When we think of beauty pageants, we think of doe eyes, blond ringlets, and tiny waists; the bizarre ritual of choosing the most beautiful woman in the room seems antiquated and oppressive. But it turns out that prior to Women’s Liberation, pageantry was an even more surreal and shocking part of the American experience, and the queens provide insight into their contemporary social and political climate, cataloging the strange ways in which women were ... Read More
Two days ago, the Army revised its grooming regulations to prohibit hairstyles specific to black women; although dreadlocks and twists have been disallowed since 2005, these new rules are shockingly strict, banning the growth of natural hair from exceeding 2 inches and braids from being wider than one quarter inch.    Black women make up a whopping one third of females in the military, explains the Georgia National Guard member Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, who ... Read More
Warning: This post may not be safe for work. “Hermaphrodite [sex … is] the sex of the angels,” explains Claudette, an intersex sex worker, to the photographer Malika Gaudin-Delrieu. The pair began their collaboration after meeting in Claudette’s native Switzerland, where Gaudin-Delrieu was documenting the country’s legalized prostitution. With her recent series of photographs, the artist elegantly dispels stigma around complex gender ... Read More
The answer to the question “If women knew how to behave, there would be less rape: agree or disagree?” seems painfully obvious, but in a world dominated in part by victim-blaming and rampant rape culture, a tragic number or global citizens are inclined to select “agree.” A recent survey by the Institute of Applied Economic Research in Brazil revealed that 58.5% percent of those interviewed (both male and female) agreed with the ... Read More
Warning: This post may not be safe for work. A few weeks ago, we featured a powerful group of photographs of a breast cancer survivor bearing her beautiful body as a means of encouraging women (and men!) around the world; sadly, the woman was criticized for her near-nudity, causing her to lose over 100 Facebook friends. As a culture, we are surrounded by images of naked, overtly sexualized women, and yet honest portrayals of brave women battling this illness and ... Read More
Meet Duncan Lou: a beautiful and playful boxer whose gorgeous spirit will stay with you long after you finish reading this post. At 8 weeks old, the miraculous canine lost his two rear legs to amputations after it was discovered that surgery could not repair some damage he’d had since birth. As reported by the amazing Panda Paws Rescue shelter for special needs dogs, Duncan Lou insists on running without his wheelchair, bounding about faster than you can say ... Read More
  For the artist Annette Thas, Barbie is a disturbingly bittersweet symbol of childhood nostalgia and longing; for installation piece “Wave I,” she uses between 3,000 and 5,000 barbie dolls to build a sculptural wave, re-appropriating the doll as a means of translating her earliest memories, scenes which now flood her after returning to Belgium to care for her ill sister.     For the artist, the wave is meant to convey her own ... Read More
  Trigger warning: mildly graphic imagery In a startling critique of the ways in which images of women’s bodies are consumed, the artist Jessica Ledwich presents “The Fanciful, Monstrous Feminine,” a collection of surreal photographs documenting the psychological consequences of contemporary beauty standards and practices. For Ledwich, female sexuality is viewed as “threatening” and is therefore oppressed; here, she ... Read More
  “All kids need to know this message […] you can be great,” explains the photographer Eunique Jones of her project Because Of Them We Can, a series if images in which kids dress up as inspirational figures in African American history and women’s history. The children, in engaging with figures who have achieved great acts of courage and activism, work to challenge prejudices about both race and gender.      Seen here as those ... Read More
  At 2013’s Denver Comic Con, a young lady dared to ask a very important question of Wil Wheaton, star of Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory: “When you were a kid, were you called a nerd, and if so, how did you deal with it? And his answer was perfect.    Without an ounce of condescension, he addressed to difficult topic with grace and compassion. It’s too rare that we’re reminded that as children and as ... Read More
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