5 min read
by Team Thinx | 07/26/2016
I never thought I would write about superhero movies two straight weeks in a row, all for the sake of highlighting strong woman. But alas, here we are! Times are changing, folks! Brie Larson will be playing Captain Marvel for the film appropriately titled Captain Marvel. This will be Marvel's first female-led superhero film (suppressing the need to rant about how long it took us to get here. Another time. We’re celebrating!)
Who is this Captain Marvel, you ask? A lil background: her name is Carol Danvers, and she is a fighter pilot. What makes her so special? This Captain has alien DNA, shoots beams out of her hands, and, naturally, can fly. Word on the street is she is sarcastic, opinionated, and doesn’t take BS. Essentially, if Team THINX was a superhero, we would wanna be just like her.
Larson, who recently won an Academy Award for her performance in Room, has been vocal about how important it is for women to be seen in the world of film. In an interview with Variety, Larson said “I would love to create more space for her complication, for stepping outside of clichés and showing women and other races and other sexualities — all the complexities instead of just focusing so much on the surface issues.” Here, here.
At Comic Con (where Larson made her announcement), all the female actors who are a part of the Marvel franchise got together for an iconic group pic. Can we do a Marvel movie where all of these women together please??
Have y’all listened to Cheap Thrills? Aside from it being a superrrr enjoyable road trip jam, it’s also making history. For the first time in 16 years, a woman in her 40’s has reached Billboard Top 100’s #1 spot. The last woman to achieve this was Madonna in September of 2000 with her song “Music.” (Side note: do we all remember how incredible that song is/was? It was #1 for 4 weeks! I say that’s not enough! Adding Music to the Vajingle now, to be played on repeat for all eternity.)
Anywhoo- Cheap Thrills!
As the Huffington Post has pointed out, it’s much for common for men and their 40’s to obtain the coveted #1 spot. From Pharrell to Eminem to Jay Z, some of the biggest names in the music biz are dudes that are in their 40’s. But where the ladies at??? (We did a very thorough check to confirm that Jennifer Lopez has not snagged a #1 spot in her 40’s--so far she has not. But we are waiting; it’s only a matter of time.)
To get a lil more serious-- ageism is v. real and in full force in Hollywood, so to have a strong, authentic woman like Sia, who has only become more popular as she’s gotten older, is important to see on the very top of the chart. She is a veteran of the industry, and deserving of the number #1 spot. Congrats to our mystical masked maven!
Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly reported from the Republican National Convention, and her choice in clothing made for bogus/sexist headlines and gave Twitter Trolls a reason to poke out from their caves. Kelly wore spaghetti straps. Who cares what a smart, successful woman chooses to wear when she is properly performing her required task at hand, right? It’s not like Kelly showed up for her job as a political commentator in flip flops and jeans-- the dress she wore happened to have thin straps. This was a big deal, we guess?
A quick story: When I was in first grade I wore a tank top with spaghetti straps on it to school. I was six years old, and the tank top had a little sparkly bee on the front. It was May, the end of the school year, and our east coast classroom didn’t have AC. When I walked into class and over to my cubby, I started receiving questions from the boys and girls in my classroom. Why was I wearing spaghetti straps? Why was a showing my arms? As a six year old girl, I was suddenly extremely self conscious. As we sat around my first grade teacher for story time (because, ya know, we were six) I covered my shoulders with my hands, trying to cover myself. Trying to make myself less seen. How was it that six year old children, both boys and girls, knew to harass me for showing my arms, and who taught them that? How is a woman's body already stigmatized, before she even becomes a woman? This happened 17 years ago, yet I remember every detail, and it’s because the shame we perpetuate onto women sinks deep, and continues to resurface. Megyn Kelly is a 45 year old woman who is being called a whore and has been compared to a clubber or beachgoer for showing her shoulders on camera. Why are we so concerned about her shoulders? Why were my peers so concerned about mine?
Megyn Kelly’s shoulders are not a political statement. They do not dictate whether she is fit to do her job, or her intelligence. If we continue to perpetuate this shame, it will trickle down to the lil ones-- they’re very good listeners. Let’s not teach another generation to be afraid of women's bodies, because the ones who are subjected don’t forget it.
It’s the speech that everyone is talking about--and for good reason!
First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the most powerful speech at the DNC (& in our recent memory) on what she hopes for the future of this country and why she will be supporting Hillary Clinton. The speech was raw, powerful, and left us in a puddle of our own tears. In short; a triumph.
"It's the story that "has brought me to this stage tonight the story of generations who felt the lash of bondage,” she said. “ Those men and women who kept on striving and hoping, so that, today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves and I watch my daughters--two beautiful, intelligent black young women playing with their dog on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters--and all our sons and daughters--now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States."
Watch the speech below (and mb have a box of tissues at hand. Ya know. Just in case.)
I'm not ashamed to admit that I love a little light celebrity gossip. The night Kim released the Taylor Snapchats, for example, I was alert and squealing with delight at the sheer juiciness of it. I love drama when it's curated, when it's safe, and when, at the end of the day, it's publicity for them and a bit of entertainment for us. There is also gossip that I strongly dislike, and it's often when a celebrity is being made into a spectacle during a personal battle.
Uncovering the deeply personal part of a celebrities life hasn't changed much in the past decade, unfortunately. News outlets reel off of the 'girls next door' who lose their smiley persona, who fall down, who take a different path than expected. Britney shaving her head, Amanda Bynes horrific Twitter rage, even Rob Kardashian's weight gain and escape from the public eye-- we watch it unfold like a tragic 3 part play.
Lindsay Lohan is a major example of this crash-and-burn narrative. Her most recent public episode began when she reached out to her fiancé, Egor Tarabasov, through Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, begging him to return home after what was presumably a fight (and oddly hinted that she may be pregnant.) The urgency and helplessness was concerning enough, but it only got worse. Later, Lohan screamed on her balcony that her fiancée had strangled her and was trying to kill her. Neighbors filmed her outcry and called the police--when they arrived, Lohan and Tarabasov were both gone.
Lohan has since made a statement on her Instagram, saying that she is okay, she is healing in private, and she apologizes for making matters so public.
Now, I'm not saying Lohan wasn't looking for attention when she posted the Snapchat videos, the Instagrams, the Tweets. I'm not saying she isn't aware of her celebrity impact. She may have even wanted this publicity, who knows? She may be pregnant, who's to say? But to take a line from the Swift playbook-- I don't want to be a part of this narrative.
In 2010 (6 years ago, same ol' problem) Dr. Cheryl Pappas wrote a piece for the Huffington Post titled Lindsay Lohan: Easy to be Hard, after one of her DUI arrests (Lohan has since publicly stated she is addicted to alcohol and cocaine.) Pappas writes about the media's craze surrounding Lohan's addiction, and writes "Such shows are distracting garbage for a turned-off audience, and a ratings winner, I’m sure, but what’s up with the heartlessness and the absence of intelligent commentary about mental illness?" It's disheartening to know I'm asking the same question Pappas did so long ago.
Rather than doing unnecessary detective work over every aspect of Lohan's emotional whirlpool, why don't we ask the right questions? Perhaps if we ignore the stories that provide the shallow narrative, we can send a message of what we do want- a heavier focus on domestic abuse and mental illness, both unfortunately common enough to deserve attention, but get cast at the wayside for a sexier story. Whether we're writing the articles or reading them, we have a say in what we choose to consume.
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