Carrie Hammer’s Fashion Shows Are A Beautiful Range Of Diversity

Carrie Hammer is known for showcasing beautiful and diverse models in her fashion week shows.

Karen Crespo is just one example.

The quadruple amputee, who lost all four of her limbs after a battle with bacterial meningitis, recently hit the runway during New York Fashion Week. In doing so, she became the first quadruple amputee to model at Fashion Week.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 7.24.49 PMKaren Crespo walks at New York Fashion Week 
Photo Courtesy of A+ News

“The emotional part is way worse than the physical part,” Crespo says. “You want to feel loved, you want to feel pretty as a girl, and I don’t feel that way.”

“I guess in a perfect world I would love to be defined as just me,” Crespo said.

Dr. Danielle Sheypuk was another historical groundbreaker, becoming the first model in a wheelchair to grace a New York Fashion Week runway after being featured in Hammer’s show.

Dr. Sheypuk, was also Ms. Wheelchair New York 2012.

“I made the decision to cast ‘role models not runway models,'” Hammer told Jezebel in an email interview. “It is so important to me that women have positive body image and are empowered in work and their life. My line makes dresses to fit women. We don’t make dresses that women need to fit into.”

Sheypuk, who has used a wheel chair since age 2, said she has a longstanding interest in designer clothing. But there was always something missing: enough role models. “People with disabilities need to see it. It’s a confidence booster. It’s like, ‘if she’s doing it, I can do it. Who cares about my wheelchair?'”

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 7.24.33 PMDr. Danielle Sheypuk on the runway at New York Fashion Week
Photo Courtesy of Jezbel

Dr. Sheypuk said she felt just like another runway model, working her fierceness down the runway.

It is great to see the diversity of different women being showcased in such a national spotlight. By walking in New York Fashion Week, these women are such great role-models for girls everywhere. They truly show that everyone is beautiful, regardless of what others may thing or what “disabilities” others think they have.

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Heroines of History: Animation That Represents The Famous Women That Disney Forgot

While Disney princesses are getting progressively more feminist and bad-ass, there was a time when the princesses were known for sitting around and waiting for a prince to come rescue them.

Jason Porath, former DreamWorks animator, runs a blog called Rejected Princesses dedicated to females of our history who for some reason wouldn’t make the cut for a mainstream animation. Regardless of the fact that their stories weren’t turned into major motion pictures, Porath features these “unsung heroines” on his blog.

All work below courtesy of Jason Porath

Hatshepsut, the Unforgotten Princess (1508-1458 BC)

Every week, Porath picks one badass female from history, mythology or literature, and gives them a Disney-like look along with a detailed background of their real-life personalities. “It’s a sort of an alternate-reality glimpse into, ‘What if they got their moment in the sun’?” Porath told NPR.

Pictured above is Hatshepsut, arguably the greatest pharaoh in history. Porath says he used such distorted perspective in order to picture the whole world kneeling before her.

 

Ida B. Wells, Princess of the Press (1862-1931)

Ida B. Wells is yet another unsung princess. She was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, women’s rights activist and leader in the civil rights movement. Her most prominent work includes documenting lynching in the United States.

Porath says the idea for Rejected Princesses came totally out of the blue during a lunchtime conversation:

“There was an article going around about how the Frozen princesses weren’t good role models, and I asked, ‘well, we can SURELY do worse than them — who is the least likely candidate for an animated princess you can think of?’ I asked it on my Facebook shortly thereafter, and got around 150 replies from my friends,” he toldLegion of Leia.

Suggestions started flying in and Porath just couldn’t resist. His love for rare and weird collided with him being a feminist and a total information junkie. In that creative messiness, the blog was born.

 

Khutulun, the Wrestler Princess (1260-1306)

Born into the family of Mongol Empire’s ruler, Khutulun was an extraordinary addition to the fearsome Mongolian military. Growing up with 14 brothers, she perfectly mastered the skills of horse riding, shooting bows, and… wrestling.

According to the artist, he doesn’t seek to picture his characters as shiny, happy, kick-butt heroines. His most important goal is to get the facts straight. Thus, every artwork requires a lot of research and the drawing in based mainly on his findings.

 

Mariya Oktyabrskaya, the Tank Princess (1905-1944)

Apparently, Porath has a thing for badass females and Mariya Oktyabrskaya is definitely one of them. Mariya was a Soviet tank driver during the WWII and the first female tanker to be awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union award.

Mariya is also one of the Jason’s favorites so far. He says he would love to do a buddy movie about Sergeant Mariya Oktyabrskaya and her tank, Fighting Girlfriend.

Ching Shih, Princess of the Chinese Seas (1775-1844)

While most of Porath’s unsung heroines were wading on the ground. Ching Shih was ruling the waters. Lady Ching was a prominent pirate leading a crew of around 80,000, including women and children.

 

Petra Herrera, the Soldadera Princess (late 1800s-early 1900s)

Another tough woman on Jason Porath’s list is Colonel Petra “Pedro” Herrera. During the Mexican revolution, she was a demolitions expert and leader of an all-female brigade.

 

Noor Inayat Khan, the Spy Princess (1914-1944)

Noor Inayat Khan was a British secret again during WWII and worked as a radio operator in occupied Paris. The only radio operator out there. According to Porath, the average lifespan of such occupation was six weeks but Khan lasted almost five months. She was numerous times imprisoned and escaped the Gestapo, secret police of Nazi Germany.

Hypata: The Martyr Mathematician (350-415 C.E.)

imageThere are few women whose legacies have been more of a political football than Hypatia of Alexandria. She was not only possibly the last scientist with access to the books of the Library of Alexandria, but the first female mathematician in recorded history. She also was an expert astronomer, philosopher, physicist, and overachiever. Unfortunately, Hypatia was killed by a mob of Christian zealots in particularly grisly fashion, turning her life story into a point of contention for centuries to come.

Boudica: The Headhunter Queen (20-60 C.E.)
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At the height of its power, Rome once seriously considered giving up its British holdings entirely. The reason? Queen Boudica, whose brutal revenge spree made her the Roman bogeyman for generations. She killed 70,000 people, burnt London to the ground, established herself as the most famous headhunter of all time – and to this day, Britain loves her for it.

La Jaguarina: The Queen of the Sword 

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In April 1896, hardened military veteran US Sergeant Charles Walsh, in front of a crowd of 4,000 onlookers, turned tail and ran. Mere minutes earlier, during a round of equestrian fencing, he’d been hit so hard he’d been nearly knocked off his horse – so hard that his opponent’s sword was permanently bent backwards in a U shape. In response, Walsh did the honorable thing: jumped from his horse, claimed that the judge was cheating, and fled the scene, to the jeers of the massive crowd.His opponent? A woman known as La Jaguarina, Queen of the Sword – an undefeated sword master who later retired only because she ran out of people to fight. Had she born 25 years later, according to the US Fencing Fall of Fame, she might be recognized as “the world’s first great woman fencer.”

 

Guidt: Princess of Beta Israel 

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One of the most complex figures ever represented on his blog: Gudit, a Jewish Ethiopian queen, hero to some and villain to others, who took over the country and dramatically ended a millennium-old dynasty dating back to King Solomon.

 

Tomyris: The Promise Keeper (6th Century BCE)

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Tomyris was a woman who was legendary 500 years before the birth of Jesus. When the aggressive ruler of the world’s largest empire set his eyes on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, crushed his armies, and defiled his decapitated head in a manner so humiliating she was a household name for centuries.

Check out more of his work on his blog: www.rejectedprincesses.com

 

 

Redefining The Word “Nude”

When you think of the word nude, it is typical to think of a pale, almost white color. Throughout the years, the word nude has become a synonym for the word beige. Nubian Skin lingerie is trying to change that.

nubian-home-1aModels of different skin tones pose in the Nubian Skin lingerie 
Photo Courtesy of Nubian Skin

Nubian Skin’s blog describes the struggle many women of color go through trying to find a nude garment to wear under a sheer blouse. “My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops,” wrote the company’s founder Ade Hassan.

“Despite the reality that women of color have the same needs as all women when it comes to lingerie and hosiery (and spend the same of their hard-earned money), the industry simply doesn’t cater to us,” she continued.

She believes there is a similar parallel in the cosmetics industry. She says, “it took Eunice W. Johnson to create Fashion Fair Cosmetics in 1973 for black women to really have an adequate choice in finding makeup colors to suit them. In the 1990s and 2000s, mainstream brands began to realize the value of providing to women of color, and despite the billions we spend on make up each year, there are still brands that have chosen not to provide an offering for us.”

She is looking forward to changing the definition of the word nude.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 6.21.11 PMNubian Skin provides undergarments for women whose skin color is not the typical “nude”
Photo Courtesy of Nubian Skin

“It’s an uphill battle, but every revolution starts somewhere.”

The darkest shade of the lingerie will be Berry, which the brand suggests would suit women who wear foundations such as Mac NW50, Bobbi Brown Espresso 10 and Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint in Beige 90.

The medium-dark shade will be Cinnamon, described as “a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy” the brand suggests it would suit women who wear foundations such as Mac NW45, Iman Earth 3-4 Bobbi Brown Warm Walnut, Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint in Beige 80 and Nars Macao.

Caramel is the medium-light shade. According to the website, “the name conjures up images of all sorts of sweet, golden goodness, and this colour is just as irresistible.” It is described as perfect for women who wear foundations such as, Bobbi Brown Golden, YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Beige 70, Estée Lauder Double Wear Toasted toffee and MAC Matchmaster 7.

The lightest shade is Café au Lait. It is described as “more parts cream than coffee”, for women who wear shades Bobbi Brown Warm Honey, Lancome 06, Beige Cannelle, Estée Lauder Rich Caramel 5W2, Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Amber and Chanel Perfection Luminar 50

With this line, Nubian Skin is redefining the meaning of nude and the brand hopes to empower women as well as inspire them to embrace their beautiful black and brown skin. The website states “so for all the beautiful women, next time you need a nude pair of hold-ups or maybe a nude strapless bra to go under than stunning white halter dress, Nubian Skin is only a few clicks away.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 6.21.04 PMAll women of color will now be able to find a nude bra, regardless of how light or dark their skin is
Photo Courtesy of Nubian Skin

The motto is as stated: Empowering Women. Embracing our Colour.

The brand launched October 1, and you can purchase the lingerie through the website: nubianskin.com

#throwbackthursday: Queen Elizabeth I And How The Virginity Myth Has Been Around Since Medieval Times

Queen Elizabeth I never married.

In medieval times, the failure to produce an heir was political suicide. King Henry VIII went to war with the Catholic Church in order to have his marriage annulled, so he could re-marry and produce an heir. By the time Elizabeth I took the throne, the question was never would she marry, it what when, and too whom.

 

But she never did.

It wasn’t for lack of offers- she had many people competing for her hand. Some speculate she was the original “modern-women” who put off marriage and a family focus on her work. Others believe that Thomas Seymour had put her off sexual relationships, or that she knew herself to be infertile.

Despite the speculation, people at the time- and people today- are obsessed with England’s “virgin queen”.

From the earliest times of recorded history, the “purity myth” has been around. For thousands of years, men have been obsessed with that status of a woman’s virginity, defining women by their sexuality and sexual nature.

Elizabeth_I_when_a_PrincessElizabeth I, the Virgin Queen
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Choosing to remain pure puts a social stigma on women. They are considered “prude” and “religious” for wanting to keep their chastity in tact. Contrasting, the number of women who are brash and unapologetic in their sexual nature are labeled “slutty” or called “whores”.

Truthfully, the status of a women’s virginity is personal. Women are under no obligation to share with others their choice to remain sexuality abstinent or become sexual active. But, our culture has made it the most mainstream thing possible. For example, Taylor Swift’s hit 2009 song “Dear John”. The song is said to be about former flame John Mayer and many hypothesize the song is so brutal because Mayer took Swift’s virginity and then proceeded to break up with her.

Why was that the conclusion so many people jump to? Why not just assume they had a nasty breakup, a breakup like the ones millions of teenagers go through on a daily basis. The ones that make teenagers feel like the world is ending, but in reality are simple spats that will be only remembered as a blip on the spectrum of life? Why is it so necessary to bring up purity and sex?

One reason points to the Madonna–whore complex, which runs rampant in America. Identified by Sigmund Freud, the Madonna-whore complex is the inability to maintain sexual arousal within a committed, loving relationship. It is said to develop in men who see women as either saintly Madonnas or debased prostitutes. Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore) while they cannot desire the respected partner (the Madonna). Freud wrote: “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.”

For example, the Silver Ring Thing, is just another way to shame girls who are sexually active and pressure girls into remaining abstinent. The Silver Ring Thing is a virginity pledge program which encourages teens and young adults to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. Drawing on Christian theology, SRT uses rock/hip hop concert-style events in an attempt to appeal to 21st-century teenagers. SRT events feature high-energy music, club-style lighting and sound, music videos, sketch comedy, and a faith-based abstinence message. During the gathering, participants commit to a vow of sexual abstinence until marriage by purchasing rings.

Until 2005, SRT was funded by the United States Government. Funded. By. The. Government. The highest, overarching institution in America has been feeding into this complex. Instead of focusing on closing the gender gap and helping women achieve, the government has continually reduced women’s worth to the status of their virginity.

Jessica Valenti, author of  The Purity Myth, writes “A combination of forces — our media- and society-driven virginity fetish, an increase in abstinence-only education, and the strategic political rollback of women’s rights among the primary culprits — has created a juggernaut of unrealistic sexual expectations for young women. Unable to live up to the ideal of purity that’s forced upon them in one aspect of their lives, many young women are choosing the hypersexualized alternative that’s offered to them everywhere else as the easier — and more attractive — option.”

Women are pushing themselves and punishing themselves every day in order to fit into the narrow model of morality that virginity has afforded them. Some of us get unnecessary plastic surgery — down to our vaginas, which can be tightened, clipped, and “revirginized” — in order to seem younger. Others simply buy into old-school gender norms of ownership, dependence, and perpetual girlhood.

And don’t be mistaken about the underlying motivations of our moral panic around the hypersexualization of young women. It’s more about chastity than about promiscuity. T-shirts sold in teen catalogs with “I’m tight like Spandex” emblazoned across the front aren’t announcing sexiness; they’re announcing virginity. The same is true for “sexy schoolgirl” costumes or provocative pictures of Disney teen pop singers. By fetishizing youth and virginity, we’re supporting a disturbing message: that really sexy women aren’t women at all — they’re girls.

It is true, that girls and young women are the ones that struggle the most with the virginity question. In the hormone ridden environment of high school, many girls are struggling to balance their public personas with their internal beliefs. Some are pressured to go further sexually than they are comfortable with. Others are targeted as “whores” because they simply felt mature and ready to engage in intercourse. Why does it matter to the entire school? To the entire country? Have we really reduced girls to nothing more then the area that lies between their legs?

The spoken ideal that girls must find a suitable candidate to “take” their virginity is a chronic and popular malapropism. “He took her virginity” puts all the emphases on the male. What about the female? Did she take his virginity too? Did she “give” her virginity to him? Did her virginity matter to him at all? Did it even matter to her? With one simple verb, we’ve reduced the act of sex to a give-and-take scenario, where the male will always come out victorious and the female worse for wear.

Virginity is not quantifiable. There is no medical or biological definition of virginity. The only definition that exists in the dictionary defines it as “the state of never having had sexual intercourse.” But the problem with that definition is that it doesn’t mean anything. It refers to penetrative sex, which is how girls define sex. But what about manual or digital sex count? Oral? What about penetration with a toy? The truth is: Different people define sex differently. So even the one definition of virginity is automatic null and void.

Virginity as a concept was invented as an attempt to control (female) sexuality.

It’s just an idea, one that can change. Instead of putting so much emphasis on the sexual decisions of young women, let’s put emphasis on the unique characteristics and personality traits of young girls everywhere. Let’s focus on the fact that girls everywhere are changing the world. They have their own ideas and thoughts and outlooks. One thing cannot define them. Let’s change the virginity myth.

See Them March: The Chanel Fashion Show Turned Feminist Rally

The Chanel Fashion Show is always the most anticipated event of Paris Fashion Week. Creative Director Karl  Lagerfeld is notorious for his over-the-top couture events. Each year, he transforms the runway into something completely different. This year was no exception.

 Lagerfeld turned the Grand Palais into “Boulevard Chanel”, a feminist-filled avenue home to both a fashion show and a feminist rally.

1412091058531_wps_16_Models_stage_a_demonstratThe runway was transformed into an extremely detailed and realistic Parisian street 
Photo Courtesy of The Guardian 

After the traditional show came to a close, the models, or rather, “protesters” closed out the show with a giant faux rally led by Gisele Bündchen. On the loudspeakers, Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” played. Some models shouted through quilted Chanel bullhorns and held signs that read things like, “Free Freedom! Be Your Own Stylist! Make fashion not war! Ladies first! History is her story!”

Chanel show, Spring Summer 2015, Paris Fashion Week, France - 30 Sep 2014Chanel show, Spring Summer 2015, Paris Fashion Week, France - 30 Sep 2014Cara Delevingne lead the models down the runway, holding a Chanel bullhorn
Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

Fashion has always been political. In the early 1900’s women would cringe at the idea of wearing pants, or showing their ankles. Coco Chanel herself was the first to change that idea, which her stunning suits. It seems  Lagerfeld is channeling his inner Coco, and promoting the same girl-power ideals as the brands founders.

The Guardian reported:

The first looks were almost psychedelic, with paint-splatter coats, rainbow tweeds and pastel tie-dye bags, worn with peacock-toned eyeshadow and flat gold shoes. The protest theme was hinted at in accessories: a crystal-studded whistle worn as a pendant, nestling among strands of pearls; a bag printed with the legend Make Fashion Not War.

There was a hefty seasoning of masculine references – pinstripe trousers cropped to this season’s on-trend “high water” hemline, just above the anklebone, and sandals which laced up like brogues – although one model carried a clutch printed with the slogan, Feministe mais feminin.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-30_at_13.34.34Models show off the new, feminist-inspired purses
Photo Courtesy of Fashionista

It isn’t coincidental that the models wore seventies inspired looks. That is the most outspoken decades in terms of feminism, when the most changed occurs. The models were put in pairs, chatting as they walked down the runway, supporting each other and promoting the idea of girls rallying together. They looked as ready to take on a 70’s boardroom as the current workplace, where, four decades later, and they are labeled a minority. The signs promoted the idea of equality for women, equal representation in the workforce, equality with divorce rights and reproductive rights, among other things. The Chanel Fashion show is a prominent, iconic event, not only in the fashion world. As the most iconic high-fashion brand, it is able to transcend the barrier of the fashion world and engrain itself in the mainstream world. Hopefully, with such a bright spotlight on the brand, Lagerfeld’s girl-power message will resonate across the world.

rs_560x415-140930091001-1024.Chanel-Protest-Feminist-Fashion.jl.0930141412091305704_wps_34_Models_stage_a_fake_demon-1286128fd-a48a-4863-abed-519af4c9348f-460x276The signs all promoted equality for women
Photo Courtesy of The Daily Mail

It seems like Lagerfeld is making a statement: feminists can love fashion, and fashion can love those feminists right back.

The Superheroine And The Evolution of Female Comic Book Characters

BthRy8jCcAIQB-e250px-WonderWomanV5The new Wonder Woman (top) compared to the 1970’s iconic Wonder Woman
Photos Courtesy of DC Comics

On October 25, 1940 William Moulton Marston developed Wonder Woman with Elizabeth, his wife. Wonder Woman was born out of an idea for a new kind of superhero, one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love. Marston believed Wonder Woman to be a model of that era’s unconventional, liberated woman.

“Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world”, Marston wrote.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote:

Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.

But now, Wonder Woman is begin revamped. The enthusiastic, colorful woman from the past has been recreated and turned into a muddled Xena warrior princess xerox. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zach Snyder revealed the first image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman at ComicCon.

When discussing the revamped costume, Michael Wilkinson, Costume Director for the film said:

It’s so important to get her right. She really deserves to be presented on screen in her full glory. What I do is I look at the history of the character as has been presented on the big screen and small-screen and comic books and graphic novels – we process it all –  and then we kind of put that aside and work out what is right for ourfilm, for the cinematic universe our director Zack Snyder is putting together, and we try to create a Wonder Woman relevant for today’s audiences

The image shows Wonder Woman in brown armor that is gladiator like. It is a total 180 from the original costume. The urge to make those two characters excessively violent and grim is totally contrary to what their creators would have wanted, and completely ignores the entire history of the character. Wonder Woman is meant to be a colorful, optimistic, inspiring figure. They are molding Wonder Woman after the successful “Dark Knight” Batman franchise, when Wonder Woman’s universe couldn’t be farther from Gotham City.

People always complain that the costume is too revealing, and not practical enough to fight crime. But, if Wonder Woman was completely revamped in head-to-toe armor like Batman, people would complain that she was robbed of her femininity. In actuality, Wonder Woman is a woman who embraces her feminine side. She’s not crime fighting in lingerie, but she does own a mod clothing store in her spare time (check out issue #600), and would be totally up on the latest trends.

A revival that at least incorporated some of the classic Wonder Woman style would be much preferred over the bland gladiator seen above. With so much spunk and zeal, Wonder Woman wouldn’t be caught dead in the above outfit.

Anyone who argues that a red, white and blue outfit is unrealistic to crime fighting needs to remember that the entire comic book series is unrealistic. She’s a demi-god that can fly. We’re not exactly talking about realism here.

grid-cell-14516-1407430919-5 grid-cell-14516-1407430919-2Classic Wonder Woman. The top is from the comic series, the bottom from the 1970’s adaption
Photo Courtesy of DC Comics

In other superheroine news, the female Thor was just released, after the male Thor  is deemed unworthy to lift the mighty weapon Mjolnir. Next, a woman will take up the mantle in Thor, the relaunched Marvel Comics series debuting tomorrow by writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman.

enhanced-30066-1412005671-15The cover of the new Thor comic books
Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics

“She’s going to be Thor,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort, “as powerful and strong as the previous god and embodying the same sort of nobility we think of as being Thor.”

Having a woman as Thor allows Aaron to continue playing with gender roles within the book. Thor’s mother, Freyja, has been ruling their Asgardian kingdom as its All-Mother, but when Odin returns, he expects it to fall back under his control.

Not so fast, says Aaron. “Now Freyja has proven herself to be a worthy leader and she’s not ready to just step aside and drift back into the shadows.

“The fact that Odin couldn’t pick up the hammer and someone else does, let alone a woman, and the fact that not even Odin knows who this person is under the mask, I imagine all that is going to drive him quite crazy.”

“This was all my idea,” Aaron told HuffPost Entertainment. “This is where it’s been headed for the past couple of years. People always ask was it different writing a female lead character? I always think that’s a strange question. I’m writing a god, so it’s not like I have to suddenly stop and change everything I do because it’s a female lead. It’s the same Thor story I’ve been doing.” Aaron suggested that her powers will differ slightly from those of the last man to hold the hammer. “The hero will be different. But it’s still, at the heart, a Thor story.”

“I knew pretty quickly that I wanted it to be a female character for a couple of different reasons,” Aaron said. “We haven’t seen very many female characters pick that hammer up over the years. We’ve seen lots of different people in the Marvel universe, from Captain America to horse-face alien guy Beta Ray Bill lift that hammer, but hardly any female characters. And if you look at Thor’s supporting cast these days, like the one he’s had in the book I’ve been doing, most of his supporting cast is female. So if it was going to be someone from Thor’s world that was going to pick this hammer up, then it made sense that it was going to be a woman.”

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Preview of the new Thor Comics, which will be released Wednesday 
Photo Courtesy of Marvel Comics

An Aaron has words of advice for all those who are upset of the gender change of their favorite hero. He said, “if they’re freaking out that much just because Thor is a woman, I think they’ve missed some of the lessons that maybe the character has been trying to teach them over the course of the last 600 issues.”

While the old school of thought was that women made comic books unrelatable and unsellable, both Marvel and DC Comics seem to realizing that both men and women want to see diversity on the big screen and within the pages of comic books. Both little boys and little girls want a superheroine to look up too. Audiences want a woman who is equal to a man, someone strong and forceful, who is feminine and strong. They aren’t asking for another male character with a female label slapped onto him, and they aren’t requesting a sexed-up token figure, who is only there for comic relief and jokes about broken nails. They want a strong heroine, who is feminine yet still undeniably a superhero. Someone who can run with the big boys, but isn’t afraid to be proud of her anatomy.

Hopefully, with comic books more accepting of diverse characters and female leads, and an increased focus on creating a balanced female hero, 2014 can truly be the time of girl (super) power!

 

Body Shaming Expressed Through Cartoons

The body-positivity thinking outlined in this cartoon:

IMG_6829

 

Is quickly replacing the the shame shown in this cartoon:
IMG_6746The second cartoon upsets me deeply, yet is has more notes on Tumblr than the first cartoon. To somehow insinuate that the skinny girl (removed of all the fluff) is somehow better than the girl in the first panel (still filled with all the fluff) is horrifying. It’s 2014, and girls should be able to look however they want to look without being ostracized or made to feel like they are less than perfect.

In all honesty, it isn’t even about how girls “want to look” it’s about how they “have to look”. Sometimes, our bodies are just made with a fuller waist or a larger breast size. There is nothing wrong with that. And, in some cased (depending on medications, heredity and numerous other factors) there is nothing that we can do about it. Our only choices are hating the body we are put in or embracing it. Many girls feel that their only choice is to hate it- and to perpetually try to change it. You can’t change hight, or eye color, or overall body shape. There are thousands of imperfections on each individual body that you can’t change no matter how hard you try. You can look in the mirror and desperately wish you look like Beyoncè, but it is not going to change anything. At the end of the day you are still you. You can rock Beyoncè’s confidence, but as hard as you try, you will never look like her.

Instead of chasing after ideals that aren’t achievable, women should be focused on loving the body that they are in. And as the media pelts them with numerous images of the “perfect body” every second, women need to be educated enough to realize that they are essentially being brainwashed into believe that they aren’t beautiful, when they indeed are a unique beautiful creature.

So, to everyone out there, remember that, no matter what others think or say, when you like in the mirror, remind yourself that you are beautiful.