The Most Hated Man In The World

The self-professed American dating expert Julien Blanc has been banned from Britain. The UK has declined to issue a visa to Blanc, an executive coach at Real Social Dynamics (RSD), a group that charges clients thousands of dollars to learn what have been described as sexist, misogynistic and violent acts towards women. He claims to teach clients how to approach women, but his tactics are often described as offensive and abusive. Earlier this month, Blanc was forced to leave Australia after an online campaign pushed venues to cancel his bookings, and authorities to revoke his visa. 150,000 people signed a petition to ban his entry to the UK. Petitions also call for him to be barred from South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland.

Blanc said he felt like he was the most “hated man in the world”.  When I heard him say that, I snorted out loud and actually said “cry me a river”. Of course a man who teaches such atrocious things will gain criticism and rightful so. It is horrible to promote rape- to teach rape- and think it is okay. Julian Blanc isn’t sorry for his actions or thoughts he’s sorry he’s gotten caught and became infamous worldwide.

However, his bar from Britain is an important victory for feminists in Europe. It is critical to set the message that rape or violent behavior towards women will not be tolerated. By preventing him from entering the country, Britain took the first step towards changing misogynistic thoughts and anti-feminist ideals. Teaching men to rape women is not an art form or any type of seduction it is just simply rape, and it is very wrong. Other European countries can follow Britain’s lead and not allow Blanc to get a visa into their countries. With the issues of women’s rights in the spotlight, especially due to the oppression in the Middle East, it is critical that democratic, idealistic, European countries take the initiative to dissuade anti-feminists and people like Blanc who believe it is okay to hurt and humiliate women.


The Best Lingerie-And Lingerie Models!- Come in All Sizes and Shapes


Vogue’s latest bra shoot features five gorgeous plus-sized models. Shot by Cass Bird, the editorial titled“Give me a D! Give me an F!” Because Gorgeous Bras Come in All Shapes and Sizes” features well-known models Ashley Graham, Inga Eiriksdottir and Maquita Pring. Both high fashion and shopping mall brands are featured in the shoot, making the bras modeled accessible to all women. Most notably, high fashion brand L’Agent by Agent Provocateur is featured in the shoot. In the editorial, the models discuss how they have felt purchasing lingerie over the years, and how they feel about all different types of bras.


This come at a time when the fashion industry is facing changes in the definition of plus size models. With the array of criticism that the industry is receiving over-photoshopped image and the health of sample-sized models, this shoot is refreshing.


The best part of the whole shoot is that Vogue makes no reference to the women’s size, and instead focuses on the beauty of the clothes, just like they would if sample-sized women were used in the shoot. Vogue states, “when it comes to gorgeous undergarments, there is no such thing as cutting corners—and if the cup fits, why not make sure it’s pretty?” By treating these women like they would their normal models, Vogue is setting an important precedent. They are saying that all women are beautiful and deserve to be treated the same way. That is a concept that the rest of the fashion industry needs to grasp.


All images courtesy of Vogue

Did Kim Kardashian Actually Break The Internet?

Break the Internet? More like Break the Photoshop Program.

Kim Kardashian recently “broke” the Internet with her Paper Magazine shoot. The images on the cover of the magazine were extremely photoshopped, to the point where it was ridiculous. As art, it makes a statement. As reality…not so much. The issue with the shoot is that girls who idolize Kim Kardashian will look past the Photoshop and believe this is how they are actually supposed to look.

Instead, they should be viewing the images below, the unphotoshopped, un-oil’d up, unretouched photos, that show Kim Kardashian in her natural state. Instead of comparing themselves to a computer generated image, women across the world should be focusing on making themselves as happy as possible and realize that they are truly beautiful inside and out.

enhanced-buzz-wide-8454-1415801126-18 enhanced-buzz-wide-338-1415801258-32The right image shows Kim Kardashian as she appeared on the cover (retouched), while the left shows her with a realistic waistline. These photos are speculation and have not been confirmed as the actual unretouched images.
Photos Courtesy of Buzzfeed

It is not necessary to “break the internet” to be beautiful. A photoshopped image including champagne and an enlarged behind isn’t critical to be pretty. Instead, what is inside, the things that make you unique- both inside and out- are what truly define your beauty.

Sexism and Halloween

According to Alliance Data Retail Services, Halloween is the fourth most popular holiday for consumers to spend money—next to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. It seems everyone drops big bucks on halloween, the costume industry will make a wapping 2.6 billion dollars by the send of this halloween season. 65% of consumers will spend an average of 66 dollars on their costume. But this issue is, these costumes are increasingly sexual- at least, they are for women. As Mean Girl’s says “Halloween is the one night of the year where girls can dress like sluts and not be judged”. If you want to dress in a more provocative way, I’m all for it! More power to you! But there are little other options.

Below are a series of gifs (Courtesy of Buzzfeed) that show the progression of female halloween costumes, from adorable baby to over-sexualized adult.

The Devil:

Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Angel: 
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Bumble Bee:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Witch:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Unicorn:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Pirate:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Nurse:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
Minnie Mouse:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz 
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
Furthermore, these costumes are so much sexier than their male counterparts. The images below, all from Buzzfeed, show the major difference between female and male costumes. As you can see, the female costumes are always sexier, and show much more skin.
The comic below (courtesy of Hairpin) shows the ridiculousness of the costume industry!
It is coming to the point where “sexy big bird” and “sexy pizza” outfits are the norm. Maybe Halloween Costume Producers can take a more feminist view on the issue, and provide a multitude of costumes- some sexy, some more modest- so that women across the world can feel comfortable and confident in their costume choices.

The Science of Beauty: Part 3: Photoshop & The Subconscious Standard Of Ideal Beauty

The Science of Beauty is a new feature on The Mirror Reflects. This 3 part-series will dive into the mathematics of beauty, what is considered beautiful, and how that is achieved in 2014. It looks to shatter the myths of conventional beauty and promote the ideal that everyone is beautiful. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here

In Original Ideal, editorial photographer Scott Chasserot works to uncover our subconscious beauty ideals through psychology, brain scans, and Photoshop.

Chasserot begins by taking a plain studio portrait of his subjects. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Chasserot said he selects subjects that he finds “facially very interesting. Or that have interesting stories. A few people on the website are transgender.”
Chasserot then creates 50 new images by making small manipulations to the original portrait in Photoshop. These alternations can include tweaking the size of a subject’s eyes, the tone of a subject’s skin, and the width of a subject’s nose and chin.
Chasserot’s subjects are then hooked up to an Emotiv brain scanner and shown the portraits in rapid succession.

Based on whichever portrait the individual has the most “engagement” with, Chasserot determines the subject’s ideal self-image and displays the altered portrait beside the original. Below are the results of the experiment. The photos on the right show the original subject. The photos on the left show the “ideal” alterations, as chosen subconsciously by the subject.

All Photos Courtesy of  Scott Chasserot 


Chasserot can remember the precise moment that inspired Original Ideal.

“What got me thinking was seeing a woman with four toes on each foot, from a congenital disorder. It was a hot summer day and she was wearing sandals. My gut reaction was: Wow, I would never. If I had four toes on each foot, I wouldn’t wear sandals. That vain reaction we all have sometimes.”

“My second thought was: She’s very brave. She’s intelligent enough to not care too much about what other people think of her physical appearance. It made me think about how much we project onto other people, even strangers.”

The project questions: “What do we find instinctively in the human face and how does this translate to self-image? What assumptions would be make about another person if we could see their ideal self-image? Original Ideal combines portrait photography and neuroscience to isolate the subjects’ ideal self-image, a cerebrally sincere preference obtained by circumventing conscience thought.

“The idea is to produce a set of variations that either conform to the canons of beauty that have already been established, or go against it,”saysChasserot.

He goes on to say that, “the real goal of the project is to get people to react in that way. To get them thinking about how much they’re projecting onto the subjects’ ideal self image.”

 What do we define as the ideal face, for both ourselves and others? How does our subconscious influence beauty standards today?

Our subconscious idea of what is beautiful effects every part of our lives. It reflects how you style your hair or how you do your makeup (for example, those who wish for bigger eyes might style their eye makeup in a way that makes their eyes appear wider or fuller). Next time you look in the mirror, challenge yourself to re-think the typical thoughts. Don’t just criticize your appearance. Understand that you are wired to appreciate a specific type of beauty. Learn to embrace that the beauty you see in the mirror is just as precious as the one you subconsciously desire.

California Changes “No Means No” Law to “Yes Means Yes” Law

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed off on the highly anticipated “yes means yes” law that defines sexual consent has a firm “yes” rather than the refrain “no means no.”

State lawmakers last month approved SB967 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, as states and universities across the U.S. are under pressure to change how they handle rape allegations. Campus sexual assault victims and women’s advocacy groups delivered petitions to Brown’s office on Sept. 16 urging him to sign the bill.

De Leon has said the legislation will begin a paradigm shift in how college campuses in California prevent and investigate sexual assaults. Rather than using the refrain “no means no,” the definition of consent under the bill requires “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.”

“Every student deserves a learning environment that is safe and healthy,” De Leon said in a statement Sunday night. “The State of California will not allow schools to sweep rape cases under the rug. We’ve shifted the conversation regarding sexual assault to one of prevention, justice, and healing.”

The legislation says silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent. Under the bill, someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent.

The new standard means that campus authorities will now have to grill the accused about whether and how he obtained consent — rather than the victim to prove that she refused — mitigating the trauma of investigations and encouraging more women to come forward.

“This is amazing,” said Savannah Badalich, a student at UCLA, where classes begin this week, and the founder of the group 7000 in Solidarity. “It’s going to educate an entire new generation of students on what consent is and what consent is not… that the absence of a no is not a yes.”

Many feel that that the law has an obvious flaw. Shikha Dalmia from wrote that the law “assumes that sexual assault, already a crime under multiple laws, is the result of miscommunication. The assumption is that somehow one partner (and let’s be honest, it is overwhelmingly the one with a Y chromosome) didn’t ask or realize that the other wasn’t into it. But the fact is: Most assaulters know exactly what they are doing. The vast majority of campus rapes are committed by a small minority of repeat offenders who give not a damn about what the woman wants. And if they can threaten violence, they can also lie about obtaining consent”.

She brings up a big question: How will the law change anything?

Most importantly it brings the college sexual assault crisis into the public eye.

Female students at high-profile colleges including HarvardAmherst and Columbia accused officials of mishandling their rape cases. In response, President Barack Obama established atask force to reduce the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses.

In July, a report revealed the extent of the campus rape crisis, finding that 20% of colleges did not investigate the assaults they reported to the U.S. Department of Education, and 40% had not investigated a single assault in the past five years.

Finally, it seems that lawmakers are hearing the voices of college students, and doing their part to help all women feel comfortable on their college campus’.

Oumaya Naji al-Jabara Is The First Iraqi Women To Be Named “Sheikha”

ce0892f2-697c-49c6-955c-529a8da894f6_mainOumaya Naji al-Jabara
Photo Courtesy of A+ News

According to a report by Al Arabiya news, Oumaya Naji al-Jabara is the first woman in Iraq’s history to be granted the title of “Sheikha,” or tribal leader.

“Jabara is the first woman in Iraq’s history to be given this title. This is to honor her heroic role in fighting ISIS criminals,” said Marid Hasoun, head of the Iraqi Tribal Affairs Office, in a statement to the Al Sumaria news.

Jabara was reportedly killed on June 22, following a battle with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in the western province of Salah al-Din.

A lawyer by profession, Jabara was also a women’s rights activist and a consultant for Salah al-Din’s Women and Social Affairs organization.

She took up arms soon after ISIS started infiltrating the al-Alam district east of the city of Tikrit.

The country’s higher council for human rights said “the sheikha was with her people, heroically resisting the dark forces of ISIS, pushing the militant group  to react by bombing the city with mortars…”

Jabara, which literally translates to “mighty” in English, died as a result of a shot to the chest by an ISIS sniper.

Upon hearing of her death, Shiite prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki said “The name of the martyr Umayyah Naji Jabara has been added today to the chapter of Iraqi immortality.”