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Why teach media literacy to teen girls? (part 1)

The first time I saw “Killing Us Softly,” Dr. Jean Kilbourne’s take-down of the toxic, dehumanizing culture that surrounds women in advertising, it was 1996. I was a naïve sophomore at the University of Michigan who had been raised, above all, to be pretty – with Victoria’s Secret catalog pages and Self magazine workouts pinned… Continue Reading →

Victoria’s Secret, you are going down (and I like it)

Which part of Victoria’s Secret do I disdain most deeply? There’s the catalog! The fashion show. The website. The storefronts. All with their models with exactly the same body type — not the body type of most healthy women on the planet. It’s incredibly awful for girls’ development and women’s mental health, and harmful for… Continue Reading →

The uncontrollable cost of beauty

I used to peruse the makeup section every time I entered a pharmacy. The rows of products would stare at me when I walked in, glinting and sparkling, until I would give in and buy an unneeded new mascara or my bajillionth bottle of nail polish. I didn’t even wear makeup most days! But I… Continue Reading →

Would you really want to keep up with Kylie Jenner?

Last week on Cosmopolitan.com, assistant fashion and beauty editor Brooke Shunatona published an article  in which she chronicled living like Kylie Jenner for a week (because who else would a successful, apparently functional adult want to live like?). After a week dealing with extraordinarily long nails, walking in extraordinarily high heels, and wearing an extraordinarily painful waist trainer that resembles… Continue Reading →

The day I fell in love with Amy Schumer

The day I fell in love with Amy Schumer, I was preparing my Intro to Psychology lecture about gender. I was searching YouTube for clever clips that I could use, when I came across a video called “Inside Amy Schumer – Last F**kable Day”. The main character, Amy Schumer, comes across her “heroes” — Julia Louis-Dreyfus,… Continue Reading →

I’m not pregnant: A big woman in a small world

The subway is hot and crowded and I mop my forehead with a cloth. A woman in her 80s is having a friendly chat with the stranger next to her. When she sees me, standing squarely on my two feet to keep my balance and dressed in a sundress with an empire waist, she assumes… Continue Reading →

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