Liberating Words: “Worth It”

The poems contained in this series, “Liberating Words,” came out of an interdisciplinary course for high school juniors at The Winsor School, an all-girls school in Boston. The course, “The Personal Is Political:  An Interdisciplinary Look at Feminism,” is co-taught by Libby Parsley, a history teacher, and Susanna Ryan, an English teacher. The second unit of the […]

Eating Disorder Awareness: It Starts With Us

Before arriving at college, you hear warnings—from parents, classmates and maybe even teachers—about the terrifying “Freshman 15”: go to college, gain weight. The warnings might seem harmless, but it matters that we present weight gain as a problem to avoid. More than incoming college students are warned to watch out for their GPA, their alcohol […]

A Campus Plague

As we observe National Eating Disorders Week (through March 2), it’s significant to point out when eating disorders are most likely to become full-blown: Not surprisingly, it’s during the years 18 to 21, when young women and men are off to college—a time of major transition after leaving the comforts of home, when social pressures […]

False Promises, Real Resolutions

During my freshmen year of college, I caught a parasite. I lost an extreme amount of weight in a short amount of time. Although I felt horrible and had intense stomach pain, I also began to feel noticed. I did not realize that I was being noticed for my bony figure, though, because in my […]

Sexual Objectification, Part 2: The Harm

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, […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

No Comment: Zazzle’s Pro-Anorexia Kids’ Tees

Last week, the online retailer Zazzle–which “empowers” customers to create custom T-shirts, cards and other paraphernalia–ended sales of a kids’ T-shirt and onesie that featured a pro-eating-disorder message in a scribbled font. The decision came only after the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority banned ads of the shirts for encouraging “an unsafe practice that may result […]