Meet the new “Editor in Chief”

Hello, readers!


     I’m Anna, a new member of the Women’s Center Staff, and I will be working on the blog this year. Last year I blogged for Thread Magazine here at OU and enjoyed it thoroughly. I am very excited to take on this role, as blogging and blog “surfing” are my first priorities after my homework is done (before my homework is done).

Strawberry Banana smoothies are my favorite and my dimples are ridiculous

Strawberry Banana smoothies are my favorite and my dimples are ridiculous (but they only show when I laugh) (which is all the time).

Of course, my first passion is music. I’m from Pittsburgh, PA, a city where the arts are incredibly alive, accessible, and inspiring. I am so fortunate to have grown up seeing performance after performance at the countless venues in the city, and to have my fascination for live productions, and especially for music, grow and lead me to where I am currently…as a music therapy student at Ohio University. Enough about my musically enriched past.

I’m a member of the wonderful Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, which was founded by our very own Susanne Dietzel, Patricia McSteen, and Tanya Barnett. The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program seeks to inspire and encourage undergraduate women to become engaged, confident and connected leaders at Ohio University and beyond. Check it out.

We are planning on publishing at least 2 posts each week on many different topics. Let me know if there are any specific things you would like to read or write about. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna Bekavac

Ohio University Women’s Center Staff

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“Barbie Falls on Hard Times” exhibit set to “Bring Her Bad Self Back” to the Ohio University Womens Center

"Barbie Falls on Hard Times #20" An average American woman is 5’4″ tall weighing 140 pounds; the average American model is 5’11” weighing 117 pounds!

What happens when females look at their bodies and compare themselves to the pretty, successful girls and women on TV or the high fashion beauty dolls our culture encourages them to play with? Girls end up feeling inadequate. Girls end up feeling like there is something wrong with them.

September 13 – October 10, 2014, the Ohio University Women’s Center will host the exhibit “Barbie Falls on Hard Times, The Sequel.” This exhibit marks the second presentation for the “Barbie Falls on Hard Times” photo essay at the Womens Center, and will feature images created after the close of the first exhibition in 2012 – a continuation of a series of environmental portraits by artist photographer Kari Gunter-Seymour.

Artists and photographer Kari Gunter-Seymour holds her piece "Barbie Falls on Hard Times #5," one of 33 pieces Gunter-Seymour has created for her photographic essay portraying the famous glamor doll in chaotic and frenzied situations, visually creating the understanding that glamor doll “beauty” need not be the gauge by which women judge themselves, their bodies and their life situations.

Artists and photographer Kari Gunter-Seymour holds her piece “Barbie Falls on Hard Times #5,” one of 33 pieces Gunter-Seymour has created for her photographic essay portraying the famous glamor doll in chaotic and frenzied situations, visually creating the understanding that glamor doll “beauty” need not be the gauge by which women judge themselves, their bodies and their life situations.

Gunter-Seymour’s art focuses on body image and self esteem issues as it examines what the famous Mattel® doll’s life would be like if she were challenged with real life issues that women of all ages face – like cleaning the bathroom or getting stood up on the wedding day.

“By not having normal weight people, with ordinary complexions, hair and teeth as roll models, on TV or in the movies – by not having dolls that are realistically structured to represent the actual norm – the message being sent is that normal looking people or people on the heavier side are not acceptable,” Gunter-Seymour offers.

September 19, 2014, 4pm-6pm, plan to attend an opening reception at the Women’s Center, Fourth Floor, Baker University Center, Ohio University, Athens Campus.

“I think the message I am sending out directly addresses important women’s issues,” Gunter-Seymour says. “By ‘spoofing’ on Barbie, I am saying love yourself and love your body – even the most ‘perfect’ iconic woman can fall on hard times.”

Gunter-Seymour presents her work in large format black and white, rather than full color, creating tension and accentuating the use of light and shadow. “I am looking forward to getting together with everyone at the opening reception to join in what I hope will be some animated conversations concerning how we as women, here in Appalachia look at and feel about our bodies, and share ideas about working to change the impact of our national culture.” she adds.

The Ohio University Women’s Center is located on the Fourth Floor, Baker University Center. For more information call 740-593-9625 or go to

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What can we learn from Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked photos?

Jennifer-LawrenceIt’s a storyline that many people have heard.  Whether it be a celebrity’s, a friend’s, or someone you go to school with, circulating private photos seem like the cultural ‘norm.’  On Sunday, August 31st, numerous actress’ private nude photos were anonymously hacked from their personal computers and leaked to the internet.  The celebrities involved in the leak include Jennifer Lawrence, Victoria Justice, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, Yvonne Strahovski, and Teresa Palmer.

People are quick to point the blame to the celebrities for taking private photos, but who is really to blame here?  I’ll make it clear–not the women’s.  Scott Mendelson, reporter from Forbes magazine, opposes news sources by stating, “The story itself should not be addressed as if it were a scandal, but rather what it is: A sex crime involving theft of personal property and the exploitation of the female body.”

One may argue that it was the celebrities’ fault; why photograph yourself nude in a technology-driven era?  Simply put, it’s their choice.  These women took these photos with the intention of sending them to a partner, a friend, or even keep it for themselves.  These photos were not meant to be seen by you.  These photos were not meant to be seen by their friends and family.  And these photos were especially not meant to be seen by the public eye.  Privacy should be a right, not a privilege.

Celebrities were quick to defend the victims of the leak.  Lena Dunham, actress in hit show “Girls,” tweeted words of wisdom for the public in defense of Jennifer Lawrence’s photos.  Dunham states, “Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay.”

In light of this crime, I believe everyone should understand how invasion of privacy affects women.  In Hollywood, risque photos of women are a hot-button topic for gossip sites and news sources to create crude jokes and punny headlines.  But, what people don’t talk about are the women who have their privacy invaded in their own homes.  Young women sending photos to someone through social media such as Snapchat in hopes of being closer to someone end up as the butt of a joke when people forward it to others.  Private photos circulate through college campuses, high schools and even middle schools.  This is not only a problem, it’s a crime.

Women have the right to take private photos.  I believe taking photos embraces body positivity and self-image.  We should not shame women for taking these photos, but shame the people who invade their privacy.  Shame the ones who view these photos, who signal boost and circulate these photos.  These victims have a right to their privacy and will not be shamed for their bodies.


Rachel Rogala

Publication Design Major

Ohio University Women’s Center Volunteer

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Welcome Back!

Welcome back to Ohio University (and especially the Women’s Center) for the 2014- 2015 academic year! We look forward to the many events that we will be hosting this fall semester, including Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the Queer Women in Film series, and Red Party: A Menstruation Celebration.

We will also have weekly Brown Bag Lunch and Learns on Thursdays at noon. Feel free to join and bring any type of lunch with you! The first Brown Bag Lunch will be on Thursday Sep. 11th. Leah Butler will be discussing “The Social Construction of the Campus Sexual Predator: A Discussion on Bystander Intervention.” We hope to see you there!

Save the Date:
Barbie Falls on Hard Times (Photographs by Kari Gunter-Seymour) on Friday Sep. 19th from 4 to 6pm.
National Coming Out Day on Friday Oct. 10th in Front Room from 11am to 1pm.
Love Your Body Day on Wednesday Oct. 15th.

If you are interested in more details about our events, here is our calendar for fall semester:Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 5.35.29 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 5.37.00 PM

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Women’s Center 2013-2014 Annual Report

The Women’s Center has had an amazing year! Check out all the awesome things we have done and get a sneak peek of what’s coming up in Fall 2014!

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Lupita Nyong’o Named PEOPLE Magazine’s “World’s Most Beautiful”


This morning Oscar-winning Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o, the lead star in recent film “12 Years a Slave,” was dubbed “World’s Most Beautiful” by PEOPLE Magazine. Not only did she receive the honor of making the list of 50, but her radiant smile was also showcased on the cover of the magazine issue. 

It is incredible for an African woman to be represented as the face of the renowned PEOPLE magazine. I commend PEOPLE for recognizing Nyong’o for her accomplishments as well as her outstanding beauty. Nyong’o has dark skin, a beaming smile and short natural hair, which I believe has made her stand out from other women in the Hollywood scene. 

Nyong’o told PEOPLE, “She first equated beauty with what she saw on television: ‘Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,’ she says. Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.” This message and perception holds very true for women, specifically women of African descent. I am personally very inspired to see Nyong’o on the cover of PEOPLE, and I’m positive that other young women feel the same. This is a very powerful way to spread awareness of the fact that beauty comes in a variety of shapes, colors and styles. I hope that more diverse images of beauty will be continued to be displayed in American popular culture. Lupita OWNS this cover and everything else she’s conquered and as an African-American woman, I am very proud to see this.

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Spring Spoken Word




I wanted to share these videos of spoken word performances that really touched me as a young African-American woman. I especially like the piece about the history of twerking; a dance that has been recently popularized in America through pop sensation, Miley Cyrus. “Twerking” has been a form of expression in African culture for many centuries and I think it’s important for people to learn about the background and history of this new craze.

The other two videos are pieces that I admire for the honesty and bluntness of their deep and complex messages. I hope you all enjoy! Please leave comments on what you think and the messages you receive. :)


Ashley E. Osborne

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