Monday, May 24, 2010


On this, the last post before my summer break, I'm reflecting on women's freedom. It's amazing how far we've come, what with women competing for some of the highest posts in the land; in many industries, earning close, but not equal to, men's salaries; balancing work and motherhood and social engagements; traversing grounds we never thought the xx could ever go.

So, that said, why is it that every once in a while, I fantasize about wearing a burqa to work?

This piece of clothing that represents, through my Westernized lens, the epitome of women's imprisonment seems the perfect choice on days I want to be comfortable, relaxed, and to hide my body from the world. 

I went to an eating disorders/body image lecture a couple of weeks ago and the presenters noted that with each advancement in the women's movement, there has been an consequent increase in eating disorders.  They also reported that today, Asian teenagers, at 16, are being gifted eye surgery by their parents so that their eyelids look more like their Caucasian friends'.  Is this what we have to show for centuries of cultural and political advancement?  How is it that the more we plow ahead, the more we dislike ourselves?

And so, for women in America, as you celebrate Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, take a moment to wonder:  Are you really free?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Look Alive, Men!

New York Magazine recently revealed that British company, Rootstein, which makes mannequins, is set to launch "Homme Nouveau," a new men's mannequin sporting a 27-inch-waist.  The more slenderized version of the 1994 model is suggested to reflect, and likely worsen, a more unrealistic male body standard. 

Do you see men as devloping a more negative body image over time?  Are they, in a game with no clear winner, catching up?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby Food

In a recent People magazine article, actress Ellen Pompeo speaks about feeding her seven-month-old daughter, Stella. Pompeo focuses on feeding her daughter natural, organic foods and teaching her about healthy eating.
Pompeo's goal is to introduce only healthy foods (read: no Cheerios) to her daughter--just as Pompeo was fed as a child--as that resulted in her never knowing (or therefore, wanting) "junk food."

While many of those with eating disorders will tell you that a no-junk-food policy results in junk-food rebellion later on, what I found most interesting about this article was not so much the original story, but the eighty-something (at this writing) comments that readers submitted. As always, food/eating are emotional/political topics that often result in polarization. What do YOU think?

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Price of Beauty

Has anyone watched Jessica Simpson's, The Price of Beauty? I found the episode filmed in Uganda particularly enlightening. In the village Simpson visits, fat is beautiful, and women are fattened up before their weddings. Of interest is not just the cultural acceptance/value of fat, but how hard women have to work to gain weight before they wed, the polar opposite of Western dieting culture. Check out clips from the episode here. Reactions?