Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 07/16/2015
How One Anti-Body Shaming Campaign Actually Reinforced Beauty Standards
I have a mole on my right cheek. As a child, it was the physical feature about which I felt the most insecure. For years, however, my mother insisted that what I considered a flaw was actually a “beauty mark.” Thanks to her persistence, I eventually realized that my mole is not something to be ashamed of, but part of who I am. I slowly learned to love this beauty mark and ultimately discarded my life goal of getting it removed as an adult.
I recalled this experience when I learned about a recent social media trend called the #DontJudgeMe challenge. This challenge simply required that individuals post pictures of themselves appearing as ugly as possible — by drawing flaws onto their images or purposely applying grotesque makeup. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Natalie H on 07/9/2015
‘Miss USA’ Switched Networks, But Should It Be Retired Altogether?
Miss America 2014.
NBC recently dropped the Miss USA Pageant, but the pageant quickly found a new home with cable network REELZ. However, it seems like this could have been a good time to stop televising the pageant altogether — and probably should have been.
Although the pageant often highlights the fact that it provides scholarships to its contestants and is thus an academic opportunity, this argument is undeniably incompatible with the contest’s emphasis on beauty. If the pageant is truly a contest of academic achievement, appearance should not factor into whether or not participants receive a scholarship or have any chance to enter the so-called ‘academic’ competition in the first place. How does the way one’s body looks in a bikini relate to their academic capability?
What’s more, the …
Feminism | Posted by Mackenzie H on 05/13/2015
The Problem With ‘Strong Is The New Skinny’
Let’s stop idealizing bodies altogether
The “ideal figure” of a woman has changed a lot over the years. But beauty has undeniably always been determined in relation to patriarchal standards.
During the Italian Renaissance, fuller figures were determined to be a direct reflection of one’s husband’s social and economic status and therefore plump bodies were considered ideal. By the Victorian Era, the hourglass figure — made possible by corsets — was popular. In the 1920s, when women won the right to vote, a sort of curve-less, boyish figure was fashionable. Marilyn Monroe arguably popularized a curvy figure with a slim waist but then the 1960s saw the origins of the skinny, tall, supermodel look that has since dominated the image of the “ideal figure” of a woman in Western culture …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Pippa B on 12/3/2014
Is This Barbie Alternative Really Progress?
A second-grader with the Lammily doll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jue_JlxnPGM
Lammily, a crowdfunded plastic doll based on the proportions of an average 19-year-old girl (according to CDC data), has been named the new Barbie by dozens of top publications. Trading a tiny waist and permanently heeled feet for a more athletic figure, Lammily strives to show young girls that “reality is cool.” The doll’s creator, Nickolay Lamm (age 26), came up with the design when he witnessed first hand the lack of realistic dolls on the market — a problem that has been increasingly spotlighted as body positive movements gain momentum. While Lamm’s doll is more realistically proportioned, it still falls far short of the lofty goals he set for it.
One of the most problematic issues with this doll is …
Feminism | Posted by Holly L on 11/28/2014
The Mannequin Does Not Control Us
The mannequin has been a popular topic for debate for years, but has recently reached the headlines once again. Specifically, Topshop stores across the UK are under scrutiny for mannequins that appear “too thin.” However, while it’s easy to point fingers, I believe the true problem runs much deeper than any store or single corporation.
The mannequin can never be defined as an ideal representation of a woman’s body because no mannequin can represent all women. That’s the beauty of being human: we can’t be summarized by one shape. I was lucky enough to have been taught growing up that I didn’t have to look like the Barrie dolls I owned, that Barbie isn’t real but a toy. My body doesn’t look like that because I’m a human and I’m …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 11/3/2014
An Open Letter To Urban Outfitters
Dear Urban Outfitters,
My thirteen-year-old self thanks you for having provided trendy, vintage looking clothing at an affordable price. You are cheaper than Aritzia, edgier than American Apparel, and were undoubtedly my favorite clothing store. Were.
I am now a legal adult. I can vote, buy cigarettes and decide my own bedtime. I was raised with the ability to distinguish between “right” and “wrong” and I would like to believe that I’m a good person. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not perfect and the line between good and bad became a little blurry when I was a younger teen. But as I’ve matured, I’m confident that I’ve become adept at judging when something is just not right.
How dare you make shirts baring the words “Eat Less.” Did you know …
Feminism | Posted by Lana S on 10/1/2014
The Importance of Colored Feminism
Alice Walker: proponent of womanism
As a Latina living in a society in which white privilege is very real, I have come to understand the importance of colored feminism. It turns out that while the fight against racism and the feminist movement are similar movements in many ways, it’s important that the feminist movement lives up to these ideals and features the voices and perspectives of women of color.
There are many ways in which sexism and racism in this culture create unique situations that only women of color experience and these experiences deserve to be addressed. Take for example the various racist and sexist ways porn depicts women of color. Many people assume Latinas are “spicy” in bed and that Asian women are quiet and submissive because this is …
Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 08/13/2014
Talk the Talk: On Being A Role Model
Always' "Like A Girl" Commercial
Lately, I have been swept up in the flurry of beautiful videos detailing why what we say to young girls matters – videos from companies like Always and Verizon. Videos that remind me why I am thankful every day to have attended an all-girls school that planted the seeds of early feminism.
I am, perhaps, more attuned to these videos right now. I spend my summer months on staff at a performing arts day camp at which I was a camper for most of my life. Our camp teaches its staff skills in child development and social work. Staff members recall their time as campers and recount how little things their counselors said – cheering them on in rehearsal, congratulating them after a performance, …