Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

‘They cannot change me’ January 21, 2014

This video is a nice commentary on beauty expectations for women in the entertainment industry. From Jezebel:

Here’s a striking video from Hungarian singer Boggie, in which her moving image is being retouched and “corrected” throughout the entire video. Directed by Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy, the three-minute video shows Boggie’s transformating from a lovely woman in dim lighting to a lovely, flawlessly made-up woman who has, judging by her glowing surroundings, been abducted by aliens and forced to sing for them.

 

 

PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE MACHINE January 7, 2014

Filed under: appearance,beauty — Jender @ 8:37 pm

In. The. Machine. YOU CAN’T BE BEAUTIFUL UNLESS YOU PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE MACHINE.
5010153552_fb2a56b625_o_final

(Thanks, Mr Jender!)

 

Amazing photos of female athletes November 21, 2013

Filed under: appearance,beauty — magicalersatz @ 6:16 pm

Photographer Howard Schatz showcases the amazing diversity – and beauty – of the female athlete in a series of photos. The Huffington Post has more info.

female olympic athletes

female olympic athletes

 

A woman, but not tall, skinny and blonde? July 9, 2013

Filed under: beauty,sports — Monkey @ 5:07 pm

… then how dare you win Wimbledon! Another face-palm moment from the intarwebz. What is wrong with people?

 

A Beautiful Body June 25, 2013

Filed under: Arts,beauty,body,empowering women,self-esteem — philodaria @ 1:26 am

Go check out this HuffPo article on photographer Jade Beall’s project documenting the beautiful, un-photo-shopped bodies of mothers (there’s a slideshow at the end with some photographs from her series–it’s stunning).

“We are facing an epidemic of women who feel unworthy of being called beautiful,” Beall told HuffPost, describing a world in which “nearly all of us struggle to feel beautiful in our own skin.” And the expectations faced by women who have given birth are particularly harsh. “Shaming mothers for not ‘bouncing back’ after childbirth can cause feelings of failure when being a mother is challenging enough and when a big number of us have already lived a life of feeling un-beautiful prior to giving birth,” she says.

It’s also worth watching her video on the Kickstarter page for the project.

 

The Scar Project: breast cancer is not a pink ribbon April 1, 2013

Filed under: appearance,beauty,cancer,Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 7:45 pm

The best explanation of the scar project comes with the second link below. I’ll try to give some background first.

Breast Cancer in young women is very worrying. The statistics put the chances of death within the standard 5 and 10 year markers quite high when compared to the rates of death in older women. In addition to this very scary fact, a cancer victim, young or old, typically ends up with surgery and other treatments, such as radiation, and may be left seriously scarred and even infertile. For many cancer victims, the cancer is fueled by estrogen, and it may make sense in some cases to have one’s ovaries removed.

Nonetheless, the beauty and dignity of cancer victims is very obvious, as the scar project is meant to show us in the young victims of this disease. I am going to link to an NY Times article and a clip about the project. There is also a video from youtube.You’ll be looking at the aftermath of surgery. Some women have had lumpectomies and others mastectomies. You may find the pictures difficult to look at, though my own squeamish self had no problem at all. Still, it seemed better to link to these pictures.

NYTimes article by Susan Gubar,

Clip linked to from the NYT,

Youtube

 

Pretty

Filed under: appearance,beauty,gender,objectification — philodaria @ 3:51 am

 

Transcript here.

 

Being honest about objectification March 21, 2013

Filed under: appearance,beauty,objectification — philodaria @ 1:46 pm

Well, the editor of the UK edition of Esquire is being honest about objectifying women, but has some how missed that this is sexist.

Esquire editor Alex Bilmes has admitted that the magazine uses pictures of “ornamental” women for male readers “in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars”.

Bilmes, who moved from rival men’s title GQ to edit Esquire in 2010, said that his magazine’s policy was “more honest” than that of the women’s magazine industry, which he claimed perpetuate negative images of women.

“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”

Read the full story here with some ageism thrown in just for good measure.

 

What Dove did March 7, 2013

Filed under: beauty — Jender @ 11:36 am

It’s pretty interesting, but best if you look for yourself. (Thanks, Mr Jender!)

Update: As a lot of people have compellingly argued in comments, this would be *much* better if not coming from a company that (a) engages in a lot of this stuff itself; (b) is a mega corporation pretending to be some sort of outsider activist; (c) was actually targeting the people who decide this stuff rather than the art directors.

I still maintain it’s interesting, but in rather a different way than that which was intended.

 

Oppressive beliefs and breast size preference February 17, 2013

Filed under: beauty,objectification,psychology,science — hippocampa @ 12:37 pm

A recent study showed that White British heterosexual men’s preferences for larger female breasts were significantly associated with a greater tendency to be benevolently sexist, to objectify women, and to be hostile towards women (Viren Swami and Martin J. Toveé, 2013).

Since the article isn’t open access, I will briefly summarise what they did and found, which will inevitably leave out things that are also relevant and noteworthy, but ok:

Small breast sizeLarge breast sizeBased on self-reports, they selected a sample of 361 males of Britisch White descent, who didn’t indicate being gay or bisexual or didn’t disclose their preference (average age 30, ranging from 18 to 68). Those were asked to rate the attractability of photo-realistic 3D models that were rotated on the screen. I copied and pasted from the article the model with the smallest breast size out of five on the left, and the one with the largest on the right so you get a bit of an idea. In the study they were presented in colour. After having rated the models, the participants were asked to fill in questionnaires that measure sexist attitudes (Hostility Towards Women Scale HTWS, Attitudes Towards Women Scale AWS and Benevolent Sexism BS subscale of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory ASI) and that measure objectification of women (an adaptation of the Self-Objectification Scale SOS).

What they found was that on average men found the medium breast size model most attractive, with a skewed distribution towards the larger breast size, which seems unsurprising. The men’s preference for larger breast sizes was significantly and positively correlated with hostility towards women, more sexist attitudes towards women, benevolent sexism and objectification of women. They also found that young men were more likely to rate large breasts as more attractive. Neither education nor relationship status had an effect. Benevolent sexism was the strongest predictor for breast size rating, while objectifaction of women and hostility towards women were also significant predictors.

Some highlights from the discussion which I thought were noteworthy:

“[...] insofar as breasts are an index of a gendered difference between women and men, benevolently sexist men may perceive larger breasts as ‘‘appropriate’’ for feminine women; in other words, in the view of benevolently sexism men, a feminine and submissive woman is likely to be someone with large breasts.”

“Based on this set of results, it might be argued that it is the tendency to view women in ways that are subjectively positive for the perceiver rather than to explicitly denigrate women that drives men’s breast size preferences. Of course, both types of sexism stem from issues relating to power, gender identity, and sexuality, and it should also be noted thatbenevolent sexism may also serve to justify hostile attitudes toward women (Glick&Fiske, 1996).”

“Our results also showed that a greater tendency to objectify women was associated with a greater likelihood of rating larger breasts as physically attractive. Previous scholars have argued that, in many socioeconomically developed societies, female breasts have become an important site of objectification of the femalebody (Seifert,2005;Wardetal.,2006). This is evidenced, for example, in media aimed at hegemonic masculinities (Gerald & Potvin, 2009), where large female breasts are fetishized and treated as sexual objects that fulfill the pleasures and desires of masculine men. In this view, the objectification of women’s body parts, including though not limited to their breasts, is an example of the dominance of men over women and is further reproduced through cultural expectations of heteronormativity (Martino & Pallotta-Chiarolli, 2005). Moreover, this normalization compels women to put up with the objectification of their breasts and bodies by men, and even to treat such objectificationas flattering (Pascoe, 2007).”

They acknowledge a number of shortcomings in the research, such as the models all having the same face and waist-to-hip ratio and such, and all the breasts being the same shape. They further indicate the rather standard issues with recruitment method of the participants that might limit the generalisability (if that’s a word) and the possibility of socially desirable responding.

“In summary, the results of the present study showed that men’s oppressive beliefs predicted their idealization of larger female breasts. These results may have important implications for contemporary theorizing of breast size preferences. In addition to considering the distal evolutionary pressures that led to men’s breast size preferences, our findings also highlight the importance of considering the proximate sociocultural context in which thosejudgments aremade (cf. Little, Jones, DeBruine, & Caldwell, 2011). Specifically, it seems clear that the lived experiences of women and men in contemporary societies, and particularly their gendered relations with one another, will have a major impact on their beauty ideals and practices (Forbes et al., 2007).More broadly, future research would do well to more carefully consider the ways in which such beauty ideals shape and maintain gendered divisions in contemporary societies.

Fascinating.

 

 
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