Fangirly Presents: The Most Inspirational Women of 2016

If you’re anything like me (or even if you’re not) you woke up this morning feeling pretty disheartened. It’s been a rough few months. And as I thought this morning about what Fangirly’s response should be, none of my ideas were really in keeping with the upbeat and positive tone that Ellen and I have hopefully cultivated here. So I eventually decided not to focus on events that I found disappointing, but rather to emphasis people in pop culture who represent the kind of world I want to live in. And because 2016 has been a incredible year for women in pop culture, I decided to inaugurate (get it?) a new annual feature: Fangirly’s Inspirational Women of the Year. Some of them are fictional, and some of them are flesh and blood BAMFs. You’ll notice that this list won’t be a patent pending Fangirly Top Ten. That’s because, unlike our dear President Elect, Fangirly doesn’t believe in ranking women on a scale of one to ten. So without further ado, Fangirly Presents the Bad-ass Broads of 2016.

Rey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

After the release of The Force Awakens, Fangirly wasted no time in gushing about the galaxy’s newest Jedi-Jane. She’s tough and smart, and we salute her. In the film’s 138 minute run-time, she managed to save the galaxy and make knee-length harem pants look cool. It’s genuinely difficult to say which of those feats is more impressive.

raw-1

Malala Yousafzai (He Named Me Malala)

Although Davis Guggenheim’s documentary about activist Malala Yousafzai came out in 2015, it didn’t reach most American audiences until 2016. Not that Fangirly feels that they need to justify adding Malala to any list that includes the catch-word “inspirational”. If you haven’t gotten around to seeing He Named Me Malala, you’re probably not alone. But with Islamophobia on the rise in this country, it might behoove you to do so. It’s the true story of a young Muslim girl who spoke out in favor of educating women, putting her in opposition of the Taliban. Here’s a video of 16 year old Malala’s address to the UN in 2013.

Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman)

After her turn as the most watchable part of Batman V. Superman, DC released trailers for the Wonder Woman movie, set for release in 2017. Wonder Woman has been a feminist icon for decades, and her stand-alone film is a stride long overdue. Please enjoy this perfectly bitchin’ piece of pop culture history.

Winona Ryder (Stranger Things)

After years away from the spotlight, Winona Ryder returned to the screen in Netflix’s Stranger Things. If you haven’t binged Stranger yet (and I promise, binging is the only way to go), you’ve not only missed one of 2016 best shows, but also one of it’s best performances. Winona, in the words of Veronica Sawyer, you’re beautiful. Only, in this case, we actually mean it.

giphy-3

Beyonce Knowles 

Because, duh.

giphy-1

Ellen (Of Fangirly.com)

This year alone, Ellen moved cities, jobs, and wrote a hit web-series, The Cate Moreland ChroniclesShe was an inspiration to me this year. Get it, girl.

13567226_10206455486766321_5741361605432495722_n

Peggy Carter (Agent Carter, Captain America: Civil War)

2016 marked the last time we will most likely see Hayley Atwell’s iteration of Peggy Carter on screen, and it’s a loss that we feel already. Peggy was the embodiment of smart, strong women in a male dominated field. She was a reminder that if women everywhere can learn recognize their own value, we’ll get that patriarchy slayed in no time.

giphy-2

Hillary Clinton (The 2016 Pre-Apocalypse, I Mean, Election)

Whether or not you agreed with her policies or trusted her judgement, this woman has done something amazing. She is the first ever woman to be nominated by a major political party in the United States. She’s worked her entire adult life to open that door, and thanks to her, one day a woman will walk through it. Thanks for reminding us that women are more than just a p#ss to grab. You may not be my president, but you are one Nasty Woman.

giphy-4

Whitney Weldon

Advertisements

Fangirly Crush of the Week: Poe Dameron and Finn

Far, far away and long, long ago

Lived Finn

200 (6)

and his rebel associate, Poe

200 (1)

Their bravery earned them the widest acclaim

Combined sex appeal got them all kinds of game

200 (9)

The Galaxy by their deeds was impacted

And the enemy by their butts was distracted

200 (7)

In all the ‘Verse, there wasn’t a Lady or Foe

That wasn’t slayed by the likes of Finn and Poe

200 (3)

But it ain’t gonna work, girls, go cry to your mother

‘Cause these dudes only have eyes for each other.

200 (10).gif

Whitney Weldon

 

 

 

 

Why I’m Not A Nerd, And You Probably Aren’t Either

Not long ago I was walking with a friend. Actually, not a friend. Technically, this is a person that I hate passionately but to whom I am nonetheless bound by the codes of mutual friendship, and the fact that we spend 80% of our time on the same university campus. Anyway, as I was walking with this Friend-of-a-Friend, I tried to keep the conversation as neutral as possible. And since pop culture is the only topic in which I’m remotely conversant, we mostly talked about TV. It went thusly:

I’d mention a show-

-And she’d jump in with how much she was obsessed with that show. Because, you know (*sheepish, with the slightest hint of shame) she’s just such a nerd.

Cool. I really dig it, too-

-Yeah, but I mean, not the same way she loves it. She used to watch the original series with her dad. So it’s just more special for her.

Sure.

I’d bring up a movie I recently saw-

-And she (excuse her, she didn’t mean to interrupt) couldn’t contain herself, just had to tell me about all the merch she’d gotten from that franchise. It was a lot of money, but, you know, (*still sheepish, now slightly over-selling the shame) she’s just such a nerd.

Thanks. Got it.

The appropriation of nerd culture into the mainstream has created a perfect niche for people like this girl. It allows her to feel cool and relevant, with the added thrill of feeling special, because what is Nerdom, if not a counter-culture that thrives on it’s own self-imposed exclusivity?

I not saying that I don’t love nerds. I really, really do. I admire anyone that is passionate about something, and who finds genuine joy in that passion. But like anything, there are two sides to Nerd culture. The first side loves something with so much of itself that it wants to share it with feature-kate.jpgeveryone. It wants other people to share and experience the thing that means so much to it. But once that thing is out there, is made accessible to everyone, we see the other side of Nerd mentality. It circles the wagons. It realizes that what was once it’s thing now belongs to many, and it resents this perceived loss.

For a while I thought that the popularization of nerd culture would make things more inclusive, and in some ways it has. It’s safe to say that people now feel more able to express themselves and their allegiance to their fandoms like never before. In other ways, it’s also made things more esoteric. I don’t live and breathe for the original Star Wars Trilogy, so my love for The Force Awakens must not run as deep as a real fan’s, right?

The truth is, however much you may wish it were otherwise, you are probably not a nerd. You’re probably not Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science. You’re probably not David Krumholtz in Ten Things I Hate About You. And that’s totally fine. Do you know why?

Because it’s more likely that what you really are is a well-rounded, multi-denominational person who happens to be passionate about something, or more likely many things. You don’t need to be a nerd. You are allowed to like what you like, without trying to tailor yourself to the specifications of one group or another. Because labels, even the ones we assign to ourselves, are ultimately damaging and self limiting.

Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said “If you label me, you negate me”?

20-cosas-que-solo-entenderán-las-personas-con-pelo-largo-1.gif

Whitney Weldon

TV Raised Me, and I Feel Fine

I saw my brother for the first time in months this last weekend. As insufferable as we are as individual units, we’re exponentially worse when we get together. Every other word is an inside joke (Sleepy Richard, earning your lunch meat, Pretzel Boy, moving about the house), and all the words in between are movie and TV quotes. This earns us little respect from the people around us. But this sibling shorthand we’ve developed comes from a shared childhood experience: we were raised by TV.

To be clear, we had great parents. We were always clean (ish), well-fed, and adequately loved. But when both of your parents work full time, TV is often used to fill the gaps. And when you come from a family of renowned movie buffs, a certain level of cultural literacy is expected. The problem is, when people learn this about you, you get a very specific look. It’s a look that says, “I’m so sorry for your unfulfilled life”. My response usually reflects my impeccable upbringing and unimpeachable manners.

giphy

I appreciate your thinly veiled shade, but it is unnecessary. TV made me who I am, for better or worse. From a early age, I was exposed to movies and shows written by some of the cleverest people in the world.

200 (10)

I learned social graces.

200 (5)

I learned how to carefully formulate a snappy comeback.

200 (12)

I realized that not everyone can be trusted.

200 (4)

Sometimes these stories reflected my own experience.

200 (27)

And sometimes they didn’t.

200 (28)

But without them, I’d never be able to feel another person’s crushing disappointment.

200 (21)

Or mortal terror.

200 (22)

I wouldn’t know how it feels to watch someone you love die.

200 (24)

200 (23)

I’d never understand how it feels to lose everything you have.

200 (33)

Good TV, like a good book, gives us a window into another person’s experience,

200 (19)

and explore realities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

200 (32)

TV made me empathetic, and forced me to experience emotions other than my own.

200 (16)

So don’t be worried that your kids watch TV. Worry about what they watch on TV. Make sure that what they watch reflects the kind of person you want them to be. If it doesn’t…

200

Make sure their shows are funny and smart.

200 (26)

Make sure that they are gaining experiences beyond their own.

200 (15)

And remind yourself to thank me later. I’ll wait.

200 (7)

Whitney Weldon

Fangirl Poetry: A Crazy Crush Compilation

If you are like me, then you surely must feel,

There are some who are making the thirst very real

There’s a few so sexy, they’re making us squee,

Though they’ve skin like the bark of a wise old tree

giphy (1)

I can think of at least one adorable Braj

From whom I wouldn’t refuse a massage

 

giphy (10)

It’s true, funny guys are well worth the switch

‘Cause, like Bill, they never forget a bitch

giphy (7)

 

And nothing makes a gal more inclined to be naughty

Than a guy who can dazzle with skills in karate

giphy (12)

Then there are babes of a different hue,

Especially those that… abs…

giphy (15)

And a few that even your grandma will scope

#Blessed with a back like bag full of rope

giphy (2)

If you looking for a boff that isn’t a bore,

Find one that can tear up the f#@&ing dance floor

giphy (6)

Though, in truth, my lust for all other men counts for naught

‘Cause 2016 is the year of the Bot

giphy (4)

Whitney Weldon

giphy

 

 

 

The Fangirly Show: Episode #6 Fangirling Over the Best of 2015

Ellen and Whitney go through their favorites of 2015, everything ranging from books to music, movies and TV, performances and scenes.  We’ve got you covered.  Will Ellen go a full hour without talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?  (Don’t count on it.)  Will Whitney be able to overlook the swooniness of Oscar Isaac?  (Don’t put money on it.)  But still listen to find out.

You can listen and subscribe HERE on iTunes or you can go HERE to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image-1

Whitney’s Official 2016 Oscar Snubs

There are plenty to choose from, right? Ridley Scott, Star Wars, Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba. The list of Oscar snubs, as it does every year, goes on. My diplomatic response would be that the Academy simply can’t accommodate and acknowledge all the great work that was churned out this year. My unfiltered Fangirl answer would be, did The Revenant and Fury Road really, really deserve 12 and 10 nominations, respectively? It’s a subject that’s certainly up for debate. But I’m not here to talk about the Academy’s apparent inability to spread the love. No, I would instead like to focus on the few specific snubs that really bring out the Troll in me.

epuygrqbovigxgrznjxz

3) Crimson Peak for Best Cinematography

It’s pretty obvious that this movie wasn’t for everyone. But no matter what you thought about this Guillermo Del Toro horror set in a repressive, Victorian hell-scape, you must admit that it was beautiful to look at. As a genre, though, horror rarely gets any props at the Oscars, mad or otherwise, so this snub wasn’t at all surprising.  I had hoped, however, for some kind of honorable mention. Something like “Best Use of Tom Hiddleston’s Shapely Hind-Parts in a Drama”. Just a suggestion.

jj-abrams-shows-off-first-footage-of-x-wing-in-star-wars-episode-vii

2) JJ Abrams for Best Director

This is mostly wishful thinking. I just hoped that after all  the garbage that has been slung at this genuinely wonderful movie, it might have been recognized with a nom somewhat more meaningful than “Best Film Editing”. JJ Abrams gave us a Star Wars that was steeped in action and humor and nostalgia and feminism, and in return received a whole lot of internet bitching and a truck-load of broken box office records. We audiences are nothing if not inconsistent.

charlize_theron_72348

1) Charlize Theron for Best Actress 

You would think that at least one of the ten nominations doled out to Fury Road would have gone to the performance that made the movie what it was. Theron’s Furiosa was easily the most moving and complex performance in an action movie, well, ever. I bet this pointed snub has left her pretty inconsolable right now.

giphy (5)

See what I mean?

Whitney Weldon