promo for Thin by Lauren Greenfield



19 out of 20 young women ‘would change bodies’

A new study preformed by GirlGuiding UK has found that girls as young as seven years have wishes to change their bodies. According to the study’s results, 19 out of 20 women would “change bodies”. As the ages of the girls increased, so did the percentage of girls that wanted to change something about their selves.

72% of girls aged 7-11 wanted to change their bodies, especially regarding their teeth. 95% of 16-21 year old girls wanted to change their bodies, with 33% of them wishing to be thinner, and about 25% said that they would consider getting plastic surgery.

These results are sickening. A seven year old should not be worried about her appearance. She should be immersed in a world of music, laughter, and happiness, not anxiety due to her appearance. These overwhelming statistics are unacceptable, and there should be something done to change the way that media advertises women. As these girls of all age turn on the television, open up a magazine, or even play with their Barbie dolls, they are reminded of what an ideal woman looks like. Never have I seen a Barbie doll with some meat on her bones or a larger nose. Everywhere girls look there are facades of a woman’s body. Airbrushing, plastic surgery, and digital enhancements are the norm in advertising companies. Runway models are no longer a size 0, they are a 00. This is RIDICULOUS. It is NOT healthy. Girls need to realize that in order to be healthy, you cannot be a size 00.

These advertising companies need to stand back and take a look at the harm they are causing. Being plump used to be considered sexy, look at Marilynn Monroe, a gorgeous woman who was a size 14.


In the present, a woman that size would be laughed at if she tried to dance in a music video or walk the runway. The advertising companies are tricking men into thinking that women can look like bombshells when really; the woman is average looking prior to the photo shoot. Young girls want to look like the women portrayed in their favorite TV shows and magazines, and are considering changing their own bodies to become more like society’s established ideal woman.

To conclude this blog, I would like to leave you all with a little piece of information that was found from this study: 5% of 11-16 year old girls admitted that they wanted to use Botox. PLEASE tell me that CHANGE is coming. Please stop editing women—NORMAL, HEALTHY women are BEAUTIFUL!

Grace, from my Writer’s Seminar posted this in the comments section on the other course blog. I thought it needed to be posted here. Even though it does match my Writer’s Seminar theme of new technologies. In a twisted sort of way.

that is making the blog rounds. If you haven’t seen it yet:


Lesbian or Biker Chick?

When most people see women with heavily tattooed bodies they automatically put them under the stereotype of a lesbian or a biker chick. This, to me, seems like a strong stereotype to place someone under just because of some body art. It seems that women with multiple tattoos are challenged by gender prejudices. My favorite professional soccer player, Natasha Kai, is known for her 19+ tattoos.


She has two full arm sleeves, a leg tattoo, and tattoos pretty much everywhere. When people see her for the first time they always ask if she is a lesbian. Yes, she is a lesbian but I want to know why people always assume this because of her tattoos? Why do people judge her based on how she looks? However, I find it interesting that these stereotypes have not really affected her respect as an athlete. Regardless of her looks she is an amazing soccer player.


If anything I think her image has probably helped her become more successful. Many people think she is a badass with attitude and love following her soccer career. However, I think this is true for older aged fans. This leads me to wonder if some parents of younger children don’t want their children to look up to her. Will her image make her less of a role model for younger girls? She is famous for her ink, being lesbian, and her badass attitude…Will parents really want their children looking up to her? I think she is a great role model, she does what she wants not caring what people think of her, she is always herself.

So why are women who have multiple tattoos stereotyped as lesbian or biker chicks? Are women with sleeves less feminine? I have 5 tattoos and was thinking about getting another one and many people have told me not to because I will “look lesbian.” I just don’t understand these connections. First, I don’t believe in someone looking gay or lesbian and second, a tattoo is artwork that has some sort of significant meaning to you. Women with tattoos shouldn’t have to prove to anyone they are not lesbians just because of their ink, because in the end it doesn’t really matter what people think.

As we discussed in class today, the popularity of skin-bleaching creams for women of color in Asian and African countries is growing awfully powerful. Below is the video series we watched with links to only a few of the many articles that can be found on the topic. Just google skin-bleaching cream and you’ll see some great criticism (and sadly, even more products) concerning the issue.

Skin lightening products for Asian-Americans: ancient ideal or European hegemony?

Skin-whitening adverts ignite race row in India

Beauty and the Bleach

Pigmentation and Empire: The Emerging Skin-Whitening Industry

Lightening Creams Are Popular Among Indians, Even For Kids

The Skin Bleaching Phenomenon – Commentary

I consider myself a Third Wave feminist (or Fourth if we are headed in that direction). I celebrate girlie/girly—that pink, sparkly, glittery moment when nail polish is the focus and shopping at Claire’s a must. I’m not girlie, mind you, more of a jeans and Doc Martin’s kind of woman. But I have several nieces and a few of the younger ones are into that whole princess thing.

As a Third Waver, I revel in the choice to embrace the ultra-feminine construct. I cannot imagine a Second Wave feminist as supportive of such an identity. Though I share many Second Wave ideals—I am strongly pro-choice—I identify just as strongly as pro-porn and I think that already removes me from Second Wave identity.

So I ponder today on what a Second Wave feminist would think of me if they knew about my summer obsession. Yes, I will admit here for the public to see:

I am totally hooked on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras.


I cannot turn away. Like a car accident, my neck cranes back as my thumb clicks the remote to TLC every Wednesday night at 10p. Have you seen this show?

It really is the epitome of American culture at its worst.



I told myself that I am watching because I am a scholar; my area of focus is Girl Studies so it seems logical to keep current with what is happening in girl culture. But somewhere along the way my fascination moved from scholarly interest to shocked consumer of popular culture. But with moments such as this, how can I not make that shift?

There is so much to say about Toddlers and Tiaras concerning how completely damaging these events are to girls and I don’t think we need to dig too deep to discover what some of those issues may be.


I think there is a lot to say here about mother/daughter relationships, the beauty ideal, consumer culture…need I continue? I could easily change the focus of this blog to pageants and be just as content in filling it with posts of substance.

I question how it is that my fascination, as a feminist, as scholar of women’s issues—particularly girls’ issues—can be so completely sucked into such an event. Is anyone else watching this show? I know I am not the only one watching it; ratings on TLC are up and this is actually the second season.

I have some ideas on why I am so glued to my TV set every week for this show. Any idea why you are?