“My weight was a very big issue when I started. I was then — and am now — a very normal size 10. But that’s not acceptable. Everyone’s aware of it. It’s partly because fashion, film and television have become so interdependent. Increasingly, it’s actresses doing the big fashion advertising campaigns and now there’s no distinction between actresses and models. There’s no way I could ring up a company that was lending me a red carpet dress and say, ‘Do you have it in a 10?’ Because all the press samples are an eight —I would say a small eight. If you want the profile, you have to lose the weight. … It’s difficult because if I refuse to do any magazines at all, my work, I think, would suffer in a very immediate way. But when I appear in these magazines, I know I’m being ‘trimmed’. I’m being airbrushed a lot. And I know that people are accepting those images and are under the impression that that is really how my body looks, that I’m hairless and sexless and weigh 90 lbs. That really worries me. And I really don’t know what to do except talk about it.”
– Romola Garai plays a pioneering woman in journalism on the kickass BBC drama “The Hour” and it turns out she’s just as rad in real life. I find it fascinating that she’s aware she’s being airbrushed in magazines and feels guilty about women who look at her and think it’s the real deal. Photoshop is not going anywhere, so we all have to make peace with it somehow; it should not be too much to ask that Photoshop does not change the fundamental way we look. If I were a celebrity, I feel like I’d be okay with having a zit airbrushed off or something. But 20 lbs? That’s a bit much. [Telegraph UK]
Who’d've thunk?! Suggesting that pregnancy from rape is “God’s will,” that some rape is “legitimate” while other rape is not, and saying a woman’s body has “a way of shutting the whole thing down” so pregnancy does not occur from rape DOES NOT MAKE WOMEN WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin may have found two women — including one who was raped and had an abortion — to appear in a campaign ad proclaiming him the second coming of Gloria Steinem, but the rest of us ladies were not buying it. Keep reading »
When the Arab Spring hit in early 2011, no one could have guessed what it might have meant for women’s rights in Egypt. But as the country continues to feel its way through a revolution, there is one surprising outcome — several citizen’s groups are now patrolling the streets of Cairo, and taking action against men that perpetrate violence against women.
If anything, the uprising has made violence and harassment against women more visible, say officials, and that’s spurred residents into action. Teenage boys as young as 16 are even joining the patrols. The groups are in response to a culture of government and police inaction, bolstered in part by a former regime that touted that violence against women was a non-issue in Egypt.
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“When I started reading Ms. Magazine when I was 16 years old, I knew, Oh, there’s a name for this. I didn’t know before that, but I knew I had some pretty serious discussions with people about women’s place in the world and had some serious brushing up against authority issues. There’s a lot of head-shaking and forehead-slapping when you start to realize just how deep-seated misogyny can be, how systemic and entrenched certain modes of thinking are that are still very much alive. …”
– This is Callie Khouri, the creator of “Nashville,” my new favorite show of the fall season. (And not just because I want to knock down Connie Britton and steal her pretty hair.) It’s a complex drama that’s more smart than soap-y, with fabulous glittery costumes and country music to boot. It also occurred to me after watching the first four episodes that “Nashville” passes ‘the Bechdel test’ with flying colors. It has more than two women who talk to each other about something other than a man all the time. No surprise here that Khouri is a feminist. [NYMag.com]
“You know what’s so funny is, I actually think there’s a new feminism that is completely different and I don’t think either is better or worse. Any kind of feminist has valid views for herself about what it means to be a feminist, but, as a new-age feminist, I would say I quite like the transference of strength I feel by submitting to a man – being under him. I actually wrote a song about it on my album, it’s called “GUY” and it stands for “Go Under You.” So wearing makeup, smelling delicious and having suckable, kissable, edible things between your limbs is something I find strengthening because I know that when I pick the right guy, I can let him have it. Some women feel oppressed by make-up and clothing, and here’s to them, they have every right to feel that way as well.”
– Lady Gaga actually says the resonant thing about feminism — to me — that that I’ve heard a pop star say. Yes, it’s possible to be a savvy businesswoman and multi-million-record-selling pop star but also submit to a man in the bedroom for sexual fantasy! And yes, it’s possible to be a feminist and choose to wear makeup! And yes, it’s possible to be a feminist and choose not to wear makeup! I don’t know quite what Gaga is rambling about with the “suckable, kissable, edible things between your limbs” part, though. Guess she likes to play with her food? (Ironically, however, this photo was taken while she was visiting accused rapist/Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London, proving there is no “perfect feminist.”) [Stylist UK] [Photo: Bauer-Griffin]