Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 08/25/2015
How Television Continues to Normalize Eating Disorders
“Please don’t hurl too much, because if you get any thinner I’m gonna start looking fat,” Brooke, the head cheerleader in the show One Tree Hill, nonchalantly says to her best friend in an early episode. It’s unclear if her friend really is bulimic, but regardless, viewers learn that purging isn’t the issue — making your best friend look “fat” is.
Even young viewers are targeted: The seventh episode of the Disney Channel show Shake It Up portrays a model who, in awe of the two thirteen-year-old main characters, declares that she “could just eat you guys up! You know, if I ate.” The entire cast laughs. Refusing to eat is normalized, not raised as a point of concern or serious issue.
The truth of the matter is …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Lexi V on 08/18/2015
How ‘The Bachelorette’ Proves Slut-Shaming Is Alive and Well
Ok, I’ll admit to watching an episode or two (or six) of The Bachelorette this season. For those who haven’t watched, the show focuses on one woman’s quest to find a perfect match among a group of male suitors. Like The Bachelor — the show on which this one is based — she eliminates men every week until she finds the right partner. As a feminist, I certainly have many issues with the show, but one of the biggest (and perhaps most prominent this past season in particular) is the intense slut-shaming the Bachelorette faced.
Slut shaming has been evident in past seasons, but when Kaitlyn Bristowe, the star of this past season, decided that she wanted to have sex with one of the contestants, she faced a …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 08/11/2015
It’s 2015. Why Is Male Nudity Still Funny?
“There’s a big problem in Hollywood today,” Kevin Bacon says at the start of a recently released video. “In so many films and TV shows we see gratuitous female nudity, and that’s not okay.”
While raising this excellent point (albeit one feminists have made before) seems like a promising start, it quickly becomes clear that this is not an earnest message, but a satirical PSA.
“It’s not fair to actresses and it’s not fair to actors,” Bacon continues, “because we want to be naked, too. Gentlemen, it’s time to free the bacon.”
This video thus joins a legacy of efforts to capitalize on the pervasive double standard in the entertainment industry in which men’s naked bodies are funny while naked women are sexual objects to be exploited. While …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/10/2015
Why We Need To Be Careful About Emphasizing Women’s Progress in STEM
Intel / YouTube
I saw it in middle school, and later in high school: If the girls in my class didn’t excel in science, no body was surprised, since girls are never expected to excel in the subject. But if they received a low grade on a paper in English or History, they faced far harsher backlash than did any male student who had also done poorly.
This double standard — that girls will excel in the humanities, and boys in the sciences — has roots in an antiquated past and has ramifications for the future. In my experience in the United States, values in schools and in families still largely align with the Colonial or Victorian idea — adopted from European court and estate cultures – that girls should …
Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 08/5/2015
We Need To Stop Trying to Convince Girls They’re Beautiful
I was lucky enough to have a healthy body image for most of my childhood. I consistently played on various soccer and basketball teams, and between going to practice and scrambling to finish my homework, I did not have a spare moment to think about whether I was too skinny or not skinny enough. I cared about my strength and speed, not my looks.
This past year, however, I have thought more about my appearance than ever before. Last August I sustained my fourth concussion and was forbidden from exercising. For four months, I did little more than sit on my couch and ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. I always preached that everybody is beautiful no matter what, but suddenly found myself horrified that I was …
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 Hannah B on 07/2/2015
The Problem With The Supposed Feminist ‘Comeback’
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Much lip service has been paid to feminism’s supposed comeback — especially in terms of more authentic representations of women in pop culture. Charlize Theron’s recent portrayal of the badass protagonist Furiosa Mad Max: Fury Road, for example, simultaneously inspired feminists while incensing various “Male Rights” groups across the country. Broad City has been lauded for its pithy dialogue and mold-breaking portrayal of female friendships. But though this proliferation of strong, multifaceted women taking over billboards and box-offices is encouraging, though comedians like Amy Schumer and writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly deserve the attention they’re receiving, we cannot ignore the fact that these successes don’t erase the persistent reality of global misogyny.
The truth is, this so-called feminist revival is occurring …
Feminism | Posted by Molly H on 06/3/2015
Abercrombie and Ditch? Why Abercrombie and Hollister Are Ditching Sexualization
An Abercrombie model
Academics, parenting blogs, and activists have protested the media’s inappropriate and gross hypersexualization of girls. Nearly every TV commercial I watch or department store I visit reminds me of this — Target has a bra section for girls pre-teen girls, most of whom have yet to develop breasts, just to name one example. It’s a major problem in plain sight.
While it’s true that girls are probably sexualized in the media at a much higher rate than boys, a recent Buzzfeed article revealed how Abercrombie and Hollister are rejecting sexualization of all. In a statement made on April 24th, Abercrombie announced that they will remove all types of sexualization from their advertising and promotional events by July 2015 — including the hypersexualized, shirtless men they …