The FIFA World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world. The 32 best national male soccer teams compete, attracting an audience of more than 26 million people worldwide and costing billions of dollars every time it is staged. This time, the host country of the cup was Brazil, and advertisers and media outlets were happy to produce a variety of world-cup themed images in order to cash in on the soccer craze. Whether it’s beer, cars, lingerie, fast food or soft drinks, companies were eagerly drawing upon nationalist sentiments as well as staging their products within a Brazilian wonderland to attract millions of soccer fans to their brand.
These two strands – nationalist symbolism and the romanticization of Brazil as an exotic and beautiful playground – tie into another popular trope used in the World Cup imagery: that of the beautiful, scantly-clothed woman present merely as something to be looked at in order to complete the straight male soccer fans’ wet dream.
SPARK is producing a new play in New York City! UNFINISHED: Girls of Today, Wives of Tomorrow is an original play with songs and dances that offers creative strategies for ending the sexualization of girls. All performances are free and include a discussion with the writer/performers following the show. Performances run from May 28th - 31st, so if you live in the NYC area, pull out your calendar and pencil it in!
As women, we are often told that there are hundreds of things we can’t do for one reason or another. We also often end up blowing people away with how wrong they all were. If there’s something you are working hard to do, don’t stop because of what people may think or expect of you. Don’t let anybody’s judgments get in the way. You can do it. And I’m sure you will be amazing.
Russia’s Olympic team is trying to refute the stereotype that female athletes are “a mountain of muscle and manly figure,” but they’re doing it totally wrong. In a series of photos showing their female athletes in lingerie and revealing dresses, they’ve attempted to portray these women in a more “feminine” light.
(In other words, they’re trying to entice (male) fans to watch the games and attend the events. Blegh.)
Why do these women have to adhere to traditional ideals of femininity be considered “feminine”? Like Matt Essert said, “Isn’t it enough that they’re world-class athetes?”
-Katy (tweet me at @mamasgotchu)
You can totally be a feminist who has insecurities. Feminism isn’t about pretending we all feel like Wonder Woman, it’s about being honest when we don’t, and having the conversation on why that is.
It’s that time of year again.
I keep seeing claims that people are shaming women for wearing sexy costumes for Halloween. The people making these claims seem to be missing the point, so I made a graphic for them.
I saw The To Do List with a good friend of mine and as we walked out she said that she hadn’t seen herself reflected in a movie with such clarity… TDL isn’t a super sexualized fantasy version of teenage desire, where things are a tad awkward at first but ultimately wonderful. Instead, Brandy’s friends are very frank about being uncomfortable and often unsatisfied and wanting more, something not a lot of media make room for.
Left vs. Right: what H&M mannequins looks like in the U.S. vs. what they look like in Sweden.
When women go into a U.S. H&M store, the mannequins that reflect one mainstream version of beauty, rather than the many sizes and shapes that girls really come in.
Wouldn’t it be awesome for the U.S. to officially start using plus sized mannequins in their stores too? We sure think so!
Clearly society likes to objectify African American women while simultaneously shaming them for their sexuality. Basically, black women’s bodies only acceptable when other people are controlling them. Growing up surrounded by these messages causes a lot of confusion and anger—I can vouch for that. I live in a world that tells me how to act, but there doesn’t seem to be any kind of “acceptable” behavior. Every day I see women who look like me face consequences no matter how they act. From a young age, I learned that I was in a perpetual lose-lose situation.