The Bare Minimum is Worthiness

By Vanessa Leigh for BlackGrrrl, cross-posted with permission I have been out of traditional employment for years now. And every year it gets harder to be considered for gainful employment. I have been depressed for quite a while.  I have chronic moderate depression. When times are good I am highly functional, when they are not, … [Read more...]

The Impossible Standards of a Smile

By Sarah Landrum When you look in the mirror, you probably smile. Why? When we smile, we believe we look the most beautiful. However, the smile has been widely criticized for thousands of years. A natural smile, one that has not been altered from its original state, doesn't seem to fit beauty standards. Is that fair? Isn't … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Say Farewell to Welfare Stigma

By Tasha Sanders I'm pacing outside a government assistance office, deciding whether or not to go inside. The harsh stereotypes attached to someone on welfare are humiliating, but with a child to support, I don't have a choice. After a few minutes, I go inside. I can't afford not to. I have lived most of my adult life, up … [Read more...]

Lupita Nyong’o and the Evolving Paradox of Black Femininity

By Hannah Giorgis This piece was originally published at Youngist.org and can be read in its original context here. It’s no secret that I am a Lupita Nyong’o fan girl. She is gorgeous, graceful, and certifiably ***flawless. The actress gained worldwide attention for her heart-wrenching portrayal of the enslaved Patsey in … [Read more...]

Girls Braced for Beauty

By Philip N. Cohen, PhD, Contributor at Sociological Images Sociologists like to say that gender identities are socially constructed. That just means that what it is, and what it means, to be male or female is at least partly the outcome of social interaction between people – visible through the rules, attitudes, media, or … [Read more...]

Looking Towards the Future and Beyond Beauty Alone

By Melanie Klein They say “love don’t pay the rent.” Love is undeniably the foundation of any healthy relationship, but it is by no means the only essential ingredient to keep that relationship humming smoothly. The same rules apply to the relationship with our bodies—relationships often complicated, contradictory and influenced … [Read more...]

“Hey Shorty!” A Tall Lesson On Sexual Harassment

By Carmen Rios at the SPARK Summit “When I advocate for our most vulnerable girls and women at the intersection of gender, race, class, and sexual oppression, I’m advocating for myself and my family.” These were the words that welcomed me to the newly released book, “Hey Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and … [Read more...]