The Impossible Standards of a Smile

Helmut Gevert |

By Sarah Landrum When you look in the mirror, you probably smile. Why? When we smile, we believe we look the most beautiful. However, the smile has been widely criticized for thousands of years. A natural smile, one that has not been altered from its original state, doesn't seem to fit beauty standards. Is that fair? Isn't … [Read more...]

How I Learned to Love My Pale Skin

Anna Kovalieva |

By Giorgia Guazzarotti As I'm sitting here, I'm assaulted by doubts. Wracked with guilt. Tempted to hit "cancel" and delete this whole thing. It feels wrong to complain about the color of my skin. My white skin. I'm Caucasian. A member of that privileged caste that will never know racism. I don't have to worry that a … [Read more...]

Why the #DontJudgeMe and #BeautyInAll Movements Represent Female Empowerment

Adios Barbie

By Nicki Karimipour Every morning, I wake up with a great sense of hope for humanity — but 10 minutes spent scanning Twitter usually cures me of it. Until this week, when I came across a hashtag that made me pause. Twitter users were tagging their tweets #BeautyInAll and posting makeup-less selfies in order to showcase the … [Read more...]

A Hairy Situation: Body Hair and Gender Construction

Dyamond with a Y

By Rosanna Brunwin, Intern 2015 "Hey, just so you know, your armpits are hairy." I was working my shift behind a local bar when a customer, who had been sitting by the bar for a fair while already, "helpfully" pointed out my underarms. "I know," I said. "I like them like that." He was incredulous that I had purposefully … [Read more...]

Does Make-up Make Mommy Beautiful?

Laura Tou

By Erin Brown from I Am Erin Brown, cross-posted with permission The first time I put on make-up in front of my daughter, she was just a few days old. She was lying there like a tiny lump of newborn human and I gave my first "you get to be who you are" speech. It went something like this: "Mommy likes to put on her eyebrows. You … [Read more...]

The Power of Social Media and the Thigh Gap Trap

Wikimedia Commons

By Nicki Karimipour The thigh gap is everywhere—on social media sites, television, in books and clothing catalogs. It was even rumored that Beyoncé digitally altered photographs posted to her Instagram so that it appeared as if she had a thigh gap. Most of you know that a thigh gap refers to the empty space between a woman's … [Read more...]

Protecting our Daughters’ Self-Esteem: How does the Internet Harm Our Girls?

Image via San Jose Library

By Amy Williams In a world where trending stories revolve around human Barbies and celebrity plastic surgery fails, it's easy to get distracted by superficial concerns. Selfies and "belfies" (pictures of a person's toned backside) flood teens' news feeds begging for "likes" and comments. Social media and the Internet play huge … [Read more...]

Shaving Your Legs Is Not Feminist (But You Can Still Be A Feminist And Shave)


By Anne Thériault from The Belle Jar, cross-posted with permission. I posted this picture (by Natalya Lobanova) on my Facebook page yesterday and received a bunch of varying responses to it. Some people loved it. A bunch of people shared it. But some also found it insulting and judgmental, and took it as a criticism of women who … [Read more...]

8 Ways To Feel Totally Sexy And Confident – Without BuzzFeed’s Impossible Beauty Standards


By Amber Ikeman (Intern 2014) If you surf social media sites for more than 60 seconds at a time, you’ve probably come across a link to a BuzzFeed page. Facebook and other social media sites are riddled with links to videos, memes or quizzes that can easily impact ideals of beauty, gender and sexuality. Engaging with these pieces … [Read more...]

Modern Beauty Standards Imposed on Classic Art Show Narrowness of Today’s Ideal


by Rebecca Hains Originally published at; cross-posted with permission. Several years ago, I was admiring the Venus de Milo at the Louvre when a group of American teens approached. Eyeing the statue, one girl blurted out: “She’s so fat.”Her friends laughed and agreed, but her comment just made me … [Read more...]