Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 08/13/2014

Talk the Talk: On Being A Role Model

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, encouraging them in a game …

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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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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 | 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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