Pop-Culture | Posted by Angela Liu on 08/17/2016
Why Proper Representation Matters: The Invisible Minority in Pop Culture
Maybe not so great.
I have never had a hero who looked quite like me. Growing up, my favorite shows on Disney Channel included Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place – shows with complex, interesting female characters, but which also had predominantly white casts. Like millions of other young girls, I rooted for Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez: – I laughed at their jokes, celebrated their successes, and felt for them when they fell. Like millions of other young girls of color, however, I had no role models who looked like I did.
I was sitting down with my family at dinner recently when a CNN notification popped up on my phone, alerting me that Matt Damon had been cast in a new film called The Great Wall. …
Feminism | Posted by Emily Z on 07/7/2015
Why I’m Happy Clinton and Fiorina Are Both Running for President
Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton
It’s clear that women are severely underrepresented in U.S. politics: Currently, only 20% of the seats in Congress, and 25% of the seats in state legislators are held by women. The fact that Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina are both running for their respective parties’ presidential nominations, therefore, is an undeniably important step towards parity. No matter the results of their efforts, Clinton and Fiorina are positively impacting countless young girls across the country just by running.
The gender disparity in our country’s political representation starts early, according to one American University study, with an “ambition gap.” The study found that young girls are less likely to consider running for office or believe that they can based on a number of factors, including parents being …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Bridget L on 04/29/2015
Where Are The Jewish and Queer Students at Hogwarts?
I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books, have seen each film countless times, and dressed up as Hermione for many Halloweens. But while I’ll always love the series, I also recognize that it’s not flawless.
Last December, JK Rowling revealed that there were Jewish students at Hogwarts, and even provided readers with an example: Anthony Goldstein. This revelation prompted others to question whether or not there were LGBT students at Hogwarts as well. In a Twitter chat, Rowling addressed this by stating “But of course,” there were LGBT youth at Hogwarts.
I find these revelations problematic for a couple reasons. First is the fact Anthony Goldstein was only a background character without any distinguishing character traits for the duration of the series. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Darializa Avila-Chevalier on 04/24/2014
Choosing Not to Support Marginalization of Minority Groups Through Illustration
Illustration by Darializa Avila-Chevalier
As an artist for my college’s newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, I sometimes have to illustrate pieces laced with unrecognized privilege. I’ve drawn for articles that fetishize poverty in Spanish Harlem and pieces that depict the “Columbia experience” as entirely universal to its student body. I’ve also illustrated for authors who have complained that “their privilege excludes them from conversation.” As a result, I, a low-income, Afro-Latina, first-generation American woman, feel alienated in my own community. This is not to say that Spec’s contributors aim to drown out the voices of the marginalized—I believe most have good intentions and hope to create a forum of expression safe for all identities. But intention is irrelevant when people of marginalized identities feel the ever-present divide reinforced.
I love …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Joneka P on 03/17/2014
Black Women Create: Highlighting Black Women in Film and TV
Many people underestimate the power that representation in the media can have for young girls, and especially young girls of color–but connecting with the experiences of another person and empathizing with their stories and lives is powerful. Whenever we talk about why representation matters, I always think about this quote from actress Whoopi Goldberg:
“When I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”
Now, though, television seems overwhelmingly white. It wasn’t always this way. I grew up watching shows like Good Times, A Different …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 01/15/2014
Why Girls Want American Girl to Commit To Diversity
When I was younger, I owned an American Girl doll, like many girls my age. I wasn’t as big a fan as some girls, but I really loved the books that went with each doll. I read all the stories that were in my elementary school’s library, and I still remember the different cultures and periods in history that I was introduced to by these stories of original creative, brave, and dynamic girls.
That’s why I was surprised when my friend Avery Tyson, who is twelve years old and a huge fan of the American Girl series, approached me to ask for support writing a petition to ask American Girl to include more diverse dolls. I remembered American Girl as being one of the only companies that made a …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Angela B on 11/18/2013
The SNL Scandal
I love Kerry Washington. She is probably one of my all time favorite actresses. Her character on Scandal is smart, intelligent and well written, a rarity for black actresses today. When I found out Washington was going to be on Saturday Night Live, I was beyond stoked and couldn’t wait to see the episode when it aired on November 3rd.
The week before the episode, there was a large amount of news coverage about the lack of diversity in the SNL cast. Specifically, since the show premiered in 1975, there have been only four black female cast members. SNL cast member Kenan Thompson told TV Guide Magazine that the reason SNL isn’t hiring black female comedians is because they “just aren’t ready and the talent pool is limited.” …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 09/11/2013
Mary Lambert’s “She Keeps Me Warm” Does Queer Representation Right
You might have heard of Mary Lambert, or maybe not. You’ve probably heard her—she is the woman’s voice in the chorus of Macklemore’s song “Same Love.” I have a lot of complicated feelings about “Same Love.” Although I think the song’s message in favor of same-sex marriage is important, the line “if I were gay I would think hip-hop hates me” is downright false, since hip-hop is a genre with as rich a history of LGBTQ artists as any other. I also sometimes feel like Macklemore uses his privilege as a straight white man to speak over LGBTQ people instead of supporting their voices.
Luckily, Mary Lambert’s beautiful new solo song, for which she’s just released possibly the world’s most adorable video, “She Keeps Me Warm,” …