Girls are Much More Than That: The Media and Stereotyping

gorgeous vs. clever

    Editor's Note: Adios Barbie along with editors Pia Guerrero and Sharon Haywood have joined the Brave Girls Want Alliance. We hope that by reading this post by our colleague Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker, Phd. you will join Brave Girls Want in making a long overdue change in how girls are portrayed and marketed to in the … [Read more...]

Childhood, Selfhood, and the American Girl

Photo by Tasayu Tasnaphun

By Allison Epstein, Intern 2013 It’s amazing how much of an impact our favorite childhood toys can have on us years and decades later. If I asked you what toy you treasured back in the day, what would you say? Maybe we have some Lego people out there, or Easy Bake Oven folks, or for children of the nineties like me, Doodle … [Read more...]

Bridget Jones Made Me Do It! Does Chick Lit Negatively Influence Women’s Body Image?

bridget-jones-the-edge-of-reason

By Sayantani DasGupta I read a fascinating piece in The Guardian UK recently, with an even more fascinating headline: "Chick lit ‘harms body image’, study finds." At first glance, this seems highly plausible. Just the name ‘chick lit’ implies something at least intellectually (if not psychologically) unsavory. We are women, not … [Read more...]

Girls like Boogers, Boys like Romance: Let’s Get Beyond Gender in Children’s Books Already, People!

"Lunch Walks Among Us" the first in the Mad Scientist series by Franny K. Stein

By Sayantani DasGupta Back in September 2010, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) sent cyberspace into a tizzy with the article How to Raise Boys who Read. Hint: It's not with gross-out books and video game bribes. I don't think the article is really that controversial. The writer, Thomas Spence, rants a little about Captain … [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

Minnie

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...]

“You Look So Different on Facebook…”

Facebook and Photoshopping

By Sheena Vasani, Intern (2011) Editors note: This blog post was originally posted Nov 1, 2011. We are sharing it again for our visitors to consider how airbrushed photos (whether your own, or those in magazines) impact your well-being and sense of self. What makes your physical beauty exceptional? Ironed out pimples, wrinkles, … [Read more...]

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things: Body Acceptance in YA Literature

The_Earth,_My_Butt,_and_Other_Big_Round_Things_cover

By Sayantani DasGupta Despite movements toward Health at Every Size (HAES), the truth of the matter is, size shaming is alive and well in this country. From the “Strong4Life” Georgia childhood obesity campaign to New York City’s “Cut your Portions, Cut your Risk” campaign scare tactics and body shame are part and parcel of the … [Read more...]

Why Shawn Johnson’s Weight Loss is Not Heroic

ShawnJohnson

By Ashley-Michelle Papon Three years ago, America fell in love with the plucky Shawn Johnson. Just 16, she captured plenty of hearts—and headlines—with three silver medals during the 2008 Olympics. The talented gymnast also took home a gold medal, a highlight for many during a competition riddled with controversy and accusations … [Read more...]

The LEGO Disconnect on Gender

lego-friends-box

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...]