Downcast, Decapitated and Dead: Why Don’t Women on Book Covers and in Ads Stare Back?

Marie Claire 2007

By Sayantani DasGupta In 2007, I was flipping through the latest issue of Marie Claire magazine, when I stumbled upon a striking image. It was this full color photo of several brown-skinned, pregnant women in vibrant colored saris, and it accompanied an article on what’s been sensationally called the “wombs for rent” industry: … [Read more...]

Why Are We Still Whitewashing?

beyonce-whitewashed-album-cover

By Sayantani DasGupta Images matter. They matter a lot. Images on magazine and book covers not only reflect what we, as a society, think is beautiful, but they seep into our individual and collective consciousness – urging us to emulate those thinner, younger, taller, richer and yes, whiter images. Race is a critical part of … [Read more...]

Got Milk? Angry Moms Protest Facebook’s Discrimination Against Breastfeeding

The author, Ashley-Michelle Papon, participates in the protest at Facebook's head office. Photo by Paala Anderson Secor

By Ashley-Michelle Papon On Monday, Feb. 6, five dozen women flooded Facebook's Menlo Park offices in California, challenging the social networking giant's habit of removing photos depicting breastfeeding. In addition to waving banners informing the crowd that “Breastfeeding is NOT obscene,” and exchanging peer support, mothers … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Five Surprising Ways to Love Your Body This Halloween

Image by Kyla Hollis

By Ashley-Michelle Papon When I was a kid, before I understood that patriarchy wasn't a particular type of game hen, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I spent weeks dreaming about my costume. In hindsight, this was a rather amusing waste of my time because I dressed up as a ballerina for six years straight. It's worth … [Read more...]

Fashion’s Night Out: When Will We Have a Fat-shionable Fall?

F-No, we won't go! Or will we?

By Ophira Edut Summer's about over. The red carpets are rolling out (hello, MTV Video Music Awards), which means sucking, tucking and plucking season has begun again. The new fall shows, with a fresh crop of homogenous stars, will be premiering. (Oh, how I'm counting the minutes until Glee's third season.) New York City, where I … [Read more...]

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

TBD-NEWS-20-5-8-PLAYBOY2.jpg

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...]

This Is Why I Worry About “The Help”

The+Help

By Tami Winfrey Harris A lot of folks have been giving the whole idea of a book, written by a Southern white woman,  about black domestics in 1960s Mississippi, the side eye. I understand. When my book club decided to read Kathryn Stockett's The Help last year, I was ambivalent. The book was a popular best-seller with rave … [Read more...]