The Empowerment Project: Meditations on Fear

By Vanessa Leigh for SweetLeigh, cross-posted with permission People everywhere are constantly telling us to love ourselves. Especially now that body positivity is a "trending" topic. I really dislike the word and concept behind the word "trend"... It often feels hard and challenging to love ourselves, and I've written a little … [Read more...]

My Mom Taught Me to Shave My Legs. My Dad Never Taught Me to Shave My Face.

By Christina Fisanick Greer I am up close to the mirror, straining to see the finer hairs near the left corner of my upper lip. It's near daylight, and I am trying to finish shaving before my husband gets up for work. He knows that I shave my face every day, but it is not something for which I welcome an audience. My awkward, … [Read more...]

A Hairy Situation: Body Hair and Gender Construction

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...]

This Summer, Can We Say No to the Body Police?

By Jess Frankovich Where I'm from, it gets cold. And it snows. A lot. So on the first day it gets above the freezing point, the locals naturally get excited. We dust off our shorts and tank tops. We head to the mall and splurge on bikinis. We pack a bag and head to the beach. As it gets warmer, less clothes are worn. Makes … [Read more...]

Does Make-up Make Mommy Beautiful?

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...]

How Do Leggings Shine a Spotlight on Sexism in the Media?

By Tasha Sanders, Intern 2015 When I first caught wind of blogger Veronica Partridge's recent post about her decision not to wear leggings or yoga pants anymore, I was stumped. Full disclosure: I am totally in the "Leggings Can Be Pants!" camp. I love leggings. They're so comfortable, they look great under dresses and tunics … [Read more...]

Authentically Loving the Skin I’m In … Marks and All

By Maria Hanophy, intern 2015 When you think of being body positive, you probably think of loving the parts of your body that society tells you to hate: your thighs, your hips, or your stomach. But would you ever think to include your acne on the list of things to love about yourself? As the body's largest organ, our skin … [Read more...]

Break My Nose and Make Me Pretty: Why I Said No to Plastic Surgery

By Z Zoccolante The doctor holds his finger against the bridge of my nose, covering the small bump. In the mirror, my profile looms. Little fairies jump on a trampoline in my belly. Black Sharpie lines conjoin in a fractured map along my nose, outlining the nose I've always wanted. I am sixteen and time spills before me like a … [Read more...]

The Power of Social Media and the Thigh Gap Trap

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?

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...]