When Did My Tampon Become a Fortune Cookie?

Fortune Cookie Tampons

By Sayantani DasGupta Apparently, when I wasn’t looking, some corporate geniuses decided that tampons should come packaged with perky self-help style advice. I can see the business meeting now: “Hey, I know what a menstruating girl or woman might need at ‘that time of the month’ alongside product absorbency! How about some … [Read more...]

Novel as Mirror: Teen Literature and Body Image

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By Sayantani DasGupta The first young adult (YA) novel I ever read that had to do with body image was Judy Blume’s Deenie (1973). In it, 13-year-old Wilmadeen “Deenie” is the “pretty one” of the family, the one whose mother dreams will be a model someday. When Deenie is diagnosed with scoliosis and required to wear a back brace, … [Read more...]

Mirror-Less Schooling: A Positive Initiative?

Girl Applies Makeup

By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor Last month, a UK high school attracted media attention when its administration chose to remove all mirrors from its bathrooms. Shelley College in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire put the policy in place only a few weeks into the new school year to enforce the no-makeup rule for students between the ages … [Read more...]

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Playboy, Porn, and Pole Dancing

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By Sheena Vasani, Intern (2011) “Would you rather have brains or beauty?” “Beauty,” replies the Miss University London beauty pageant contestant adding because if she weren’t beautiful “nobody would want to listen to her anyway.” Should we assume this quote came from newspaper archives, maybe from the 50s? Unfortunately not. … [Read more...]

Walt Disney and Me (Black and Disabled)

Cinderella

By Cynthia Barram I have an incredible love-hate relationship with Mr. Disney. The first time my dad wheeled me and my chair into a theater we watched The Little Mermaid. The lyrics from Ariel’s “Part of Your World,” pierced me. She equated so much of being human and happy with walking. But before Ariel, no one had articulated … [Read more...]

“Hey Shorty!” A Tall Lesson On Sexual Harassment

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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...]

“Mom, do my legs look fat in these skinny jeans”?

photo from CityPages.com

By Valerie Martin It's no secret that "skinny jeans" have dominated the women's denim market for the past year or two. But a new trend of marketing skinny jeans to kids has caused quite a stir and concern. Many are wondering whether the trend is bad for kids', especially girls', who already have delicate body image. Will this … [Read more...]

Call for PG Rating of Aussie Tween Magazines

Total Girl Cover, March 2010

"Scrutiny urged for tween magazines" by Jill Pengelley at The Advertiser on May 24, 2010 THE YWCA of Adelaide is calling for a PG rating for "tween girls" magazines, which it says are teaching six-year-olds to be sexually provocative. … [Read more...]

Barbie’s Plummeting Neckline Causes Uproar

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"'Busty Barbie' in Mattel's new Back to Basics Barbie collection is too revealing for some parents" by Tracy Miller at the NY Daily News  Barbie has always been known for her curves - but a new doll from Mattel is upping the ante, much to some parents' consternation. … [Read more...]

The Beauty Myth: Worth Fighting Against?

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By Melanie Klein In light of Britney Spears’ recent unaltered photos, a recent guest post at Jezebel proclaimed feminism’s battle with the beauty myth as bourgeois and not worth the fight. Author, Helen Razer, claims that the efforts to expose the gruesome reality behind the beauty myth is a tiresome and unworthy battle that … [Read more...]