Browsing Tag

Girl Power

Movies and TV


Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine in 1971 and are just a few of the women who've made America what it is today

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine in 1971 and are just a few of the women who’ve made America what it is today

Have you seen this fascinating documentary yet? It’s a three-part series titled “Makers: Women Who Make America” and, even though I first discovered it this past winter, I’ve found myself thinking about the amazing women it introduced me to a lot lately. When I first watched the documentary I was amazed (and admittedly a little embarrassed) by some of the things I never knew about the women’s movement in the United States, and the series left me feeling truly inspired to make the world better — to continue the work of the women who have given me the chances I have now, and to improve the chances for women and other minorities of future generations. PBS’s editing keeps the pace of the documentary energetic, entertaining, and often humorous, and Meryl Streep’s narration lends the piece the kind of comforting, smooth patter that allows you to forget you’re actually learning a ton while watching…

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Sweet Nothings

Maternal Instincts

My mother swinging me around, giving me a unique view of the world at an early age

Although I’m not a big fan of Mother’s Day and all its Hallmark-Crown glory, I couldn’t help thinking of my own mom whenever I saw the maternal-themed balloons, bouquets and jewelry billboards this weekend. She is not the kind of lady who covets jewels, new clothes or flowers, though, and this means all the gaudy decorations of the world only further remind me of what she’s taught me. Since giving birth, my mother has been a master of making something from nothing – she sewed almost all of my clothing herself, made popsicles, bread and every imaginable other food item from scratch, and even crafted homemade Care Bears and Cabbage Patch dolls for me and my sisters. She was able to camouflage any tight times by turning cash-saving projects into adventures, and yet one thing she never camouflaged was herself and her flaws. My mom taught me that being a woman isn’t just about being pretty and applying lipstick, and she showed me this by example – I don’t think I ever saw her wear makeup, wrinkle creams or something that remotely resembled control-top pantyhose. Instead, she painted her face to play make believe, let us dress her in our own zany designs, and sacrificed beauty rest to drive me to late-night theater rehearsals…

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Art and Architecture, Sweet Nothings

Oh Baby

Gisele Bundchen and son Benjamin Rein, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue April 2011

Images of women and infants have permeated human culture since the beginning time – from cave drawings, to the Madonna and Child, to photos of the Material Girl and her very own brood. These images have whispered subliminal messages to me my whole life, but none quite so clear as the recent photos of Gisele Bundchen and her newborn son in Vogue Magazine. These photos basically scream at me (and any other girl who views them for that matter), “Motherhood is sexy, and you are not a real, sensual or whole woman unless your womb bears forth babies.” Perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic and this isn’t exactly the message Vogue was trying to convey, but why would they have renowned fashion photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, capture Gisele bra-less and caressing her own pregnant belly (and post-baby-skinny riding a horse on the beach with a bare midriff) if they weren’t trying to sexify motherhood? Not only does Vogue’s sexification of Gisele and Child stir up an array of emotions and primal urges in me, but it makes my practical side ask this simple question: are airbrushed glimpses of motherhood really what our society needs right now?

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Movies and TV

Girl Power and Popcorn

Rosie O’Donnell and Meg Ryan indulging in popcorn and old movies in “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993), courtesy of TriStar Pictures; mind you, this flick doesn’t make my list of girl-power classics

Do you ever need help psyching yourself up to conquer the world or just make it through the workday? I know I sure do, and this is one of those weeks when I’d really love to feel as though my life is set to an upbeat soundtrack not to mention feel my to-do lists are capable of being tackled in montage form. Although I have nary a spare second (between plotting a cross-country move, planning a marriage and searching for jobs), my psyche is demanding that I carve out a few hours to indulge in empowering, Motown-pulsing movies tonight. Making the time almost seems like the easy part, however, because very few films of this ilk are actually geared toward my demographic (a.k.a., that pesky 49.76% of the population that is female). While there are thousands of go-get-’em-tiger movies for men (such as, every single “Rocky,” sports movie or war flick), it’s hard to find films about women that get the “you can do it” attitude just right. The few movies led by females often focus too heavily on the romantic stories or don’t pay love interests any attention at all. I used to think the latter was what it took to make a good girl-power movie, but I’ve since changed my mind; negotiating the waters of sexual politics is key to any female’s coming of age, and learning to love yourself with or without a man is a crucial part of becoming a woman. With this in mind, here are my top movie picks for when you want a little girl power in your life…

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