Downcast, Decapitated and Dead: Why Don’t Women on Book Covers and in Ads Stare Back?

Marie Claire 2007

By Sayantani DasGupta In 2007, I was flipping through the latest issue of Marie Claire magazine, when I stumbled upon a striking image. It was this full color photo of several brown-skinned, pregnant women in vibrant colored saris, and it accompanied an article on what’s been sensationally called the “wombs for rent” industry: … [Read more...]

Violence Sells? Time to Say “Enough” to Twisted Advertisers

Tiger Beer ad

By Joanna Chiu Before anyone had even heard of the show Jersey Shore, MTV leaked out a clip of Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) getting punched in a face by a man in a bar, and the clip went viral, prompting articles like “The Countdown to Snooki Getting Punched in the Face Is On!” (trigger warning for link). The author of that … [Read more...]

The Hunger Games: The Absence of Race & Genderless Storytelling


Introduction by Pia Guerrero, Co-Founder/Editor The Hunger Games and Genderless Storytelling, cross-posted with permission from SheHeroes By now you're all aware of the racist tweets that began popping up after the premiere of the movie, The Hunger Games, based on the tween/teen book of the same title by Suzanne Collins. … [Read more...]

Marie Claire’s “Love Your Body Issue” is a Big Fail


By Elena Rossini A couple of weeks ago I read that the November 2011 issue of Marie Claire South Africa featured several thought-provoking ad campaigns by major advertising agencies on the topic of “Love Your Body.” I thought it would be wonderful to showcase this in my documentary “The Illusionists.” Thanks to the fabulous Jill … [Read more...]

When Did My Tampon Become a Fortune Cookie?

Fortune Cookie Tampons

By Sayantani DasGupta Apparently, when I wasn’t looking, some corporate geniuses decided that tampons should come packaged with perky self-help style advice. I can see the business meeting now: “Hey, I know what a menstruating girl or woman might need at ‘that time of the month’ alongside product absorbency! How about some … [Read more...]

In the Name of Girls: The AMA Calls for Magazine Ads to End Photoshopping Bodies

In 2001, two media literate students produced this image  to raise awareness on the media and body image.

By Pia Guerrero, Co-Founder/Editor When we first launched the Adios Barbie website 12 years ago, I had to explain what the term 'body image' meant to friends and family when they asked what I was up to. I was leading a lot of media literacy workshops at the time where I often had to prove to skeptical teachers and students that … [Read more...]

What Can The X-Men Teach Us About All Kinds of Stereotypes?


By Melanie T of Psysociety This [month] marked the opening of X-Men: First Class, prequel to (and assumed reboot of) the wildly successful X-Men movie franchise. … [Read more...]

Media Literacy and Body Confidence: Is One Lesson Enough?

From Dove's "Evolution" video

By Valerie Martin This past year, as part of my graduate social work internship I conducted student counseling in a local high school, both one-on-one and in groups. For my final project, I created a presentation on Media Literacy that I gave to 10 classes. It provided an excellent opportunity to see the students’ reactions and … [Read more...]

Khloe Can’t Keep Up with the Kardashians’ Body Standards


By Ophira Edut I admit it: I kind of keep up with the sisters K. It's fascinating to watch size, class, race and gender issues all publicly collide in a series of ever-spinning spinoffs. Here are the olive-skinned Kardashians of ambiguous ethnicity, "white" and up-speaking enough to hang with the L.A. celebutantes, yet … [Read more...]

Carrie Fisher Joins the Ongoing “Star Wars” Against Fat


By Ashley-Michelle Papon Carrie Fisher, the woman who launched a thousand nerd fandoms as heroine Princess Leia from “Star Wars,” has recently joined the ranks of Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli in pimping out subscription diet plans. As the newest face of Jenny Craig, Fisher discusses the pain associated with being … [Read more...]