Profile for Lena Chen

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http://sexandtheivy.com

Feminists Can Wear Spanx Too

Tracy Clark-Flory, a senior writer at Salon, wrote of anxieties running high as subjects squeezed into uncomfortable shoes and deceptive shapewear at a photo shoot for More magazine’s November 2010 feature on young feminism, which both Clark-Flory and I participated in. Her conclusion? “There isn’t much that’s feminist about a feminist photo shoot.”

The problem with fashion spreads, of course, is that they’re subject to economic considerations which contradict feminism. The publications behind these spreads work with advertisers and designers that sell garments which are unattainable in size and price range to the average woman. (My photo shoot attire, for example, cost around $1,445.) Given their limitations, it’s not surprising that they end up perpetuating a very narrow definition of beauty that doesn’t exactly embrace individuality or diversity. But while I agree with Tracy that photo shoots are rarely, if ever, feminist affairs, I think ours was far more positive than most that make the pages of glossies. And perhaps there are a few lessons that editors and women can learn from it. Keep reading »

Cheated: When The Girlfriend & The Other Woman Meet

I’ve had a lot of practice at telling women that their boyfriends are cheating on them with me.

Sometimes it feels as if I’m a military representative knocking on the door of a newly widowed army wife. “Hello, my name is Lena. You don’t know me but I’m a friend of your husband’s. There’s something I have to tell you. You might want to sit down for this.” And then without me having to even say a word, she can already surmise that something is terribly wrong. The man she loves is dead, or at least, her relationship is. Keep reading »

Feature: The Other Woman

Some people attract commitment-phobes. Others attract loveaholics. I, on the other hand, attract a mutant combination of both: taken men who keep on looking. At first I thought this was merely a bad luck streak. But after being hit on, pursued by, or inadvertently involved with seven attached men in half a year’s time, I have determined that infidelity is not just something in the air. This is cosmic revenge.
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