Kresge Library

Annual Women's Studies Film Festival 2006
Body image and women’s health

Real Women Have Curves Box ArtWomen’s Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Oakland University presents the 2006 Annual Women’s Studies Film Festival and Seminar: "Why Can't I Look Like That Model?" Saturday, March 11, 2006, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 156 North Foundation Hall (campus map). Tickets cost $12 for the general public, and $8 for students and seniors.

Advertising and popular culture bombard women incessantly with images of ideal beauty. Advertising encourages us to buy cosmetics, hair products, diet foods and exercise equipment in pursuit of that ideal. But advertisements also send a contradictory message, promoting junk food and encouraging the sedentary lifestyle that lets us watch more television – and more commercials. For many girls and women, these mixed messages are not only frustrating but dangerous. For women of ethnic minorities, the prevailing northern European ideal of beauty is particularly discouraging.

This year’s film festival will explore these issues with two documentaries, a student video and a feature film, all the work of women filmmakers. Jean Kilbourne’s 1995 documentary Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness examines the messages that advertising sends women about their body images. In Black, Bold and Beautiful, 1999, directed by Nadine Valcin and produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, African-American and African-Canadian women discuss why they do or do not dress their hair to conform to European ideals of beauty. Kelly Fitzsimmon’s video Untitled, a prize-winning entry from this year’s Grizzdance festival, is an Oakland University student’s take on issues of body-image. This year marks our first showing of a film by an Oakland University student in the Women’s Studies Film Festival.

The feature film Real Women Have Curves, directed by Patricia Cardoso from a play by Josefina Lopez, tells the story of a young Mexican-American woman coming of age and coming to terms with her appearance and ethnicity.

9:30 am - 10:00 am Sign-in and breakfast.
10:00 am -10:30 am Slim Hopes, 1995.
10:30 am - 11:10 am Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women’s Hair, 1999.
11:10 am -11:20 pm Untitled, by Kelly Fitzsimmons.
11:20 am - 12:20 pm Panel discussions of the documentaries.
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Real Women have Curves, 2002.
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Panel and open discussion.
4:30 pm - 5:00pm Reception and coffee hour.

More about the films*:

Real Women Have Curves
  • External reviews of the movie Real Women Have Curves:
  • Movie Trailers from: HBO Films,,, Avatarfilms
  • Williams, Linda Ruth. "Real Women Have Curves." Sight and Sound, 13.2:60
  • Jenelle Riley (2002). The women behind Real Women: playwright Josefina Lopez and director Patricia Cardoso redefine what's "commercial."('Real Women Have Curves' debuts at Sundance Film Festival). Back Stage West 9.42:7
  • Mitchell, Elvis. Full figured and ready to fight.('Real Women Have Curves'). The New York Times (March 22, 2002 pB24).

Related Books avaiable at the Kresge Library:

  • Bodies out of bounds : fatness and transgression / edited by Jana Evans Braziel and Kathleen LeBesco. Call Number: RC 552 .O25 B63 2001
  • Women and dieting culture : inside a commercial weight loss group / Kandi M. Stinson. Call Number: RM 222.2 .S842 2001
  • Young women and the body : a feminist sociology / Liz Frost. Call Number: HQ 798 .F76 2001
  • Am I thin enough yet? : the cult of thinness and the commercialization of identity / Sharlene Hesse-Biber. Call Number: BF 697.5 .B63 H47 1996
  • Hair story : untangling the roots of Black hair in America / Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps. Call Number: E 185.86 .B96 2001
  • Hair matters : beauty, power, and Black women's consciousness / Ingrid Banks. Call Number: E 185.86 .B265 2000

*Access to some full text resources from off campus is limited to current Oakland students, staff, and faculty.

Past Festivals: 2005, 2004, 2002
Created on 12/12/06 by 11/21/02 by Robert Slater / Last updated on 3/7/18 by Robert Slater
Oakland University

Oakland University, Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd., Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370 - 4426