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 …

More >

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.

More >

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

On Witnessing Beautiful, Real Bodies

A Moroccan hammam

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 …

More >

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 …

More >

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 …

More >

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 …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Elizabeth M on 10/26/2012

Female Bodies and Positive Rhetoric

Is celebrating celebrities like Christina Hendricks really radical?

I recently came across a great article over at Healthy Is The New Skinny. I love it not just because it celebrates Christina Hendricks as one of the few contemporary celebrities who has healthy amounts of flesh on their bones as standard (not just ‘for a role’ or because they’re in some sort of emotional meltdown….can’t blame the latter really), but, in contrast, because it also succinctly exemplifies the quagmire of public discourse around female bodies. The article is cited from NY Daily News, but it popped up in my newsfeed from Healthy is the New Skinny, which is a “multi-platform movement to bring a message of health, joy and responsibility to the beauty and the fashion industries.” I was happy to …

More >

Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Leora M on 08/3/2012

Dear Anthropologie: A Letter of Complaint

an Anthropologie model

Dear Anthropologie (and all other stores pertaining to this issue),

I love your store. I love the scent when you walk in, the feel of the material, and the creative way everything is displayed. I love the candles, the sweaters, the doorknobs, the dresses, the high-heels, the many patterns, and the painted dishes. I love getting the catalog in the mail and dreaming about a reality in which I, too, am able to pitch my tent in the tide of the Bahamas, just because it would be a beautiful sight.

I am not complaining because I am one of those curvy, big-bosomed women who never see anyone their size in a magazine. I am a tall, petite young girl who usually fits in a size small, does …

More >