When Rihanna posted her Lui Magazine cover images, in which she happened to be topless, Instagram wasn’t having it. Within 60 minutes, the photo-sharing monolith had taken them down, warning the pop music sensation that nipples went against their no-nudity policy and that if she violated the rules again, she would have her account taken away. Rihanna was understandably miffed, but no matter: she just posted the images to Twitter and responded to Instagram with a witty meme that features a make-under image by artist Danny Evans. Read More
Warning: This post may not be safe for work.  The artist Sarah Best creates astounding replicas of the female body, using it as a symbol that tracks the human desire for connection and intimacy; severed from the rest of the body, her sculpted hands and a cut-out collaged breasts take on a life of their own, worming their way up walls and pages and sometimes tracking blood in the process. The work, though sometimes gruesome, maintains a pulsating beauty; as if with clear intentions, her vital sculptures navigate space, dangling from hooks and exploring piles of cloth. Read More
The pin-up girl occupies a unique space in feminist history; influenced in no small part by aesthetics of Burlesque, the cheesecake images have been labeled everything from “subversive” to “wholesome.” In some ways, the pin-up was the first mass-produced female icon celebrated for her sexuality, taking the place of the more demure, pious upper-middle class ideal of Victorian womanhood.    But the pin-up, like all commercial images of the female body, could be objectifying and limiting in that it pressured women to conform to a rigid standard of beauty. Read More
Warning: This post may not be safe for work. Images of idealized beauty permeate most of the media we consume, and it has for hundreds of years; throughout decades dominated by shifting aesthetics and beauty standards, the idea of the attractive female has taken numerous forms. Titian’s reclining Venus, for example, is shaped differently from the fashion models of today’s ad campaigns, and African diasporic art offers yet another ideal. More often than not, women who don't fit the mould of the day are excluded, judged, and made to feel less-than. Read More
Identifying as a feminist is a profoundly personal decision, colored by the nuances of our own experiences. In The Feminine Mystique, the great Betty Friedan suggested that for feminists, the personal is the political, that our private thoughts and desires necessitate public action. Because of the intimate nature of the movement, it’s easy to scrutinize judge other women, but internal strife often stalls social change. Susan B. Read More
Warning: This post may not be safe for work. Online dating and matchmaking apps, though helpful for many, are unfortunately a breeding ground for harassment. Shielded by a computer and a username, people are often emboldened to say some pretty degrading things, and sexual interest is converted into straight-out internet malice. Improper sentences (both in structure and in content) like “Bet your tight” are tossed out into the viral stratosphere, without any consideration for the target. Read More
The photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko spent much of his childhood in nature; following his father on mushroom hunting expeditions, he often crouched to the ground in rapt fascination with the tiny, slimy, and colorful wonderland of bugs. As an adult, he returns to this kingdom of imagination, cataloguing the daily lives of snails. Breaking from the objectivity of traditional nature photography, Mishchenko’s soulful images read like a children’s storybook, filled with unexpected emotionality and suspense. Read More
“For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry,” says the photographer Ben Hopper of the inspiration for his new project, a series of images of fashion models with full-grown armpit hair. The body of work, titled “Natural Beauty,” pokes a small hole in the unrealistic, limited standards we expect from female models in beauty editorial and advertising images. Read More
As women and especially as teenagers, we’re continuously told to hide our bodies; our clothes are deemed too low cut and too tight, and we are asked to present ourselves in ways that satisfy and placate others.    Allison Roth is a 17-year-old who wore a tank top to the gym and got scolded. As a member of Planet Fitness in Waterford Township, the young woman assumed that the facility and franchise would hold true to its mission to foster a “judgement-free zone;” she had never been informed of a dress code of any kind. Read More
Warning: This post may not be safe for work. The artist’s Maria Raquel Cochez’s impressive body of work is powerfully autobiographical, cataloging her painful struggle with eating disorders, weight loss surgery, and recovery. In her recent photographs, she claims the human right to accept and love her body, promoting body acceptance for all women in the process. Read More