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December 25, 2014
The Lives They Lived: Shirley Temple Black
The New York Times Magazine

December 7, 2014
When Cancer is Not Cancer
The California Sunday Magazine

July 27, 2014
The Wrong Approach to Breast Cancer
The New York Times

June 14, 2014
The Battle Over Dress Codes
The New York Times

March, 2014
Beauty Self-Acceptance--At Last
MORE Magazine

September, 2013
Call of the Wild
MORE Magazine

September 1, 2013
Grieving Traditions Lost In Berkeley Camp Flames
The San Francisco Chronicle

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Posts Tagged pink

“Sociological Images”: Will You Marry Me?

Sociological Images is ruining my life. I can spend hours looking at their images tracking….well, everything  (God and the U.S. dollar) but especially the evolution of gender:  there’s their current Lego  series; the periodic rants on  pet ownership; how  video game ads have changed; men’s/women’s toilet signs from around the world and the take-down of Zoe Deschanel-style “manic Pixie dream girls” (a term coined by Nathan Rabin at A.V. Club  and further explained by Feminist Frequency). Things you never think about, never notice, but that shape us all the same. Love. LOVE!!! One of my favorites, is from about a year ago:  a round-up of products for kids. Among them,  onesies that include a list of “ingredients” on the tummy. What are boys made of? Love, energy, and dirt: And girls?  love, beauty and kindness:   Then there’s this photo of ride-aboard trucks at Target: The boys’ version is red and is, appropriately, called a Lil’ Fire Truck Ride-On. […]

Disney Princesses: The Gateway Drug

Disney Princesses: The Gateway Drug

I just received a press release (excerpted below) below from the Disney Store. Those  pseudo-empowering” Rapunzels and Belles are just  bait-and-switch for trusting parents. The big money–the REAL money (the $5 BILLION a year) is creating and selling to what here is called the “Princess Fashionista” and then keeping her business and loyalty as she reaches the high-spending tweens and beyond. Interesting  that girls here are no longer encouraged by Disney to live HAPPILY ever after but STYLISHLY ever after. Hence my theory that really, the thing to be concerned about these days is NOT the rescued-by-the-prince fantasy  so much as the way today’s Princess culture  girls to a of femininity that is  sexualized, narcissistic, self-objectifying, vain, commercialized, self-objectifying….and need I say UNHEALTHY?   Fashionistas receive the royal treatment with an enchanted evening of pampering and accessorizing, Disney-style PASADENA, Calif., September 7, 2011–Disney Store will celebrate New York City’s Fashion’s Night Out […]

It’s Really Not the Underwear

I’m still on vacation, but while I’ve been gone people have been sending me various outrageous items they’ve come across that, again and again, illustrate  of increasingly sexualized, commodified ideas about femininity being foisted on our daughters at an ever-younger age. To me, some of them are the equivalent of the toddler beauty pageants–they are so out there that they become perversely reassuring: whatever the rest of us  may be doing it’s not THAT bad. Ultimately, I fear, they  discourage us from truly examining mainstream culture, desensitizing us to the less extreme but relentless creep  (and I mean that in every sense of the word) of sexualization and consumerism. So to me, while despicable the French company Jours Apres Lune’s  totally pedo lingerie for 10-year-olds ( see below) that was all over ABC and Time, risks taking our eye off the true problem. Similarly, the same outlets’ alarm over  the […]

Bucking the Tide or Caught in the Undertow?

Not sure how I feel about this new Tide ad in which girlie-girl Mom tries to come to terms with her non-conforming daughter . Like it? Hate it? Troubled by it? Jezebel finds it “a 30 second cocktail of gender stereotypes” that are hard to decipher: Are we supposed to relate to the uptight, creepy mom who wishes her daughter wore pink, or laugh at her for being neurotic and over-the-top girly? At worst, the ad plays on the fearswe’re supposed to have about girls like Shiloh, and at best it’s just uncomfortable to watch. Don’t know whether I agree. I do relate to the idea that your child can sometimes, in her individuality, do things that make you wildly uncomfortable and that you struggle to accept. I also think if this were flipped and it was a pink boy on the rug playing the ad would’ve been more controversial. […]

Being Part of the Solution for Girls AND Boys

Being Part of the Solution for Girls AND Boys

Let’s take a break from chronicling the problems today and–hey. in honor of women’s soccer (woot!)–be a little solution-oriented. I just spoke with the magnificent Diane Levin and she mentioned an organization she’s founded: TRUCE, which stands for Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment. Our mission is to raise public awareness about the harmful influence of unhealthy children’s entertainment and to provide information about toys and activities that promote healthy play. We are working to eliminate marketing aimed at exploiting children and to reduce the sale of toys and entertainment that promotes violence. This is not specifically about girls–it’s about the unhealthy messages beamed at both sexes. On their web site they have a fabulous set of action guides teachers and parents can download on play, toys and media for infants, toddlers and young children. They’re totally grass roots, so if you do it and like it PASS THE INFORMATION ALONG! I’ll […]

I Heart This Campaign

I Heart This Campaign

I’ve been critical of the Keep-a-Breast Foundation’s “I Heart Boobies” bracelets campaign. But I also am a person who gives credit where it’s due, and I very much like the early style, tone and message of their non-toxic revolution campaign. I especially hope they focus on educating girls about potential carcinogens in cosmetics–during and just after puberty they are especially vulnerable. And short of questioning the beauty industry  in general, I at least hope KABF can make clean makeup the cool choice. And I’m not talking Cover Girl Clean (for you who grew up in the 1970s). So we’ll see. I’m rooting for them on this one. Though it does seem ironic that all those bracelets will end up as….land fill.

The Princess & The Science Museum

We live walking distance from Lawrence Hall of Science. It is, in fact, the only thing we can walk to from our house, except for nature and it is really hard to find a good cup of coffee in nature. Anyway, all this by way of saying we spend a LOT of time at the science museum. In addition to the rotating exhibits, there is a back area where there are lots of activities involving sand and water and tectonic plate motion (California, remember?) but are mostly an excuse for kids to run in circles until they’re tuckered out. In the middle of all of this is a big, meandering pond with a bunch of flat rocks one can leapfrog among and plastic dividers to raise and lower to create currents, dams etc. Most of the girls running and jumping around were wearing leggings or jeans with t-shirts and sneakers. […]

Ta-Tas Talk Back

Elizabeth Rosenberg of “Save the Ta-Tas” wrote to me with her critique of my recent Los Angeles Times editorial, “The Trouble with Those Boobies Bracelets.” I told her I would post her response. So you’ll find it below. But I still take issue: for one thing it says on the top of the site that a mere 25% of revenue goes to cancer-related causes. Compare that to National Breast Cancer Coalition where 86% goes to programs. So where’s that other 75% going? Elizabeth says: “It pains me when I see that Save the Ta-tas® has been grouped with organizations that do very little to fight the war against cancer.    The ta-tas® Brand (est. 2004) and Save the Ta-tas® Foundation (est. 2008) were created by Julia Fikse, as a way to fight breast cancer using laughter and fun.  Julia’s message of hope and humor has reached thousands of victims and survivors […]

Are You Racing for a CURE? Think again….

Are You Racing for a CURE? Think again....

Just read on Komen Watch that only 15% of the money YOU give to/raise for the Komen Foundation goes to research. That’s a REDUCTION of $17 million since 2010. It’s also 4% less than the amount going to their administrative expenses. And the bulk? Goes to “education,” which, guess what–nice but won’t move that needle even a tiny bit closer to a cure. I think they might need to hear from us….. Here’s a pie chart of last year’s funding, thanks to The Cancer Culture Chronicles

Oh, Baby: This is the BEST ONE EVER–In Your FACE FOX!

Oh, Baby: This is the BEST ONE EVER--In Your FACE FOX!

Okay, name the child on the right in the first photo, all gussied up in a dress; same child is the smaller kid in the second. Dr. Keith has some ‘splaining to do……