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


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”


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...]

Walt Disney and Me (Black and Disabled)


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...]

Help Expose the Real Illusionists


By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.” Filmmaker Elena Rossini cites this quote from writer Ambrose Bierce as her third reason out of 30 for creating The Illusionists, a full-length documentary about how the body has been … [Read more...]

A “Monster” Success!


By Sharon Haywood, Co-Editor It’s official folks, and you heard it here first: MTV and VH1 will not air Kanye West’s “Monster” video. Jeannie Kedas of MTV Networks, which also controls VH1, has recently confirmed that neither channel “has plans to air the video.” Kedas cited MTV’s voluntary standards department as a guiding … [Read more...]

Can Kharma Crush Stereotypes in Women’s Wrestling?

Kharma in the ring. Photo via

By Ashley-Michelle Papon For as long as I've been playing the dating game, I've witnessed how wrestling (the fake kind) has a hold on the people of my generation. In fact, of all the people I've dated (or, in a select few cases, married) wrestling seems to be the only unifying thread. I had never understood the attraction to … [Read more...]

Culture: Latina Beauties

Zoe Saldana has Dominican & Puerto Rican roots; Alexis Bledel is Mexican-Argentine-American.

By Helen Rodriguez of Latinitas For years, Latinas have worked hard to break beauty barriers in the U.S. Now that we have managed to forge our own identity in American society, a part of me is thrilled with what Latinas have achieved and the role models that are now available for many young girls. On the other hand, I can't help … [Read more...]