Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising’s Image of Women with Jean Kilbourne

Have you ever looked at a model in a magazine, and thought, “Damn, I wish I could be skinny like her!” or “I wish my skin was as clear as hers!” I know I have countless times. If not consciously, just below my radar of conscious thoughts, that idealized vision of perfect beauty set before me is drilling itself into my brain, boring its way in to shape my definitions of what it means to be beautiful. Thinking about how much power the media has over me gives me the creeps, especially since I know the rest of society faces the same bombardments as I do. Many of us may think we can tune it out: whether it’s the billboards, tv shows, movies, bus ads or magazines we’re ignoring. I like to think that I can do that too, that if I just work hard enough to form my own healthy opinions about beauty and femininity, I can escape media’s crushing effect on women’s self-esteem. Unfortunately, this is definitely a case of “it’s easier said than done.” Continue Reading


I’ve got a big surprise for you…

John McCain isn’t in favor of equal pay!

Here’s the article.

“I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what’s being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems,” the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. “This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system.”

I agree – if we use “the law” to ensure “equity,” there would be “all kinds of problems.” What do these people think the law is for? Protection against the majority? Ha!

Only the Men Survive

New York magazine has an interesting article about women in leadership (or lack thereof) on Wall Street. The anaylsis (though brief) is told through the story of Zoe Cruz, who was first in line to be the CEO of Morgan Stanley but was fired after the morgage crisis mushroomed. No woman has ever led a Wall Street firm, and other leadership positions aren’t much different: Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley each have one woman in upper-management, Credit Suisse has none, and JP Morgan leads the pack with two.

More interpretation would have made this piece better, but it’s an interesting story nonetheless.

George Lois and Esquire Mag

“New York legendary adman” George Lois is going to MoMA. L Mag Blog reports that Lois’ iconic covers for Esquire Magazine will be on exhibit at the prestigious museum April 25, 2008–March 31, 2009. Why would this be at all relevant to a women’s issues blog? Well, see for yourself:

Honestly, Esquire should continue having covers like these, which playfully blur the lines between masculinity and femininity. It’s too bad that it and other magazines revert to this and this instead.

Sexy Is…

Yesterday Well-Woman participated in one of the greatest Barnard traditions: Sexhibiton. Sexhibition is Take Back the Night’s annual sex-positive fair, and every year Well-Woman tables with a variety of activities. This year we offered condom races, vulva puzzles, “pin the erogenous zone on the woman,” and of course, safer sex supplies (dental dams, condoms, lube). We also asked people to tell us what “sexy” is for them, and got some awesome answers. Check them out after the jump and let us know in the comments: what’s sexy to YOU? Continue Reading

New Surfing Material…

The Guttmacher Institute has a fantastic website covering all aspects of sexual and reproductive health worldwide.  Some of my favorite tools available are the state center (find out how your state stacks up against the rest!), tablemaker (create a chart for your final in Beck Young’s Women and Health class!), and the ‘Statement of Accuracy and User Agreement’ page (just kidding!).

P.S. – for all you graduating, unemployed seniors out there, they are hiring a research assistant at a decent starting pay.

An Asian Pacific American female in directing, producing, writing, and leading roles for one movie?

Whoa. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself.

According to Apple Trailers, East Broadway (or Falling for Grace) is a romantic comedy of errors premised upon a hilarious misunderstanding at an opera soirée. There, some Manhattan socialites mistakenly believe that Grace Tang is an heiress of a major Hong Kong fashion industry (she’s actually a major Wall Street banker). She doesn’t actually correct the mistake, and instead goes on to meet, date, and (maybe) love New York’s most eligible (rich, white) bachelor.

Continue Reading