Netflix’s ‘Cuties’ Didn’t Have to Participate in Exploitation to Expose It

I love the idea of media and film putting social ills like sexualization in a critical view, so typically I’d be intrigued by a storyline like that of Netflix’s Cuties—which follows an eleven-year-old Senegalese immigrant girl as she navigates the meaning of her femininity and seeks acceptance among her peers in a hypersexualized culture. However, as I watched clips of the film circulate on social media, I had to pause to consider whether I could view it.

Weinstein Lessons We're Still Learning

This week, Harvey Weinstein—movie mogul of the Weinstein Company whose misbehavior all but started the #metoo movement—was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual crimes against women. For many, this result comes as no surprise. Many have read Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker articles, expanded in his book Catch and Kill. Weinstein has received backlash for accusations of sexual crimes for years in the court of public opinion. But in the judicial court...

Addressing Our Maternal Mortality Crisis with Fertility Awareness

Pregnancy is hard, and it always will be. But, thanks to modern medicine, pregnancy should be life-making and not life-taking. Unfortunately, in America, maternal mortality rates have been increasing since the 1980s, according to the CDC. Further, America’s maternal crisis reveals racial disparities, as black women and Native American women are about three times as likely to die from delivery complications...

Does Hollywood Not Want Us to See 'Judy'?

Judy wasn’t nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. There were numerous contenders for the top film honor, so it was a tight race. But Judy is also not a picture that puts Hollywood in a good light. It would sound conspiracy-theory-like for me to say the Academy doesn’t want you to see Judy, but … I think the Academy doesn’t want us to see Judy. Previous Oscar-nominated films that have featured Hollywood have portrayed it as the good guy. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood...

An Interview with Olympian Meryl Davis

Meryl Davis learned a lot on her road to becoming an Olympic champion ice dancer. Skating from the age of five and ice dancing from the age of eight, Davis and her partner won the silver medal at the 2010 Olympics and four years later, the gold. Davis has also been a champion off the ice. Three months after taking the gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Davis was announced the champion of Dancing with the Stars. Along the way, Davis has learned how to set goals, work towards them, and pace her

Memo to Women's Media: Women Want to Be Treated as Whole Persons

Last week, we kicked off a series of articles written by the Verily editors in response to a Washington Post piece titled “Women’s Magazines Are Dying. Will We Miss Them When They’re Gone?” The first article, written by our editor in chief Meg McDonnell can be found here. Today, we hear from Mary Rose Somarriba, current associate editor and former Culture section editor at the founding of Verily Magazine. For women’s media to succeed in today’s challenging market for publications (which we’ve s

What Women with 4+ Children Have to Tell Us About Letting Things Slide

Some tips on managing stress that everyone can benefit from. “I became okay with imperfection.” Amy, a 42-year-old doctor and mother of four told me over a martini last week. “The imperfection makes it perfect.” These words of wisdom came when I asked her how she acquired her palpable chill factor, for all the balls she juggles between home (four children under 10) and career (serving 13-15 patients a day at the hospital where she works). When so much is happening at once, she seemed to sugges

Why We Need Not Fear the Fairy Tale

These stories were written not to trick children into dangerous situations, but to teach lessons of caution. Disney princesses and #MeToo have shared headlines recently, in a weird way. In some ways it’s a classic attempt at clickbait to make people crazy, but since it’s touching on some cultural notes that are gaining traction—criticism of Disney princesses as problematic for feminism—I couldn’t help but read on. Actress Kristen Bell, who voice-acted the role of Anna in Frozen, told Parents m

Standing By Her: The Vital Role of Female Friends in Today's Culture

We get by with a little help from our girlfriends. Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and an expert on the role of communication in relationships. Her highly acclaimed You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, takes a deep dive into the nuances of female friends' communications (and just came out in paperback in August). We know that having girlfriends to talk to contributes significantly to mental health, but we had some ques

Interview: Actress Mayim Bialik Has a Seriously Refreshing Take on Sex and Objectification

Many of us knew her as Blossom. Some also know she has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Twenty-four million Big Bang Theory fans know her as Amy Farrah Fowler. Two people know her as mom. Her name is Mayim Bialik, and the latest title she's added to her list of accomplishments is author of the book Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular. This book, aimed at helping girls and young women navigate the pressures of the day, isn't her first dip into cultural conversations. Bialik is also found

Americans Need to Come Up with Our Own Form of Hygge

Our culture seems to be on a never-ending search for happiness. Surveys show women reporting happiness levels at an all-time low, and advertisements continue to vie for filling the happy gap if we just buy this product, try this lifestyle, make this change. It also shows in the books we’re buying. Comfortably sitting on the bestseller list right now is a book by Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. The Little Book of Hygge offers insights into the “Danish secrets

Recent Research About Screen Time Will Make You Want to Put Your Phone Down

“Let’s have breakfast in the morning before I leave for work.” My dad used to say this to me on summer days when he went to work, and I had nothing to do. “OK, I thought. Some father-daughter bonding never hurt anyone. Even if it does involve waking up at 7 a.m.” I’d roll out of bed, splash water on my face in hopes of waking up (these were before the days of coffee for me), and stumble downstairs to meet my dad at the breakfast table. Cereal, check. Milk, check. Dad, check. But instead of ta