I had no idea that my quest for health was making me sick

26 Feb

Hey kids! Thanks for sticking with me through this week. A lot of the topics I’ve been covering can be incredibly difficult, but it’s worth understanding the risks associated with eating disorders, along with all of the resources available for prevention and recovery!


If you’ve missed any of the posts, I’ve covered eating disorders and diversity, eating disorders in athletes, and eating disorders and bullying.

Today’s theme is dieting: what it is, what it isn’t, and how it can lead to disordered eating. According to NEDA, 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% develop an eating disorder. That’s a scary high percentage.

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I had no idea that bullying can trigger disordered eating

25 Feb

Hey all! Today is day 4 of NEDA’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week. You can check out my posts from day 2 and day 3 if you missed them. Today’s topic is bullying and eating disorders.


Bullying is a major contributor to eating disorders: 65% say that it factored into their struggle. Worryingly, that number, from a 2011 report, is up 41% from a survey done just two years earlier.

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I had no idea that my passion had become a problem

24 Feb

Hey all! Today is day 3 of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. (You can read my post for day 2 here). The theme for today is eating disorders in athletes.

NEDAFBCover_AthletesAthletes, especially those competing at an elite level, are at a higher risk for eating disorders than the general population.

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I had no idea that eating disorders don’t discriminate

23 Feb

Hey all! Today is day 2 of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The theme for today is eating disorders in marginalized groups.

NEDAFBCover_DiversityOne of the most prevalent myths about eating disorders is that they only affect white, middle-class, straight, cisgender teenage girls. That simply isn’t true!

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Friday listicle round-up!

20 Feb

In the US, February is Black History Month. In light of the past year’s events surrounding race and racism in America, it’s essential that we look beyond Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech and start participating in real conversations about race in America.


Everyone knows about Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. Here are 11 black American icons you won’t learn about in Black History Month – but should.

The hashtag #HistoricPOC highlights the way in which American history is often whitewashed, and provides some awesome pics of everyday people of color throughout the country’s history.

Between Black History Month and Women’s History Month, black women are often overlooked (to say nothing of black LGBTQ people). Here are over 100 LGBTQ Black women you should know.

Black History Month isn’t just about the past; it’s also about the present future. Here are 22 badass black women who are changing the world.

Finally, an important part of Black History Month is looking at and addressing the racism that still exists in America today. While it’s important to remember and discuss things like slavery and Jim Crow, making them the only focus of our discussions totally erases the many many ways that racism functions in America today. In light of that, here are 5 ways that white feminists can address our own racism.

Last-minute feminist Valentines!

13 Feb

So, last year I wrote about the patronizing “single girls have more fun!” articles that come out around this time of year.


This year, I’ve put together a list of last-minute feminist Valentine’s gifts & cards.

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Quit bad-mouthing teenage girls

12 Feb
So the other day I was in a situation where I overheard a male acquaintance scolding his teen daughter. It was early in the morning, and he was annoyed that she’d been taking so much time getting ready. He yelled at her that she ‘hadn’t gotten anything accomplished’ that morning and was wasting her time ‘sitting around putting on makeup’. He said something like ‘I woke you up and what have you gotten done since then? You’re sitting here putting on makeup’. He then threatened to take away her makeup if this happened again.
Bonus - while researching this post I got to check out lots of fantastic teen beauty blogs!

Bonus – while researching this post I got to check out lots of fantastic teen beauty blogs! This is Olivia Steen. Click the picture to go to her blog.

Now, come on – what exactly is one supposed to ‘accomplish’ before eight in the morning besides getting ready for the day? I was struck by how completely clueless it is to think that putting on a full face of makeup is the same as getting nothing accomplished. But then I realized that it’s not necessarily cluelessness; it’s the way we talk about and think about teen girls in general that makes someone think that putting on makeup is a worthless task.
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Feminist nanny needs your advice!

4 Feb

Okay, so, obviously I haven’t written in a while – between working three jobs, trying to keep up with dance classes, and starting to train as a dance instructor, plus fighting what I think may be strep throat, my brain is NOT functioning.

BUT. A brief exchange with the toddler today made me think a little bit about my feminist nanny techniques.

Today, among other things, the toddler pretended to be Princess Polly. As Princess Polly, she used a hammer and screwdriver to "build a big-girl bed".

Today, among other things, the toddler pretended to be Princess Polly. As Princess Polly, she used a hammer and screwdriver to “build a big-girl bed”.

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Monday morning listicle round-up!

19 Jan

Happy Monday!

As you guys know from my previous posts on ways to teach toddlers about consent (and why we should do it) and gender stereotyping in baby clothes, I’m always interested in the ways in which we pass on messages about gender and sexuality to kids. Since I work as a nanny now and spent years as a high school teacher, these are issues that I see played out in my everyday life time and time again.

The perfect gift for feminist moms in your life!

The perfect gift for feminist moms in your life!

Today’s listicle round-up focuses on feminist parenting, teaching, and child-raising in general!

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Having it all vs. leaving it all behind

14 Jan

Well, it’s that time of year: the time when every single headline, advertisement, and news show shouts out the idea of “new year, new you!” with relentless enthusiasm.

They promise that 2015 will be the year you lose those last five pounds, get him to propose, get pregnant, kick-start your career, pay down your debt, find inner peace, and be your BEST YOU EVER.

I happen to like the old me just fine.

I happen to like the old me just fine.

I’m here to argue that you’re already pretty awesome. And that you’re already the best you you can be right now. And that if you do like the idea of the new year as a clean slate when you can kick a bad habit or start a project you’ve always wanted to start, then more power to you.

But my problem with the cultural messages around New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely ask you what YOU actually want to do or improve this year. They assume that the best possible life, for women, means having a high-powered, satisfying career and a fulfilling family life (usually with kids). This vision implies owning a home, disposable income for travel to peaceful or exotic places, and a supporting and adoring husband.

Unfortunately, this version of a ‘new you’ makes some incredibly privileged assumptions about race, class, sexuality, and mental and physical health. It also makes some pretty bold assumptions about what women want.

This is where some women might begin to wonder if mainstream feminism is coming around to bite us in the ass. As blog post after think piece after hard-hitting interview ask “can women ever REALLY have it all?”, nobody’s asking us if we WANT to. And over all of that noise is the implication that if, via feminism, women now CAN have it all, then we, as feminists, are obligated to make it happen.

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