Pia is a writer, public speaker and leadership coach. From Harlem to Hawaii, she has led dozens of workshops and presentations on body politics, identity, intersectional feminism, media literacy and social justice. Her work at Adios Barbie is informed by Pia’s own life straddling different worlds as a bi-cultural Mexican and American who has never quite fit in, but has finally found her home. She has also worked with numerous groups including the Department of Education, PBS, ITVS, among others, to create media and educational initiatives that center around the experiences of marginalized folx. Committed to love and justice, Pia is a yoga student/teacher and unprofessional dog walker.
Pia has taught on topics such as Increasing Learning Through Culturally Relevant Arts Education, Anti-bias and Media Literacy in The Wake of September 11, White Privilege 101, Social Media as a Tool for Social Justice and Change, and most recently Yoga, Commodification and Cultural Appropriation. She and her work at Adios Barbie has been mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, Fox Latino, Vh1, The Guardian, MSNBC, BBC 4, The New York Times, Forbes, Al-Jazeera, Seventeen, Fitness, Glamour, among others. Pia has also appeared numerous times as an expert on CNN’s Headline News (HLN) and Huffington Post Live.
Allison Epstein — Co-editor
Allison is a writer, editor, blogger, and vigilante grammarian currently living in Chicago. As a writer dedicated to eating disorder recovery, media literacy, and body image activism, she believes in the power of storytelling and honest conversation to break down barriers, present new perspectives, and change minds. She also blogs at The Body Pacifist, where she writes about the ups and downs of recovery, media literacy, life as a feminist killjoy, and The Lion King, whenever it’s relevant. (It’s always relevant.) Allison studied creative writing, English, and French at the University of Michigan, and currently works as a full-time marketing copywriter. As a recreational historical fiction novelist, her Google search history is frequently full of gems like “What was the floor of Henry VIII’s tennis court made of,” “How many miles can a horse ride in a day,” and “Full filmography of Tom Hiddleston watch online.”
Caryn Rubanovich — Social Media Coordinator
Caryn recently graduated with an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University in the City of New York, where she studied clinician-patient relationships and the intersection of medicine, healthcare, and technology in modern-day patient care. Though she had never called herself a “writer” before, through the extensive writing component of the program Caryn realized that she definitely had things to say and she wanted her voice to be heard—especially in the social justice arena. Caryn graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 with an A.B. in Anthropology and a minor in Russian Language and Literature. She is currently working towards applying for PhD Clinical Psychology programs. In her spare time, Caryn can be found doing the following: impersonating her parents, balancing in side-crow, lounging in her bathrobe, and spending time with her friends. Follow her on Twitter @carynkseniya
Rosanna Brunwin — Editorial Assistant
Janaya Greene — Editorial Assistant
Janaya is a feminist, racial equity activist, LGBTQ ally, and all-around social justice warrior! She is also a creative writer, freelance writer, and photographer in her free time. She studies public affairs journalism at The Ohio State University and minors in media production and analysis. This Chicago native has a short film, Veracity, presenting on Showtime Networks, and her work has also been published on The Lantern, Scenarios USA blog, and Uloop. When Janaya isn’t rewatching Breaking Bad or Parks & Recreation, she’s probably listening to reggae music while trying on a million different lipstick shades. You can see more of her writing at janayagreene.contently.com and follow her on Twitter @janayagr.
Lisbeth Leftwich — Editorial Assistant
Lisbeth is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California, where she received a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing. A lifelong feminist, Lisbeth has devoted much of her time to studying the perception of women and gender roles throughout history and in modern popular culture, and values critiquing the construction of “harmless” media.When she is not working on stories for her fiction blog, Opening Doors at 3 AM, Lisbeth enjoys tearing up the dance floor, drinking bourbon from champagne glasses, and watching videos of bulldog puppies on YouTube. Find her on Twitter @lisbethleftwich.
Vanessa Leigh Lewis is a Black global feminist, a long time political activist and advocate, Queer Transgender and Non-binary gender ally, fat positive yogi, spoonie, writer, and maker. She writes about anti-consumerism, sustainable style, art, social justice, yoga, and her radical self-acceptance journey one day at a time. She is a contributing writer to BlkGrrrl and you can find more of her story on her blog at https://sweetleighsewn.wordpress.com Twitter: @sweetleighsewn. When she isn’t writing or sewing she is a rabid cinephile who believes life should be a musical.
Sharon Haywood — Advisor and Former Editor
Sharon, a Canadian freelance writer and editor living in Argentina, joined the Adios Barbie team in 2009 and acted as co-editor until the end of 2014. 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.
Sharon 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. 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. Her activism has been featured in a wide array of publications such as Vogue Italia, Cosmopolitan Argentina, and the UK Sunday Times and her writing has been published in various outlets including Canada’s leading feminist magazine Herizons and national Argentine newspapers. Released in March 2013, Sharon is a proud contributor to the anthology Fifty Shades of Feminism published by Virago Books. Currently, she supports the Adios Barbie team as a Campaign Advisor. She lives in Buenos Aires with her husband and two cats. Twitter: @Sharon_Haywood
Francesca strongly believes in wellness for all, believing health to be a place to positively work toward rather than illness as something to run away from. She sees recovery from an eating disorder as a developmental process of discovering one’s self, values, and place in the world. She herself is passionate about creativity, loves yoga, enjoys dancing, feels alive when walking in the countryside, and loves to smile. She writes for numerous blogs, organizes arts and music events, and facilitates creative writing workshops. Having worked in advertising and marketing and with a degree in combined arts from Durham University, she is using her communication skills to help raise awareness about issues surrounding mental health, body image, and self-empowerment. She currently has a couple of projects on the go, including developing a recipe book to support eating disorder recovery. Follow her on Twitter @andsoshethinks, and read her blog.
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, M.A., is a writer, speaker and Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies. She is the co-founder of the LA chapter of Women, Action and the Media and on the advisory board of the Brave Girls Alliance. She has worked with the new citizen journalists of the LA Academy of Global Girl Media and the peer-educators of J.A.D.E (Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating) on ways to tap into the power of their own voice. She is also an expert contributor in the areas of media literacy and body image issues for Proud2Bme, a project of the National Eating Disorders Association. She is also a contributing author in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice and is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body, and co-founder of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition.
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 @ValKayMartin.
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.
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.
After recovering from an eating disorder, Tasha found inspiration through feminism and the body positivity movement. When she isn’t writing about female empowerment and social justice issues, she enjoys reading, baking, penning a novel, and spending time with her two children. Read more from Tasha on her blog, Feminine Feministe.
Kate is a Seattle native, now living in Portland, Oregon, studying educational leadership and policy at Portland State University and working with student athletes to support their academic success. After recovering from an eating disorder in her teens, Kate became connected to the body-positive and social justice movements and began as an intern with Adios Barbie. Kate is interested in higher education and how body image influences and is influenced by student’s experiences. Kate is focused on connecting larger dominant societal discourses to body image and eating in order to deconstruct negative and strict ideas about bodies, eating, and food. When not working on writing and grad school, Kate is hiking, biking, or watching Grey’s Anatomy…on repeat.
Every six months we run an intensive mentorship and training program for folx committed to developing their writing, media literacy, and social media skills–in addition to their intersectional feminism. Adios Barbie would not be what it is today without the contributions of our former “interns”. As part of our leadership development model, all interns become part of the Adios Barbie staff when the program is complete (if they choose), contributing to the direction and content of the site as part of the greater leadership team.
Former interns and staff have gone on to make a difference in their own right contributing to or writing for groups and publications like: Everyday Feminism, Cosmo, Huffington Post, Latina Magazine, HR Reality Check, Ravishly, and more.
Jessica Roberts, Kate Walford, Laleh Ahmad, Maria Hanopoly, Caryn Rubanovich, Tasha Sanders, Nora Winsryg-Karasik, Grace Manger (Bitch, Planned Parenthood, Everyone is Gay), Amber Ikeman, Philip Scully, Erin McKelle, Takeallah Russell, Lori Blough, Raquel Reichard (Cosmo/Latina), Janine Salabritas, Chelsey Anderson, Emma Shakarsky, Melissa A. Fabello (Everyday Feminism), Quinn Davis, Sheena Vasani, and Rachel Lunt
Former Team Members
Grace Manger — Assistant Editor and Internship Coordinator, 2014–15
Grace is a Human Development and Social Relations major at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She discovered the world of media literacy, body positivity, and Adios Barbie during her own recovery from disordered eating, subsequently threw herself into feminism and e-activism, and has never looked back. She leads the “Women, Food, and Bodies” support group on campus in attempt to create a safe space for women to stand in solidarity instead of in competition with one another. She enjoys impromptu dance parties, aerial silks, the Michigan folk music scene, and reading feminist theory in her spare time. Her daydreams of choice include being best friends with Amy Poehler and having an unlimited iced coffee fund. You can get more of her sarcasm and hippie logic at her blog, So Many Heartbeats, or her twitter @gracemanger
Erin is a social justice and feminist activist, blogger, writer, social media junkie, non-profit advocate, and coffee lover. A prolific freelance writer, her work has appeared in Because I Am a Woman, Stop Street Harassment, Wiser.org, Everyday Feminism, and Fearless Press. She is also a Youth Board member for YTH and on the board of directors of Stop Street Harassment. Find her on her blogs — Fearless Feminism, Facts about Feminism, and Period Positive — or follow her on Twitter @ErinMcKelle.
Melissa is Editor of Everyday Feminism, a domestic violence prevention and sexuality educator, eating disorder and body image activist, and media literacy vlogger based out of Philadelphia. She holds a B.S. in English Education from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Human Sexuality from Widener University. She can be reached on Twitter @fyeahmfabello.