When I first picked up Nalo Hopkinson's The Chaos last summer, I thought, "Finally! A book with a young woman of color as the protagonist!" Of course, I've since learned that there are other dystopic novels with girls of color, but this hasn't ended my love forThe Chaos even after a second (and third) reading.
The Chaos isn't actually set in a dystopia. It's more of a post-apocalyptic world in which Toronto transforms from its usual racist, misogynist, able-ist normalcy to utter chaos, complete with hoodie-wearing sasquatches, escalators that ask questions about quantum physics, and Baba Yaga and her flying house.
This past week, the news broke that New York City began to instruct its police officers this winter that to make sure they act accordingly to legality of women going topless in public. It’s easy to dismiss this law with a punch line, but the truth is that instructing all of New York’s police force to leave topless women alone is groundbreaking and part of a long running movement lead by women who have fought for topless equality.
I spent last week in Seoul, the modern cultural hub of South Korea, where international sensation Psy first made his mark. It's a crowded city plastered with images of celebrities on buses, billboards, storefronts, giant windows, and any other usable space. As I traversed the city, one thing that struck me was how uniform all their faces were: big eyes, white skin, raised nose bridges.
As the modeling industry here is accused of conforming to a white, northern European look as the standard of beauty, South Korea seems to be chasing a different ideal: a generic Caucasian look.
A common trope about models is that we don't eat. Well, I’m a model and I love food. I eat often and during all parts of the day—the spicier the dish, the better. Most models—at least the ones I work with in Los Angeles—do eat, with fewer exceptions than one might expect.
Today saw not one, but two politicians toss offhand comments about appearances at women involved in politics. One of those men is the chair of a South Carolina county’s Republican Party, which, well, no surprise. But the other is President Barack Obama. Obama! Step it up.
Feminist forums have been abuzz recently about the editor of Esquire UK’s comments regarding the objectification of women in magazines. More than the content of these discussions, however, what is most notable to me is how mainstream conversation about sexuality uses a black-and-white framework: women's bodies can only be a sex object or a not a sex object. Thanks to the term “objectification,” bodies are seen as either objects or non-objects—it feels like there's no wiggle room. As someone who works as a model, I think we should instead focus rather than the conversation around women possessing their own sexuality.
Television shows, movies, and other forms of showbiz are crucial parts of conversations about race and sex in our society. But ironically, the dynamics of what happens behind the scenes in the entertainment industry is not so well-known. As a feminist model and writer in eternally sunny Los Angeles, I’ll be exploring issues of race, sexuality, and gender within the entertainment industry over the next two months with this guest blog.
Workplace wellness incentive programs are not a new phenomenon, but the Internet is in turmoil today over a recent announcement by the national drugstore chain CVS. Beginning in May, CVS will require employees on the company’s insurance plan to undergo health testing—including body mass indexing and blood glucose testing—or face a $600 annual penalty.
FOX News' coverage of Adele and Kelly Clarkson's performances at the Grammy's took a bizarre turn when the channel brought on a nutritionist to discuss the "critics who are taking to Twitter saying they need to slim down." Why random people calling famous women fat on Twitter is valued as a "criticism" that requires discussion remains a mystery. But the results were appalling. In their conversation, the anchor and nutritionist Keren Gilbert articulated that stringent body image standards can be harmful for young women—and then turned around and critiqued Adele and Clarkson's bodies for not being "normal." The anchor even took a pot shot at the nutritionist's body for being too thin.
Apparently, Fox News has gone meta. They're now wrapping a conversation of unrealistic female body standards within a conversation exemplifying exactly that problem.
Check out the whole hot mess, or there's a transcript below the video.