Disney Starlets Getting Thinner?

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By Gabby Vachon For the last decade, The Disney Channel has successfully launched the careers of the most popular teen superstars. But are these young Hollywood starlets getting thinner, and what message does that send young viewers? I was perusing Tumblr when I found this picture of the three "generations" of Disney … [Read more...]

It’s Here: Day of the Girl 2013!

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By Allison Epstein and Erin McKelle Looking for a reason to celebrate October 11 other than it finally being Friday? How about the Second Annual International Day of the Girl? Created in 2011 by the United Nations to “recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world,” the Day of the Girl provides … [Read more...]

When Self Worth Becomes the Biggest Loser

Image courtesy of www.bodylovewellness.com

By Allison Epstein (Intern, 2013) On the inside, I’m still about 7 years old. There’s a shelf in my bedroom dedicated to Disney movies. When I’m stressed, I’ve been known to break out coloring pages. I’m still a little upset that I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter when I was 11. I look back on my childhood as a simpler time, … [Read more...]

BMI in Schools: Educating Children in Self-Loathing, Not Health

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By Sayantani DasGupta I don’t know how, as a pediatrician, mother, and body politics activist, I missed it all this time. But, I recently learned something that rocked my world in an avalanche of outrage and horror. I was preparing to give a talk at The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, on a … [Read more...]

The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: A Must Read!

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By Crystal Smith; cross-posted with permission When author Marci Warhaft-Nadler approached me about reviewing The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents, she told me that she had aimed to write a book that was easy for parents to read and relate to; a kind of quick reference guide for parents about the body image issues their … [Read more...]

How Yoga Changed My Mind (And My Relationship to My Body)

Photo Credit: Sarit Rogers

By Melanie Klein For the women in my family, the body was a source of anxiety, shame, a measure of discipline and worth – something to fret over, scrutinize, and punish for bad behavior. Food invoked anxiety and fear. Calories were meticulously tracked and exercised away as quickly as possible. The women openly complained … [Read more...]

Minnie Mouse Doesn’t Need a Model Makeover

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By Ragen Chastain When the high-end department store Barney’s decided to collaborate with Disney for its holiday window, Barney’s creative director, David Freedman insisted that, “the important thing to me was always that it had to be authentic. It really had to hit the nail on the head in every detail.” When it came to the … [Read more...]

Activist Counters Fat Shaming Ads with Body Positive Billboard

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By Jennifer Jonassen At the beginning of the year a trio of activists spearheaded a movement against the discriminatory campaign based in Georgia called Strong4Life. This controversial campaign features toxic messages with the intent of combatting childhood obesity primarily through shame. Hundreds of people were inspired to … [Read more...]

The LEGO Disconnect on Gender

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By Crystal Smith As most readers may know, there has been a huge uproar over LEGO’s newest product line, LEGO Friends. (Google it. You can’t miss it.) Regular readers [at The Achilles Effect] might also know that LEGO has been one of my favorite targets for a while now. Like the people protesting the LEGO Friends line, I have … [Read more...]

Doll Parts: The “Barbie Executioner” Strikes Back

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by Melanie Klein, Contributor My mother never addressed beauty in a critical way. In fact, beauty was rarely openly discussed in my house, but was the lingering weight on the shoulders of all the women in my family. The only times beauty was discussed was when my mother told me I needed to lose weight or when my grandmother … [Read more...]