Pop-Culture | Posted by Sam H on 10/28/2013
The Black Girl Conundrum
I will never forget the noise that my mother made when she first saw it. We were navigating the streets of New York on a busy Saturday in 2011, running late for a hair appointment. She was walking so briskly that I struggled to keep up. But then she stopped dead in her tracks and made a sound of absolute disgust. I looked around, trying to figure what would make my mother risk being late for an appointment. Then I saw the massive billboard with a black child and the words “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb.” At the time I didn’t understand the message: I could think of hundreds of places that I felt unsafe as a black child. To me, volcanoes, tigers, …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Hannah D on 09/16/2013
How Fashion IS A Feminist Issue
Fashion is so much more than just clothing and trends: it’s a feminist issue. The industry makes £20.9 billion for the British economy each year, and creates 816,000 jobs in the UK alone: however, the majority of women in the fashion industry are employed in the industry’s lowest paying jobs. And yet despite the fact that so many women are involved in fashion, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that the majority of the most successful people in fashion are male. For example, most of the top womenswear designers are male (Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani, for example) as well as many of the best known fashion photographers (including Terry Richardson, Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh, Jeurgen Teller and Nick Knight). But beyond the composition …
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.
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Talia on 08/23/2013
How Stock Photos Reflect The Way We View Women
Last year, I was working on a graphic art submission to the National Organization for Women (NOW)’s Love Your Body Poster Contest. To execute my concept, I needed to find a lot of stock photos of women.
Since I wanted to celebrate multiculturalism and include women of different races, I needed stock images of white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American women. I never expected how difficult it would be to find suitable stock photos. Searching for stock imagery of white women wasn’t a walk in the park, since a large percentage of the photos I found were sexualized (even on websites that were mostly clean and reliable). Stock images of women of color were so scarce that I almost gave up trying to find them. I am being completely literal …
Feminism | Posted by Erin M on 08/14/2013
Body Positivity: A Primer
Let’s face it: our society is full of messed up messages about our bodies. We are told that we are too fat, too old, too short, too hairy, toosaggy…and the list never ends. Our culture doesn’t embrace diversity in bodies, instead glorifying a certain type– a type that less than 5% of us have and can never achieve. If you don’t fit that type, you are shamed, made fun of, and discriminated against.
The world is telling us that we are not good enough, that we must be actively taking drastic measures to change this—measures like plastic surgery, Botox injections, hair treatments and extreme dieting. If we aren’t taking these steps, then we’re “lazy” and are treated as if we don’t care about our bodies or our lives. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/22/2013
Saturday Vids: Pretty Little Liars “Food Horror”
Graham Kolbeins recently created this mashup of PLL scenes displaying the characters’ food issues on his blog Future Shipwreck. He says:
In ‘Food Horror,’ I set out to examine the many moments in “Pretty Little Liars’” first three seasons that stigmatize food, whether it’s presented with a feeling of unease, danger, or overt rejection….It’s important to consider cultural messaging about health, body image and beauty embedded within entertainment targeting young girls. In 2012, Internet outrage lead social networks like Tumblr and Pinterest to adopt policies censoring individuals with eating disorders from sharing “thinspiration” tips. Silencing these organic online communities is an easy way to feel like we’re addressing eating disorders, but it does nothing to fix the systemic problems that allow body shame to permeate for-profit entertainment products …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Blake W on 06/12/2013
Female Stereotypes on Glee
Glee gets a lot of crap for the way they portray their female characters. They are mostly vain, obsessed with themselves, or are solely focused on their love interests. Since it’s probably way too much to hope that a show like Glee actually portrays multidimensional, realistic characters, I’ve decided to come up with three female archetypes that Glee could use to create more compelling characters (but, let’s be honest, will probably mess up).
How Glee could get it right:
She could be one of the rare female characters that isn’t obsessed with a guy on this show, and have a Jack and Liz kind of thing going on with Mr. Shue. Most importantly, she could bring a focus on women’s issues to the show. She could be involved …
Feminism | Posted by Claire C on 05/29/2013
Margaret Thatcher: How An Anti-Feminist Inadvertently Contributed to the Cause
With the passing of Margaret Thatcher in recent months, her achievements and contributions have been much analyzed. Thatcher has been described as “the most influential politician of her generation” and a “key political figure of the twentieth century.” One area of Thatcher’s life which has been examined is her contribution to the feminist cause. This is something that cannot be overlooked, especially as Thatcher was the first (and to this day, only) female Prime Minster of the U.K. Political pundits cannot help but describe Margaret Thatcher in regards to her sex, with terms such as “Lady Thatcher” and “the Iron Lady.”
It is generally believed that Thatcher did next to nothing in the fight to further women’s rights in the U.K. For instance, there was only one other woman in …