by Hannah McCartney
You know when you’re at the store and they’ve run out of your size in a shirt you really, really wanted? And you look at the one hanging on the mannequin hoping and praying it’s a medium so you can derobe her and leave with that peplum top? We all know that’s a lost cause, because she’s always, without fail, wearing a damn extra small, because anything larger would engulf the porcelain, size 2 life-size Barbie, which would make the clothes terrible and nobody would want to buy them. One department store in Sweden — surprisingly, the stereotypical exporters of blonde, Scandinavian ice queens — has finally launched a "f&*# you" campaign against the mannequin industry standard, which apparently values female mannequins that are often designed to be six inches taller and six inches smaller than the average woman, according to the Chicago Tribune. Basically, clothes made only for this Ukrainian woman, who went through an insane amount of plastic surgery to become the first "real-life Barbie" (click on her photo to read more): The store only has two of the normal mannequins right now, who are sporting some classy lingerie. Photos of the mannequins have gone viral, and to absolutely nobody's surprise, women across the world have become pretty smitten with the concept of seeing models in clothes that don't look radically different from themselves. It's actually pretty genius, from a marketing standpoint: Aside from making a super-powerful social statement, it seems likely their sales will probably skyrocket — how many times, after all, have you seen something looking fabulous on a mannequin and tried it on yourself, only to look in the mirror with horror and disgust? Let's compare. On the left, two Victoria's Secret mannequins. On the right, the lady from the Swedish department store. The photo of the healthy-looking models was apparently taken in 2010, but it didn't go viral until recently, when Women's Rights News posted on March 12 the image to its Facebook account with the caption, "Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these." The post has earned nearly 20,000 shares and more than 64,000 likes. In the past, you'd probably usually find non-Barbie-fied mannequins strictly at "plus-sized" ladies' stores, which, to me, sort of gives off the impression that there are two types of women in this world who need clothes: white runway lingerie models and white overweight women. Of course, this is not the case, and it's probably time retailers stop deluding themselves and listening to what shoppers want. It's much easier — and less painful — to make smart shopping decisions, which makes for happier shoppers. And it goes without saying that advertising — particularly in the clothing and beauty industries — plays a huge role in how young girls and women (and men) develop self-image. According to the National Eating Disorders Foundation, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders sometime during their lives, and 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) have expressed concern about their weight or becoming "too fat."
by Hannah McCartney
Threat of lawsuit next phase in Anna Louise Inn dispute
Financial giant and Lytle Park bully Western & Southern has accused city officials and other Anna Louise Inn advocates of repeatedly deceiving the Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to obtain federal funds for the long-awaited, $13 million renovations to the Inn.
Those renovations are the same ones that have been blocked over and over by a series of legal entanglements initiated by Western & Southern, which tried to purchase the Inn back in 2009 for $1.8 million, refusing to buffer the Inn's $3 million price tag. In 2011, the Hamilton County Auditor valued the plot at $4 million.
Now, the corporate giant, which owns a number of other plots of land in Lytle Park, wants to buy the Inn and convert it into an upscale hotel.
Western & Southern’s lawyer, Glenn Whitaker, sent a letter obtained by CityBeat dated March 19 to City Solicitor John Curp accusing city officials of knowingly violating the federal Fair Housing Act by allowing the owner of the Inn, Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB), to pursue federal funding for renovations while providing services to exclusively women in need, which the letter alleges would “discriminate on the basis of gender” and “expose the City to liability under both the federal False Claims Act and the FHA.”
“We share this with you because — no matter where one stands on whether ALI’s renovations comply with Cincinnati Zoning Code — it is in the public interest for the City to avoid a lawsuit that could lead to a significant payout in today’s budget environment,” reads the letter.
Of course, that lawsuit is one that would be entirely fabricated and launched by Western & Southern, on top of years worth of zoning violation allegations that, so far, have failed to gather much merit.Some women-only shelters are deemed permissible due to safety issues, but in the letter, Whitaker alleges that the renovation plans expose ALI to discrimination liability by, in theory, making the safety issue moot by providing clear, separated spaces for men and women. The renovation plans include converting what are now dormitory-style units with shared bathrooms into private residences with private bathrooms and kitchens, according to the letter. Curp, who received the letter, says the city’s relationship with HUD is one that hinges on constant communication, and though Western & Southern's allegations were unexpected, they'll be taken seriously. “We work with them closely, we have a great relationship with HUD. They were the first organization we contacted when we got this letter, ... so they understood the nature of the allegations and because they’re one of our development partners. We have lots of development partners in the city, frankly, including Western & Southern. ... We're disappointed that the city has been pulled into what is otherwise a third-party dispute."
The letter also accuses a number of community members, including 3CDC, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, the Model Group, the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition and the YMCA of conspiring to move low-income residents from the Metropole to the Anna Louise Inn in order to ease litigation with the Homeless Coalition and make way for the new, upscale 21c Museum Hotel. John Barrett, Western & Southern’s CEO, is also on the board of 3CDC, which adds an extra element of mystery to the lodged accusations; at best, it seems extreme they'd be willing to accuse ally 3CDC of wrongdoing or conspiracy for the sake of a discrimination lawsuit against a nonprofit social services agency whose stated goal for more than 100 years has been to provide a haven for women in need. Ideally, explains Curp, HUD will respond equipped with some sort of past precedent that would absolve the city and the Inn of alleged discrimination and make the lawsuit irrelevant. "I think a lawsuit would be very much premature. ... Like I said, our first step is to talk to HUD and to make sure that between the both of us, we don’t see any discrimination or compliance issues. If there’s any chance of that ... after our review and a review by HUD, we will fix it to bring it into compliance," he says. "As I sit here today, I can't imagine this situation hasn't been dealt with in the past. I'd be shocked if HUD hasn't dealt with this in another community and come up with a set of guidelines for us to follow."
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Can women be funny? It’s a question so
brain-numbingly idiotic that it’s best left ignored, but that’s
difficult when multiple facets of the media — from pop culture bloggers
to comedians on Twitter — recycle the “debate” over and over again.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
President of the Central Mississippi Tea Party Janis Lane told the Jackson Free Press
that women are too emotionally unstable and “diabolical” to be able to
vote rationally, like men: “Our country might have been better off if it
was still just men voting,” she mused. WORLD -2
by Andy Brownfield
Ad reaches out to women voters in Ohio weeks ahead of election
Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman is again
campaigning in Ohio for President Barack Obama, but this time over the
In an ad targeting the Buckeye State and set to be
released online, Portman talks about her family’s Cincinnati roots and
calls Ohio a crucial place for the election.
Portman visited Cincinnati Sept. 19 for the Obama
campaign’s Women’s Summit, where she talked about how she thought the
president’s policies — which include health care coverage for preventive
care such as mammograms and birth control — were better for women than
those of his opponent, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“I think this election is particularly important because
we are really facing a difference in ideas,” Portman said in the new ad, made available to CityBeat.
“Sometimes the candidates are the same and sometimes
they’ve got really different points of view, and in this case you’ve got
President Obama, who’s been really, really fighting for women’s
rights,” she said, citing Obama’s signing of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay
Act and the provisions of the Affordable Care Act targeted toward
women’s health. “Romney wants to roll those achievements back.”
The video is the latest in the campaign’s “How We Win” series, the first of which featured Ohio native John Legend.
Ohio women and blacks face higher rates of unemployment and lower wages post-recession
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
released shortly before Americans took the day off work for Labor Day, a
national holiday meant to celebrate workers, painted a dismal picture
of employment and wage disparities in the state of Ohio.
3 Comments · Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Like any political convention, the
Republican National Convention was filled with little substance and
mostly vague platitudes. But one piece of policy was made very clear in
the Republican Party’s political platform, which was officially unveiled
at the convention: The war on women is still marching along.
Non-combat deaths of Ohio soldiers raise questions about U.S. military’s treatment of female members
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 27, 2012
There are several Ohio families whose military daughters died from “non-combat” circumstances, and their tragedy was amplified when the military tried to tarnish the victim’s reputation and even blame the victim for her own death.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 29, 2012
You don’t have to have a penis to drink
alcohol, and you don’t have to have a penis to be a dick, either. Polite
society functions on ground rules passed down throughout history, and
in regards to respecting the bar, etiquette is indifferent toward
Cincinnati Art Museum highlights Winogrand's photography
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
‘Garry Winogrand would move fast through the streets, see things happening, maybe across an intersection, would move to that area, firing off his Leica, the wide-angle lens essentially pre-focused, moving with the camera, the energy, the kineticism of the street coming through.”