What Would You Do? - City High

Erica H.
me.JPGI am a Junior majoring in Biology and Environmental Science. My activities include eating delicious vegan food and attending copious amounts of club meetings. As a SafeZone facilitator and member the Lambda Alliance and Vox, I believe taking Women's Studies is an important part of one's education. Understanding power and privilege in society, something we all currently experience and will continue to experience, is a requisite to improving interpersonal relations and the health of the community. This particular project about confronting the cultural imperialism of the West and its effects on women abroad is important to me. Our college and the larger society prides itself on being diverse, yet our society sends the message that we must all conform to Western standards. It is necessary to ask then, what is the point of diversity if everyone is the same? We must face this hypocrisy in our rhetoric and try to change it.

Kristen M.
march_09_037.JPGI am a freshman currently deciding between a Psychology and Studio Art major. My interests include art and engaging in stream of consciousness style conversations interpersed with non-sequiturs. Throughout most of my childhood my mother has been a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for the state of Virginia. Having grown up with this I see the importance of individuals getting involved in a cause that is important to them and trying to make a difference. Individuals and small groups can have a large impact in their local area. Women's studies makes people aware of issues in society that can otherwise be easily overlooked; such as the effect of the single beauty ideal in Western media being taken up all over the world. Our project hopes to make people aware of this issue and inspire people to change this; in their local and national media.

Kristin F.
wikispacepicture.jpgI am a sophomore and just recently decided to be a Government major. I am on the Varsity swim team and have been swimming since i was 4 years old. I swim distance events, like the mile, and participated in the CAA championship meet last year. I am a swim coach in the summer and give talks to my club team about the importance of hard work and balance. I took Women's Studies to become more educated of both sides of an argument. In high school I saw too many of my friends do whatever it took to fit the image of the ideal American women. I can only image how many people struggle with this same problem and think it is extremely important that we expose the cultural imperialism of the West in order to stop our problems from affecting the world. I hope our project allows women to see that there are many forms of beauty and the media must change its depiction of what is beautiful.

Lavanya G.
DSCN3371.JPGI am a freshman and am planning on majoring in International Relations. I enjoy participating in club fencing and being a member of Phi Alpha Delta (pre-law fraternity) and the South Asian Stundent Association. I am very interested in human rights and hope to become a human rights lawyer in the future. Abuse towards women has a dominant role in this field, and so I chose to take Women's Studies to gain insight on the the feminist movement and the difficulties women have faced in both the United States and abroad. As a young woman, I am very aware of the frustration and struggle most women go through to live up to the beauty standards portrayed by the media, and how western ideals have influenced the global standard. It is my hope that through this project, we will instill upon people that beauty comes in many forms, and they all should be embraced.

Diversifying Beauty Community Action Project was created for
Professor Marcus's Intro to Women's Studies Course
College of William & Mary
Spring 2009