Pop-Culture | Posted by Atiya I-M on 10/15/2014
My Problem With The “Powerful Bitch” Trope
Blair Waldorf from "Gossip Girl"
Lately I’ve noticed a trend in some of my favorite shows that makes me uncomfortable on a number of levels. From Blair Waldorf on “Gossip Girl” to Sadie on “Awkward” it appears that if you are a female protagonist on TV, mean is the new black and being good gets you nowhere. These protagonists are catty and manipulative. They’ll stab you in the back, make fun of your clothes, and do it all with a smile on their face in a fierce outfit. I’m talking about the powerful bitch.
Disclaimer: I know that historically and currently “bitch” is a sexist term that is often applied to women who have the audacity to speak their minds and have ambition. I’m not speaking in that context. The …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/14/2011
I have been an avid fan of Young Adult fiction since the third grade. I vividly remember standing in the library check out line with the rest of my class during “Library Time” eagerly digging into my Judy Blume while my classmates palmed their Judy Moody books. I think that moment can also be pointed to as the precursor to my reading Anna Karenina in eighth grade when my classmates were reading…well, they weren’t reading. But that’s a self-indulgent admittedly pretentious digression.
I think it’s this deeply ingrained love of YA that caused the low grade rage I felt when reading the recent Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon. It’s worth reading (in that it’s a piece of crap but will make the rest of …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/25/2011
Body Image in the Media: Glee Gets It Right, But Are We Ready?
Actress Ashley Fink
Every once in a while, usually when 30 Rock is a re-run, I’ll flip over to the CW. And I kind of get the draw of the utterly escapist fantasies that shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl offer. Serena Van Der Woodsen / Blake Lively is like 14 feet tall with blonde hair that cascades over her shoulders as she effortlessly hails a cab on her way to a club – that just so happens to blithely serve the underage – in order to sabatoge another rich, white, tall, thin, personality-less girl in a plan that always seems to involve drugs or faked pregnancies or a trip to Geneva or something that probably could’ve been solved had she invited her nemesis to have a nice talk over …
Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 01/12/2011
Gay Slurs in Television
Teddy from 90210: Closeted Gay = Open Homophobe
I would like to preface this entire post by mentioning that most actors who play high school students in our favorite dramas are really, really old. Though they have not yet succumbed to the allure of Life Alert and Jello three times a day, they are a shockingly false portrayal of what teenagers actually look like. I’m going to postulate that shows such as 90210 and Gossip Girl have female dominated audiences, so I suppose having really old male actors serves to sexualize high school beyond its sordid reality?
In any case, Trevor Donovan, the 90210 regular whose character is slated to come out of the closet this season, is 32 years old. Though this is largely a case-in point statement, I’m …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/15/2009
They tried that in the 90’s
I’m always complaining about how Gossip Girl and 90210 and that crap are completely unrealistic to teenagers’ lives. They depict angst…but not the angst we feel – the superficial angst that everybody thinks we feel. The truth is boys, popularity and eating disorders are not all teenage girls stress over (though that is part of it…) but even more so than the topics explored, the characters in these shows don’t look like me or really act like me or anybody I know.
I’m not saying a little escapism here and there is a bad thing. I’m not going to sit on my high horse and say I don’t sometimes enjoy watching perfect faces and bodies do reckless things. But it would be nice if there was a little …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/30/2009
The Books I’ll Never Forget
Judy Blume: the mother of teen fiction
Over at Salon, they’re talking about Lizzie Skurnick’s new book “Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading.” And it really got me thinking about the books I read as a kid (relatively speaking as I am 16) and how they really stick with you. I know Judy Blume is basically the goddess of my Mom’s generation and whenever her name comes up they all share a knowing smile. All I ever read was Blubber, which I personally kind of found upsetting, but apparently Judy Bloome introduced millions of girls to their period, which in a way is cute that millions of women have this shared experience.
this book stole my innocence
I found out a much less fun way …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/8/2009
another teen show rant
I’ve been watching a lot of tv on the internet lately. Especially this school year, the scheduling of most “teen” shows [Gossip Girl; 90210; etc] really clashed with my own personal schedule, which was mostly dominated by massive amounts of chem tutoring due to my adamant demands that “chemistry is inapplicable to people with social skills and I’m pretty sure it’s a massive conspiracy against the youth” …that argument will not positively affect your grade – just for future reference.
Anyway this summer was crunch time. Every night so far, I’ve cranked out all the illegal sites (bad. baaaad) that provide me with my nightly fix of Gossip Girl, 90210, and even Skins (Britian’s take on the teen melodrama).
Look we're all in bed together...sexayy
beds are for losers...over at