Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: A Review and Q&A with Author Kjerstin Gruys

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By Valerie Martin After body image activist and UCLA Sociology PhD candidate Kjerstin Gruys got engaged, she searched frantically for the perfect wedding dress – only to end up with not one, two, or three white dresses, but four. This was a wake-up call not only financially (given her graduate student income), but also at a … [Read more...]

Should We Ban “Little House” for Racism?

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Editor’s note: Although the writer originally wrote this post for her blog in the context of Banned Book Week in 2010, the American Library Association (ALA) recently announced that the Office for Intellectual Freedom has released the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011 as part of ALA’s State of America’s Library … [Read more...]

Are You an Ugly or a Pretty? Technology, Nature, and Beauty in Scott Westerfeld’s “Uglies”

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By Sayantani DasGupta What if everyone was beautiful? No, I don’t mean inner beauty, prettiness that shines from the inside out. I mean, wide eyes, perfect noses, proportionate bodies, and symmetrical faces. The same approximate height, weight, skin color? Could making everyone look the same even the social and economic playing … [Read more...]

Novel as Mirror: Teen Literature and Body Image

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By Sayantani DasGupta The first young adult (YA) novel I ever read that had to do with body image was Judy Blume’s Deenie (1973). In it, 13-year-old Wilmadeen “Deenie” is the “pretty one” of the family, the one whose mother dreams will be a model someday. When Deenie is diagnosed with scoliosis and required to wear a back brace, … [Read more...]

“Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!” Tells Readers To Love Their Bodies—Or Else

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  By Valerie Martin “In America, we no longer fear God, or the communists, but we fear fat,” stated David Kritchevsky, a former professor with Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute and long-time advocate of health and nutrition issues. This is just one of many poignant quotations that Dr. Maria Rago and her friend and … [Read more...]

101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselves: A Gift for Women of All Ages (Hardcover)

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Reviews: "Powerful...moving to read." -- Rawsistaz Book Reviews101 Ways is like talking to your sister when she's got all the right answers. -- Heart and Soul magazine An ambitious...guide to personal growth and fulfillment through the practice of loving one's self. -- Black Issues Book Review There is something for everyone … [Read more...]

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (Hardcover)

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From Publishers Weekly Whether it's hip-hop diva Lil' Kim's "weave of the week" or activist Angela Davis's Afro, black hair evinces the power to set trends and define icons. In this entertaining and concise survey, Byrd (a research chief for Vibe) and Tharps (a reporter for Entertainment Weekly) revel in the social, cultural and … [Read more...]

Comic-Con and American Born Chinese

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In honor of Comic-Con this week, we celebrate Gene Yang and his novel American Born Chinese. For a breakdown of sessions at Comic-Con covering race and identity check out Racialicious' schedule guide to the convention. Also check out the site's report on the first-ever Asian American Comic-Con in New York City that happened last … [Read more...]

Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image (Live Girls) (Paperback)

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  Check out our Body Outlaws book (formerly Adios, Barbie)! Edited by our very own Adiosbarbie.com co-founder, Ophi, with handy dandy bodylovin' exercises from Pia, the site'' other co-founder. If you like the blog, you'll love the book! Book Description Pick up a magazine, turn on the TV, and you'll find few women who … [Read more...]

All About Love: New Visions (Paperback)

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Readers of bell hooks's fiery and eloquent attacks on racism and sexism might be surprised to see her take on the elusive subject of love, but in her own unique way, hooks beautifully weaves her childhood search for that emotion with society's misuse (and dire need) of it. All About Love takes apart the sentimental and often … [Read more...]