C is for Cunt

Flowers

While the world is only just coming to terms with saying the word vagina out loud, cunt remains a term that takes people’s breath away as they cringe at the sheer power it contains. Pushed underground, banished from conventional language, cunt has long since been appropriated by patriarchs and misogynists and used as an utterance […]

Gabby Douglas is Not Her Hair

gabby douglas

“Are you kidding me? I just made history. And you’re focusing on my hair?” That was 16-year-old Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, bravely echoing singer India.Arie’s anthem, “I Am Not My Hair.” The criticism of Douglas’ locks on social media sites such as Twitter and on black blogs is typical of the multiple types of […]

Kinky, Soft, Nappy, Straight … Who Cares?!

weaves_black women

Like many over the past week, I have been tuning into numerous Olympic events, and gymnastics has been one of my favorites–not only because I love watching very skilled women do some incredible feats but because 16-year-old Gabby Douglas–the second African American woman gymnast to make the U.S. Olympic team–led her squad to an Olympic […]

Olympian Leisel Jones Proves the Body-Image Sexists Wrong

Leisel

Leisel Jones is the first Australian swimmer to compete in four Olympic Games. She has earned eight Olympic medals during her swimming career, three of which were gold medals. This morning in London, the 26-year-old was “so proud” to finish fifth in the 100m breaststroke final, which was won by 15-year-old Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte. Unfortunately […]

Sexual Objectification 4: Daily Rituals to Start

Sexual Objectification 4

The fourth and last in a series about how girls and women can navigate a culture that treats them like sex objects. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). This post details some daily rituals that women can start doing to interrupt damaging beauty culture scripts.   1) Start enjoying your body as a physical instrument. Girls […]

Sexual Objectification 3: Daily Rituals to Stop

STOP

This is the third installment of a four-part series about how girls and women can navigate a culture that treats them like sex objects. (See Part 1, Part 2.) There are four damaging daily rituals of objectification culture we can immediately stop engaging in to improve our health. 1) Stop seeking random male attention. Most […]

Sexual Objectification, Part 2: The Harm

Summer Solstice charity event at the Playboy Mansion on July 23 2011

This is the second part in a series about how girls and women can navigate a culture that treats them like sex objects. (Part 1 can be found here.) Sexual objectification is nothing new, but this latest era is characterized by greater exposure to advertising and increased sexual explicitness in advertising [PDF], magazines, television shows, movies [PDF], video games, music videos, […]

Sexual Objectification, Part 1: What is it?

victorias-secret-body-for-everybody-ad-campaign-590sc022810

This is Part 1 of a four-part series on sexual objectification–what it is and how to respond to it. The phrase “sexual objectification” has been around since the 1970s, but the phenomenon is more rampant than ever in popular culture–and we now know that it causes real harm. What exactly is it, though? If objectification […]

Britain’s Femfresh Takes a Kick in the Euphemism

Adventures in Menstruating

When I moved to England, people asked if I knew what I was getting into. You could take the girl outta Brooklyn, etc. But I settled in just fine. Still, the average Brit of any gender still has the reputation stateside of being able to keep calm and carry on and requiring a stiff drink to breach taboos […]

From an Eating Disorder’s Half-life to Your Full Life

Eating Disorders

What happens to people with anorexia or bulimia who don’t get treatment–or who don’t get enough of the right treatment? This is an important question because, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, only ten percent of people with eating disorders are ever treated. It’s also a tough question, because data […]