Tag: X Men

What Storm teaches us about managing Seasonal Affective Disorder | SYFY WIRE

If you can feel or predict the weather, remember that you are like Storm, a superhero with a special ability.
— Read on www.syfy.com/syfywire/what-storm-teaches-us-about-managing-seasonal-affective-disorder

‘It’s a man’s problem’: Patrick Stewart and the men fighting to end domestic violence | Society | The Guardian

‘It’s a man’s problem’: Patrick Stewart and the men fighting to end domestic violence | Society | The Guardian
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/04/domestic-violence-abuse-patrick-stewart-david-challen-hart-brothers

The Call for Equality in Pop Culture

The Call for Equality in Pop Culture

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Source: Illumstrations

Why is this topic important to me? Well ’cause I grew up watching comic book heroes on tv  and doing so helped me escape the hardships in my household. I may have mentioned in the previous post, “Superheros and Mental Health” I grew up in a domestic abusive household and I often felt powerless and powerless. But seeing hero and heroines overcome their own battles (including within) gave me the courage to overcome my troubles. So, I wasn’t interested in becoming the princess who waited for the prince to arrive, but rather the woman who had the power to change course of her life…and still get a man. But you know what??? There wasn’t even lot of heroines and worse there wasn’t even a lot of Black heroines or even other heroines of color. The biggest one I knew was…Storm.

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This is the “Storm” I knew back in the 90s when X-Men was on “Fox Kids” Her style was as fierce as she was and she was STILL classy. I liked that about her.

Hero without Her: Where My Superheroines At?

This was the 90’s where pretty much the gender norms were still alive and kicking, which meant only white,young boys and of course, the stereotypical nerdy man living in their mother’s basement, could only read comic books and show interest in action figures. I didn’t fit ANY of those categories growing up, so you can imagine how hard that could have been for a young Black girl who came from a dysfunctional  household.

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Fast forward to the future…holy crap the superhero movies now days…whoo! Frozen what???? Elsa who??? I think these movies would have heavily gained my interest as a young girl…especially seeing all these incredible heroines… I would have wanted every action figure and dolls from those films. Even if they didn’t possess super powers or they weren’t the main leads, they were incredible, intelligent women I would have admired…haha! Like I’m not already…but it would have been overwhelming for me as a child.

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Wasp was AMAZING in this movie!

I mean not too long ago, “Black Panther” the film adaptation of one Marvel’s superheroes, Black Panther, made $1.344 BILLION dollars! I mean…this one of the few films that had so much hype but actually delivered, but I gotta say when you have movie veterans like Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker and up and coming actors like Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyongo and then you have Danai Gurira too??? I knew it was going to be a great film. It was also a good way to show Hollywood, that yes…if you make a great film and cast it with all Black actors you can still make the big bucks. Thankfully “Black Panther” was an already well known character in the Marvel Universe.

I knew my inner five year old was squealing for joy when I first watched this movie. There were people who looked like me, wearing and styling the hair as I would my own and the women who did such an incredible job with the action scenes… Black actors who first once depicted as thugs, whores, drug dealers or maids or servants were now superheroes—at least to mainstream America, ESPECIALLY Hollywood. The funny thing was even though Erik Killmonger, who looked more like a thug than anyone in the film, had such a rich and complex character, that even you would feel for him. Nobody even called him a thug. I think he’s one of the villains you could relate with or sympathize for even if you weren’t Black. Yeah there has always been a Black villain, but none that been have more portrayed well as in this film by Michael B. Jordan. Black folks seemed to be always been portrayed as villains, because well… of the color our skin (especially if you’re dark skinned). So for the first time, I  enjoyed watching a Black villain without feeling portrayed incorrectly as a person of color.

But lately, there’s been just this nastiness towards such talented group of women in such reknown and popular tv shows

Colorism, Ageism, Sexism, Racism: What’s With All The “-Isms” Toward Actors?

When I see young actresses, especially actresses of color bullied, it pisses me off. To think that a certain group of people think it’s okay to say deplorable sh*tty comments. Anyways, actresses like Kelly Marie Tran, Millie Bobby Brown, and Anna Diop are just to a few names to mention who have faced harassment online, but regardless, they are fighting to good fight to end online bullying:

Kelly Marie Tran

Being that her character, Rose Tico, the first Asian-American woman in the Star Wars franchise (and apparently in the Star Wars Universe) has faced a lot of harassment from the darkside of the Star Wars Fandom and shut down her Instagram. However this past August, she resurfaced and gave such a powerful narrative about growing up as a Vietnamese Women in a world that tells her that she isn’t good enough and learning to find the importance of loving herself in the New York Times article, “Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment.” Here’s an excerpt:

I had been brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person’s approval. I had been tricked into thinking that my body was not my own, that I was beautiful only if someone else believed it, regardless of my own opinion. I had been told and retold this by everyone: by the media, by Hollywood, by companies that profited from my insecurities, manipulating me so that I would buy their clothes, their makeup, their shoes, in order to fill a void that was perpetuated by them in the first place.

We’ve all felt this way at one point of the other. And I’m glad she’s not letting haters drag her back.

Millie Bobby Brown

How the hell do people bully a 14 year old??? Like for real? Only miserable sorry excuse of a human being…that’s who.

See, Miss. Brown is a supporter the LGBTQ community, but to make her look homophobic (and apparently to hate on her success on a great character ) and even sometimes racist, they made the hashtag, #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown (Gutierrez, 2018). One user was part of that nonsense said the hashtag was meant to be “satirical”, but how the f*** is making racial and homophobic comments “satirical”???  Especially towards a young woman???It’s so sad to see the amount of “excuses” on the rise these days.

The crazy thing is this…”Strange Things” is about outcasts…nerds…who come together and with the bond of their strong friendship, save their little town of Hawkins, Indiana (perhaps the world too) mired by conspiracy by the U.S. Government. Yet…we have some asshats don’t seem to reflect what “Stranger Things” is about.

Miss. Brown wasn’t able to make it to the MTV Movie & TV Awards in August this year, because of a knee injury, but she did make an appearance via video and made an acceptance speech. Here is an except (Carras, 2018):

“Since I know there are many young people watching this — and even for the adults, too — they could probably use the reminder that I was taught: if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it,” Brown said in the video. “There should be no space in this world for bullying, and I’m not going to tolerate it, and neither should any of you.”

Only 14 and she’s already so well-spoken for.

The only things I have say about Miss. Brown are these:

  1. She can be dressed a bit mature for her age. While I don’t agree a woman (even an up in coming one) shouldn’t always be judged by what they wear, I feel like in a sense, her clothes is wearing her and she has to primped up to match up to it. Look…young girls at their age (I work with kids and when I work with them, memories come back) are already going through enough growing pains, let them gradually grow into the woman they are meant to be. They have the rest of their lives to be a woman.
  2. She kind of reminds me a young Natalie Portman. Like…she could be like a kid cousin or maybe a 2nd or 3rd cousin of hers. I know. I’m weird.

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But when I have my own teenager one day, they are NOT getting a smart phone or social media. If they do have social media, I HAVE to follow them. There’s too much crap for young people to handle. I know this being an adult myself…the amount of information on the internet is overwhelming… so what about for a young child/adolescent these days?

Anna Diop

She is cast for a DC series on the newest streaming service, DC Universe, “Titans” She has been facing backlash for basically being “the wrong type” of Black. But Starfire (even I didn’t know it) was originally (especially in her physique) Black (Johnson, 2018)! What?! I’ve been lied to this whole time???

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Source: DC Comics

Well the thing was she was always “designed” as white woman, (even though she was orange) because apparently Black women can’t be attractive.

Not that don’t mind Halle Berry, because I have MUCH love for her, but the reason why she is perhaps always cast (as if she is the only Black actress in Hollywood), is because her skin color is ambiguous. “Ambiguous” as in Black actresses like Halle Berry, who won’t make racist audiences, especially racist nerds (which almost sounds like an oxymoron) lose their freakin’ mind by seeing dark women on the silver screen. I’m calling it how I see it, because unless you grown up as a young Black girl or you are just a human being who is disappointed by the lack of diversity in the world of pop culture, it is infuriating. It really is. Hollywood has been too caught up in trying to make other audiences feel comfortable, while excluding other audience members especially women, people of color, disabilities, and LGBTQIA community. I mean…hello??? Does Hollywood really think the world is THAT small? Although the characters and sometimes the situations are fictional, does that mean there cannot be a fictional representation of other human beings too?

The ONLY thing I don’t like about Anna Diop’s Starfire is what looked like a “crimped” hairstyle. I mean really??? I know some Black women can rock orange hair, but  geez…the hairstylist just a horrible job. Even it’s a wig or a weave…no. That’s, that’s just wrong. Is the hairstylist Black?

The Inclusiveness of Pop Culture: It’s There

What I have loved about pop culture it has provided a gateway to meet with other nerds (especially like nerds like myself who are introverted)….This is immensely awesome especially when attending comic book conventions. It’s a great way for me–speaking for myself at least–to get out of my anxiety and is one of the few times I’m willing to tolerate large crowds (unfortunately I can’t say the same for b.o. around there). And like I’ve mentioned before, pop culture is one of the ways that help me better voice my experiences living with mental illness and life after sexual assault. On topics like these, sometimes, there is no easy way to talk about them and the shows and movies I watch, helps me to better voice it.

Conclusion

The good thing as a nation—ESPECIALLY these days—is how people are standing up towards deep seated issues like injustice, sexism, and racism. Having such discussions will hopefully encourage Hollywood (and hopefully other industries will follow suit) to put more people of color in great roles, not just ones of the “best friend” or the “nerd” or the “token friend.” You name it,  I’ve seen it. Heck, you’ve seen it. Nowdays I’m seeing young people of color, especially young Black girls showcase their favorite superheroes on their backpacks or sweatshirts. I can’t help but to smile when I see that, because while we have come a long way to seeing representation on the big and small screen, we still have ways to go.

I’d like to close this post with another except from Ms. Tran’s article:

I want to live in a world where children of color don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.

References

Carras, C. (2018) Millie Bobby Brown Takes on Bullies at MTV Awards Twitter Exit. Retrieved from: https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/millie-bobby-brown-acceptance-speech-bullying-mtv-awards-twitter-exit-1202850220/

Gutierrez, L. (2018). After Homephobic bullying, “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown Quits Twitter. Retrieved from: https://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article213175069.html

Johnson, J (2018). Racist Comic Fans Titan Star Off Instagram For Not Being The Right Type of Black. Retrieved From: https://www.theroot.com/racist-comic-fans-run-titans-star-off-instagram-for-not-1827809010/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Tran, K. (2018). Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/movies/kelly-marie-tran.html

Readings

Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment

Millie Bobby Brown Takes on Bullies at MTV Awards After Twitter Exit

Racist Comic Fans Run Titans Star Off Instagram for Not Being the Right Kind of Black

Sorry Racist Nerds, But Starfire Is a Black Woman

Posts on My Take of Pop Culture:

Superheroes and Pop Culture

The Fandom Menace: The Dark Side of the Star Wars Fanbase

Superheroes and Mental Health

I Love Superheros
Yes… I made a big ol’ picture depicting how much I love superheroes. They are so cool! I mean they have their own individual superpowers and they fight to save those they love

I love watching superhero movies and tv shows! I mean like, I currently I am watching “Gotham”, “The Flash”, “Supergirl”, “Arrow,” and “Legends of Tomorrow”. My favorite superhero is Batman. I own a bunch of comic books (as well as manga). I am definitely looking to watch “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2”, “Wonder Woman”, “Justice League”, “Thor Ragnarok”, “Spiderman: Homecoming” and of course… “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.

As a child growing up in a domestic violent household, seeing violence day by day made me  feel small , hopeless and hopeless. No matter how many times I mediated my parent fights, no matter how many times I closed the door to my room to block out the arguing, the screaming and fighting, I still felt insignificant and that my life was meaningless. But…whenever I watched superheroes on tv, there were big and powerful. They used their powers to defeat evil and deflect harm away their neighboring communities and the people they loved. But you know what what really amazed me? They didn’t allow their weakness to hold them back.

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I mean, for example, Superman despite knowing Lex Luthor would wear Kyrptonite to defeat him, he would still go toe to toe against Lex. Or another example, Batman despite have no superpowers, utilizes his personal resources to protect Gothamites from the villains that hope to overpower them.

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Superheroes, whether they grew up in humble beginnings or affluent backgrounds, showed that grief, tragedy can happen to anyone. But do you know what anyone has the power to do? Make choices. Do they choose to rise above the pain? Or do they allow it to pummel them? If you have read and/or watched any sort of superhero and even supervillain, you’ve seen it happen. Again using Batman as an example, although he is still tormented by the loss of his parents from a young age, he still continues to protect the city and people he loves. Yes, from time to time that pain haunts him, but he recovers from that pain everytime. Sometimes I feel that the loss of his parents takes a harder hit on him than all the bad guys he’s ever faced! It kinda reminds me of this old African proverb:

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

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“I am vengeance. I am the night. I…Am..Batman!”

Recovery from his past hurts helps him from taking harder hits—especially emotionally and psychology—physically from his enemies.  I mean, we’ve all been in a place where past hurts + current circumstances = major damage to our overall well-being. However, the real challenge beings when we ask ourselves will we allow that pain to continue to make us victims? Or…will we become victors?

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If the pain should knock you—as so to speak—does that mean there is no point from rising again? Or do we get up anyway and continue to fight?

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Yes, the world of superheros and villains only exist in our comic books, movies, video games and cartoon shows, but the human struggle of overcoming loss, heartache, disappointment and shame is very much real in this world. I have been made up fun of growing up, because of this statement, but where else have authors and comic writers got the ideas for most famous heroes and most infamous villains? Their butts? No.  Simply these fictional characters embody human strength and struggle. That’s why in addition  to readers and viewers admiring superheros and their powers, they can also identify with, for example, being different or being from a foreign land (*coughs Trump Administration*).

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Senator Kelly in X-Men #58

I think such human experiences caught on comic books are reason why they still exist and why they continue to thrive. Heck…that’s why I read comic books.

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Below are websites that use comic book heroes to help better explain mental illness and bring about mental health awareness. Click on the sites below for more information:

Resources

Pop Culture Hero Coalition

Superhero Therapy: Psychologist, Scientist, Writer, and Geek

The Arkham Sessions

Under the Mask: A Deeper Look At Heroes and Villains

For More Information:

Comicspedia: The Intersection of Comic Books and Clinical Psych

Geek Therapy: Episode 40: Stories Can Be Healing

What Is Superhero Therapy?