Pia Guerrero — Founder and Co-Editor
Pia is a media literacy expert with a focus on body image, race, privilege, and representation. She has designed educational and media literacy workshops around the country—directly presenting to hundreds of teachers, youth workers, and young people.
She is also the Executive Director of SheHeroes, a non-profit that profiles exceptional career women for their accomplishments and character with the purpose of empowering girls to pursue rewarding careers. The goal of her work around body image is to raise awareness around young people’s over-identification with rigidly defined gender roles and beauty standards as portrayed in the media—proven to be a major cause of low self-esteem and consequently negative health and educational outcomes.
She is the author of Work of the Mind: Media Studies Curricula for Upper Elementary Age Youth. Commissioned by the Department of Education, this curriculum aims to increase academic achievement and self-awareness through media projects that promote cultural pride, cross-cultural understanding, inclusion, and respect. Some of Pia’s curriculum around body image appears in Body Outlaws: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity (Seal Press, 2004). Pia’s work has also appeared in such groundbreaking magazines like HUES – Hear Us Emerging Sisters, AfterImage – The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism and Bitch.
Pia is Mexican and American, and splits her time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Contact: email@example.com
Sharon Haywood — Co-Editor
Sharon is a Canadian freelance writer and editor living in Argentina. While earning her undergraduate degrees in Psychology (B.Sc.) and Exceptionality in Human Learning (B.A.) from the University of Toronto, she was a regular guest on the radio program Life Rattle where she orated several of her short stories, many of which addressed body image and violence against women. Upon graduation she devoted her energies to a 15-year career in social work, in roles that included supporting families and individuals with intellectual and physical handicaps, co-facilitating eating disorder support groups, and acting as a literacy assessor and educator for homeless women.
In addition to her role as co-editor of Adios Barbie, she is also a member of the London-based AnyBody team, part of the international Endangered Bodies (EB) movement, which challenges the culture that teaches women and girls to hate their own bodies. She organized Endangered Species in Buenos Aires, one of five international body image summits held in March 2011. As well as working with the AnyBody/UK EB team, she leads AnyBody Argentina, the Buenos Aires EB chapter which focuses on battling sizeism and promoting healthy body image for Argentine girls and women.
The rest of the time you can find her writing articles, essays, and fiction that deal with the subjects of body, self-image, violence against women, and feminism. Her work has been published in various outlets including Canada’s leading feminist magazine Herizons, AnyBody’s website, and Argentine newspapers. Released in March 2013, Sharon is a proud contributor to the anthology Fifty Shades of Feminism published by Virago Books. She currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband and two cats. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Sharon_Haywood
Ophira Edut — Founder and Executive Advisor
Ophira co-founded AdiosBarbie.com with Pia Guerrero in 1998. The two friends shared commitment that women of all walks of life feel safe, powerful and free in their bodies. Prior to that, she founded and published HUES (Hear Us Emerging Sisters), an internationally-distributed magazine for women of all cultures, shapes and sizes. HUES was in publication from 1992-97. Ophira is the editor of Body Outlaws, an anthology of stories by multicultural women and men about the journey to love their bodies.
Ophira has been widely featured in the media, including The New York Times, E!, and MTV. She has traveled the country as an advocate for women loving their bodies “through thick and thin,” speaking at colleges and conferences. Her mission is to expand the body image dialogue to include race, class and sexuality, issues that are often overlooked in the conversation.
When she’s not talking body-love, Ophira writes astrology columns for 50 million readers a month. She and her identical twin sister Tali are known as The AstroTwins. Their horoscopes and predictions can be found on MyLifetime.com, Elle.com, SIRIUS/XM and on their website, Astrostyle.com. Contact Ophira by email.
Valerie Kusler — Contributor
Inspired by her own recovery from an eating disorder, Valerie received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and is now an LMSW therapist working at The Ranch (a treatment center near Nashville, TN) with women recovering from eating disorders, addiction, co-occurring mental health issues, and trauma. When not at work, Valerie enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, comedy, singing, and being in the moment with the help of her 2 cats. You can find Valerie on Twitter @ValerieKusler.
Tami writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. She is co-editor of Love Isn’t Enough, an anti-racist parenting blog. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous ‘fro.
Ashley-Michelle is a Kansas transplant to California’s North Bay area. From an early age, she developed a keen interest in social activism, particularly where women’s rights are concerned, ultimately choosing a career in journalism and law to establish change in the world. Her articles have appeared in The Kansas City Star, Feministing, and Crooks & Liars, but she cultivated her voice as a feminist commenter through the now-defunct GlobalShift.
A survivor of sexual violence, Ashley-Michelle is a vocal anti-rape activist. She has worked as an organizer for Take Back the Night, and served as the keynote speaker at Emporia State University in 2007. She has also assisted in moderating AfterSilence, a message board dedicated to providing survivors with a virtual support network. She has also volunteered with the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network’s Speakers Bureau, raising awareness and telling her story across college campuses.
Ashley-Michelle’s has been in recovery from an eating disorder since 2008. She is married with a step-son and daughter, Persephone. She has added breastfeeding activism to her collection of interests.
Sayantani was raised by immigrant activists and grew up during the women’s and anti-violence movements. She’s a parent, a teacher, a writer, and a doctor. Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, she teaches in the Master’s Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College, as well as in Sarah Lawrence’s undergraduate writing program in fiction. Sayantani’s academic work is in the field of feminist health science studies and she speaks nationally on issues of narrative, health care, social justice, race, gender, and medical education. She is the co-author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales (Interlink, 1995), the author of a memoir about her medical education, Her Own Medicine: A Woman’s Journey from Student to Doctor (Ballantine, 1999), and the co-editor of an award winning collection of women’s illness narratives, Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies (Kent State University Press, 2007). Previously a writer of creative nonfiction, she is currently working on middle grade and young adult children’s novels based on Indian myths and folktales, and spends a lot more time than she should thinking about pop culture. In an ideal world, she would create an Institute for Barbie Studies, where she could critique all things Barbie all the time. You can learn more about her work at her website, her blog, Stories are Good Medicine, or via her eclectic twitter feed, @Sayantani16.
Melanie Klein is a writer, speaker, professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Santa Monica College and body image activist. She is the adviser of the Santa Monica College Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, and founder and co-coordinator of Women, Action Media! Los Angeles. Melanie attributes feminism and yoga as the two primary influences in her work, and is committed to consciousness-raising, promoting media literacy, healing distorted body images and cultivating healthy body relationships. Founder of the blog Feminist Fatale, her work may also be found at Elephant Journal, Intent.com, Ms. Magazine and WIMN’s Voices. She is featured in the forthcoming book, Conversations with Modern Yogis. Her essay on yoga, body image and feminism appears in Curvy Voices and her extended chapter on the same topic is included in the anthology, 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice.
A performer, dancer, writer, activist, and clown: Jennifer is passionate about utilizing the arts to challenge negative stereotypes about weight and age. Brooklyn-born and raised but now based in Los Angeles, she is also the Arts & Entertainment Editor of Plus Model Magazine where she has interviewed Leonard Nimoy, Martha Wash (The Weather Girls), Lila Lipscomb (Fahrenheit 911), and the Cirque du Soleil’s Botero Sisters.
As an actress and performer, Jennifer has appeared in many independent films including Julian Dahl’s documentary on size discrimination: FAT. Onstage she has tackled everything from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams. She has been dancing with R.A.I.D. (Random Acts of Irreverent Dance) since 2008 and most recently, has become a member of the Improv Dance Company. Additionally, she can be seen featured as a dancer in many music videos, stage, and circus productions. For more information visit her website: www.jenniferjonassen.com
Maddie is a former freelance writer, currently holding the position of Community Manager at HubPages, a popular writing site. As an eating disorder and sexual assault survivor, she brings together personal experience and diligent research to address issues that face women of all ages.
When she’s not writing or managing communities, Maddie enjoys gardening, cooking, and women’s flat track roller derby. She lives with her life partner and rescued dog in Oakland, California.
Originally from Vermont, Elizabeth now lives in Venice, Italy. She is passionate about food and women’s body image and immigration issues. Along her journey to her focus on Food Studies, Elizabeth studied photography, art history and Italian studies. During her junior year abroad in Bologna, Italy, she began to explore food not only in her kitchen but also as an academic subject, studying with some of the foremost food historians. She has written for the Italian food magazine Degusta as well as for Italy Magazine and blogs for Open View Gardens.
For her year-long senior project at Hampshire College, combining her interest in food and women’s issues, Elizabeth wrote The Gendering of Food: History, Culture, Family, a thesis on the relationship between food and gender. Through sharing her knowledge and experiences on Adios Barbie, Elizabeth hopes to help others to develop a healthy and positive relationship with food and their bodies.
Allison Epstein – Writing/Publishing Intern
Allison is a current undergraduate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor studying English, creative writing, and French. An aspiring writer and novelist (her first novel, Na Zdarovye, a historical Russian romance that has nothing to do with anything on Adios Barbie, can be found here), Allison hopes to erase the stigma around mental health and body image, and to open up an honest and productive discussion around these issues. Allison is also the author of the blog The Body Pacifist, where she discusses recovery from eating disorders, gender-conscious media literacy, and the occasional song-and-dance routine. She credits yoga, black coffee, and knitting shapeless hats with helping to maintain sanity and pursue a triple major as an undergrad. She can be reached on Twitter.
Raquel Reichard – PR/Social Media Intern
Raquel is a New York City native who’s currently enjoying the warmer Florida climate. She’s a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. As a student at UCF, Raquel hauled issues of race and gender to the front pages of her school’s newspaper, produced short documentaries and multimedia projects on issues of social justice, and designed pages and information graphics for magazines and newspapers. Raquel was the lead peer mentor at UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication, the vice president of her school’s magazine club, and the social media director for a violence prevention organization. While waiting for the start of her first semester of graduate school, where she’ll be studying the intersections of women, race and the media, Raquel peruses through essays, articles and books on feminist media studies, annoys her traditional Puerto Rican family with her feminist rants, and daydreams about the day when she can combine her passion for women’s rights and her skills in new media to pay her bills. You can reach her on Twitter.
Janine Salabritas – Advertising/Marketing Intern
Born and raised in Southern New Jersey, Janine couldn’t wait to break away from her small-town upbringing. With hopes of living in a large city “far far away” Janine is currently in the process of obtaining her undergraduates degree at Rutgers University Business school in New Jersey concentrating on Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Janine’s interest in marketing comes from a history of self-taught graphic and web design, years of freelancing, and just “playing around” that somehow turned from an interest, to a hobby, to a potential future. While her fundamental schooling is a formal business education, she is more interested in the creative aspects of the marketing world and small start-up businesses. Her grounded roots have guided her into the strong woman she is today and she hopes to always remain involved with non-profits, helping those in need and less fortunate than herself.
Lori Blough – Writing/Publishing Intern
As a recovering binge eater, Lori has become increasingly interested in promoting eating disorder awareness, particularly among older women, and exploring health, wellness, and body image issues as they relate to size. Lori is a writer, reader, blogger, and herder of cats. She is the author of the blog Recovering Grace, where she analyzes her personal recovery from binge eating disorder on the road from self-loathing to self-acceptance. She is passionate about books, geek life, body image activism, science, skeptic activism, and wine. She has studied both writing and astronomy, though she was eventually thwarted by Astrophysics and only managed to wrangle a Technical Writing degree out of the University of Central Florida. She wants to start writing more fiction and she’d like to learn to sew so that she can make her own cosplay costumes. She shares a home with her beloved partner and four giant cats in the suburbs of Orlando.