Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 06/10/2016

#Fitspo: Inspirational or Harmful?

#Fitspiration

Whether you’re a Tumblr fanatic, an avid Twitter user, or Instagram-obsessed like I am, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve seen posts captioned with the hashtag “#fitspiration” come across your News Feed at some point. #Fitspiration, or “#fitspo,” began to emerge on social media over the past few years, supposedly to inspire others (specifically women) to achieve fitness regimes. On the surface, #fitspo may seem like the ideal hashtag to empower women and encourage them to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle. But, for many, it actually comes at a cost.

As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder in the past, I can definitely attest to feeling terrible as I scroll past these “motivational” pictures. The images themselves — of ripped abs, toned legs and slim physiques

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 04/22/2016

The Surprising Way Social Media Can Shape Young Girls’ Bodies

The truth about social media.

The colossal expansion of technology has revolutionzed young women’s lives in many ways. With the click of a button, girls can immediately become informed about what’s trending and playing, who’s commenting and posting, what they should perceive as right or wrong, and beyond. But while the way in which the Internet is shaping young women’s minds has been relatively well publicized, less attention has been paid to the way in which it impacts their bodies, too.

The Internet has certainly been a source of body positivity and empowerment in recent years. Many plus-size models have seen unprecedented success and visibility thanks to social media, for example, and plenty of body positive hashtags have trended over the past year or so.

But the addition of these

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Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 03/23/2016

What Kesha’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals About The Trauma of Shame

#FreeKesha

In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for allegedly sexual assaulting her. More specifically, she sued for freedom from a contract that bound her to only producing music with her assailant. Her decision to do so added fuel to the already growing fire that is the current conversation about rape culture. One of the world’s biggest pop stars publicly admitted she had gone through something that’s still very much stigmatized in today’s society and even risked her career to fight for herself and countless other survivors by extension.

Much of the conversation surrounding this case has focused on the trauma of sexual assault itself, and rightfully so. But it seems Kesha’s experience highlights another aspect of the experience of assault: the trauma of shame. Shaming and blaming women …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 03/21/2016

Bust Ghosts, Not Women: Sexist Responses To The ‘Ghostbusters’ Trailer Have Got To Go

The new Ghostbusters cast.

The new Ghostbusters cast.

From Fantastic Four, to Zoolander 2, to Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, it seems that 2016 might be the year of cinematic reboots, remakes and sequels. Perhaps one of the most anticipated reboots of the year, however, is the all-female Ghostbusters. Yet the response to the recently released trailer was more critical than were previous, celebratory headlines about the film — for reasons both valid and upsetting.

Plenty of people feel a unique sort of discomfort about sequels or reboots of beloved movies. It’s easy to feel unsure how the new film will be unique without losing the essence of the original on which it’s based. Nobody wants a new addition to ruin or taint their memory of the original.

As …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 03/14/2016

Why ‘Formation’ Is The Most Important Cultural Event of 2016

“Formation.”

As one of the most beloved performers in the world, the release of any new Beyoncé song would have been cause for widespread celebration. But the recent release of “Formation” was something else entirely. The song highlights critical issues facing the black community, like police brutality, the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and even the natural hair movement. Beyoncé’s choice to pair the video release with a subsequent Super Bowl performance, which featured dancers in outfits paying homage to the Black Panther party, made the experience one of the most timeless and significant cultural moments of our generation.

“Formation” is, overall, a clever exploration of black culture that not only acknowledges but champions the beauty and diversity of black experiences. One of my favorite lyrics, for example, is Beyoncé’s …

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Feminism | Posted by Danika K on 03/7/2016

Why Are Women’s Sports Still Not Covered In The Media?

The 2015 Women’s World Cup

More people tuned in to watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 than any other soccer game shown on English-language television in this country in recorded history. The entire event garnered a record 750 million viewers — a seemingly clear indication that women’s sports are worthy of receiving as much televised coverage as do men’s sports.

Even though viewers are clearly interested in women’s sports, however, coverage of these events has only decreased since 1989. One University of Southern California study aptly titled It’s Dude Time! analyzed 25 years of sports media coverage and discovered that women were covered less in 2014 than in 1989. In fact, less than one percent of network television coverage included women’s athletics in 2014 and ESPN’s SportsCenter featured …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 02/15/2016

Are Diverse Barbies Really Progress?

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 12.07.14 PM

Diverse Barbies

I played with Barbies a lot as a little girl. I remember looking at the nude body of one plastic, blonde doll and marveling at her wrinkle-free knees, being baffled by her hard breasts, and wishing my waist could be as narrow as hers. I was only seven years old.

In late January, Mattel released a line of new, diverse Barbie dolls. These dolls now come in three body-types — “curvy,” “tall,” and “petite,” although the original model, complete with large bust and tiny waist, is still available — seven skin tones, twenty-two eye colors, and fourteen “face-sculpts.” Altogether, there are now thirty-three versions of Barbie.

It didn’t take long for the media to react to and pose explanations for this significant change. Writer Megan Garber, for instance, …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Anne Girard on 12/25/2015

These Actresses Broke Down Barriers In Hollywood

Katherine Hepburn

This past year, many female entertainers — like Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashley Judd and others — received well-deserved attention for their commitment to fiercely confronting sexism in Hollywood. But most people are unaware that a collection of smart, savvy and oh-so talented women blazed the trail for them years ago.

These actresses were not content to buy into the sexist status quo set by the powerful, male-dominated studio system that required them to objectify themselves to make their mark. They insisted on doing it their way and,  in doing so, not only challenged the gendered stereotypes of the time, but also gave women new and dynamic role models for years to come.

Jean Harlow

When Harlow burst onto the scene in 1929 at the tender …

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