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...]

Go Barefaced to Raise Awareness for Eating Disorders on Feb. 27th

Me sans makeup. Ok, I bit the bullet on the internet... now can we do it for real on the 27th? You bet!

By Valerie Martin In December 2011, The Renfrew Center Foundation – a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, research and treatment of eating disorders – commissioned a study of nearly 1,300 women ages 18 and up. Their goal was to capture women’s feelings about and motivations behind … [Read more...]

Margaret Cho on the Power of Reclaiming Beauty

margaret cho

by Contributor Marianne Schnall, originally posted on Feminist.com Editor's Note: We've pulled from the vault this 2009 interview with Margaret Cho where she candidly talks about weight, beauty, body image and show business. Margaret Cho is currently starring in the new, critically acclaimed series Drop Dead Diva which … [Read more...]

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

howoldwomen

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...]

Remembering Ruby

ruby body shop

By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor Fifty-something-old Barbie[1] might be middle-aged but she sure doesn’t show it. When she was in her 30s, her manufacturer Mattel sent her for plastic surgery, not to maintain her youthful appearance, but rather in response to market demands to morph her into a more realistic-looking doll. In 1992, … [Read more...]

Beauty and the Double Standard of Aging

womenface

By Lisa Wade, PhD Cross-posted from Sociological Images Today I had the pleasure of reading a 1978 essay by Susan Sontag titled The Double Standard of Aging.  I was struck by how plainly and convincingly she described the role of attractiveness in men’s and women’s lives: [For women, o]nly one standard of female beauty is … [Read more...]

Face Value? Study Claims Makeup Makes Women Appear More “Competent”

The NY Times reported on a study of 25 Black, White, and Hispanic women between the ages of 20-50 who were photographed wearing various levels of makeup.

By Ophira Edut Does the mascara make the woman? The New York Times published results of a study (see the article here) claiming that a moderate amount of makeup "increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability, her competence and (provided she does not overdo it) her trustworthiness." … [Read more...]

Warning: Feminist Wearing Makeup Ahead. Look Both Ways Before Crossing

Woman's Eye

By Quinn Davis, Intern (2011) "The only way I'm staying with you is if you stop wearing mascara." Sure, I had dated some d-bags before. But this guy competed for it in the Olympics, won the gold and then spent the next six years touring the country so that hopeful up-and-coming d-bags could look up to someone. Plus, some … [Read more...]

100 Days Without Mirrors

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On those days when you look in the mirror and all you see is ugly, avoiding your own reflection can be an effective on-the-spot strategy in breaking the cycle of negative self-talk. But what might be the consequences of giving up mirrors for an extended period of time? Could it trigger a more positive view of your body? Or would it … [Read more...]

Help Expose the Real Illusionists

Illusionists

By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.” Filmmaker Elena Rossini cites this quote from writer Ambrose Bierce as her third reason out of 30 for creating The Illusionists, a full-length documentary about how the body has been … [Read more...]