Melissa A. Fabello is the Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism. She is also a body acceptance activist and sexuality scholar. Melissa is a licensed educator with over a decade of experience working with diverse populations, including extensive training in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention education.
She is currently a doctoral candidate in Human Sexuality Studies, researching how women with anorexia nervosa experience the bodied phenomenon of sensuality and skin hunger. She received her M.Ed. in Human Sexuality from Widener University in 2013, where her research focus was on the media’s perpetuating of societal myths and how that affects healthy sexual development in adolescent girls.
With a passion for advocacy and a drive for liberation, Melissa’s work revolves mostly around body image, female sexuality, and media literacy.
Melissa has also done extensive work for The National Eating Disorders Association, The Representation Project, Adios Barbie, and Laci Green’s Sex+ community. To read her Everyday Feminism articles, click here.
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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To arrange to have Melissa speak at your event, please complete this form here and we will be in touch soon.
Her presentations include:
- Why Feminism? Why Now?: An Introduction to the Movement and Why It Matters Still Today – Often, when people stand against feminism, it’s because they’re simply not sure what the movement stands for or what makes it relevant. This presentation – which uses grounded examples, a lot of multimedia, and plenty of humor – is a fantastic introduction to what feminism means today, including explanations of concepts such as patriarchy, intersectionality, and privilege that push the audience to the edge of their comfort zone without creating a tense environment. If you’re looking to bring a quick and fun “Feminism 101” type of presentation to your audience, this is the one.
- Media Literacy 101: How Pop Culture Seduces You into Gender Roles – This presentation, which outlines the media’s influence on self-image, includes clips from Miss Representation and Tough Guise to inform a discussion around what society and the media tells us it means to express masculinity and femininity. This presentation serves to help audience members start thinking critically about media and asking important questions in order to be conscious consumers while using a gender focus. For a preview, check out this video.
- Bleeding Love: Pop Music, Advertising, and the Normalization of Dating Violence – Listen closely to Top 40 radio or take a critical eye to flipping through magazines, and what you find may surprise and disturb you. At every turn, we’re being inundated with messages and images that normalize (and even romanticize) unhealthy and abusive dating behaviors. This interactive presentation gives an introduction to the dynamics of intimate partner violence and then uses pop culture to highlight how ubiquitous harmful messages about sex and dating truly are.
- Reclaiming Our Bodies, Our Sexuality, Our Lives: Exploring Female Sexuality Through Five BS Body Myths – In a society where women are constantly told that their sexuality exists for male consumption, there can be a lot of confusion about what to do with feelings of attraction and arousal. To complicate this further, women are often made to feel ashamed and disgusted by their bodies, leading to a disconnect between the emotional and the physical. This seminar, which focuses on five ways that women are taught to hate and distrust their bodies, works to bust myths and educate women about their bodies and their feelings in a feminist, sex-positive way.
- Social Justice Activist Self-Care (or, Why My YouTube Comments Are Disabled): Why You Need It and How to Start – Activism is hard work. And for most of us that do it for a living, we also know that it’s mostly selfless work. But what happens when we forget to take care of ourselves in the midst of working toward social change? This presentation offers practical advice for how to practice intentional self-care both in a general sense and in specific stressful situations related to activism. For a preview, check out Melissa’s article entitled “The Pain of Being Feminist in an Anti-Feminist World.”
All topics can be adapted to be presentations, keynote speeches, or workshops and can be tailored to the audience.
If you don’t see a topic that quite meets your needs but think we can cover it, just let us know. We are also willing to create a signature talk or workshop for groups.
Past Presentations Include:
- Reclaiming Our Bodies, Our Sexuality, Our Lives: Exploring Female Sexuality Through Five BS Body Myths presentation, Philadelphia University, April 2016
- Reclaiming Our Bodies, Our Sexuality, Our Lives: Exploring Female Sexuality Through Five BS Body Myths presentation, William Patterson University, February 2016
- Media Literacy 101: How Pop Culture Seduces You into Gender Roles presentation, Lake Washington School District, Washington State, October 2015