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FEATURED POST: Athleticism And Fashion In Wonder Woman


by Elan Paulson

Even the “god killer” Amazonians can still be slaves to fashion.

I am certain that the writers of the new Wonder Woman film made it a top narrative priority to get Diana Prince into a dress store in suffrage-era America. Her fellow shopper exclaims with that Diana has tried on over 200 dresses, but viewers know she is looking for the outfit that will enable her to blend in as well as fight. The film makes clear visual contrasts between the strapless gold dress that Diana kicks butt in on Themyscira and the dark, high-necked piece that is trying to “choke her” in 20th century Britain. On one island women do the killing, on the other women’s fashion does.

And yet, even in the outfit Diana settles for—a simple black dress with a white shirt resembling a masculine suit—Diana’s femininity/sexuality is still not covered up enough. Barely concealing his attraction to her, Steve Trevor decides she needs fake glasses to further obscure her distracting beauty. Shortly after, the camera fixes on Diana’s glasses, stomped on and broken in the street, following her first back-alley fight. There are a plethora of “gaze” metaphors that I won’t unpack here.

The film makes easy retrospective social commentary: the clothing designed by men for women that restricted their movement is an allegory for their oppression, whereas clothing designed for movement, presumably designed for women on an all-women island, symbolized liberation.

And yet, there are still other moments in Wonder Woman that complicate this easy distinction. When Diana needs a fancy dress to sneak into a Nazi gala, she finds an unattended female party-goer who has impatiently decided to walk to the gala (another fellow “empowered” 20th century women, though far overshadowed by Diana).

But rather than dragging her into the bushes to steal her clothes right away, for a full few seconds Diana walks alongside the woman, sizing her up to see if the dress fits. There are few men who take the time to size up soon-to-be stolen clothing for fit. It stands out as both reinforcing a female stereotype (something that men wouldn’t do) but also showing Diana as a discerning female shopper. Where will she hide the god-killer sword in such a form-fitting number? (Spoiler! She uses the sword’s hilt to accessorize the dress.)

In an interview, Director Patty Jenkyns writes that “To me, [Wonder Woman] shouldn’t be dressed in armor like men […] It should be different. It should be authentic and real – and appealing to women […] It’s total wish-fulfillment […] I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time.”

Wishes may be had in Wonder Woman, but what isn’t different between the experiences of the goddess Diana and regular mortal women is the need to continue to navigate the complicated relationship between athletic and fashionable clothing, to achieve the often culturally-imposed desire to fight badass and look great at the same time.

For me the two pieces of clothing that serve the most meaning do not serve fashion at all. First, Diana’s gauntlets (or as Wikipedia informs me are “bracelets,” which are apparently an allegory for emotional control) are activated early in the film, revealing the first hints to Diana that she is more than a regular warrior princess.

Second, Diana’s headband (which the internet also corrects me is a “tiara”) has a more complex comic book backstory that is either downplayed or rebooted in favour of representing not only Diana’s status as royalty but also a connection to her family, particularly her Amazonian mentor, aunt Antiope, who trained and sacrificed for Diana.

So, while even bracelets and tiaras may suggest that women’s power lies in accessorizing, I appreciate how the film embraces (rather than avoids) women’s ongoing negotiation of athleticism and fashion, the clothing that (literally and metaphorically) liberates and constricts. May the jewelry women inherit from their female family members be continued reminders of the challenges that fashionistas past—both real and fictional—have had to face.

Originally posted on: Athleticism and Fashion in Wonder Woman (Guest Post) — Fit Is a Feminist Issue

Have you seen the new “Wonder Woman” movie yet?

According to CNN Money:

The latest film in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe exceeded expectations at the box office, bringing in $103.1 million for its opening in North America this weekend.

That makes the superhero film starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins the biggest opening ever for a female director. The previous record holder, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” brought in $85.2 million in 2015.

“Wonder Woman” is the first major superhero film to be led by a woman, and it was women who helped the film to the top of the box office this weekend.

Pretty Impressive!

Check out the official movie trailer:

Which serial killer has the most victims?

Originally posted by LauLouLew

I recently published a post looking at the different characteristics of a killer, and what ‘criteria’ a person has to meet to fit into a certain category of murderer. I wanted to dig deeper into the different categories I covered, and where better to start than arguably the most well documented type of killer; the serial killer.

Due to extensive media coverage around certain homicide cases, there are a few figures which come to mind when discussing the most prolific serial killers. Dahmer, Ridgeway, Bundy, Wuornos; all of these names have been splashed across the internet numerous times because the acts they committed were particularly heinous. But if we’re judging serial killers on their victims, who is the most prolific?

Read the entire article here

Review: On Edge By Albert Ashforth

Check out book enthusiast’s January Gray’s review of this military thriller by author Albert Ashforth.

If you love to read, sign up of January’s email updates on JanuaryGray.net for reviews and recommendations of novels of all genres. 

JANUARY GRAY REVIEWS

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Description

When a former Army buddy is murdered by an Afghan military colleague, U.S. Army Special Investigator Alex Klear is called back into action in Afghanistan to investigate what is thought to be a classic “green-on-blue” killing. Alex finds Kabul in a state of chaos, partly under government control, partly controlled by the Taliban.

From the beginning, he suspects that the Army has identified the wrong man as the killer, and that an innocent Afghan soldier has become the victim of a complex frame-up. His suspicions are solidified when he discovers that his friend had been investigating a massive fraud at Kabul Bank. As Alex is drawn into the epicenter of the biggest bank fraud in history, he finds his efforts systematically thwarted by both the American and the Afghanistan governments.

In the lawless streets of Kabul and into the far outreaches of Afghanistan, Alex relentlessly hunts his friend’s killer—and…

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FEATURED POST: A Self-Love Letter To Myself

To start off with, I am so proud of you. Life hasn’t been too easy on you lately, and I am truly sorry about that. But despite it all, you have managed to keep your head up and continue fighting throughout.

Be proud of everything you have gone through, and mostly, what you’ve become.

Stop being so hard on yourself. Everything will make sense to you one day. All the pain, hurt, and frustration will become worth it. Remember, everything happens for a particular reason. You are in the exact place you are meant to be right now. So breathe, be patient, and trust the course of your life. Let go of all the expectations you have created in your head. Accept reality as it comes. Accept life for what it is.

Don’t take everything so personally and try to not let others get you down. Most of the time, things have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the other person. When people hurt you, try and understand their side of the story. Forgive them. Learn from their wrongdoings, and then let it remain in the past. Not everything is always how it appears.

You are perfect in every way, especially with your flaws. Accept the things that make you different, while embracing everything that makes you unique.

Even though you think you are broken, there is so much beauty in your pain. Also, you’re really not as broken as you think you are. You are stronger than anything that has tried to tear you down. You are a survivor, not a victim. So with that, try not to be so hard on yourself, we both know you’re doing the best you can.

Create a meaningful life for yourself that you can be proud of. Promise me, you will make the most of it all. Never let anyone get in the way of your goals in life. More importantly, never give up on your passions and your dreams. Do not waste your time on people who do not believe in you. You don’t need anyone like that in your life. Only surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you.

You deserve the world and even a little more. You are smart. You are beautiful. You are enough. You are everything. You are all.

Try not to rely too much on others for your happiness.

At the end of the day, all you are guaranteed is yourself, never forget this.

Stop worrying so much about stupid boys. There is so much more to you than being someone else’s girlfriend or wife. Frankly, there is so much more to life than a guy. Be patient, and stay positive, while waiting for love. Just because you have not found it yet, does not mean you don’t deserve to be loved.

You must learn to completely love yourself, before you even try to love another.

Help others. Be a good friend and make sure to be kind of your family. Be selfless, not selfish. Love like you never seen pain before. And if you do not find the strength to do so, just make sure you find enough love for yourself.

You are so strong my dear. You have been through a lot and come out on the winning end. The world has tried to break you, but you never let it. Thank your past, for it has made you into a better person today.

Not everyone you have meet is meant to stay around forever. People will leave you. On the contrary, you will also leave others. People will disappoint you, and all you can do is learn to appreciate them for what they have taught you. Thank the people who have stayed. Fill the spaces of the ones who have gone.

More importantly, gracefully let go of the things and people that are not meant for you. Accept things the way they are.

Thank you for never giving up and being so tough. You inspire others and you lift them up. Stay strong. Stand up tall. Be more beautiful than ever. Make them wonder how you do it.

You know you deserve the world, now go get it.

This post was originally posted on Thought Catalog by Kiana Azizian

Review: Amanda Knox: Did She, Or Didn’t She?

lauloulew

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I haven’t written in a while. Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy, maybe it’s because I haven’t found anything I wanted to write about. But that quickly changed on Friday when Netflix launched its new documentary: Amanda Knox.

Before I watched the documentary, I knew a little about the death of Meredith Kercher, the arrests of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, Patrick Lumumba and Rudy Guede, the media attention, the two separate trials and the acquittal.

So based on that small amount of information, I assumed that Knox and Sollecito were innocent, Lumumba got caught up in something he had no knowledge of, and Guede was the person who took Meredith’s life.

After watching the documentary, I’m not so sure.

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Look at her, how is she smiling in court?!

I’m not unsure of Amanda’s innocence because of her portrayal by Netflix. In fact, this was one of few documentaries I’ve seen…

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