Monthly Archives: March 2014

Target Photoshop Fail

A buzz on the internet these days is Target’s photoshop fail. Swim season is coming up so Target is starting to market their link of swimwear on their website.  A recent “thinspiration” phenomena is the thigh gap: or when you stand with your feet together your thighs don’t touch. This desired trait is pretty problematic because it is unattainable for most women and when your thighs are that thin it can indicate serious weight problems. Target posted this picture of a model wearing one of their pieces of swimwear:

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The problem with this picture is that it’s clearly obvious they photoshopped the picture to make sure there was a thigh gap. The is a section of the bottom of the swim suit that is missing. Besides the thigh gap photoshop you can tell that they made her torso thinner due to the morphed appearance of the arms.

I think there should be bigger repercussions from consumers to companies that have these shady practices when it comes to body image. This bad example shows how bad the problem is and much we try to change beautiful girls to unattainable beauty standards which just perpetuate unhealthy relationship towards food and exercise (ie not eating, developing eating disorders, and obsessive exercise) in order to try and attain these things that are unrealistic. If customers backlash to these practices that harm the health and psyche of young girls, then maybe we could create a change in how the fashion/modeling industry presents women in advertisements and magazines


Ban the B-word

A new campaign has gained national attention recently: Ban Bossy. This campaign has gotten the support of many female celebrities, such as Beyonce, Jane Lynch, Condoleezza Rice and Jennifer Garner:

This campaign interrogates why we call assertive young boys “leaders” and “independent” but we call young girls “bossy”, “stubborn” and “pushy” as if they should be quiet and not try to assert herself in school or in groups with her classmates. This labeling of soley females leads girls to hold back and try to blend in with the crowd instead of stand out in the classroom or in other social groups. I think that this campaign is a good way to help to negate the terrible gender stereotypes on young women. I’ve always been outspoken and very assertive, and it always bothered me to be called bossy. I think that young girls should always be encouraged to speak their minds and try to excel and lead in groups.

What do you think? Good campaign? Good Message?


“Man Up”: More Harm than Good

“Man up!” “Grow a pair!” Just two ways to tell someone they need to be tougher, more masculine, like a real man. This dominate idea of what masulinity: of being, strong, tough, and emotionless actually is more harmful for males than it is empowering. Jackson Katz, author of Tough Guise, indicates these images of being a “macho man” like Rambo or the Terminator teach men to be a man and to be powerful you must be violent, especially toward women. The ideas endorse using violence as a way of getting why you want (a reason why there is an increase in school shootings in the past 20 years). The ideas teach men that you should remain emotionless because “big boys don’t cry”.

So next time you hear someone say “Man Up” or “Grow a pair” Respond with one of the following ways:


Minorities on College Campuses Campaigns

I found this article about a campaign that over 50 students at Harvard University are participating in to raise awareness of racial prejudice that minority students face, especially in light of the affirmative action policy being recently passed.

At the same time as this campaign is gaining traction, my own university is having discussions of a lack of minority acceptance and representation on my own campus. Recently one of the campus-run-blogs ran an article that started the conversation, when a girl talked about quitting one of the most prestigious organizations on campus because of problems with handling issues of diversity. This has lead to a movement of students from my school using “#MinoritiesAtMadison” to start a conversation and hoping to not only to have more minorities begin to attend our school, but to teach acceptance of diversity on our campus as well.

While my blog is about representations of gender, I think that representations of gender and representations of race are intertwined. I think that these discussions about representations of both race and gender are key to bring acceptance to everyone, no matter what they identify with. I think more campuses should bring about these conversations in order to help reduce the discrimination that minorities face, not only from the institution but from their peers.

What do you think?


Academy Awards Ignorance? Uproar about Jared Leto’s lack of knowledge about the Trans* Community

Jared Leto has won several awards for his role as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyer’s club, however, members of the trans* community are very upset at the ignorance he has for the people of the community and the oppression and struggle they face on a daily basis. Many have problems with the script of Dallas Buyer’s Club itself, believing the film in and of itself does not accurately portray the story and that the portrayal of the characters are stereotyped and inaccurate

He’s been quoting saying he deserved to play the role as a transgender woman, as a cisgender (one who identifies with the gender they were born as) male, instead of a transgender woman playing the role he was given because “it goes both ways” despite the fact that members of the trans* community rarely get to play roles of cisgender characters. In fact, more often than not- cisgender actors portray transgender characters, and don’t accurately portray the lives of members of the trans* community.

His acceptance speech at the Golden Globe shows ignorance as well. Making inappropriate jokes about getting his entire body waxed and “ladies know what” he’s talking about (having a very traditional gender role script because only ladies get their bodies waxed). As well as referring to the trans* community as the Rayons (his character’s name) of the world instead of by their identity, which many view as problematic.

What do you think? Do you believe that Leto was insensitive to the trans* gender community through his role and his actions after the filming?


Photoshop Pefection?

Here’s a super interesting video. It’s by Hungarian pop star Boggie. While you don’t really understand any word she’s saying, the message is pretty clear that it’s problematic how most celebrities and models are photo-shopped every time they are put in a magazine. We are constant altering the bodies of women (and men) in to unnatural forms (like really long necks) because we think they have aesthetic value.

What do you think about the photo-shop culture that dominate the entertainment industry?