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“I like my body because it’s magic.”

When I was around four years old, I announced to my parents, “I like my round belly!” Probably not a sentence you’d expect to hear from a 14-year-old or 24-year-old — by then, sadly, we learn that round bellies and mainstream standards of beauty don’t mix. But I was reminded of my upbeat four-year-old announcement… Continue Reading →

Plus-size models? Check. Disabled models? Check.

Remember earlier this year, when Abercombie & Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries announced that he “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store?” (Elizabeth wrote a great post about it!) Debenhams — a department store chain in the UK, Ireland, and Denmark — aimed for the opposite in its inclusive and body-positive “High Summer Look Book”… Continue Reading →

Can we stop trying to define “real beauty?”

By now, we’re probably all familiar with Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign – in which the company showcases and celebrates “real bodies and real curves,” aiming to expand the definition of beauty and boost women’s self-esteem. Just take this picture on the left, for example – the familiar lineup of thin, lithe models is contrasted against… Continue Reading →

Menstruation: it’s only as big a deal as you make it

Have you ever wondered what sex ed might have been like for your grandparents? If you have, check out this 1946 video – made by Disney – called “The Story of Menstruation.” At first, all I could see were the ways in which it is outdated and incomplete. It debunks taboos that are completely alien… Continue Reading →

Where are the women adventurers?

Frodo goes to Mount Doom. Kerouac drives across the United States. Huck Finn rafts down the Mississippi. But where are the girl and women adventurers? Where are the books and movies about female-led quests? As Vanessa Veselka points out in a very dark American Reader article, popular images of women on the road are few,… Continue Reading →