Researchers Are Saying

Research Blog: I Wanna Belly Dance with Somebody

by Christin Bowman When I was a kid, gymnastics was my life. I spent hours and hours at the gym, and I was closer to my teammates than I was to my schoolmates. At school, I wrote all of my book reports and biography assignments about gymnasts, and I spent every recess balancing, swinging, flipping,…


Research Blog: Barbie can limit girls' career dreams

by Jenn Chmielewski Okay, I admit it. As much as I would love to say that I was a little feminist socialist as a child, impervious to the sexualized gendered marketing scheme that is Barbie, I cannot. I was one of the 99% of girls that played with that skinny, large-breasted, blond haired plastic toy[1]…


Beyond Pepper Potts: the grim state of women and girls on screen

brutal tbh

by Anya Josephs Thanks to SPARK’s generous friends at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media, I was able to join SPARK Executive Director Dana Edell and Program Coordinator Melissa Campbell at the 2nd Global Symposium on Gender in the Media. This afternoon-long conversation featured speeches by Geena Davis and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive-Director…


Research Blog: How does being objectified in romantic relationships make girls feel?

by Kimberly Belmonte In New York City, life lessons happen on the subways.  Monday morning, out of the corner of my eye, I see this guy across the aisle staring at me. And I begin having these rapid-fire flustered thoughts about my hair and my outfit, “Is my hair one giant curly poof in this…


Research Blog: How does our approach to exercise affect our relationships with our bodies?

by Stephanie M. Anderson I am not a runner – or at least I wasn’t. I grew up hating running for all of the obvious reasons: panting, chafing, blisters, short shorts. Frankly, I would have rather spent an hour at the dentist than run 2 miles. So when I completed the New York City Half…


Research blog: To see or not to see? That's the question

by Marisa Ragonese I had a baby three summers ago, and she’s been hanging around me a lot ever since.  One of the best parts about this whole kid thing, at least for me, is the radical shift from how men used to look at and treat me, and the way they do now. Most…


Research Blog: Objects don't object, or, how objectification discourages activism

by Christin Bowman Here at SPARK, if there’s one thing we all love, it’s activism. We protest and picket and petition for change.  We struggle to take sexy back with a fiery passion that burns deep within all of us – a SPARK that ignites us (pun very much intended). Being an activist isn’t always…


Research Blog: How sexualization affects judgments about girls’ accomplishments

By Jenn Chmielewski Okay, let me get real with you when it comes to my perspective on how sexualized girls are in the media and advertising. Just a couple weeks ago, I was shopping online trying to find some leggings to keep me warm before spring finally came. As I sat browsing through images of…


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