Providing muse to make a change to feminine societal standards with beauty, art, aesthetic, and the written word.
Unbound Banned on MTA + More
A New York City Ad Campaign is Calling Out the Disparities Between Male and Female Health
Unbound Babes, a women’s sexual and wellness company, recently submitted community designs based on the question: What does self love mean to you? The resulting images depict fully dressed women lounging by the bathtub, in bed, in a field of flowers - each subtly incorporating Unbound’s sex toy products. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) rejected the submissions despite the clear purpose of the campaign - to place health, pleasure and happiness at the fore.
Image: Unbound Babes
Choosing (or Not Choosing) Motherhood
Women artists—and women in general— often face guilt and stigma when choosing to consider their careers over potential for motherhood. The choice presented between one’s art and having a baby can feel limiting on all sides, especially since artistry can require significant alone time. Ultimately, partners and affordable child care can make an enormous difference in how domestic labor and child care is distributed.
Women Struggling to Receive Life-Saving Pap Smear Tests Due to Government Cuts
A proven method of detecting potentially cancerous processes in the cervix, Pap smear tests have saved the lives of countless women since their inception. With over half of the female population in the UK neglecting to receive Pap smear tests as a result of government funding cuts, thousands of women are being excluded from this arguably innate right.
Female Role Models Make Women Ask for More
A recent social experiment found that women exposed to strong female mentors were more likely to ask for and expect more out of their career. This matters for salaries and raises, standards for workplace relationships, and goals for the future. Rather than subscribe to the idea that women always engage in toxic competition with one another, let's acknowledge the way women can mutually empower each other.
This Female Riot Grrrl Group is Tackling Female Mental Health With Music
NKamikaze Girls, an art-punk group based in the UK, is eliminating the stigma of mental health using “music as a means to challenge attitudes and taboos surrounding mental health.” Berlin, a song on their Seafoam album, captures the stigma of mental health candidly in the lyrics: “I lost myself/I stood to the back of the venue/And I worried about/My mental health.”
Image: Girl, Interrupted
The Unmaking of an Incel
One former incel— or “involuntary celibate”— tells his story of how he came to the community of woman-hating white supremacists, and how he left. A more recent outcrop, members of the incel community has engaged in acts of terrorism that have targeted women. Initially defined by the subject as a “support group” where men can discuss their loneliness, he advocated for the stripping of misogynistic content from incel forums. Ultimately, he found that talking with adults outside of the incel community allowed him to see a path forward.
It’s been over a year and six months since the Brexit vote, and the UK’s impending breakaway from the European Union is still causing uproar. Fashion companies based around the UK, in particular, are concerned about the deals’ impact on their ability to hire and travel internationally, as well as import high-quality textiles from around the globe. According to a report from the Creative Industries Federation, 74% of small luxury labels—many of whom are run by or provide employment to women-- fear that Brexit will significantly harm business prospects. Adam Mansell, the executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, warns that, although it seems unlikely, “it is vital that we get a trade deal with zero tariffs and very simple border controls.”
28-year-old Humza Mian isn’t just a veterinary technician—he’s also a drag queen and social media influencer whose feeds are both a celebration of his South Asian heritage and of his individuality. His drag name, MangHoe Lassi, pays homage to a popular drink in India. Growing up in a religious family, Mian was taught to hide any traces of femininity, and he still isn’t out to his parents. While he wishes he could be, the reality is that coming out still is not a safe option for many people across the world. Even though laws are changing and promoting acceptance of more and more people, the social implications of such a decision can be incredibly dangerous. Mian wishes that media represented those queer folk who are proud of their identity but still have to remain closeted, unlike the many out-loud-and-proud shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite this, he is happy his drag, makeup tutorials, and social media presence as a beauty influencer can create a safe space for him to be fully himself, and he hopes he can create that space for others with similar experiences.
Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor and body-positive advocate took to Instagram this week to talk about an issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: chafing and the discomfort—and scars—it can result in. Stanley posted an amazingly real photo of herself on her couch in her underwear, comfortably watching television with her inner thighs bearing the scars many plus-sized women have from chafing. Within her caption, she says “Yes, there are permanent marks on my thighs from chafing, Welcome to being #fat.” What people don’t realize is that this happens to women whose thighs happen to brush together when they walk—it’s not about being what society deems as “fat.” It’s simply friction and nothing to be ashamed of.
Coming out is an important moment for many in the queer community, but what if you never technically have to come out, or you’re not sure you even have anything to come out about? Growing up, Wilson knew she liked boys, but she was confused about the feelings that girls would sometimes provoke in her. She hated herself for being confused. As a supporter of queer rights, she felt that even discussing her confusion would take away from “real queer people,” and she saw her own identity as invalid. After all, she married a man and was incredibly happy with him, so what was the point of exploring her identity even further? But one day during Pride Month, Eleanor wondered why she didn’t think her identity mattered and why she had been unhappily hiding herself. She realized that to finally feel comfortable in her own skin, she had to be honest. After coming out via social media, Eleanor couldn’t stop telling everyone she talked to; it gave her such a rush of love for herself and her unique identity. If there’s one thing Eleanor’s story can teach us, it’s that accepting yourself and showing who you are to the world takes time, bravery, and a whole lot of self-love.