Feminism | Posted by Carmen G on 01/14/2013

Skirt

It’s so damn hot out. I open the door to the oven outside, and the idea of walking to Safeway for a smoothie and some moisturizer seems like something worth procrastinating. I’d like to shut the door on the sweltering heat, the desire to lie in the shade, panting like an animal, was prominent. I need a drink. I need moisturizer. God it’s so hot out!

I change out of sweats and into a skirt, rotating slowly in front of the mirror by the front door, eyes roving over the reflection, making sure I’m covering up what society’s deemed tasteless of my body. My brother breezes past with a hello goodbye, artfully flicking his hair before slamming shut the door behind him with the self-approving glance lingering in his demeanor. …

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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 …

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

Female Bodies and Positive Rhetoric

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 come across this blog and I think their …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 10/8/2012

Ladies Abound On The Small Screen–But Not Behind It

Mindy Kaling, breakout star of the Emmy-winning TV show, The Office, garners a lot of attention for her wit and comedic timing as Kelly Kapoor, Dunder Mifflin’s token mean girl and general hot mess. Eventually, Kaling became the only female writer on the hit NBC series, writing and directing numerous episodes before ultimately being promoted to Executive Producer. This season, FOX gave Kaling a seven-figure deal to create her own pilot. The Mindy Project, which premiered on September 25th, is an ingenious blend of Kaling’s typical humor: girly naïveté mixed with feminism, a different take on the modern woman looking for love.

In an interview with New York Magazine, Kevin Reilly, an executive at FOX, said of Kaling: “She has a very contemporary voice. She’s really smart about how open …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Avigayil H on 09/26/2012

Dear Disney/Pixar

I have seen movies that made me feel lousy, like I didn’t measure up to some impossible standard of beauty, or grace, or humor. I have seen movies that make me long to be pretty, to be elegant, to be a good singer or a talented musician. I have never before seen a movie that made me want to feel powerful. Brave did.

Since I was young, I have loved “girl power” stories. Not the girls like Kim Possible with impossible animated bodies and fancy gadgets, but Matilda and her books, Tamora Pierce’s female knights and mages, Hermione Granger, and, most recently, Katniss Everdeen. But until I saw Brave, I had never sen an animated “princess” movie that made me feel like “strong” was a desirable quality. I grew …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by YingYing S on 09/14/2012

Skin Is Just An Organ – But Insecurity Sells

I am not white.

Yeah, I know, stating the obvious, but in fact, even for someone of Chinese ethnicity, I am decidedly not on the pale end of the spectrum. And every time I flip open a fashion magazine here in America or visit my home city of Beijing, decked out with all its skin-lightening billboards, I am reminded that because of my skin tone, the world wants me to change.

Previously referenced as “the Snow White complex,” the pressure to be white has overtaken most of the world as an indisputable standard of beauty, despite the fact that every standard of beauty we try to mold ourselves to is culturally constructed.

In Asia and India, skin lightening has soared into popularity thanks to modern procedures. In places …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Gina S on 07/18/2012

The Headline Project

As a little project, I recently decided to compile the gender presentation as depicted in the headlines on various popular ‘news’ websites over 3 days. Having rolled my eyes so strenuously as to pop several blood vessels at the ridiculous scandals I’m subjected to each time I checked my email, I decided to monitor sites like AOL, Yahoo, and MSN News to dissect how they depict famous women.

Day 1

AOL’s headlines regarding famous women:

“Brittany Spears flaunts assets”
“See what (Kate Middleton’s sister) Pippa’s wearing at Wimbledon”
“Who’s the British beauty showing off her armpits?” (No, I’m not kidding…)
“Miley Cyrus wears daring LBD”
“Megan shows off baby bump in bikini” – (Translation: “show off” = wearing a biking while pregnant and famous).

MSN messenger news:

“Katy …

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Feminism | Posted by Carina on 07/16/2012

How the Media Sells Pimp Culture

Every morning when I take the train, I put my iPod on shuffle and let various thoughts run through my head. But as I think about how tired I am or about the math test I have during first period, I don’t pay attention to the lyrics that are being whispered into my ear by various artists. As the E train pulls up to Roosevelt Avenue, I hear Kanye West talking about a girl who “got an a** that can swallow up a g-string/and up top, uh, two bee stings.” And as I step off the train on Spring Street, I listen to Fergie telling me about how guys love her “lady lumps…spending all your money on me and spending time on me.” Most of the time I would just …

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