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
  During long airport waits, I’ve often wandered to the magazine rack, my eyes pleasantly glazing over at the diverting covers. Many women’s magazines (with obvious exceptions like BUST and Ms.) are meant to distract us, to offer an escape that an be lovely, but is also generally void of any real social or personal significance. What if mainstream women’s mags like Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, and Brides addressed painful topics like sexual ... Read More
Trigger Warning: slightly graphic imagery For the artist Eliza Bennett, her flesh is her medium; in embroidering her palm with thick threads, she hopes to explore the ways in which we view gender roles. Her hand, swollen and bruised by her own careful work, is titled “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done,” and her gruesomely precise handiwork serves to remind the viewer of the strife of women laborers, many of whom are paid far less than their male ... Read More
  When the photographer Julia Kozerski lost literally half her body weight, dropping from 338 to under 178 lbs, she cataloged her complex emotional reaction to her physical transformation in a series titled Half. Unlike most most weight loss media aimed at shaming women for our bodies, the artist avoids the display of any cheerful post-weight-loss confidence, forcing viewers to consider the murky and provocative intersections of body image and ... Read More
  Imagine a small village in which women and girls have an unheard-of amount of power, where females bear the family name and are expected to foster their continuing bloodline. Located near the Indian boarder, this place is called Mawlynnong, and it is known as the community where “girls rule the world.”    The photographer Karolin Kluppel travelled to Mawlynnong, explored its 92 households, and documented the lives of its girls. With ... Read More
  A few weeks back, we were so thrilled to hear that Aerie, the teen lingerie store affiliated with American Eagle, will not be Photoshopping their models for their new Spring campaign titled #AerieREAL. The ad images feature models ranging in size, shape, and ethnicity (this range is vast relative to most competitors, although, to be honest, it still does not encompass the diversity of America’s teens). Well, there's a new ... Read More
“Before it happened, I thought about going to the Peace Corps. I wanted to be somewhere, get somewhere bigger. I wanted to grow.” “Every part of me was altered.” Rochester, NY - 2013 Trigger warning: This post contains references to and descriptions of sexual assault. A few months ago, we featured some images and stories of survivors of rape and sexual assault through the lens of the incredible photographer Lydia Billings’ series ... Read More
The selfie photograph is potentially profoundly empowering, but as a genre it can also be repetitive and affirming of specific and exclusive ideas about beauty and female self-worth; it all depends on the selfie in question. Amidst the plethora of staged selfie images, one selfie we don’t see very much is a selfie in which a woman’s body is changing unpredictably, and that’s what makes the photographer Sophie Starzenski’s 40 Weeks and a ... Read More
  Yes, you read that correctly: butt song from Hell. Hieronymous Bosch’s enigmatic triptych The Garden of Earthy Delights, created around 1500 AD, features in its right-most panel a vision of Hell, the conclusion to the narrative of the divine Creation, the union of Adam and Eve, and life on Earth. The work is so richly symbolic that scholars have battled over the intentions of even its smallest details; surprisingly, I had yet to read any news on the ... Read More
  On her 32nd birthday, Beth Whaanga was diagnosed with breast cancer; valiantly fighting back against the illness, she asked her friend, the photographer Nadia Masot, to take portraits of her nude body after a double mastectomy and hysterectomy as part of Under the Red Dress, a project designed to spread awareness about regular breast and pectoral examination. The beautiful series of images features Whaanga, a mother of four, gazing fixedly at the camera, ... Read More
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