Hatred Does Not Equal Health


“I stand for a life free of shame for all little girls.” “I stand for happy, healthy children–no matter their size.” “I stand against social stigma and the right to be happy just as you are.” These are powerful statements, and just a few of the many “STANDards” (above right) assembled by Marilyn Wann and […]

H&M Whittles Down Acceptable Body Types To Exactly One


I hope that years from now we’ll look back and laugh at the time when female clothing models were all expected to conform to a very narrow and specific range of body types. If so, we’ve got our punchline. This week, H&M has pushed this trend to the point of absurdity: Instead of accepting minor […]

A Vulva Looks Like THAT? Demystifying Female Genitalia for Teens


A few weeks ago, New York Times Magazine carried an amazing article–Teaching Good Sex—that uses a Philadelphia private school’s approach to sex ed to illustrate a simple but controversial question: What if we actually taught young people about pleasure, orgasms, healthy relationships and the wide variety of what is normal in both sexual desire and […]

Japan’s Yaeba Trend and Cosmetic Infantilization


Benjamin B. alerted us to a New York Times story about a new trend in Japan: yaeba. Some young Japanese women are now having dentists artificially enlarge their incisors so as to achieve a look associated with a small mouth crowded with teeth: Here’s some dental work to that effect, borrowed from the “after” pictures on a dentist’s website: […]

#NoShaveNovember Raises Hairy Gender Questions


When Ms. magazine asked me what I thought about #NoShaveNovember, I had never even heard of such a thing, and I couldn’t quite grasp its point. Maybe this is because I participate in something called No Shave Forever: I don’t shave my armpits and only occasionally shave my legs. So I looked up the #NoShaveNovember […]

Hot Chicks, Cold Sexists and Occupy Wall Street


In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, students of magic battle a boggart, a creature that manifests itself as your worst nightmare. With a flick of their wand and the word “Riddikulus,” students disarm the boggart by turning it into a joke, thus rendering it powerless and nonthreatening. This is exactly what Steven Greenstreet, […]

Wasp Waists and Anorexia


The cover of Vogue Italy’s September issue–timed to appear during the Sept. 21-28 Italian fashion week–featured Stella Tennant, the striking 40-year-old super model and mother of three. She’s wearing a posh dress and a nose ring. But it’s not her clothing or her accessories or her arresting expression that stand out. It’s her absurdly tiny […]

Culture-Jamming Sexist Ads


From Sociological Images: Reader Tara C. sent in a great excuse to revive an old post featuring public resistance to marketing that sexually objectifies women. As I wrote back then, this resistance shows that: Adding commentary to the ubiquitous images that surround us [can help] us to notice, even if just temporarily, that our environment […]

The Wisdom of Recovery From Eating Disorders


Full recovery turns ED into a slice of history and, perhaps, a window into your past, but it’s no longer a malevolent force with the immediate power to destroy you.

Click! A Chubby Ballerina Gets Wise

Ballet girl

I was maybe 8 or 9, my chubby self stuffed into a brand new pink leotard and tights. I was not happy in this outfit, largely because my little body did not “fit” the ballet-body type–a fact my older brother’s very tall, very thin girlfriend pointed out regularly. When I got out of the car, […]