Is This Real Life?

March 14, 2011 § 6 Comments

by ELENA

It says something (not particularly good) about our culture when a cosmetic company uses its lack of Photoshop as a way to market its foundation:

This campaign is successful: I now want to try their foundation — especially as an actor who spends quite a bit of her time in front of high-definition cameras.

Wearing makeup on a daily basis is pretty much a fact of life for me. And I’m the most appreciative of companies who can sell me a quality product without massive amounts of retouching. I also like how this model isn’t doing SexyFace, she’s taking a photo of herself. She’s doing something that I do whenever I’m dressed up for a special event or party.

So, as a message to other cosmetic companies: More of this, and less crazy retouching. Please.

(Via Beauty High.)

I wonder too

October 3, 2010 § 1 Comment

by MIRANDA

From PostSecret.

Shameless Blog Promotion is Shameless.

September 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

by ELENA

I’ve created a new blog project: Chronicles of A Cosmo Nut. I’m basically doing a version of Jamie Keile’s Seventeen Magazine Project, but with Cosmo. As a twenty-year old, Seventeen isn’t all that relevant to me, but Cosmo does seem to be the comparable magazine for young women who have graduated high school, and are living on their own (whether that be college, an apartent and a full-time job, etc)

I’ll be posting as regularly as my hectic school schedule permits, and I hope you, the valued reader, enjoy it!

Really, W Magazine? Really?

September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

by ELENA

Once upon a time, I had a subscription to W. Magazine. As an artist, I love collaging, and W’s edgy, large-format fashion spreads provide great imagery for collage, and other mixed-media projects. But this article makes me really happy that I didn’t renew my subscription.

For starters, I have a problem with anyone describing different fashion styles in a “clique” mentality. “Clique” seems to imply a negative exclusivity, which a lot of people face in their lives, without reading W’s fluff fashion pieces. This also implies that women can only have one sartorial style code. I own dresses that flaunt my curves, flashy miniskirts, streamlined pieces, and flowy, bohemian dresses and scarves. According to W, I’d be considered to be a fashion schizophrenic.

But this piece went from “dumb” to “freaking inappropriate” in its way it described women’s body types. Jezebel pointed out W’s insensitivity to special dietary needs and eating disorders in the way that W called any woman who [ghasp!] isn’t a size two a “woman who eats her feelings”, and that is always talking about “gluten-free vegan cupcakes”. Here’s a nice little message for W: Women who may not fit within your acceptable skinniness range DOES NOT EQUAL a woman with a compulsive eating disorder. Also, Christina Hendricks, Beth Ditto, and Brigitte Bardot don’t have their amazing bodies (or, as W puts it, “full figured”) because they can’t stop eating. They have those bodies for a variety of reasons, mostly because they were born with bodies that were naturally curvy. Also, it would be nice if Christina could wear some Louis Vuitton or Prada to an event or awards show, but she has stated that designers won’t dress her because she’s bigger than a size two.

One of my friends from high school has food sensitivities that prevent her from eating many foods, including gluten and corn products. Another friend from Stephens is a vegan. Neither of them wear bohemian clothes, let alone Missoni or Edun. They wear jeans, t-shirts, and dancewear. Both of them have gotten frustrated about how their dietary limitations affect their everyday life. I understand that not everyone who follows a vegan/gluten-free/both diet is doing so for strictly medical reasons, but W needs to stop implying that a restrictive diet is just a great way to lose weight.

And finally, W Magazine, I’d like to think that someone thinks that I have depth because I, oh I dunno, actually have depth and speak with passion and knowledge about the things I care about. If I have to prove my supposed depth, intelligence, and “postfeminism” by wearing expensive designer clothes, then I don’t actually have any depth.

I like fashion. I like fashion magazines that produce creative photo shoots, creative and insightful articles, and that promote body diversity. I will be more than happy to put W out of business by spending money on a superior competitor.

Hot Blog Alert

May 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Check out The Seventeen Magazine Project, a chronicle of one Pennsylvania teenager’s month-long quest to follow the gospel of Seventeen. The writer, Jamie Keiles, promises that:

  1. I will read the entire June/July issue of Seventeen magazine from cover to cover.
  2. Every day I will utilize at least one “beauty tip” (hair/makeup/skincare/whathaveyou) and one fashion tip.
  3. I will follow all diet and exercise tips provided in the issue to a T.
  4. I will participate in every activity recommended by the magazine (i.e. host a fright night, score your hottest summer hookup ever, be confident in a bikini, etc.)
  5. I will apply for every single “freebie” offered by the magazine, every day.
  6. I will consume all media recommended by the magazine at least once. (books/movies/music)
  7. I will hang all provided pictures/posters of “hot guys” in my living environment.

So fascinating! Follow her experience here. Relatedly: female high school seniors who blog about cultural issues, represent!

Scarlet Magazine

April 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

Y’all, hurry up and check out the website for the amazing Scarlet Magazine. It’s a student publication produced out of Poughkeepsie Day School, an hour north of New York City. (I confess, I know someone involved with the project, but I feel comfortable saying that it is objectively awesome.)

On the site, you can familiarize yourself with the students involved, get to know their mission, read their blog, and peruse all three editions of their zine. As if you needed more incentive to get over there: they interviewed Sarah Haskins in their latest publication!

New Moon Girls

June 29, 2009 § 7 Comments

new moonWhen my sister turned 11 in February, I had a hard time thinking of a decent gift. She’s a ravenous reader (often a book a day), so I wanted to get some feministy lit to supplement her Twilight-heavy library. I was looking for something in a similar vein as The Daring Book for Girls, which my parents gave her at Christmas.

Somehow or other I heard about New Moon Girls magazine, browsed their website, and ordered her a subscription. I just wanted to share it as an awesome gift idea for (and by!) young girls because it comes chock full of global awareness, self-love, and a solid introduction to feminism.

Here are some of my favorite components of the magazine in general:

  • The Ask a Girl column, where readers write in with advice on other girls’ social queries and anxieties.
  • Book reviews submitted online by youngsters.
  • Publishing opportunities for girls’ creative writing and visual artwork.
  • How Aggravating!, “where we voice our opinions about what’s unfair to girls and women,” and its sister column, Howling at the Moon, where girls write about “moments of power” and “mak[ing] life better for girls.”
  • Discounting plugs for the magazine’s free website, the total lack of advertisements!

And some specifics from the latest issue (July/August 2009):

  • Rootin’ & Shootin’, an article on an environmental awareness program in Tanzania written by a 12-year-old living there.
  • When Things Get Hairy, a primer (again, written by a preteen) on body hair as well as why and how some women choose to remove it. I agree with Holly, a member of the Girls Editorial Board, who writes, “I thought [the article] was pretty good because it has lots of different information about hair removal options. I’m just starting to shave my legs, so I liked reading it. I also thought it was good that the author stated you can remove hair but you don’t have to.”
  • The back page, a feature called The Last Word, is a profile of Alice Walker. It includes details of her anti-war activism as well as an admittedly brief intro to womanism: “Alice calls herself a womanist, a word she created to describe an African-American feminist.”

What I like best about this publication is the sense of connection and sisterhood it fosters. My sister adores the magazine and spends time almost every day on the community website; many of the regular columns feature readers in conversation with other readers in a touchingly supportive spirit.

In short, this is a fantastic gift idea for any young girl. Its staff, both preteen and professional, are committed to representing a broad range of young women’s voices, and it pays off.

Students Speak: Spice Up YOUR Relationship

May 26, 2009 § 5 Comments

Spice Up YOUR Relationship – by Jennifer, a high school junior.

I can’t count the number of articles I have seen titled “Spice Up Your Relationship” or “How to Recapture Your Boyfriend’s Attention.” The various times I have looked through men’s magazines such as GQ or Askmen (admittedly to scope out the pictures of Ryan Gosling promised on the front cover), I have seen nothing suggesting ways men can fix or better their relationships. Now I ask: why does this burden fall on women?

These articles are potent in every magazine that are geared toward women and put an obscene amount of pressure on those who read them. This mentality starts early in a woman’s magazine-reading career: in the latest issue of Seventeen there was an article titled “Fun Date Ideas to Try with Your Guy” not to mention the listing in CosmoGirl’s table of contents called “How to Win Him.” The pressure to maintain a healthy relationship is unfairly thrown on women at a young age through the media and the interactions we witness. Whether we are watching a television show where the girls are obsessing over what guys want from them or we are reading a young-adult book, we repeatedly see a male-dominated relationship carried out through the woman’s actions.

This pressure extends further and affects more than who plans date night and the work associated with maintaining a relationship. Studies have shown that the power dynamic and present pressures in a relationship affect how a woman chooses to handle her own reproductive health. In a clinic-based survey of 15-30 year old women, the likelihood of emergency contraception use was elevated if the woman felt pressured to please her partner and sustain her relationship. The unequal weight of relationship responsibility is already penetrating our decisions about our bodies, which is something men already have too much control over.

So what’s the point? Do not let the pressure get to you – tell your guy to make the reservations!

Previously in Students Speak: Beware The Virtual Babes, by Luke

I have discovered…

April 5, 2009 § 1 Comment

Lilith magazine! With the subtitle “Independent, Jewish & Frankly Feminist,” I am in awe of this 32 year old publication that contains concepts brand new for me. 

Feminism is my main ideology. This summer I will to Israel on a Jewish-run program and I realize that there’s a missing link between feminism and the rest of my life. As someone who is committed to connecting feminism, my belief in equality and choice for all, to all aspects of thought, I have been missing an explicit exposure to Jewish feminism. 

It is through picking up Lilith, with headlines like “Jewish teen girls who like their bodies?,” “Transgender Jews,” and “Irshad Manji: A Muslim Lesbian Activist Speaks,” I have finally found a tangible aspect of Judaism that my feminism can relate to. 

I am aware that Jewish feminists have always existed though I’ve yet to hear people in synagogue question the use of “He” in the translation of “God” and I have been ushered off to a separate women’s hall in the back during my Hassidic cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. In my own life, these incidences of sexism stood out to me more than the sparse mentions of bad-ass feminism. 

To prepare for my trip this summer, I have explored ways in which I can be informed about Israeli and Jewish feminist thought and action. Lilith, named for Adam’s shunned biblical/mythical equal-turned-demon (big post to come on equality turning into demonization, by the way), offers a kind of Jewish feminist pride for me, an ability for everyone to relate to some aspect of feminism and to some aspect of Judaism. It gives Jewish women a voice beyond the sexist stereotyped “nagging Jewish mothers,” and “JAPs.” It allows women to take up space on these pages, to reform a religion that is often patriarchal, and to make feminist Judaism indisputably cool, fun, and inclusive.

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