Last week, filmmaker Darryl Roberts launched a boycott against the clothing company Ralph Lauren on the grounds that their advertisements promote negative body images in women and girls. According to the Huffington Post, the boycott has so far generated the support of the National Association of Anorexia Nervousa and Associated Eating Disorders (ANAD), the YWCA and 60 other organizations, as well as a Facebook following of over 3,700.
Roberts, creator of the documentary "America the Beautiful," said in an open letter that he started the campaign in response to several recent Ralph Lauren ads with extremely distorted images of women. After a media flurry of criticism, the designer publicly apologized for one of the ads, but then published two similar ads featuring equally, if not more severely, distorted images.
Working on "America the Beautiful," which examined the effect of ads featuring emaciated models on American women and youth, also played a part in his decision to start the boycott, Roberts told the Huffington Post. "From doing the film, I realized that those images--to me, they are just dumb stupid images-- but I realize that they have a lot of impact on a young girl's life...It's reckless and irresponsible to keep advertising in that manner just so you can make money. Many young girls have low self-esteem and hate the way they look, and through the process of doing the film and meeting them, face to face, I became an advocate against advertising that way toward young girls."
"We're going to pick three of Lauren's biggest stores and start boycotts--right at his stores," Roberts told the Huffington Post. "We're going to take young girls that feel that they're ugly, or have eating disorders, to his stores...so that they can explain to people who are attempting to go in there and shop, how their advertising affects them."
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .