A look at gender in the beauty industry

After flipping through their trusted magazines, like Flare Magazine where Hannah worked in the late 90s, women would head to their local drugstores to pick up the latest anti-wrinkle moisturizers, pore minimizers, and waist thinner-izers. The hyper-feminine and macho-masculine brands also offer up gender-neutral products; they just don’t tell you. With a few exceptions, most beauty products can be used by anyone, regardless of their biological sex, gender identity, or anything else really. It’s the way the products are packaged and marketed that suggests to consumers whether the product is meant for them or not.

Two Spirit: A reclaimed identity

Before contact with colonizers, Two Spirit individuals were trusted and integral members of Indigenous communities. These Indigenous people identified as neither female nor male, but rather transcended the binary of gender, with many communities recognizing multiple genders. They were often seen as healers, teachers, spiritual leaders and medicine people. Being able to relate to both male and female perspectives, they would mediate conflict. Inclusiveness and acceptance in the community allowed for Two Spirit individuals to fulfill unique roles. However, colonization disrupted—and continues to disrupt—how Two Spirit people are viewed both inside and outside Indigenous communities.

Asexuality: Prude and prejudice

My own ace experience includes feeling like I’m constantly out of step with what the rest society thinks. To see if others felt the same incongruence as I did, I ran a small survey. It went to anonymous, mostly asexual respondents, ranging from 16 to 26 years old. Most said that feminists, whether in casual conversation or organized groups, just don’t understand asexuals—or even know that they exist. Feminism as a whole has not outgrown society’s discomfort with aces and in turn, asexuality risks being uncomfortable with feminism.

Witchcraft’s new era of feminism

Although mainstream witchcraft seems to revolve around astrology, tarot readings and crystal work, individual witchcraft practices range from cooking to gardening to meditation. Despite historical efforts to frame witchcraft as evil in order to control and oppress women, witchcraft today, reclaimed by feminists and social activists, gives back the voices of people who are continually marginalized and oppressed in society.

Put the ‘right’ back in birthright

Found in many societies and rooted in a patriarchal norm is the “pink tax” or “tampon tax,” otherwise known as the price gouging of gender-based products. Women’s products often cost more than those of their cis-male counterparts, even though they are the same thing with slight adjustments, such as a different scent or color. Menstrual products are not something that those with a uterus can opt-out of. The lovely gift from mother nature will come every month whether you get a paycheck or not. The fact that a person has to pay to stay sanitary and safe during this time is unfathomable.

Relationships in COVID-19

COVID-19 has tested patience, boundaries and even our sanity. It’s a continuous whirlwind of emotions as each new stage of the pandemic is unveiled. Relationships—new or old, near or far, straight or same-sex, married or not—have all struggled to adapt to new rules. In a disconnected and isolated world, these couples chose love and perseverance, allowing simple acts of creativity to keep the romance alive.