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Category Archives: Fantastically Feminine

Body Shaming Hurts Everyone

When I was in middle school, a boy told me to my face that I was ugly. I don’t bring this up to make you feel bad for me. I’ve been over it for a long time. But the comments did bother me for a really long time. I spent most of middle school wanting to be invisible and thinking that if I guy were to like me, it would be despite how I look.

Fortunately, that was the only time anybody has blatantly told me I was ugly. However, I have often experienced the feelings that accompanied the comment. In many cases, these feelings have been the result of comments that were actually directed at other women.

Sometimes when somebody makes a comment about another woman being fat or not being very pretty, my self esteem suffers.You may not know it, but I think that girl looks like me. I may think she looks better than me. And you just said she didn’t look good. By extension, I don’t look good.

It may not be sound logic, but that’s the conclusion I come to. And I’m not alone. Other girls have shared experiences with me where they felt bad about themselves because of something somebody said about another girl. People who body shame aren’t just hurting the people they’re talking about.

In fact, body shamers also hurt themselves when they make comments about others. As a general rule, people don’t like being around those who frequently make negative remarks.

If a guy makes a negative comment about another girl’s appearance, I’m turned off. Like really turned off. Instantly. I’m not intimidated when a guy talks about other girls who he thinks are pretty. It just makes me feel like he is able to see the beauty in people. And that is refreshing.

Furthermore, I don’t think body shaming really encourages people to adapt healthier lifestyles. If it did, I don’t think there would be overweight people, because they certainly are shamed plenty. As Taylor Swift puts it, “You have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don’t already see them.” Believe, you aren’t going to point out something about me I haven’t already noticed and wanted to change.

Actually, the points in my life where I’ve had the healthiest lifestyle have been when I loved myself. And I mean that as the self respect helped me live a healthier lifestyle. Why? Because I wanted to take care of myself rather than hide my body.

Fun fact: It takes confidence to go to the gym. Why? Because it’s really hard not to be intimidated by the girl on the bike next to you who is going twice as fast with a steeper incline all while annihilating your Fruit Ninja high score. It takes a little bit of self love to be comfortable with that.

So in short, don’t body shame. Just don’t.

I mean, really. Why you gotta be so mean?

My 3-year-old cousin knows this song word for word. It’s cute. Just saying.

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Fantastically Feminine: Mattie Ross

Most of the ladies featured in my Fantastically Feminine Fridays come from stories I really enjoyed. Let me be clear: I did not like True Grit. I will never watch it again. Why? Because not even the combined forces of an excellent female protagonist and a remarkable performance by Matt Damon could save this movie. Nonetheless, I was so impressed by Hailee Steinfeld’s character Mattie, that I decided to feature her anyway.

So the whole story revolves around the fact that Mattie wants to avenge her father’s murder. So she rounds up so help, drives some hard bargains and sets out to Indian Territory to track down the killer. Oh, and she’s only 14 years old when she does all this.

And if there’s anybody in this movie who shows “true grit” it’s Mattie. She takes her father’s killer head on. And she takes him down.

Overall conclusions? Mattie Ross=awesome. Matt Damon= awesome. True Grit as a whole= not so awesome.

 

Fantastically Feminine: Annie Oakley

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All of the Fantastically Feminine Fridays thus far have been about fictional women, which was always my intent with the feature. Now, obviously Annie Oakley is not a fictional character. However, she is fantastic and my excuse for featuring her is that I saw Annie Get Your Gun the other night. And the musical is largely fiction, so we’re going to let this one slide.

 

Now, obviously Annie is a phenomenal markswoman. That in and of itself is pretty fantastic. I mean, she does all these crazy stunts and wins medals from royalty across Europe.

The real defining moment for her as a character, though, is when she agrees to sell all her medals to finance the merger between the two Wild West shows. So yeah. She’s awesome. And don’t forget, anything you can do she can do better.

Fantastically Feminine: Ariadne

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I’m among the Inception fanatics. Who isn’t? And one of my favorite things about the movie is Ariadne. She’s smart. She’s the one who’s able to help Cobb figure out all his issues with his wife. Ariadne catches on to dream building faster than anybody. She picks up on little details and uses them to better understand what’s going on. She can think on her feet and has creative solutions to problems that arise.

And we all know Arthur (who’s also very cool) totally has a thing for her.

Fantastically Feminine: Astrid

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Yes, I just absolutely love How to Train Your Dragon. And I especially love Astrid, the main female protagonist. Astrid has a traditionally rough Viking exterior. For one thing she can whip around a battle axe that’s like as big as she is.

Behind that though, Astrid is actually kind of soft and understanding. After some initial hesitation, she’s accepting of Hiccup’s bond with Toothless. And I’ve never seen anyone look so cute while wearing skulls.

I’m also a fan of Astrid’s dragon, Stormfly. He’s quick and agile, just like her.

Fantastically Feminine: Snow

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So Mirror Mirror didn’t get fantastic reviews. And I don’t know why. I happened to really like it. It’s everything a fairy tale retelling should be. The dwarves are funny. The antagonist is ridiculously self centered. The prince is foxy (and shirtless for a fair portion of the movie). Most important, though. The protagonist (Snow White) is brilliant.

Snow White begins the movie as kind and generous. She’s bright and an avid reader. And under the tutelage of the dwarves, she becomes an awesome butt-kicking, sword fighting force of awesomeness. The movie even plays on the idea that there are plenty of stories with damsels in distress. This didn’t need to be another one.

So the movie has it’s touch of cheesiness. For one thing the costumes are utterly ridiculous. But I think that all just adds to the charm of the movie.

Fantastically Feminine: Cassie Lang

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Since I’m in the middle of my Women in Refrigerators posts, I think this weeks Fantastically Feminine Friday should feature the heroine who inspired me to kick it off. Ok, so Cassie isn’t the only heroine who inspired me to take on this somewhat massive project. But she did give it the kick it needed.

Basically, I live at Barnes and Noble and happened to be perusing some comic books. There was an anthology of Marvel’s The Children’s Crusade that I started flipping through. And it made me sad because Cassie, my favorite of the Young Avengers dies at the end after battling Doctor Doom. And then I started thinking how a lot of characters, especially women, that I like end up dead.

In fact, thus far in the Fantastically Feminine Feature, I have more or less avoided talking about characters who are set to make future appearances because I am cursed and they probably will die. But since Cassie is already dead, what’s the worst that could happen?

See. Dead. Noble sacrifice and all, but she’s still dead.

My favorite thing about Cassie is that she’s an idealist. She’s optimistic. She’s self sacrificing. And she’s strong. Her biggest ream is to follow in her dad’s footsteps and become a superhero.

Her ultimate sacrifice was in order to save her dad. She knew that bringing him back from the dead would have serious repercussions. And she did it anyway. And now she’s dead. Which makes me sad mostly in the sense that now we won’t see any more of her. Well, they may bring her back. Comic book death and all. But she is a pretty minor character.

So here is my tribute to Stature, a.k.a Cassie Lang.

And there she is fighting a Super Skrull