Category Archives: Beauty

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” enters its teen years

Toward the end of January, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” celebrated its tenth anniversary. Ten years of raising women’s self-esteem and/or just telling us we’re not as ugly as we think we are (mileage varies). Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Have you deodorized your under-boobs today?

You know, to get rid of swoob (sweat-boob). Yes, the idea of boob deodorant might make you titter, but it’s a real thing an actual company is marketing. And that says a lot about our beauty industry. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Body image, Discrimination, Economics, Feminism | Tagged , , | 70 Comments

I’m glad Lena Dunham gets naked on Girls

Season 3 of HBO’s Girls premiered Sunday night, Lena Dunham is on the cover of next month’s Vogue, and after a reporter from The Wrap asked her why she gets naked so often everyone is talking about how often Lena Dunham gets naked. So I am too! Over at the Guardian, I say that Girls is an imperfect show, but Dunham’s nudity is powerful: Not just because she looks more like the average American woman than most women on television, but because her nakedness isn’t primarily ornamental, purposed for titillation and aspiration. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Celebrity, Entertainment, Gender, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , , | 74 Comments

The Hidden Truths of Major Weight Loss

Content Note: Some images in this post may be considered NSFW

Julia Kozerski lost 160 pounds, exactly the way that fat people are encouraged to. She changed her diet, she built in exercise, she stayed constant. Her goal was to change her body, and she succeeded. She went from weighing 338 (fat women can always tell you the exact number) to about 180. She’s also a photographer, and she has documented the experience extensively. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Body image, Fat | Tagged | 87 Comments

I take back every negative thing I have ever said about beauty pageants.

Ladies! Go on and do your thing. Also, sorry, but USA WE’RE #!. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty | 66 Comments

Leave Amanda Bynes alone; look at yourself instead

I’m writing about Amanda Bynes’ very public breakdown at the Guardian, and what the media coverage says about American views on beautiful women: Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Celebrity, Crime, Entertainment, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Healing the Toxic Intoxication of Fat Hatred

I recently tried once again to read George Orwell’s 1984.

As always, I got a few chapters in and had to stop because it was so depressing that I couldn’t live in Orwell’s evocation of mind-controlled totalitarian world for a minute longer. One thing I did get out of the experience was adding one more time reading the early chapters including the Two Minutes Hate scene. Early in the book the hero, Winston Smith takes part in his office’s mandatory daily group hate ritual, an exercise in bonding and mind control. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Body image, Fat, Literature | Tagged | 75 Comments

Turning the Princess Narrative Sideways

Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, blogs about her struggle with the creeping princess contagion: Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Feminism, Gender | Tagged , , | 42 Comments

The Face of Make-Up

I am a feminist. And I wear makeup almost every day, and have for over ten years. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Body image, Feminism | Tagged , , | 187 Comments

You know what? Go for it. Do it! Compliment women!

So last week, President Obama delivered an inappropriate compliment to California Attorney General Kamala Harris — inappropriate not because it was insulting or prurient but because, well, it concerned her appearance, and they were at a political event, and that’s not the place you talk about a woman’s appearance. He said:

She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough. She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general. … It’s true! C’mon.

he apologized for it.

But some people don’t like to hear important men apologize for stuff. At Jezebel, Lindy West responds to Washington Times columnist Jack Engelhard, who is pissed that Obama apologized because just for a moment, just for one shining moment, it seemed okay for Engelhard to do any damn thing he wanted without taking any time out to consider the feelings of women. Luckily, West provides for us a handy list of times when it’s appropriate to compliment a woman so you don’t have to go to jail over it. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, relationships, Work | Tagged | 171 Comments

Blacksweet: Grappling with skin color in Indonesia

Indonesians idealize whiteness. It permeates every aspect of an Indonesian woman’s life, from clothing to beauty regimens. My relationship with skin color is complicated here. Having brown skin allows me to blend in more in crowds. Most Indonesians love Indians, having been raised on a plethora of ‘90s Bollywood movies.

At the same time, I sometimes find myself wishing for a little of the unwanted attention my white Fulbright friends receive. Indonesians don’t clamor to take pictures with me or seek to practice their English – I’m hitam manis. Instead, my skin color means I have to fight for my claim to be American.

The innocuous question, “Dari mana?” (where are you from?) is one I sometimes dread in the taxi. Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Race & Ethnicity | Tagged , , , , , | 49 Comments

“Racism Still Exists”: The Power of Art

I frequently hear people say that art has no political power, that it is merely aesthetics and/or money. Many countries repress the power of art by punishing the artists. Here the dominant culture disparages art’s power and commoditize it and among other things turn it into a speculative consumer product. Nevertheless, art in our country can be politically powerful and these posters tell it all. Continue reading

Posted in Art, Beauty, Race & Ethnicity, Racism | Tagged , , | 14 Comments