Pia is a media literacy and youth development expert with a focus on body image, race, and representation in the media. From Harlem to Hawaii, she has led presentations to hundreds of teachers, youth workers, and youth on the impact the media has on identity. Pia has also worked with and/or advised the Department of Education, PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Her work with Adios Barbie has been mentioned in 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. 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.
Sharon Haywood — Co-Editor
Sharon, a Canadian freelance writer and editor living in Argentina, joined the Adios Barbie editorial team in 2009. 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. 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, 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.
Ophira Edut — Founder and Advisor
Ophira co-founded AdiosBarbie.com with Pia Guerrero in 1998. The two friends shared a 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.
Allison is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a BA in creative writing, English, and French. An aspiring writer and novelist, 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’s writing can also be found on her blog, The Body Pacifist, where she discusses recovery from eating disorders, gender-conscious media literacy, and a few digressions about Disney movies. In her hypothetical Oscar speech, she would make sure to thank period dramas on Netflix, black coffee, and knitting shapeless hats. Contact: email@example.com Twitter: @AllisonEpstein2
Grace Manger – Internship Coordinator
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 @dizzyspells
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.
Hannah Lee White
Hannah graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in European history. She is currently an MFA student at Temple University, the editor of TINGE magazine, and the 2014-2015 Kelly Writers House Junior Fellow. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, the Sensible Nonsense Project, Cleaver Magazine, Gadfly Online, Penn Review, Rainy Day, Thickjam, Apiary Online, and The MFA Years, among others. Follow her on Twitter @hannahleewhite, or find her work at hannahleewhite.wordpress.com.
Laleh lives in Karachi, Pakistan and really enjoys trying to break down stereotypes about feminism and Islam. When she’s not doing that, she’s managing the non-profit charity organization she founded that works toward gender equality, Ignite. She has ambitions to work in Pakistan as an activist advocating for women’s rights and promoting awareness of LGBTQ issues. She occasionally takes a break and watches How to Get Away with Murder, talks to her cat, and goes on Tumblr. You can find her at her blog.
Maria is a junior at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center, where she is majoring in Spanish Language and Literature with a minor in History. Over the summer, Maria works at a day camp as a counselor in the junior camp division, where she hopes to inspire confidence and curiosity in the youngest campers. She aspires to put her eight years of experience with kids to good use by working in educational media someday. When she isn’t studying, Maria sings in Fordham’s University Choir, and last spring she performed in Fordham’s production of the Vagina Monologues. She can usually be found eating a bagel or watching videos of baby animals. Follow her on Twitter @MariaRJH.
Caryn Rubanovich – Writing and Editing Intern
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
Tasha Sanders – Writing and Editing Intern
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.
Nora grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts. She got her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated in literature, poetry, and gender studies. Since graduating in 2012, she has traveled extensively around this wild, beautiful country. She recently moved back to New Orleans, and is settling back into the southern rhythm. She is particularly interested in working on and thinking about developing feminist tools for adolescent girls to preventatively combat their indoctrination into disordered self-image, and in exploring fashion as a tool for feminist representation and self-creation (AKA she likes to play dress-up). She is excited to be a part of Adios Barbie’s empowering community!