Welcome to this week’s edition of Feminist Friday, our weekly where we get to take a break from our regular scheduled programming and share some of our favorite videos of the moment. This week, we’re tackling body image, encouraging girls in tech, and first up we’re taking on the issue of white feminism.
You may have heard this term being used a lot lately, especially since the US election and conversations around how white feminists can be allies to people of color, recognize any implicit bias, and give minorities positions of leadership within the modern movement, which must be intersectional.
One of the common ways white feminism is being called out is in pop culture, where celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift have either made comments or exhibited traits purportedly about feminism, but steeped in other forms of ignorance because of the absence of knowledge about the other issues involved.
Seriously.TV’s Dylan Marrow hosts a popular series on Youtube where he discusses and dissects pop culture and political matters, and in the following video titled ‘Unboxing White Feminism’, he gives an easy, 3 minute explanation of how to A) identify what white feminism is, and B) why it is important to do something about it.
The first name that comes to mind when you hear about the brand ‘Activia’ is actress Jamie Lee Curtis and bowel movements. But this year, the company is going in a slightly different direction. At the start of 2017 they launched their ‘It Starts Inside’ campaign which still rings true to their core message about being healthy on the inside, but adds to this by promoting female role models and companies who are showing other women and girls how to be empowered in other areas of their lives.
The campaign follows the much-hyped trend in advertising of using girl power messages to get attention. Now, some may say this is simply capitalism co-opting what is an important message about feminism and using it as a cheap parlor trick to push sales. We’ve said it before and we’ll continue to say it: we don’t see this “femvertising” trend as the ultimate form of feminism, but it sure is a darn good departure from the continual objectified and sexualized messages we are used to seeing, teaching women their bodies, lives and decisions are mere tools of the patriarchy, sans autonomy.
For us, the empowering messages seen in advertising are a jumping off point to ingrain a different type of messages into girls’ brains. One of Activia’s latest videos, ‘Don’t Tell Me I Can’t’ shows a series of women explaining how they grew up being bombarded with messages telling them not to be confident in themselves.
“This new campaign reflects our revitalized brand vision and purpose: to spark conversations and encourage women to achieve their full potential by overcoming their inner critic,” said Jasmine Steinger, Associate Brand Manager at Activia.
They are also donating $250,000 to Girls Who Code showing they are willing to go beyond just a well-produced video.
“Because we believe in girls’ unlimited potential, we are dedicated to supporting the Girls Who Code mission of closing the gender gap in technology, and all of the inspiring work they do,” Jasmine Steinger explained.
Finally, to continue the empowering note, we’re sharing model Iskra Lawrence’s TEDx Talk titled ‘Ending the Pursuit of Perfection’. She became an international sensation with her appearance in the Aerie Lingerie campaigns, and has been using her voice to champion body positivity wherever possible.
Iskra calls social media a “weapon of mass destruction to our self-esteem” in the video below, and talks about the importance of self-care in the face of an industry that is designed to make girls feel as if their worth comes from their physical appearance. Which high rates of eating disorders among all people, she says, it is important to speak out against these harmful standards.
“I know, when I was younger, I would look in the mirror every single day and hate what I saw. ‘Why don’t I have a thigh gap? Why does it look like this thigh ate the other one?'” she said.
Two of her tips she shares with audiences about how she personally tries to recalibrate her thinking toward her own body, is to stands in front of the mirror and say five things she LOVES about her body as well as five things it has done for her, and keeping a list of things she is grateful for. Watch below and share with anyone you know who may be struggling to find self-acceptance of themselves and their body: