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I love Sean Avery

11 May

Who could forget the Avery rule . . .

As a hard core New York Rangers fan, I’ve always loved Sean Avery. I love his shit-talking, his dirty plays, and his amazing talent on the ice. I love that he interned with a fashion magazine in the off-season after the Rangers got knocked out of the playoffs, and I love that he openly admitted his love for women’s clothing, especially handbags. He’s the kind of player you love if he’s on your team, but can’t stand if his on the other team. And now, after his public show of support for marriage equality, I love him even more! He’s a tough, dirty, skilled, athlete speaking out for what he believes in, even though he’s taking a lot of shit for it.

I may be his new number one fan (in a very not-stalker kind of way, of course). Keep doing what your doing Avery! It only takes one person to make a difference!

Here’s the video from the HRC:

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Turning Women into Meat . . . Literally

4 May

I realize that this HUSTLER cover is really outdated (June 1978), but I think it’s important to talk about. This was the cover of a HUSTLER magazine form 32 years ago. Yet, I still feel like it’s relevant to how women are viewed in the gentleman’s magazines of today.

Yesterday started reading the book Pornland: How porn has hijacked our sexuality. So far I’m loving the book! I’ll be sure to post some updates about it!

Any thoughts on this image? 

When we Said we Wanted Equality, we Didn’t Mean This

12 Apr

I swear this is the real image from the Man Spanx home page!

 

My boyfriend and I were at a men’s dress clothing store today called The Shirt Box. While he was trying on clothes, I was browsing around the store and I couldn’t believe what I saw on one of the shelves. Mixed in with the bow ties, tie pins, and cuff links were . . . . SPANX FOR MEN!! I was shocked when I saw them.! I might have believed they were a product that sat on the shelf for a long time that men just laughed at, but As I was having this conversation with myself, trying to comprehend the tragic-ness of the situation, I realized that a man in the store was trying the man Spanx on!

The Spanx website features undershirts and underwear for men with the catch phrase,

“Expect more from your underwear!”

The website claims, “These physique-improving, game-changing undershirts feature powerful compression zones that comfortably transform the torso and chest! He’ll look sharper, stand taller and feel stronger in his clothes!” Another style claims, “These chest-firming, back-supporting shirts will narrow his waist line, flatten his stomach and leave him looking and feeling his best!” Because we all know your true self is never your best, right? This is the same bullshit that these companies have been feeding women for years!

We have been fighting the toxic body culture that we (mostly women) live in for years. We have been fighting for equal rights with men for so long. But, when we said we wanted equality, we didn’t mean we wanted men to hate their bodies as much as we do! How sad. There can’t be much hope for women if the toxic body-hate is spilling over to the male gender too.

From Seed magazine:

Every bit as unattainable as Barbie-doll proportions and the heroin chic look are the broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, fat-free, and muscle-sheathed male physiques littering today’s media.

Men in advertising and media are no long hairy, sweaty men who don’t care what they look like. They are now shaved, buff, fat free dudes who put a lot of thought in to their appearance. I don’t have too much expertise on this subject, but I sense that this is creating some sort of conflict in the male world. Our culture is telling men to be “men,” but at the same time the media is teaching them to hate their bodies. I feel like these are two very conflicting messages.

Seed Magazine says:

Whether “real-body” discomfort in men is truly new or something that’s only now being noticed is impossible to say, but sociologists and psychologists say that images of hairless, sweatless, pseudo-perfect men are more common than ever before.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, there are about 1 million men with serious eating disorders and tens of millions who have some form of eating disorders.

Again, this is sad. Not only do we have to worry about protecting our young girls from the body-hate culture, but now we also have to protect our boys.

My Vagina is Perfect!

16 Mar

This post was inspired by an essay I wrote for a class after reading an article titled Vulvas with a Difference by Faith Wilding. I’ve always been slightly disgusted by the recent popularity of vaginal rejuvenation surgeries. In fact, I find the whole concept appalling.

I remember the exact day I learned my vagina was different. I was at one of those trashy, fluorescently lit, sex-shops with my boyfriend. We were looking at all the fun toys and at the end of an aisle we came to the fake vaginas. I asked my boyfriend, “Why do they make them look like that?”

“Like what?” he said.

“Like that,” I pointed to the plastic vulva lips, “all weird and stuff.”

He looked at me confused and said with a smile, “That’s what some vaginas look like.”

I was shocked! I thought to myself, “Wait . . . my vagina does not look like that.” This was the first time, in my entire life, that I felt a slight insecurity about my vagina. I realized that I had never actually seen anyone’s vagina other than my own.

There may be something we can learn from this. I didn’t know what other vaginas looked like, so I didn’t know what mine was “supposed” to look like. I’m not bombarded on an hourly basis with images of beautiful, skinny, blonde, vaginas. It’s the only part of my body that no one was shoving images of in my face telling me what it was “supposed” to look like. And as a result, I thought it was perfect. I’d heard about vaginal rejuvenation and pink dyes to make your vagina a more “preferable” color, but I always thought that was for old ladies who’d had kids or were just dealing with the inescapable effects of aging. I had no clue that my vagina wasn’t pink enough, or now maybe it’s too pink. Fortunately for me, I was at a place in my life where I could realize the absurdity of my new-found vaginal insecurity, and get over it fast. But what if I had been 16 and seen that fake vagina? I might have gone into my adolescent years with a crushing worry about the appearance of my most treasured body part.

In the article Vulvas With a Difference, Faith Wilding says, “The new vulvar and vaginal surgical technologies would be put to much better use in helping women seeking reconstruction and healing of sexual organs mutilated and damaged by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practices, than in making unnecessary “aesthetic” interventions on perfectly healthy women.” (3) I totally agree with her. It makes me so sad to think that there are women who are so unhappy with the appearance of their vagina that they’re resorting to surgery to “fix” it. We are fighting the gruesome and terrible practice of FGM, and yet there are women voluntarily submitting themselves to the same kind of practice. Just because an anesthetic is used, and you are given pain pills after doesn’t make it any different.

Here are some of the ridiculous products I found that are for “fixing” or making your vagina “better”. News flash – I like my vagina just the way it is. These are a few products we could do without. (I swear I didn’t make some of these up.)

Betty Beauty Pubic Hair Dye
Don’t like the color of your pubic hair? Don’t worry! You can dye it!

 

 

 

Alpha Betty Vagina Bling
This is not an area for glue and reinstones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My New Pink Button
Not only do we have to shave our vagina’s, but now we hate to tell you, the soft sensitive skin underneath that hair . . . it’s definitely not pink enough.  So if your vagina is actually skin colored . . . you need to fix that.

 

 

 

Vaginal Scented Film Deodorant
Just in case your vagina actually smells like say . . . vagina . . . there’s a solution for that! Just use one of these little films and your vagina will instantly smell like baby power, fresh flowers, or get this – island breeze! FINALLY! I’ve always wanted a vagina that smelled like island breeze! Taking a note from the Vagina Monologues “My vagina is supposed to smell like pussy!”

 

 

 

 

 

The Cuchini!
Just incase everyone thought you actually had vulva lips down there, now they’ll think you just look like barbie with a smooth hard crotch.

I Have Sex!

14 Mar

Are Your Legs Gap Approved?

5 Aug

Makes you feel pretty good eh?

It may not come as a surprise when I tell you that The Gap is trying to make you feel like shit about about yourself so you’ll buy their clothes! Are you surprised? As Stephanie Marcus, who took this picture says,

“Another day, another ad that tries to make people buy their products by making you feel bad about your body.”

It always blows my mind that big apparel companies try to sway us into buying something by making us feel like shit about ourselves. This is just like the controversial “Eat Less” t-shirts that Urban Outfitters sold back in 2008.

Yes, Gap is benefiting from the publicity they are getting from this disgusting ad. And I guess I’m feeding into it too, but I feel it’s important to talk about these kind of things. As true as the Gap ad may be, hearing the true facts about eating disorders and body image issues among our young girls takes a lot of the humor out of it. Focus Adolescent Services reports that,

Anorexia and bulimia affect nearly 10 million women in the U.S. Anorexia has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness and the average age of girls affected with eating disorders is 11-13, affecting girls as young as elementary school age. Without treatment up to 20% of girls with eating disorders die.

After hearing those statistics, it is disgusting that any company would even dream of playing on your insecurities in an attempt to make you buy clothes.

I remember when I found my first cellulite dimple on my right thigh about 11 years ago, when I was in middle school. It was devastating. I was sitting on the steps to our pool with my legs crossed and when I leaned over to put my hand in the water . . . there it was – all puckered up like it was laughing at me. Ever since that day I have been self conscious about wearing shorts or crossing my legs when I’m in a skirt or shorts. In middle school I would even wear long boys shorts because I was so ashamed of my legs. (and I was NOT a fat kid.) With the increase of overweight kids these days I cannot even begin to imagine how many young girls are suffering in silence.

Over the last few years I have came to terms with my thighs and made friends with my cellulite. Yes I could benefit from losing a good 20 lbs, (and I’m working on it!) but in the mean time my thighs are mine and I love them. My legs have carried me through a lot of great experiences in my life and I refuse to be ashamed of them no matter what weight I might be at.

Do me a favor – do not let ads like this Gap ad dictate who’s legs are ok to be seen in public and who’s aren’t. At the risk of sounding like Tyra Banks – Love your body for what it is. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be more fit or lose weight, but in the mean time don’t put yourself down. Your body is yours and it’s the only one you get. I’m sure we can all say we know or have known someone who was affected by an eating disorder. If you or anyone you know needs help there are plenty of resources and hotlines out there. Eating disorders are not something to take lightly.

So – My thighs and I have a message for the Gap and their ad team:

Go fuck yourselves.

I still think there’s hope for our society though. Nike is re-releasing its My Butt is Big ad from 2005. I LOVE IT! I want this framed on my wall.

Be proud of your body.

I Heart Product Placement ♥

23 Jun

Apple cashes in on some prime product placement in ABC's Modern Family where the iPad is featured multiple times.

I have this weird interest with mainstream TV shows and their increased use of product placement. In many shows and movies advertising has become so seamless that most people don’t even realize they’re being fed advertisements. Some shows on the other hand are not so great at subtly working products in their script and it becomes very obvious. Thought I’d take a look at some current product placement and some ideas, facts and thoughts surrounding it.

Here is a good explaination of product placement for anyone who is unfamiliar with it, exactly what it is, and the reason for it:

Product placement is a form of advertising, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, the story line of tv shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the good or service is featured. In April 2006, Broadcasting & Cable reported, “Two thirds of advertisers employ ‘branded entertainment’ – product placement – with the vast majority (80%) in commercial TV programing.” The story, based on a survey by the Association of National Advertisers, added, “Reasons for using in-show plugs varied from ‘stronger emotional connection’ to better dovetailing with relevant content, to targetting a specific group.”

A classic example of product placement is James Bond and his Aston Martin. Or Seinfeld and the Junior Mints, Ray Ban sunglasses from Risky Business, and Reese’s Pieces in ET (Reese’s Pieces sales went up 65% after being featured in ET). Business week says about product placement:

In the generically minded film world of a generation ago, an on-screen soda bottle was simply labeled “root beer” and a tennis shoe was — well, any old shoe. Nowadays, the movie and TV industries are molding products, logos, and slogans into the very building blocks of popular culture — often without audiences realizing it.

In a world where we are being overloaded and bombarded with ads almost every second, companies are doing everything they can to stand out amongst the rest. The invention of TiVo has not only revolutionized the way we watch TV, but also forced the advertisers to change they way they reach their audiences. If you’re fast forwarding through the commercials their message isn’t reaching you – it’s not worth it for them to invest $175,000 for a 30 second ad if you’re not going to see it (which is the average cost on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX). So instead they incorporate their product into the show it’s self.  It is estimated that the product placement industry is reaching $1 billion a year. Critics say that, “Blurring the line between art and commerce is ‘stealth advertising,” and they want is stopped.”It is inherently deceptive if people don’t realize that ads are ads,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. However, Dave Harkness, senior VP for strategy and development for the VNU Media Measurement & Information Group says, ” . . . A TV program with no branded products would be unreal.” CommonDreams.org writes:

But some viewers may not be aware that the reason lowly forensic civil servants on CBS’s “CSI: Miami” drive $55,000 Hummers is that General Motors donated the vehicles, just to keep them in the public eye. Product placement also explains those lingering camera shots of folks weeping for joy over Kenmore washing machines on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The footage is shot at the request of Sears, which reportedly paid $1 million for the first season of commercials plus verbal and visual references to its products in every episode. Volkswagen will spend $200 million over three to five years to place its cars in Universal movies and in TV shows and ads on NBC, Bravo, Sci Fi, and USA.

There are plenty of people out there who are opposed to product placement, claiming that advertisers are “tricking” viewers. But personally, I believe a good way to think about it, is by relating it to fashion. When celebrities and other public figures start to wear a certain type of clothing, it all of a sudden starts showing up in our local lifes. Remember Uggs? They were being manufactured and worn in Australia well before 1978. But it wasn’t until they got a huge boost in the US from women like Kate Moss, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Aniston, and even Oprah who spent more than $50,000 to buy them for her staff and featured them on her show as one of her “favorite things” in 2000, that they actually started being a must-have item for us Americans. Or what about the return of headbands and their appearance on Gossip Girl. DoesThisLookStupid.com says:

With the popularity of the teen drama comes the popularity of the headband—yes, Blair Waldorf just might be the most influential trendsetter of 2008, beating out Sienna Miller and the Olsen twins for the spot.

So – just like fashion trends, our advertisements are becoming ever so seamlessly melded with our entertainment and from the looks of it – there’s no turning back. Honestly, I love it. I love when a show perfectly writes the perfect script for the perfect product that can make it an instant “have-to-have” product. Even if it just serves as product recognition, I think it’s great. Also, I’d rather get my ads along side my shows than have to watch 30-60 second spots about the product.

Basically – it’s not something we can change. Product placement is a billion dollar industry that causes a lot of money to change hands. However, we can become more aware of it. Keep your eyes open for the next time they try to slip a good product placement by you in your favorite TV show. Watching for them is something I love doing and get so excited when I spot one! Here are some new and old examples that you may or may not have noticed.

Yes, even in True Blood Hoyt's mom is seen playing Wii.

Harry Potter - Converse Shoes. Considering this story takes place in a fantasy world, it was an unlikely place for product placement. But a teen audience is a perfect place for some things and converse capitalized on that.

American Idol - Coca Cola. This one needs no explanation.

Desperate Housewives - Buick. GM supplies, at no cost, the show's set with a fleet of vehicles. Buick, which did not pay for the product placement, has some of the show's characters driving the new Buicks in the episodes.

Pretty Little Liars - Every time anyone of the girls sends a text you get an oh-so-not subtle shot or mention about The Kin.

Gossip Girl - Vitamin Water - On the premier of the second season they all attended a Vitamin Water Party and the colorful bottles made an appearance in every shot possible. Chuck Bass at the Vitamin Water White Party.

Even thought it's not a branded product we can't forget about Blair and her headbands.