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Niki Mohrdar

Societal Delusion: The Bikini Bod Paradigm

As the summer season slowly creeps up, more and more of us become increasingly concerned with how we look underneath the layers of sweaters, long johns and parkas. The gyms seem more packed, the health food stores are overflowing, and “progress pictures” are filling our Facebook newsfeeds. Even I decided to check out some new and healthy recipes on the website for Women’s Health, an American magazine which provides “healthy” information and tips for women on topics such as weight loss, recipes, fitness, and sex.  As someone who has tended to be rather concerned with her weight, I visit the site quite frequently. However, on this particular visit, I happened to stumble upon an advertisement which made me question why we’ve become so obsessed with being “fit.” The ad reads as follows: “Enter your e-mail address below to access the “21-DAY BIKINI BODY PLAN.” There is also a faceless, rather slender woman in a bikini, which I assume is standing in as an example of what could be achieved. In order to close the advertisement, which popped up on my screen in the midst of me reading an article, one can click on a link below, reading: “No thanks, I already have a bikini body.” In an attempt to close the advertisement, I felt immense guilt. I hadn’t worked out in awhile, and I suppose I could have been eating healthier… perhaps clicking through the site and finding some more work-out routines wouldn’t hurt. As I began browsing, I noticed a pattern among the women who were demonstrating the exercises: All of them seemed to already be society's definition of “fit” and “thin.” How is anyone who (by these standards) doesn’t have a “bikini body” supposed to feel encouraged to take on this lifestyle when only one body type, one that… Read More

City Rivalries: Where are you from?

The time of great uncertainty begins immediately after graduating from high school, where there’s an expectancy for newly-turned adults to set long-term goals. Whether it be starting your university career or gaining an executive position at a full-time job, every bird from the nest will have a different goal with a different way of achieving it. Yet what generally unites us twenty-year-olds is the territoriality we engender over where we choose to begin our journey. In my own experience, Canadian youth generally migrate to one of three cities: Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal. And why shouldn’t they? These cities are bursting with culture, fashion, nightlife, good food, a variety of post-secondary schools and arguably, plenty of job or internship opportunities.  In fact, these three cities have been globally ranked in the top 50 of Maclean’s On Campus’  “Best Student Cities.” So then why is there such a rivalry among the youth who populate these metropolitans? Within the past year alone several online articles, blog posts and videos have been pinning cities against cities, and by extension, students against students. For example, a video uploaded by YouTube user, Dating Without Borders, released on December 19th, entitled: “Montreal or Toronto: Better City to Be Single?” involved two reporters questioning Torontonians and Montrealers about the ease or difficulties they have with dating in their city. Another more recent and controversial article was also released this year by culture magazine, IX Daily, where writer Maxwell Turner compares Montreal to Toronto and reaches an alleged obvious conclusion—that Montreal plainly sucks in comparison to other cities. And lastly, even a simple Google search of “Vancouver or Toronto” or “Vancouver or Montreal” pulls up hundreds of articles, which attempt to answer a question I didn’t realize was so controversial and important until my third year of being in… Read More