Keep Calm and Play On

Sophia Barnhart, our Summer 2014 Communications Intern, writes about her passion for soccer and competition. She sheds light on the gendered biases that exist within athletics, and she encourages us all to pursue what makes us happy to overcome these biases.

It’s no secret—I’ve always loved the thrill of competing. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have parents that supported my drive and encouraged me to play sports. I dabbled in many—softball, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis—but I wasn’t able to satisfy my passion for competition until I tried soccer. From learning how to kick a …

Chubby and Proud

Morgan shares her moving story of growing up and learning to be proud of her body.

What is the definition of “chubby”? Why do we use it to describe others, and who said it was okay to have it in our vocabulary in the first place? The receiving end of this insult doesn’t feel good or nice or spectacular or, in any way, shape, or form, positive. Since the day I …

Dear Friend, Imagine what it’s like to be a girl in 2013. Girls are consuming more than ten hours of media every day and receiving a consistent message: the thinner, prettier, and sexier you are, the more attractive and liked you’ll be. At a time when girls have access to more forms of media than …

Book Notes: Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Divergent by Veronica Roth, the author illustrates that while society and relationships strongly influence our identity, we ultimately choose to become the person we want to be.

In the world of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, society is separated into five factions according to the value each group prioritizes: kindness, bravery, knowledge, honesty, and selflessness. The factions live mostly separate but peaceful lives, each one contributing its particular gifts to society.

Each faction conditions its children to follow its culture and beliefs. When the children are sixteen, they take an aptitude test to identify their natural inclinations, and they have a chance to choose their permanent factions. Most choose to stay in the factions into which they were born. Others feel pulled toward a different way of life, and might choose to join another faction, even though it means leaving the familiar behind.

Picking 10

Through the controversial topic of Affirmative Action, our guest blogger Jahleese Ladson reflects on what we can learn when we are wrong.

I am generally open to challenges. I embrace them actually. If I haven’t experienced it before, it’s automatically more intriguing to me. Living in another country, learning a new language, eating exotic foods, jumping out of planes; all of those experiences have constantly taught me the value of pushing myself beyond what I think I …