2011: A Successful Year for Social Media Activism and Proof of Progress

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by Pia Guerrero, Co-Editor and Founder Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland, Journalist Ringing in the New Year has always been marked with promises to do or be better than the year before--quit smoking, exercise more, be more … [Read more...]

Weight Stigma: Breaking it Down with Advocate and Activist Marilyn Wann

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by Jennifer Jonassen One of my biggest heroes in the struggle against fat hatred is unquestionably Marilyn Wann. Her first book, FAT?SO!, was positively revolutionary to me. I initially found myself drawn to the title as I painfully remembered that “fatso” was about the worst thing you could be called on the playground at lunch, … [Read more...]

The Self-Esteem Act Calls for Truth in Advertising

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By Pia Guerrero, Co-Founder/Editor Women and girls are bombarded everyday with thousands of media messages, from billboards to bus stops ads, telling us our worth is not in who we are, but in what we look like. The media and our culture tell us we should be sexy, thin, young, and perfect—just like the actresses and models … [Read more...]

Thembi Ngubane’s Story: HIV and AIDS Acceptance

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By Sayantani DasGupta "Our parents struggled against apartheid, they wanted to be free. And it is the same with HIV/AIDS. This is the new struggle." – Thembi Ngubane Thembi Ngubane was a 19-year-old South African woman from Khayelitsha township, outside Cape Town. She never thought she would inspire people from around the … [Read more...]

67 Sueños: Undocumented Youth Tell Their Stories to Change Perceptions

Photo by Amy Mejia

by 67 Sueños Collective Lourdez, a 17 year-old student at Metwest High School, cares deeply about immigrant justice. “Some undocumented youth live in fear and are scared to speak out because of fear of being harassed or being deported.  I want to change that," says Lourdez. … [Read more...]

Help Expose the Real Illusionists

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By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.” Filmmaker Elena Rossini cites this quote from writer Ambrose Bierce as her third reason out of 30 for creating The Illusionists, a full-length documentary about how the body has been … [Read more...]

A “Monster” Success!

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By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor It’s official folks, and you heard it here first: MTV and VH1 will not air Kanye West’s “Monster” video. Jeannie Kedas of MTV Networks, which also controls VH1, has recently confirmed that neither channel “has plans to air the video.” Kedas cited MTV’s voluntary standards department as a guiding … [Read more...]

“Hey Shorty!” A Tall Lesson On Sexual Harassment

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By Carmen Rios at the SPARK Summit “When I advocate for our most vulnerable girls and women at the intersection of gender, race, class, and sexual oppression, I’m advocating for myself and my family.” These were the words that welcomed me to the newly released book, “Hey Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and … [Read more...]

Boobies, Ta-tas, and Cha-Chas, Oh My! The Sexy-fication of Cancer

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By Sayantani DasGupta "Save the Boobies!  I  ♥ Ta-tas! Save Second Base!" Like the ubiquitousness of Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong armbands and Susan G. Komen Foundation’s pink ribbon festooned campaigns, "I heart the boobie" bracelets seem to be everywhere these days. Such as on the arms of young women showing their breast … [Read more...]

The False Mirror: On Diversity, Bizarre Barbies, and Body Image Activism

Photo by Ilene Seganove, ‘The Dissatisfactions Of Ilene Segalove’

By Sayantani DasGupta There’s a character on television’s The Vampire Diaries who is called “Vampire Barbie.” Which I think is kind of ironic. Because on the one hand, vampires aren’t supposed to see themselves in mirrors – and yet, that’s what the cultural icon of Barbie is all about. A certain kind of unattainable, … [Read more...]