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Demystifying Global Beauty Standards: How Living in Medellín, Colombia Transformed My Self-Confidence

When I decided to take a leap and move to Medellín, Colombia, one of the most common reactions I’d receive from people was, “The women there are SO beautiful.” Naturally, I was a little annoyed. I couldn’t believe I was about to embark on the biggest, most exciting adventure of my life and all anyone could talk about—both my male and female friends—was how beautiful the women were in the country I was headed to.

Demystifying “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”

Everything is wrong with the title of this article. First of all, using the word “demystifying” makes it sound like Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or CPCs, are some esoteric entity way cooler than they actually are. And to use the term “Crisis Pregnancy Center” is to call it by its actual name, which, as I have learned as a community organizer, doesn’t actually harm the cause. We want to reframe it, to make it ours. So,

Demystifying Varicose Veins (A Poem)

I notice a dark vein on my right leg. My mother has varicose veins. I do not know what “varicose” means (But I always imagined it spelled “vericose,” with ver meaning truth), but I know this: She does not wear shorts, or skirts above the knees, or sheer pantyhose. I know she hates her legs. She hates her body and my body is her body and my body has varicose veins. I used to be

Demystifying Binge Eating Disorder

My eating disorder, for the most part, has always been mostly invisible. Whether I was fat or thin or “average,” everyone always paid attention to my size rather than my behavior. As a kid, I was always somewhat overweight until I decided to “do something about it” in middle school. I spent the entirety of seventh grade until well into my college years manipulating my body through diet and binge cycles, restriction, and excessive exercise. When I was officially

Demystifying Women in Male-Dominated Sports

Over the past couple of years, I made a conscious effort to pursue activities that have always interested me, but that I had previously avoided out of my own fears or insecurities. One such activity was kickboxing. As a teenager, I admired the courage, strength, and fierce realness of the women who participated in male-dominated sports but did not yet have the confidence to enter into these spaces so outside my comfort zone. Initially, I

Demystifying Body Hair

I’m in fifth grade, and I’ve been wanting to shave my legs since I realized that was an option. My mom buys me a bottle of Nair instead. She says most people only shave their calves, but she has fine, thin hair, and I end up doing my whole legs pretty soon. I shave my fingers and toes, too. I’m in sixth grade, and I have a unibrow. It’s the early ’00s, and thin, delicate

Demystified Approved: Flex Menstrual Discs

Note: Demystified Approved posts are not sponsored content. They are products and services we actually use, love and believe more women should know about! If you have a suggestion for a Demystified Approved post let us know in the comments below, or email us. Like so many women, my period has always been a THING. Preceded by anywhere from 5 – 10 days of emotional PMS symptoms that my doctor once referred to as my

Demystifying Female Hair Loss

Because hindsight is always 20/20, I realize now that the issue began before that fall day when my hair was coming out in fistfuls. Until that day I had been blissfully ignoring the fact that slowly, over the past year, my hair had gotten thinner and thinner, to the point that one could see my blindingly white scalp through my bangs. That day in November of 2013, when strands began coming out every time I

Demystified: Finding Healing in the Holidays

My roommates and I decorated our Christmas tree just after Thanksgiving. It’s a real tree, driven down by my roommate Deborah from her family’s farm in New Hampshire, though, weirdly, it doesn’t have that pine smell. We wrapped the tree in strings of colored lights (well, to be honest, my roommates did the wrapping after I draped them over my scooter and took selfies with them garlanded over my head) and all hung the respective

Demystifying Transformation

Awareness as an Instrument of Love and Justice in a Transforming World The human brain developed two valuable tactics in pursuit of our survival: awareness and intellect.[1] First came awareness; the brain was an input center for information collected by the senses. Later came intellect. This tactic labeled the incoming information and categorized it, allowing for complex data connection.[2] Throughout history, much emphasis has been put on sharpening human intellect. We socialize children in school