Sexy Toy Make-Overs: Polly Pocket, Care Bears, and Barbie

barbieages

by Lisa Wade, Cross-posted with permission from Sociological Images We’ve enjoyed documenting the recent trend of sexifying toys, including Dora the Explorer, Strawberry Shortcake, Holly Hobbie, Lisa Frank, Trolls, Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, and Candy Land, and Lego (you can see them all together on … [Read more...]

Why Shawn Johnson’s Weight Loss is Not Heroic

ShawnJohnson

By Ashley-Michelle Papon Three years ago, America fell in love with the plucky Shawn Johnson. Just 16, she captured plenty of hearts—and headlines—with three silver medals during the 2008 Olympics. The talented gymnast also took home a gold medal, a highlight for many during a competition riddled with controversy and accusations … [Read more...]

Bras & Bordo: Living and “Reading the Slender Body”

mannequin

by Hope Bordeaux “Increasingly, the size and shape of the body have come to operate as a market of personal, internal order (or disorder)—as a symbol for the emotional, moral, or spiritual state of the individual.” —Susan Bordo, “Reading the Slender Body” in Unbearable Weight Several years ago, I was sent home from my job at … [Read more...]

Michelle Obama’s “Biggest” Mistake

Michelle Obama on "The Biggest Loser" Photo credit David Giesbrecht/NBC

Introduction by Ragen Chastain When I heard that Michelle Obama was going on The Biggest Loser to congratulate the participants on being role models I knew that I had to do something. So I e-mailed my friend Darryl Roberts, filmmaker of America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. We wrote a well-researched article pointing … [Read more...]

Feminism, Body Image and Yoga

NormanRockwellGirl

by Melanie Klein Originally posted at Elephant Journal, June 2010. "Feminism, Body Image and Yoga" is featured in the newly available, downloadable and free, Curvy Voices, a collection of 36 personal body-loving stories at Curvy Yoga. This post is also the inspiration for her chapter in the forthcoming anthology,  21st Century … [Read more...]

Me, My Puffy Face, and Ashley Judd

Me (and my puffy face) on a heavy load of medication.

By Pia Guerrero, Co-Founder/Editor As most of you know, after being pounded in them media over speculation that her puffy face was a sign of bad plastic surgery that made her ugly not more attractive, Ashley Judd slammed the media for upholding patriarchy and for perpetuating sexism, misogyny and objectification. When I … [Read more...]

Betty Draper’s Fat Suit and Other Ageist Travesties on “Mad Men”

Betty Draper fat suit

By Sayantani DasGupta Full disclosure first: I am a Mad Men addict. I love the show, its period costumes and sets, its take on the social and political changes of the 50’s and 60’s, and most of all I love that sexist, chain-smoking adver-jerk Don Draper and his square cut Dick Tracy jaw. So, I write this rant as a fan. … [Read more...]

How Yoga Makes You Pretty

yoga

By Melanie Klein This post is an excerpt from Melanie Klein's chapter, "How Yoga Makes You Pretty: The Beauty Myth, Yoga and Me"  in the forthcoming anthology, 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice, available May 1, 2012 (pre-order here). An earlier version of this post was originally published at Elephant Journal in … [Read more...]

Pregnancy, Body Image and the Age of ‘Bump Watch’

Me in the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

By Melanie Klein Originally posted at Feminist Fatale. Updated for Elephant Journal and Adios Barbie. I'm pregnant but I just feel fat. I can’t believe I said it – not once, not twice but repeatedly throughout my entire pregnancy. I started to feel that way at the beginning of my first trimester and it continued all … [Read more...]

Freeing the Female Body: On A Quest For Feminist Fashion

Ad from LIFE magazine, Sept. 8, 1967

by Maddie Ruud “Feminism” and “fashion”—two words one rarely hears together. In fact, for many feminists, fashion is the new “f word,” a dirty, two-syllable utterance to be spat out with contempt and disgust. And, let’s face it, fashion doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to liberating and empowering women. … [Read more...]