So, when I’m not attending class, I’m often working with an organization called the Antigone Foundation, which hopes to increase the leadership opportunities for girls and young women across a variety of fields. One of the main initiatives is Antigone Magazine, which I have been involved with in the last few years. This semester, I was the guest editor and I got to be the captain of the issue. Of course I chose to talk about body image!
The Body Image issue is going to go out to subscribers soon and is already out on the University of British Columbia campus. I am incredibly proud of the hard work of our writers and editors. I think we took a look at body image that did justice to some of the experiences women face, covering topics like fat activism, mental health, and how the white beauty standard impacts women of colour. I also wrote about how beauty can be an obstacle to leadership opportunities and I will be posting my article here shortly. Here’s an excerpt:
“… If we define power for women as something that comes in a lipstick tube or dress size, is it surprising that young women are so focused on their appearance? If this is perceived as their only avenue to power, then it is logical that empowerment comes to mean making themselves attractive to men at all costs – and I do mean all costs. The diet industry reportedly makes 40 billion dollars a year with help from this ‘logic,’ and the YMCA released a study in 2008 finding that American women spend a collective 7 billion dollars a year on cosmetic and beauty products.
For young women it’s not surprising that diets, eating disorders, expensive beauty products, complex and sometimes painful beauty rituals, and the endless policing of beauty standards seem much more strategic than joining a club, volunteering, voting, or getting your voice heard. How can we expect girls and young women to desire leadership when we are constantly telling them to focus on being desired?…”
Anyway, there’s the news of what’s going on in my world! I’m excited to continue my work fighting for healthy, positive body image. Doing it in a zine was a lot of fun!
(P.S. If you are interested in subscribing to our magazine and keeping our little feminist organization going, please contact antigonefoundation(at)gmail.com or me at beauty_vs_beast(at)ymail.com. It’s 12$ (CAN) for two issues a year. Next semester, we’ll be talking about women and the environment. See old issues here)
(P. P. S. Antigone is a Greek figure in mythology who stood up to the king (her uncle) and did what she felt was right. Now, in the fashion of Greek ancient tragedies, her end was… well, tragic. However, she is a figure who did whatever it took to follow her beliefs. You can see why we might name something after her.)