Archive for October 31, 2013

The war on women comes to Halloween, Part Three:
we fight back

I’ve been talking all week about the problem with sexy Halloween costumes for women, raising the question, what’s a strong woman to do when she wants to dress up on Halloween?

Let’s be honest, the only choice we have is to fight back—with costumes that feature strong, tough, individualistic women.

You have several choices here, and they are all really good…

1) You can bring out a historically strong woman to prove that we’ve been fighting the good fight for a long, long time…

Amelia Earhart


Frida Kahlo


Emma Goldman


Rosie the Riveter


2) You can dress up like a contemporary feminist to point out that we can still be good role models…

Senator Wendy Davis


Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope from SCANDAL


Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on PARKS AND RECREATION


3) You can go for irony and head out with a friend as a pack of birth control and an egg…

or go it alone as a NuvaRing…

4) You can opt for hyperbole and wear a costume that says, “You want sexy! I got your sexy!”

Choices include a boob…

a vagina…

and a bra (for this one you’ll need a partner)…

Or you can check out even more awesome ideas here: 20 Feminist Halloween Costumes and here: Take Back Halloween.

Happy halloween, everyone!

The war on women comes to Halloween, Part Two

Last week I bemoaned the fact that sexy is STILL the main verb used in women’s Halloween costumes—you know, because Halloween is a holiday all about SEX—and since then, people have sent me some crazy examples… the sexy carrot, the sexy pizza, and the sexy watermelon to name a few…

But the one that makes me the most angry is this one:

Yes, that’s right. There is actually a Halloween costume that promotes anorexia by featuring a woman wearing a tight minidress with a SKELETON ON IT.

The description says, “Style 4503 ‘Anna Rexia’ S, M, L You can never be too rich or too thin. Knit dress with glitter screenprint. Includes headband, choker neckband, removable ‘Anna Rexia’ badge and ribbon tie belt (5 piece set).”

But don’t worry… I’ll tell you in my next post how you can deal with this absolutely ridiculous bullshit.

The war on women comes to Halloween: Part One

Every year I write about the ridiculously oversexed costumes that dominate Halloween these days—see my “Just Say No to slutty Halloween costumes” and “Look how far we’ve come” posts—and this year, it feels like the costumes gotten even worse with costumes like…

the sexy prosecutor…

the sexy Swat Team agent..

and the sexy hunter …

Because you can’t be in the military or on a swat team or in the courtroom without looking super hot, right?

What is it with Halloween costumes being so oversexed these days? And when did sexy and Halloween become synonymous?

When I was a kid, the adult women who dressed up did so in costumes that were as sexless and entertaining as the men’s costumes. But now it feels like you can’t be a grown-up female on Halloween without showing off the goods.

The only good news is that I’m not the only one taking notice this year as The Daily Show ran a hilarious segment this week featuring senior women’s issues correspondant Kristin Schall arguing that, at this point, women might as well just take it a step further and dress up in vagina costumes:

Honestly, this would be an improvement if you ask me.


You can watch the whole Daily Show segment here:

The “Corset Diet” makes us ask the question, what have we been fighting for all these years?

Honestly, I don’t even know if I have words for something this inane and backwards, but I will try…

According to The Huffington Post, the “Corset Diet” is now gaining in popularity among women “who want to whittle down their waist.” These women “wear a corset for a few hours every day at first, eventually working their way up to 12 hours a day… which leads to longer feelings of fullness [and] in turns leads to eating less and potentially even weight loss.”

The Corset Diet???

Really, people???!!!


I created this blog more than four years ago to teach people the truth about diets—they are bad for you, they only work in the short-term, and they cause you to gain weight.

But nearly five years later, people are still dieting just as much, and a new diet—that involves voluntarily wearing a C O R S E T. That’s right, a corset, an item women rebelled against wearing over a hundred years ago—has emerged.

The irony here is not lost on me… the I Will Not Diet logo features a woman wearing a corset as a tongue-in-cheek way to point out how old fashioned and just plain wrong it is for women to do unnatural and unhealthy things—like wear a corset!—to try to change their bodies.

And now women are actually doing this again.

By choice.

It is this kind of BS that just makes me want to give up.

Ode to good husbands… a.k.a. why I won’t give in and diet

My very good husband and me


Sometimes I have moments of weakness when I think, Why don’t I just go on a diet? What’s wrong with a diet? Other people go on diets and lose weight. Why can’t I?

I had one of those moments yesterday after seeing a good friend who has lost a ton of weight through a combination of dieting and exercise and looks like a new person.

When I got home, I said to my husband, “Maybe I should just go on a diet. Wouldn’t it be great to lose that much weight?

He turned to me immediately and said, “Are you crazy? You know why you can’t do that.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I know.”

Niether one of us said it, but I knew what he was thinking–I can’t go on a diet because, if I do, I’ll gain more back than I’ll lose. I can’t go on a diet because as soon as I go off the diet, my body will retaliate.

I was still mulling over this issue when he spoke again.

“Besides,” he said. “You don’t need to lose weight. You’re perfect.”

I didn’t need any more convincing.

Clearly I need to learn how to twerk: why Miley Cyrus is smarter than the rest of us

While I Will Not Diet was on hiatus, the sh*t really hit the fan with Miley Cyrus.

It was almost impossible to open the internet or any kind of American magazine (save National Geographic) without seeing some mention of Cyrus’ twerking shenanigans at the VMAs.

But the whole time, I just thinking, So what? A young woman dances provocatively at the VMAs, and the whole country can’t stop talking about it? What is new here? See Madonna. See Brittney. It’s all been done before. Why is this news? 

I was also thinking about how Cyrus was probably laughing all the way to the bank as her single and new album rose to the top of the charts.

So when people asked me about it, I’d tell them the truth—she clearly knows what she’s doing.

But until yesterday, I didn’t think anyone agreed with me.

And then the voice of feminism spoke.

When asked if Cyrus was hurting feminism, Gloria Steinem said, “I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed … But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states … the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, ‘This is why China wins.’ You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.”

I could not agree more.

It’s obviously awful that Cyrus felt she had to sexualize herself to get attention and sell records, but we can’t really blame her.

We made this world. She’s just living in it.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

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