennifer’s intro video and one of the user-submitted videos from the website.

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Feminism | Posted by Chelsea L on 04/3/2013

On Witnessing Beautiful, Real Bodies

I recently spent two weeks traveling with a group in Morocco and was fortunate enough to have the experience of going to a hammam. A hammam is a type of spa where women and men (separately) go once a week for 2+ hours to perform ritual cleansing. It’s relaxing, exfoliating, and a great time for female bonding. The “catch”? You must be completely naked. Maybe for some people this isn’t a big deal, but for me it was horrifying. My body has been a constant issue for me. I’ve done crash diets, Weight Watchers, lost weight, gained it back, struggled with days of self-loathing and through countless workouts. I have done many things to feel comfortable—much less beautiful—in my own body, and yet I found unexpected inspiration in this hammam.…

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Feminism | Posted by Shanzeh K on 01/28/2013

Your Happiness Is Not A Competition

Most of us tend to compare ourselves to others and then determine our self worth depending on how we measure up. This habit of comparing and competing might be addictive, but it can also be very harmful to our self-esteem, and lead to feelings of not being “good enough.”

As women, we’re taught to believe that there can only be one smart girl, one pretty girl, one popular girl. Most teen movies highlight this girl rivalry and further suggest that girls should view pretty, popular girls as threats. There seems to be one basic ideal—thin yet curvy, perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect features—that girls are expected to conform to. And that’s kinda impossible for 99% of the female population. Even though I don’t read magazines, I can’t help but be …

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Feminism | Posted by Erin F on 12/26/2012

Embracing Femme

Ever since I was 11 years old, I’ve always been femme, to some extent. The extent of my femme depends really on my overall well-being. The better I feel, the more femme I am. The more makeup I put on, the better clothes I wear, the more I take care of my hair.

I remember when I first started getting interested in feminism, when I was about 15, I was going through a really tough period of my life. I was depressed and was at my least femme. At that point, I also thought that beauty and fashion were patriarchal constructs designed to subordinate women and I stayed as far away from looking femme as I possibly could. I became angry and would always think to myself “why don’t men …

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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

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 has become hyper-sexualized due to the evolution of the media. It’s so hard not to …

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