The kimono is more than a symbol of Japanese culture that is instantly recognizable to the rest of the world. It is a garment that embodies what it means to be Japanese, worn for centuries since the Heian period (792-1192). Since then, the kimono has evolved into many different styles based on who is wearing it and for what occasion. And because of the many things that the kimono embodies, the possibilities are endless.
So let’s start with the history of the kimono and how its significance has evolved into its uses in modern-day Japan.
Taken from the Chinese Wu Dynasty in the 8th century, the kimono was first seen with shorter sleeves and was known as the kosode.
Like most feudal societies, much of Japan’s history (before the Edo period opened the country to the rest of the world) was riddled with in-fighting. Because of constant warfare between rival daimyo (feudal lords), Tokugawa Ieyasu was suspicious of foreign influence, colonialism, and Christianity. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and becoming the shogun, Ieyasu focused on strengthening the social, political, and economic fabric of a war-torn Japan.
Japan – and only Japan – was Ieyasu’s priority. The Tokugawa Era (or the Edo period, as it’s better known) ushered in a period of peace and prosperity for the country. For the next 200 years, Japan’s ports were isolated from the rest of the world (except for Korea and China), until the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa opened the borders to Commodore Matthew Perry and his American warships.
It was during this time that the kimono as we know it was born. Up until then it still had been called a kosode and had relatively few style changes. What remained constant was that everyone wore it, regardless of age, gender, or social standing. Granted, peasants made up more than half of the social hierarchy during the four periods leading up to the Edo and Meiji restoration periods (1868-1912).
Fashioned from a single bolt of fabric, the kimono was more than a lavish piece of clothing. It was art.
Wealthy daimyo classes commissioned their kimonos much in the way the Borgias or the Medici of Renaissance Italy commissioned grand paintings for their ornate halls. Fashioned from a single bolt of fabric, the kimono was more than a lavish piece of clothing. It was art. More significantly, it was the wearer’s identity. With every embroidered flower, every hand-painted scene, and every swirl of color, the kimono told a life story. Fabric, pattern, and color were crucial, for they represented someone’s rank, gender, and age, and it all tied into their image within their social standing.
Today, the kimono is still symbolic of not only the wearer but of Japan itself. Kimonos are worn at weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies, and so much more. For example, 20-year-olds wear their kimonos to shrines on Coming of Age Day, a holiday when boys and girls are accepted into society as adults for the first time. Girls wear furisode, a kimono with long, flowing sleeves, while boys wear the haori half coats with hakama trousers that are decorated with their family’s crest.
For formal events like weddings and funerals, married women wear tomosode, kimonos with shorter sleeves, and subdued designs that highlight their family crest. While it’s more common for attendees to wear Western suits and dresses (thanks to Westernization during the post-Edo Meiji Restoration), wearing a kimono is still very symbolic of the pride surrounding Japanese heritage to this day.
Another holiday where we see the kimono is Shichi-Go-San (seven-five-three), a Shinto-influenced ceremony that promotes the healthy development of children at ages seven, five, and three.
Perhaps the most iconic and recognizable kimono-wearer is the geisha. The geisha’s role has evolved over the centuries, but today they provide entertainment, food, and drink for tourists and wealthy businessmen alike. Things like hem length and the color of the collar tell onlookers the geisha’s rank; if her collar is red and not white, then you know that she is a maiko (a geisha in training).
Despite Japan’s rapid industrialization after the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa, the kimono is still deeply woven into the cultural fabric of their society. Japan went from being an isolated, feudal nation to one of the Big Five at the Treaty of Versailles by 1919. Yet for all of this success (like becoming the third-largest economy in the world), they still held on to the kimono, the symbol of their roots in an ancient world.
It’s no secret that I am obsessed with the fantasy genre. Shadowhunters, faes, witches, wizards, demigods — I’ve read about them all. But I’ve always learned that fantasy as a genre has often overlooked the diverse world we live in. Very rarely do you see a female protagonist who you don’t just relate to, but also looks like you, and can play an imperative role in your life while growing up. What I am trying to say, is that fantasy seriously lacks representation, especially Middle Eastern expression.
Authors such as Hafsah Faisal and S. A. Chakraborty have started to change that. Their stories are set in worlds inspired by Ancient Arabia, something we don’t get to see much because western fantasy has never represented the rich culture and traditions of the Middle East without painting their people as barbarians.
Then comes Squire, a rich, sweeping fantasy adventure graphic novel led by Palestinian-American writer Nadia Shammas and Jordanian-American illustrator Sara Alfageeh, which raises questions about colonialism, prejudice, and identity while setting up an immersive world. The characters are driven and well-written (and beautifully illustrated!). They ask the right questions and go as far as attempting to answer them. It unravels as a battle that sees people fight against an empire that was built on injustice. It’s terrific, really.
Aiza, our 14-year-old protagonist, has always dreamed of being a hero — a knight. The story takes place in the once-great-now-ravaged-by-famine Bayt-Sajji empire, where Aiza was born a member of the subjugated Ornu community. She’s a second-class citizen, dreaming of making a mark in the world. She gets by selling fruits on the street, but Aiza’s ambition knows no bounds.
When a military recruiter comes to her town, she jumps at the chance. Joining the competitive Squire training program could one day grant her full citizenship and a heroic legacy, and the permit to travel across the empire. But more than anything, it may allow Aiza to utilize her full potential. So, she signs up, ultimately finding herself training under the unyielding General Hende. She finds a mentor. She finds friends and rivals alike. She’s also hiding a secret — Aiza straps band-aids to her wrist so she can conceal her Ornu identity, the symbol of her community tattooed to it.
Aiza soon discovers that the “greater good” promised by the military may never include her and that her friends might be in danger of the unknown, oblivious to the reality they’ve signed up for. She realizes she must make a choice — she can either be loyal to her heritage or plead allegiance to the empire.
Squire is a love letter to immigrant kids. It is teeming with social commentary that raises critical questions about cross-cultural friendships, rewriting history, complicity in warfare, legacy and its consequences, and unlearning the injustices of colonialism, knowing fully well that all it has ever done is hurt people. These powerful themes are nicely balanced thanks to Aiza’s humor, her unwavering ideals, and the unlikely companionship she comes to share with an older mentor.
The illustrations are so impressive and representative of Arabic culture — the art features apricots, figs, and olive trees, some characters are pictured wearing cultural Arab clothing. Squire is an effortless read — I started and finished it in a single sitting!
This is a simple story that asks timely questions and wrestles with the lack of morality and ethics in a time of war. I would’ve loved to learn more about what happens after the central conflict is over, but I can confidently say that this is an essential novel many young brown girls will find a glimpse of themselves in.
In today’s day and age, we know how important representation is, and for some people more than others, it’s nearly impossible to see yourself within the pages of an impactful novel let alone seeing someone who looks like you on the silver screen. Squire throws both of those accepted, idealized concepts out of the window. It is a triumph, a story that has a message about the many devastating hardships we see in the real world while being a story about a compelling, ambitious young girl with a dream.
Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas releases March 8, 2022. You can pre-order it via Barnes and Noble here!
My love for Korean skincare was mostly inspired by my high school best friend, shoutout to Noor because I don’t know where my skin would be without her. Since then, I have spent hours on end searching for the best products and making sure I look up everything from their ingredients to customer reviews. Now I’m not an expert but most of my friends do come to me when they are looking for skincare advice which is why I decided that knowledge needs to be shared with a wider audience. So, here is a list of my favorite Korean skincare products
If there is one skincare product that you should never skip it’s your sunscreen, yes even in winter. UV rays from the sun are one of the leading causes of premature skin ageing and can lead to other problems such as dark spots. Now I know that finding the perfect sunscreen can be so hard, especially for POC looking to avoid something that leaves a white cast. I have tried a lot of sunscreens, but nothing has come close to the COSRX Aloe Soothing Sunscreen. Not only does it block UVA and UBA rays it also moisturizes your skin. The star ingredient, Aloe Vera is not only highly moisturizing but is also known to help fade hyperpigmentation and repair a damaged skin barrier. Most importantly, this sunscreen never left a white cast on my skin.
An essence is often labeled as one of the most important steps in a Korean skincare routine but what exactly is it? Not only does this powerhouse product carry a high dose of active ingredients meant to treat your skin it also prepares your skin for the rest of your routine making sure that it is a lot more effective. The Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is one of the best on the market if you ask me. Now I know what you are thinking, why would you put snail mucin and bee venom on your face? Well, for starters snail mucin not only helps promote collagen production but also helps in healing and regenerating your skin and the bee venom is believed to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This essence also contains niacinamide which is well-known for its brightening effects.
If you have dry skin like me, you probably can’t live without your moisturizer which is why I spent years looking for the perfect one. When I found the Rich Moist Soothing Cream from Klairs it was basically love at first use, my skin had never felt so soft and supple. The best part was that it did not feel heavy on my skin or make it feel greasy as a lot of past moisturizers had. The product has powerful ingredients such as Jojoba seed oil and Shea butter which are not only great at moisturizing your skin but also protect it from free radicals and environmental damage. Additionally, the presence of Glycerin means that it also helps your skin retain moisture while Niacinamide supports your skin barrier.
Tired of spending so much money on multiple products for your skincare routine? If yes, then you will definitely love this two in one product which acts both as cleansing water and toner. We all know how important it is to cleanse your skin properly and use a toner to make sure your skin is back to its natural pH level after being washed and cleansed. The papaya extract in this beauty water acts as a mild natural exfoliator to reveal brighter and smoother skin while the witch hazel water gives a calming effect. The benefits of this product don’t end there as it also contains orange fruit extract, lavender water, and rose water which give your skin subtle hydration and moisture.
So, what are you waiting for? Time to fill your shopping cart with some amazing skincare products.
If I was a fruit, I would be a peach. Just like the fuzzy summer staple, I too, am covered with fine hair everywhere. I’ve since made peace with it because what is the alternative? Succumbing to societal pressure and hating my body? I don’t have time for that. And yet there are still skincare and beauty companies lurking on my social media feeds trying to convince me that my body’s hair, fat, cellulite, stretch marks, acne, and oily skin can all disappear with a product bundle amounting to well over $100.
While these companies might think they have good intentions, I’m skeptical. Some of these brands sound exactly like people I wouldn’t want to get stuck talking to in real life. These kinds of people are quick to take notice of all of my flaws and even quicker to recommend how they keep their skin looking like a beauty advert. What they’re really admitting when they say things like this is, “I’ve been blessed with great genes. No one in my family has chronic or cystic acne, nor do we have stretch marks, cellulite, or even body hair, so of course all of these quirky remedies work for me.”
Quite a few of these same skincare brands hire models who also were born with genes that make them less prone to large pores, acne, and cellulite and who don’t have hair, fat, scars, or stretch marks on their bodies. So, when I see a video come across my For You Page of a straight-sized white woman shaving the peach-fuzz downy of hair on her butt cheeks, I can’t help but question the intentions of these skincare brands. Do they want people to start being self-conscious about new parts of their body? Scrolling through the comments, one particular brand responded to users by agreeing that “all bodies are beautiful” or that no one is “expected to [shave their butt cheeks] but if you want to, we have a great routine.” Cool cool cool, but if “all bodies are beautiful,” then why does your brand only include straight-sized women and mostly only white women? Seems contradictory.
This same brand sells products that help “increase firmness of the skin, while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and cellulite” and other products that “increase circulation, facilitate tissue drainage, and plump out dimpled skin.” Is this why all of their models are straight-sized? Because if they actually included more body variation amongst their models, they would have to admit their products don’t work?
In an interview with HuffPost, Zakia Rahman, a dermatologist with Stanford Health Care, said, “Topical creams are really confusing because it’s a multi-billion dollar market and many of those things don’t work.”
yall: skincare i see: a late capitalism company collecting biometric data for surveillance & boosting profits by preying on insecurities on a micro level pointing out all your flaws to accelerate body dysmorphia/sell more product while you aspire to unattainable beauty standards. https://t.co/UzRtcsag6V
The American Academy of Dermatology Association states, “If you’re looking for facelift-like results from a jar, you’ll likely be disappointed. Despite the claims, the results you see from a skin-firming cream will be subtle at best … When you see immediate results, the product tends to be an effective moisturizer.” On stretch marks, they assert, “like any scar, stretch marks are permanent, but treatment may make them less noticeable … It’s important to understand that no single treatment works for everyone — and many products don’t seem to work at all,” including home remedies like almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, or vitamin E. For cellulite, it comes down to some creams and lotion may have an effect.
Understanding what most bodies look like is going to be paramount for the skincare and beauty industry moving forward. It’s totally fine to sell products in pretty packaging with fun colors and smells. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s fun to buy these kinds of products because they’re pretty. But when brands pretend these products will help improve acne, cellulite, stretch marks, and other “problems” most human bodies experience, that just seems unethical and wrong.
To be clear, I’m not criticizing anyone for wanting to change how they look—because not wanting to have hair on your butt is a preference. However, skincare and beauty companies don’t acknowledge this. Instead, many of these brands continue to sell questionable products using harmful advertising and models and influencers who fit nicely into the beauty standards outlined by Western society. Unfortunately, this only reinforces harmful ideologies and excludes many groups of people.
I would prefer if skincare and beauty companies celebrated size-inclusive models and models with acne, stretch marks, fat, cellulite, and dark body hair in their pretty social media photos and marketing campaigns. This would even the playing field and actually show consumers that as a brand, they do in fact believe that “all bodies are beautiful” just as they are. There’s nothing ugly about bodies with acne, stretch marks, fat, cellulite, body hair, and more, so why not start putting your money where your mouth is? I’d love to see more photos and videos on my feeds of models with any of these natural body conditions having fun using booty polish or booby serum, not because it will “improve” how their body looks but because it’s fun and it smells good.
Skincare and beauty companies need to realize that today’s savvy consumers aren’t looking for superficial solutions to “problems” that aren’t even problems. Just admit the solutions you’re selling are fake and go. We’ll all be much better off for it, because the alternative is continuing to tell women that there is something wrong with how their bodies look. And that’s unacceptable.
Isn’t it crazy to think that if you weren’t at the right place at the right time, your whole existence will change on a dime? The Butterfly Effect is a wild concept and definitely one I think about with America’s first female detective, Kate Warne.
Hers is not a name that often appears in textbooks. In fact, this may be the first time you’ve heard of Warne at all. Did you know that if it wasn’t for her role, Abraham Lincoln could have been assassinated before his inauguration? This conspiracy event has become known as the “Baltimore Plot”.
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency caught wind of a plan to kill Lincoln by secessionists before his inauguration in 1861. Initially, the detectives were hired to keep an eye on the train route while Lincoln was making his rounds. He was on a whistle-stop tour before the final destination leading Lincoln to be in Washington D.C. However, this part of the trip proved to be even more crucial because Lincoln planned to switch lines…an ideal time to intercept him.
Since people didn’t associate women with detective work, Warne was able to pose as Lincoln’s sister and ride the train with him as an undercover backup. Lincoln covered himself with a shawl, pretending to be ill to avoid wandering eyes. All the while, Warne was armed with a gun. Ready to fire at a moment’s notice. The logic? At the time, no one would suspect a woman to have ulterior motives if she was traveling with a sick family member.
Thanks to Warne’s intelligence, the team of agents were proven to be instrumental in thwarting the plan. Even though this has been known as Kate Warne’s highest achievement, we shouldn’t forget how she landed this history-altering position.
When Warne first saw the job listing for the Pinkerton’s Agency, Allan Pinkerton immediately assumed she was interested in a secretary role. Female detectives and officers were unheard of at the time and the idea of a woman could step up for the role seemed outlandish. But that didn’t stop Warne. In fact, that only sparked her determination. By pointing out what the agency lacked, Warne made the case on why she would be the best candidate.
Allan Pinkerton had a female detective division, run by his first female detective, Kate Warne.
In 1861, while undercover, she discovered a plot to murder Lincoln on the way to his inauguration. She put him in disguise and escorted him to D.C. In later life she solved murders pic.twitter.com/Szn7jt0mCH
Warne explained to Pinkerton that the agency lacked the distinct advantage a woman detective offered. Because this was a man’s job at the time, no one would suspect a woman overhearing the conversations of important people was actually gleaning information on them.
Pinkerton was convinced and hired Warne. She even herself to be one of the best officers on the team, according to Allan Pinkerton himself. Kate closed many cases by using her feminine traits to her advantage.
I love that Warne didn’t have to sacrifice a part of herself to conform to a job. She ultimately made the job work for her and benefited from it. This is a great lesson in not losing yourself in any aspect of your life, especially if those key parts can help make you stand out from the rest.
It’s women like Kate Warne that make me think of my mom. No, she isn’t part of law enforcement but she is a woman in a male-dominated field. She is a courier and delivers packages. It’s a simple enough job description, but it is physically demanding and tends to be monotonous. She has to offload packages into her truck, drive them to the location, and then take them out. The weight varies and oftentimes she doesn’t receive much help. If anything, my mom is the first person to volunteer to help another person, which most of the time is when a man can’t pick up his slack. They have underestimated my mom from the start but for over 30 years, she has proven herself to be a dedicated worker and then some.
People don’t think about these careers since the end result is all they see. The packages being delivered or the cases being closed. Behind the scenes work can be incredibly tiresome and if the environment isn’t conducive, it just makes everything harder. Especially in a field where you don’t find many others like yourself. Women often have to carry the burden of doing more than they should, especially since society keeps underestimating us at every turn. The need to do more to compensate because of some men doing the bare minimum puts an unfair shift in the balance.
I’m glad to be able to share Kate Warne’s story. Not much is known outside of her role as a detective, but that doesn’t make her any less inspiring. Being “the first woman” of anything is an incredible feat to obtain. One that definitely doesn’t come lightly either. It’s just a painful reminder that society has a long way to go before we don’t need to start every story with this milestone.
Follow our Zodiac series for everything astrology related. We’re Spillin’ the Zodiac T! Stay tuned for the juice.
Self-care. At this point, we’ve all heard the phrase, but how many of us actually practice it? No matter how busy our days are, self-care should always be a priority, especially because it’s a surefire way of mentally, physically, and emotionally de-stressing. Taking time for ourselves may seem selfish, but it’s necessary in order to maintain our mental wellness and wellbeing.
Trying to find that special someone in our lives, be it a friend or a lover there are many questions we find ourselves asking. One of those questions is most certainly on compatibility. When it comes to astrological compatibility, be it in romantic relationships, friendships, or even a parent-child relationship—it’s not only the sun sign that suggests whether you will be compatible. In fact, the sun sign is probably the last thing you should pay attention to when it comes to compatibility! The sun sign however does represent your identity, it is how you answer the question “I am” and how you experience life and express your individuality.
There are other placements in your chart that make up who you are. Each placement plays a role in what you may find attractive, what does not appeal to you, and who you would be most compatible with. This means you need to look past the sun sign of someone and dig deeper into who they are.
The placements that you should be looking at when it comes to getting along with others are mainly your rising sign and your moon sign. Your rising sign is the sign that describes your personality and the type of person you project out into the world. The rising sign is who you are around people. Your moon sign deals with emotions and your interpersonal relationships. Your moon sign does not necessarily show outwardly like your rising sign but influences your emotional self. These two signs are very important when trying to find out whether you would be compatible with someone both romantically and platonically.
It is common that you will gravitate towards people with the same sign as you. To match up signs with similar elements, water signs with water signs or fire signs with fire signs. However, some of the best relationships are the ones where your partner, friend, or child, has a sign with a completely different element from you. This can bring a vibrant and new fresh take on things pushing you to grow beyond your limits. With each one of these out-of-element pairings comes out one of the most compatible combinations.
Now if you are curious about which elements may be the most compatible with one another, we may be able to guide you with some insight on that topic! And who knows, this could help you find your true love.
First up we have Aries and Libra. Fire and air ignite to start a fire! While Aries is impulsive and even hotheaded, Libra brings in the balance. Libra is known for being the one to restore harmony and peace as its symbol is the scales. Libras appreciate all perspectives and see all sides of the story and would likely never try to change their Aries partner. In return, the Aries can help the Libra to gain confidence in making bold decisions without spending an eternity weighing all the possible consequences.
Moving on to the next pair, Taurus and Cancer may be different but the two aren’t so far apart. Both the signs love taking care of loved ones, are homebodies, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life, good food, friends, and pleasant surroundings. What makes this pair so special, is that Taurus is protective of others, while Cancer longs for security. Cancers tend to be afraid to trust others and tend to withdraw into their shell. But if there is anyone that can earn and keep their trust, it is a Taurus. Like the banks of a softly flowing river, the earth meets water.
Another earth and water pair are dreamy Pisces and firm Virgo. Spiritual Pisces is the one with the ideas, and practical-minded Virgo helps to bring in all the details necessary to put the plan into motion. When these two work together, they can pull off marvels!
The rule of physics says opposites attract. It is the same with Leos and Scorpios. While fire and water usually cancel one another, that is not the case with this unusual pair. While Cancer and Pisces can be gentle and soft, Scorpio is not your typical water sign. So, what could Leo and Scorpio have in common? Both signs are complex and can be prone to drama, but Leos wear their hearts on their sleeves and, are Scorpios secretive and to themselves. In this relationship, Leos can help the slightly-too-intense Scorpios to lighten up while the Scorpio can provide encouragement when Leo becomes fiery and volatile.
A guide and tool that many would swear by astrology when viewed with an open mind can teach you a thing or two about who you would most get along with.
From Pyrex and Been Trill, to Off-White and Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh gave new meaning to what it means to make clothing. To give Abloh the title of just a fashion designer does not do him justice. He was more than that. Powerful in his execution, he not only borrowed from fashion but from art, music, architecture, and dared to merge genres in his collaborations while producing era-defining pieces in his collections. At the height of his career, it was as though Abloh had always known that his days on earth would soon come to an end. The designer, who died of cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, a little over a month ago at the age of 41, accomplished more in his career of nearly 15 years than most would long for in a lifetime.
Abloh’s fashion career didn’t pick up until he was 29, when he started an internship at Fendi and established a close working relationship with Kanye West. As he worked his way up, breaking through fashion’s high walls, Abloh became a focal point for hypebeasts, streetwear enthusiasts, and people who had been excluded from the industry. Becoming the first Black person to head up French fashion house, Louis Vuitton, was almost revolutionary. His designs and existence in the fashion industry set up a direct line for young people.
Abloh’s work was not always met with admiration. He received much criticism of plagiarism and disdain, which was prompted by the inception of cancel culture. It would be easy to say that Abloh’s legacy is unimportant because of this. But it is what he epitomized and symbolized that were the authentic devices he used in breaking through boundaries. In honor of his impactful work, we highlight Abloh’s career and fashion footprint through his most iconic designs of our time.
Watch the Throne
In 2011, Kanye West hired Abloh as the creative director of his agency, DONDA. Abloh was responsible for designing a few albums covers such as Yeezus and, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Of the artworks he designed, Watch the Throne, is probably one of the most memorable. Abloh created the gold-foiled artwork for Jay Z and Kanye’s project, winning a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.
In 2013 Abloh launched his label Off-White. The label merged both streetwear and high fashion which was seen as unprecedented at the time. The Milan-based label soon gained a huge following, and now has some 49 store locations around the world.
Nike and Off-White collaboration
With a collection of ten sneakers in collaboration with Nike in 2017, Abloh earned his title as the master of hype. The Nike x Off-White Air Jordan 1 was the first release where Abloh applied his signature design motifs. Abloh also designed 50 sneakers for Nike along with creating the tulle-skirted look worn by Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open.
Appointed Artistic Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton
In 2018 Abloh was appointed as the Artistic Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton, becoming the first Black designer to lead a major luxury brand. His opening polychromatic collection was presented on a rainbow runway at the Palais-Royale gardens during Paris Fashion Week.
$1 Million raised to Support Black Students
In 2020, Abloh raised $1 million through the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF). The funds will provide scholarships for black people who seek to work in fashion.
LVMH Invests in Off-White
Earlier this year, LVMH announced plans to attain 60 percent shares in Off-White. The luxury corporation also gave Abloh a new role, expanding his domain of influence to reach all 75 of LVMH’s brands. This move made Abloh the most influential black executive in the industry, allowing him to work across LVMH’s portfolio, such as watches, spirits, and hospitality.
Virgil Abloh’s revolutionized the fashion industry and the way we dress, helping find a place for those who felt like outsiders in the fashion sphere. His career achievements and formidable impact in music, art, and design will be forever remembered.
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that you believe in equal rights and you support the trans community in spirit. That you call yourself an LGBTQIA+ ally and wear rainbows in June and march at Pride with your queer friends. If you support J.K. Rowling instead of boycotting her, all of that is performative. Because it’s easy to advocate for human rights in the face of overt injustice, against people who want to openly deny people rights. But when it’s time to really take a stand, to renounce something you like because it’s problematic, will you do it? Will you stand with your queer friends then?
J.K. Rowling has said a lot of things that were transphobic. There is no way around it at this point. The author has reiterated her points time and time again with conviction. And a few other things that made me lose faith in her long before that. Now, people coming to her defense will say she is entitled to her own personal opinion. That she is not hurting anyone with her thoughts. That she changed her perspective recently and spun her argument around women’s safety rather than trans rights. But the issue is much more complex than that. Her thoughts, per se, aren’t hurting anyone. But her words? J.K. Rowling has a terrifyingly immense fanbase. Her words are endangering trans lives.
When she tweets about her own prejudice against trans individuals, she is preaching to an echo chamber of millions of people who listen to her as if the world hangs from her keyboard. People who feel validated in their own ignorance and hatred. People who go out there and spread that message and turn it into discriminatory and violent acts.
This needs to be established. Words have consequences. Celebrities especially, who hold so much mediatic power, need to be held accountable for their actions.
I am sick of hearing people my age, people who should know better, that they have stopped supporting J.K. Rowling when they still buy her new books and go see her new movies. That is the definition of supporting an author. Unfollowing on social media is not enough to boycott somebody.
The reason why Rowling is so rich isn’t that she sold billions of books – although that certainly contributed. It’s that she gets royalties. As of 2020, her biggest source of income are the Wizarding World theme parks. She also gets a cut from every time television airs a film based on her books. A cut from every cinema or theatre ticket sold (don’t go see Cursed Child, it’ll be an actual waste of your savings). A cut from every item of Harry Potter merchandising you buy your friends for Christmas. If you truly want to show you don’t support her, then stop supporting her.
I know, I know Harry Potter was your childhood. It was my childhood too. And my teenage years. I named my dog after a Harry Potter character. I still have posters up in my childhood bedroom. Like many in my generation, I am the person I am thanks to Harry Potter. I still love the characters. I still stay up at night reading and writing fanfiction inspired by the world of Harry Potter. But I go out of my way to make sure nothing I do supports a person with transphobic views. I go out of my way to make sure more and more people know what supporting her means for certain people.
Not everyone wants to be an activist, and that’s fair. What I find truly unacceptable is people claiming ignorance. “I’m a feminist and I don’t agree with what she said about trans people, but let me enjoy Potter in peace.” It doesn’t work like that. If you’re an ally as you claim to be, you shouldn’t enjoy Harry Potter in peace. You should fight against the powerful person telling millions of people that we aren’t all equal, a powerful person claiming that some people deserve fewer rights than others. Isn’t that what Hermione and Harry would do? Isn’t that what they did do?
I’m not saying we need to collectively disown and renounce Harry Potter, throw away our memorabilia and burn the books. I’m not saying we should pretend to hate it or that we never loved it in the first place. I’m saying we should take what it taught us and use it to make the world a kinder place. And yes, paradoxical as it sounds, that includes boycotting its creator.
It’s not a moral dilemma. We can enjoy a story and disagree with the author’s political views 20+ years after she wrote the books, it’s as straightforward as that. Philosopher Roland Barthes, a pillar in literary theory, comes to our aid in this: he coined a concept called la morte de l’auteur, quite literally “the death of the author.” Barthes encourages readers to split an author from their works and to view them as two separate entities. The author has full agency over the work, but relinquishes their authority over it the moment a work of art becomes public; it stops belonging to the author and it becomes property of its users, who are free to do with it what they will. This theory is also the most strenuous defender of fanfiction and fanart in the eternal debate around transformative works. Like John Green once exemplified and paraphrased, “books belong to their readers.”
J.K. Rowling owns the rights to Harry Potter (as she should, given she’s written it), but she doesn’t own our relationship to it. And we don’t owe her anything in return. There was no blood oath sealed when we first purchased The Philosopher Stone in the 90s or 00s binding us to the book’s author. We did not vow our unquestioned allegiance. Perhaps some of us did when we were younger, overcome with romanticism. Today, we cannot forsake our critical sense in the name of that loyalty.
Keep heart, Potterheads. Harry and his friends and their adventures belong to us. We get to still love them. I do. I have supported J.K. Rowling for over a decade of my life before she started spewing nonsense, but I don’t owe her my integrity now. I don’t owe her anything else but the truth. And the truth is I am, in part, what she made me: a woman who won’t stand for injustice and will speak out against it. It’s almost ironic that it was her own characters that taught me to fight back against her.
Many people are convinced, in theory, by this argument. But in practice, they don’t see what they can contribute. J.K. Rowling is too popular to ever truly boycott, and that may be true. But we should all do our part. If views drop, if ticket sales and book sales drop, eventually, in the long run, the industry will notice. If official merchandise isn’t being sold at the same rate it used to be, there will be a decrease in production. So take those steps. Unfollow her on social media, report her problematic statements. Buy second-hand books, DVDs, merchandise. You will also do some good to the environment and maybe to someone in need. You can also consider supporting small entrepreneurs and fan creators and buying non-official merch. Better to support them than a billionaire and a huge conglomerate like Warner Bros, who certainly doesn’t need your money.
It’s a miracle Warner Bros was able to bring back the entire core cast for the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film. Many of the actors have chosen to distance themselves and even condemned J.K. Rowling for her TERF-sounding statements. In fact, it’s safe to assume many only agreed to come back for the reunion at all because the author would be absent. This choice may look like a damnatio memoriae, like WB itself decided to exclude her from the show, but it’s actually a premeditated marketing move. By excluding her from all promotion of the reunion, they are ensuring the masses are not reminded of Rowling’s recent statements, and that they will purchase an HBO Max subscription and tune in happily with no sour feelings.
On her end, Rowling is also able to, if she chooses, play the victim, the part of the female creator who was excluded from a celebration of her own work of art. Ostracized and written out of the narrative she herself has created. Please do not be fooled by this pity-inducing move. J.K. Rowling is still very much earning royalties from the reunion. She may not be present in person, but she’s still making money out of it. Our nostalgia is once upon played upon and manipulated to enrich her.
Watching Return To Hogwarts on HBO Max still equals supporting J.K. Rowling. Watching the new Fantastic Beasts film does too. It means handing even more power to a person who spoke against trans rights.
We are nearing the end of the year, and everyone is tired. We are all in a hurry to wrap up at work, attend to family needs, and focus on other life commitments before the year ends. Exacerbated by the stress of having to navigate life in a pandemic and having undefined work and life boundaries, we have been burning at both ends of the candle. This is not only tiring but is harmful to our wellbeing, and can lead to year-end fatigue.
Year-end fatigue manifests itself as physical, psychological, and emotional exhaustion and is often accompanied by self-doubt, helplessness, lack of motivation, being overwhelmed, and burnout.
Experiencing burnout has as much of a detrimental effect on your mental health as on your physical health. Physical ailments that are related to burnout are headaches, nausea, and body aches.In addition, burnout may affect our sleeping patterns and cause us to become easily irritable, have difficulties concentrating, and neglect those around us.
I remember the first time I experienced burnout; I felt very tense. I soon realized that it was due to the stress of having to complete all my tasks. As someone who enjoys multitasking, I have always kept my mind stimulated by working on various projects, taking on different tasks, while still being a student.
Being busy was all I had ever known. Resting was not always a part of my schedule until I experienced burnout. My mind was foggy. I was slow to think and had mild headaches. My body was pleading for rest. Since then, I have had to re-evaluate my relationship with productivity and work. Having to check in with my emotional and mental self often has helped improve my wellbeing.
For many, year-end fatigue is inevitable. However, by listening to what your body needs you can help minimize its impact. One of the things that we tend to overlook when it comes to taking care of ourselves is getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water. I have recently made it a rule for myself to never steal time from the new day. That means no sleeping past midnight, which has done wonders for my productivity. Now, I am a lot more vibrant during the day.
In addition, to combat fatigue, we need to consume food that is iron-rich. Women are especially prone to iron deficiency (Anaemia), which can lead to feeling fatigued. Including foods such as beans, peas, dark green leafy vegetables, and lean red meat in your diet will be beneficial in receiving the iron you need.
And, while caffeine may boost your energy levels, it can also cause fatigue. I used to be an avid coffee drinker and would have myself a warm cup of coffee every day with no fail. I’ve since cut down on caffeine as my body would later feel tired and my productivity would be affected in the long run. My tip is to remove caffeine gradually, reducing your intake over time.
Lastly, to regain your balance and feel more at ease, avoid overextending yourself with others. The end of the year is busy, and you can easily find yourself spreading yourself too thin. To avoid ending the year completely run-down, prioritize your tasks first and attend to others when you can. By doing so you show kindness and love to yourself.
So many times, we centralize work and productivity and equate it to our sense of purpose and fulfillment. The idea of putting productivity above ourselves can lead to fatigue, stress, and burnout. One way to fix this is by coming to terms with the idea that we should derive purpose from things outside of our jobs. Finding something you love outside of work allows you to grow and learn more about who you are. Through creating and exploring my talents I have been able to find purpose in my own journey.
If you’re experiencing year-end fatigue, burnout, or stress, it is a sign that something of importance in your life is no longer serving its purpose. Take this time to re-evaluate your goals, slow down, and find out what it is that you are neglecting. It’s never a bad idea to check in with yourself, and the end of the year is a great time for reflection.
No novel is as popular as Jane Austen’s (who I also like to refer to as the Queen of Angst™) Pride and Prejudice. The 1813 novel of manners is brimming with empowering heroines (but not Lydia, never Lydia), brooding men yearning for character transformations, balls, and, of course, proposals. It is a truth universally acknowledged that any fan of Jane Austen will always be excited about watching a Pride and Prejudice adaptation – even if it has Lily James and zombies in it.
I’ve read and re-read Pride & Prejudice countless times, participated in heated debates to explain why Joe Wright’s version is the greatest movie ever, and performed a one-person play narrating every character’s dialogue before my mirror. What I am trying to say is that I am not just a Pride and Prejudice enthusiast…I am a super fan.
Many Austen admirers share my love for the novel and its many adaptations. Although the argument always centers between the BBC series and Joe Wright’s work, other adaptations have been long forgotten. So for you, my fellow P&P fan, I ranked 15 adaptations. Watching these (not necessarily in the same order) is something of a rite of passage for every Janeite. Or so I like to believe.
15: Pride, Prejudice, And Mistletoe (2018)
We love a modern Pride and Prejudice adaptation that has a Christmas spin on it. The Hallmark movie starring Lacey Chabert and Brendan Penny is a gender-flipped version of the story — with the actress playing Darcy and Penny portraying her former debate team rival Luke (aka Elizabeth). Darcy is a big-city gal who returns home for Christmas break and helps her mom put on a charity gala. Interestingly, Luke Bennet (yes, they did that) is the very man catering to the party.
Now, as far as an adaptation goes, it’s pretty refreshing and almost cute for a Hallmark movie, but don’t go expecting any fiery insults and angst. There isn’t much similarity to the book other than the characters’ names, and it is like a P&P adaptation on a sugar rush. Still, it is worth watching once!
14: Unleashing Mr. Darcy
My fellow Janeites, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of respectable P&P adaptation calls itself that? But take it from me, after watching so many different book-to-screen renditions, there isn’t a single one as hilarious as Unleashing Mr. Darcy. They took the title very seriously and allowed Mr. Darcy (Ryan Paevey) and all the other cast members to voice precisely what they were thinking in this one.
This movie doesn’t just put a modern spin on the book and throw our characters into a fancy New York City dog show setting — it transforms it into a comedy. In the movie, there is one scene where Elizabeth’s (Cindy Busby) mother takes one look at Darcy and goes, “He’s almost too pretty.” Yeah, he is. There’s another where Darcy looks over at Elizabeth at the dog show and says, “Fine eyes, shame about the freckles.” And right when she thinks he’s talking about her — that’s when he clarifies, “I was talking about the dog.” Don’t even get me started on the iteration of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The punchlines in this movie are absolute gold, so make a tub of popcorn, sit back, and watch them unfold.
13: Christmas At Pemberley Manor (2018)
This adaptation — also a Hallmark movie — sees Elizabeth Bennet as a New York City-based event planner on her journey to set up the holiday festival in a small town. She meets Darcy, a high-profile billionaire who wants to sell the estate she intends to use as a venue. She eventually persuades him, and they work together to arrange said festivities and fall in love. A turn of events causes the festival to shut down unexpectedly, and Darcy decides to sell the estate (because apparently, it can’t wait). The night before Christmas, Elizabeth wishes for a miracle to reinstate the town’s holiday cheer and bring back the festival, and a magical Santa answers.
I love stories set in small towns, but this isn’t my favorite inspired adaptation, and very little of it makes sense. But I’d suggest watching it and taking everything with a grain of salt — you’d be surprised to find out that some moments are not as cheesy!
12: Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy (2013)
Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy follows Elizabeth (Kam Heskin) as a college student and aspiring writer against the modern-day background of Utah. It’s a fun spin on the story — Elizabeth doesn’t care about getting married and wants to focus on becoming a writer. The publishing house that might fulfill her dream is co-owned by the pompous Darcy, and throw in a Las Vegas elopement from the ever-so-scandalous Lydia and some gripping Jane and Bingley drama — this is a pretty good nod to the novel! It has plenty of hilarious moments and displays the characters and their lives in the future as well.
I’d recommend watching it without any expectations — you will be rewarded with a fun P&P-inspired movie that you’ll love!
11: Pride and Prejudice (1980)
Allow me to be honest for a quick minute — I’m sure if the 1980 show was my first venture into the many P&P adaptations that exist, it would be my favorite. The remake is true to the novel and is one of the more nuanced versions. The story is the same, and everything you love is all there, but it’s the characters and performances I’d like to talk about! The five-part miniseries is filmed beautifully, you hear the chirping of birds, and even the silence between Elizabeth and Darcy speaks. Elizabeth Garvie is as close to Austen’s conception of Lizzy Bennet, but she isn’t as lively as Ehle or Knightley.
The show is subtle and stately, and David Rintoul’s version of the brooding hero is a little stiff as opposed to his other counterparts, but I think this is a story where there’s something for everyone, so it is likely that you’ll view it differently than I did. It is 100% worthy of your time and appreciation.
10: Lost in Austen (2008)
P&P meets fantasy in this four-part series. Amanda, a woman from London, enters the novel’s plot through a portal in her bathroom. She joins the Bennet family in their world, and Elizabeth finds herself trapped in 21st century London. Their presence affects the events in their worlds disastrously. The story primarily focuses on Amanda, and how she tries her best to move through the novel’s plot, but things keep on changing because she’s there in place of Lizzie. And when Mr. Bingley expresses interest in her instead of Jane, things get tense.
Lost in Austen is so much fun to watch for any fan of the author. It’s one of those shows you cannot believe exists, but it does. It’s as if a Janeite wrote fan fiction that was made into a television show — only that it’s really good.
9: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is honestly a fascinating experiment in genre work. Lily James and her co-stars kick everyone’s *ss because, in this version of the beloved novel, women aren’t taught embroidery, and they don’t make cushions. They spend their time cleaning guns and swords and are trained in combat.
The Bennet sisters are famous for their beauty but also their deadly warrior skills, and instead of being worried about bagging the newest bachelor in town, they say cool stuff like, “I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring.” It’s P&P, but with zombies. Elizabeth Bennet’s wit helped her outsmart Darcy in the novel, but here, her weapon and talent for battle help her save lives. I don’t think Jane Austen would mind this version, to be honest.
8: Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Close your eyes. Think of Pride and Prejudice. Now imagine if the story was set in a small town in India. Next, picture everyone singing and dancing — which shouldn’t be hard because if you’re familiar with Bollywood, you’ll know that everyone is always singing and dancing. Okay, now open your eyes. You’ve got Bride and Prejudice!
One of the most fun versions of the story I have ever seen features Aishwarya Rai as Lalita, aka the Indian Lizzy Bennet, and Martin Henderson (Virgin River) as Darcy. Everyone in this movie is very good-looking. Wickham is portrayed by Daniel Gillies (Elijah from The Vampire Diaries), and there are just way too many familiar faces! It’s a story about love across cultures, reminiscent of Austen’s labor of love and yet so highly original. It is the adaptation of my dreams, and it’s so humorous. Henderson is probably the third most-handsome Darcy ever.
7: Death Comes To Pemberly (2013)
Ever wondered what happened after Darcy and Elizabeth got their happily ever after? Murder, that’s what happened.
This 3-part series starring Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Rhys is P&P infused with a classic whodunit murder mystery! Set 6 years after the events of Austen’s book, the BBC drama is based on P.D. James’s novel of the same name and is an entertaining and seriously worthy sequel to the story. Before the plot gathers steam and focuses on a murder in the woods nearby, the show gives viewers a glimpse into the enchanting Pemberley estate — the glorious paintings, libraries, and rooms are all paid thoughtful attention to. The murder mystery might take a backseat sometimes, but this adaptation is a breath of fresh air that will capture the attention of any and every P&P admirer.
6: Pride And Prejudice (1940)
This black-and-white film stars Greer Garson as Elizabeth and Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy. For some reason, though, their costumes are reminiscent of the Victorian era and not regency as in the original novel, so the creators appear to have taken a fair bit of creative liberty. It’s the first big-screen adaptation of the classic novel, and the wit is sparkling, casting is spectacular, and the design is just stunning to look at.
It’s unquestionably one of the big-budgeted adaptations, and though the actors might appear to be older than the characters, the chemistry between Darcy and Elizabeth is incredible. You will find yourself swooning over Olivier, as I did.
5: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones’s Diary is based on Helen Fielding’s popular novel of the same name (which is a reinterpretation of Pride and Prejudice, by the way) and stars Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, a British 30-something post-feminist woman.
Dedicated to finding romance and taking control of her life, Bridget begins writing everything she hopes will manifest in her life — in a diary. Bridget’s life changes drastically after she meets Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and they eventually compete for her affection. It features clever casting and cameos from actors in P&P adaptations and is a classic rom-com that never gets old. The movie is definitely a more modern version of the story — it has some sexual overtones but they’re handled tastefully.Zellweger also earned a Best Actress nod at the Academy Awards for her role!
4: Austenland (2007)
Austenland is one of the most underrated adaptations of Pride and Prejudice I have ever seen. It’s funny and charming and full of witty exchanges and epic pratfalls that deserve a lot more recognition!
The protagonist is living the life of every Janeite’s dream – her room is jam-packed with P&P memorabilia, and she has a life-size cut-out of Colin Firth as Darcy (where can I get one of those?). One day, she spends an obnoxious amount of money to go to a Jane Austen-theme park where the women wear Regency-era gowns and the men wear..whatever the men in Austen books wear. It stars Keri Russell as P&P superfan Jane Hayes on her journey to finding her own Darcy, but her “copper package” does not allow her the privileges enjoyed by the other guests. Jennifer Coolidge’s golden punchlines kept me laughing through and through, and the honesty of Russell’s character is hilarious. “I am single, because apparently the only good men are fictional!” she says in a scene, making any P&P fan worth their salt scream “ME TOO!”
3: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012)
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a multiplatform adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. The web series reimagines the classic around a fictional vlog filmed in the bedroom of Elizabeth (Ashley Clements), a 24-year-old grad student who lives at home with her parents and is burdened with student debt. The show primarily takes place in Lizzie’s bedroom, foregoes any fancy costumes and landscapes shots, and only sees the protagonist discussing the trials and tribulations of her daily life. It is dramatically different from the 1813 novel, but it honors its story and is the most creative version of P&P on this entire list.
At 100 episodes, it’s the easiest web series to binge-watch. And if you’re still unconvinced of how cool The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is, here’s a fun fact: In 2013, it became the first web series to ever win an Emmy award!
2: Pride and Prejudice (1995)
If I didn’t have so much love for the 2005 movie, the BBC series (directed by Simon Langton) would easily be ranked number one. How do I begin discussing how great this adaptation is? Jennifer Ehle is the perfect Lizzy, she’s as charming as she is lively, she embodied the character just as I imagined her to be, and gave her so much grace and poise. Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy, sideburns and all, is full of angst and glances that scream yearning. Every time he longingly glances at Lizzy, or gives her a soft smile — I find myself internally screaming. This is the original “I burn for you” vibe, not Bridgerton. Sorry, guys.
Remember when Firth’s version of Mr. Darcy walked out of the lake and the greatest television moment in history was born? Yeah, it was so cool that they immortalized it in a statue. It’s not like we needed to remember that on a good summer’s day in 1995, Mr. Darcy jumped into a lake, completely unaware that he would meet Elizabeth Bennet on the other side. We’re never forgetting it. If you haven’t watched this adaptation yet, drop everything and watch it STAT. You’ll find yourself breaking into applause many, many times.
PS: Remember when Colin Firth said “…your good opinion is rarely bestowed, and therefore more worth the earning” ?? I’ll go weep now.
1: Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Joe Wright’s 2005 movie starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen is ranked number one on my list. At 2 hours and 9 minutes, this movie is significantly shorter than the BBC series, but there’s something about Keira and Matthew’s iteration of my favorite mismatched fictional couple ever that always brings me back to it. There’s no Mr. Darcy jumping into a lake and emerging from it, but there’s the hand flex. When Darcy offers Lizzy his hand so she may step into her family carriage, he turns away before she can glance at him, flexing his fingers in agony. Again, classic “I burn for you” vibe which doesn’t require words to accompany it. It’s mind-numbingly romantic because this scene is entirely built on subtleties.
Mr. Darcy’s proposal in the pouring rain, in the ancient-looking mausoleum, Lizzy’s first visit to Rosings, the exchange of glances between them when she plays the piano, the look on his face when she expresses her wishes had changed — it’s so comforting to watch. It’s an accurate portrayal of two people who are drawn to each other despite their beliefs or circumstances. No matter how many more times Pride and Prejudice is adapted for the big screen, the 2005 film will always have an audience!
Pride and Prejudice has been influential in establishing the template for romance novels that came after, and has continued to inspire filmmakers to bring the story to life again and again. It is a tale for the ages — and I can’t wait to see who brings their vision to the narrative next. But I’ll say this, there’s something about women directing empowering young fictional women that’s incredibly powerful.
So, if the gods are listening, can Greta Gerwig helm her own Pride and Prejudice adaptation next?
HBO Max shared that it would reunite the cast from all eight Harry Potter films for a special entitled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts. This retrospective is an honor to those who have been touched by the cultural phenomenon and still upheld the essence of the Wizarding World alive 20 years late. However, the noticeable absence of the creator of the series, JK Rowling from the reunion has caused much controversy.
The release of the special was said to feature Filmmaker Chris Columbus and actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – who have not made a public appearance together since the premiere of, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, in July 2011. But no mention of the author JK Rowling, who has been the main centre of controversy for her harmful and damaging opinions on transgender people.
[Video Description: Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts HBO Max Official Trailer.] via Youtube
Over the years Rowling has received much criticism for her views on transgender people. As someone who has been a fan of the enchanting film series over the years, I was quite disappointed to find out Rowling held alarming views on biological sex. It was in June 2020 when the author shared on Twitter an opinion pieced where she criticised an article for using the phrase “people who menstruate” including trans men, saying that it erases women. Rowling further spoke about biological sex by saying, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction”. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased,” she added. She then continued to support a person convicted of being discriminatory towards trans people, further invalidating the experiences of trans people. These statements were not only harmful but show carelessness on Rowlings end.
After receiving much backlash, she later explained that she respects “every trans person’s rights to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them”. “I would march if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans,” she added. This was not the only controversy the author was involved in. In September 2020 she was called out for being transphobic after it was discovered that the villain in her latest book, Troubled Blood (written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith), is a male serial killer who dresses as a woman to slay his victims. The book’s moral seems to never trust a man in a dress’ – sparked immediate backlash online. In a 3600 word essay written by Rowling, she attempted to elaborate and clarify the comments she made about trans people. The Fantastic Beasts screenwriter went on to address why trans women were a threat to feminism and to other people. “I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of the bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside,” she wrote in the essay.
In the wake of these statements actors Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliff and Eddie Redmayne, who stars in her Harry Potter film series disapproved of the author for her views. Actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley acknowledged that he felt he needed to speak up for transgender people following Rowling’s remarks. In an interview with Esquire, he stated “I am hugely grateful for everything that she’s done. I think that she’s extremely talented, and I mean, clearly, her works are genius”. He went on to say, “But yeah, I think also you can have huge respect for someone and still disagree with things like that”.
Daniel Radcliffe also shared his opinion on the author remarks by saying, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I”.
Rowling’s exclusion from the filmed reunion is likely to be because of her beliefs on biological sex, that women are something more than a feeling. Her remarks of refusing to “bow down” to a movement that she believes to be doing “demonstrable harm in seeking to erode woman as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it”.
We are all entitled to our own opinions and what we choose to stan by but, it is important to be responsible and take careful consideration in what we choose to support. Other authors such as Gillian Philip, who has publically vouched for Rowling, was fired by her employer for standing up for Rowling on social media as she tweeted #IStandWithJKRowling.
As a result of the harmful comments made by the author, the special will only show Rowling in archival recordings taken from the first movie but will not make a new appearance in the special. Rowling’s and her representatives have not given any statements and have said they will not be giving any. The events that have led up to the decision of excluding Rowling reflect more on who she is and the harmful beliefs that she carries.
Oftentimes the habits that we form (good or bad) are learned in our formative years and carried into adulthood. When you enter your early 20s these habits make themselves known to you and are mirrored in the relationships that you form with others. Habits can be formed in early childhood or as you get older. These habits determine how you treat others and reflect how you feel about yourself.
Habits are rituals and behaviors that we knowingly and unknowingly perform that help us carry out everyday activities such as brushing our teeth, taking a bath or a shower, fixing our hair in the morning, and unwittingly following the same routines every day without much thought put in.
There are three subcategories habits fall into. The first category is the habits that we don’t pay much attention to because they are a part of our daily life, such as tying shoelaces or brushing teeth. The category is habits that we have worked hard at establishing and are beneficial to our wellbeing like exercising, following a healthy diet, or sleeping early to get your 8 hours of sleep! The third category of habits are the habits that are not good for us, these are habits such as smoking, procrastination, overspending and finally the habits you form of codependency
Codependency is the mental, physical, emotional or spiritual reliance on a partner, friend, or family member.
The word codependency was first forged in the 1950s, by members of the Anonymous Alcoholics as a way to support the partners of individuals who were involved in substance abused.
However today, the term covers a much broader topic.
Codependency is a learned behavior. When we observe the behaviors of our parents (good and bad) as children, we make them our own. They can stem from having a parent or guardian who had difficulty with setting boundaries, could never say ‘no’ to others, was the martyr, had poor or unhealthy communication skills. These behaviors are learnedearly on and brought into our close and intimate relationships.
Adults who grow up with parents that were emotionally unavailable are more likely to become codependent adults. And as adults, they will mostly find themselves in relationships with partners that areemotionally unavailable , exhibiting the wound that stems from their childhood. At first, you may excuse this behavior from the other person, in hopes that they will change or believe that you can be the one to change them.
Our subconscious may hope to dream that one day the other person will acknowledge the love that we give and be inspired to change. And maybe if we give them more time, they will finally return all the love that we so desire. This kind of reasoning is harmful. It is more so when the other person displays abusive behavior. Codependency does not only exist in romantic relationships but can be seen in platonic relationships and friendships. In trying navigate relationships in my, I have found that I too have some codependent habits that have been not only harmful to the relationship but harmful to my wellbeing. Before starting my journey of healing I was unaware of these habits and I would find myself repeating the same unhealthy cycles when it came to my friendships and relationships. This all came to an end once I started becoming more self aware of myself and how my own behavior contributed to having to repeat these cycles. Being aware of my codependent habits was the start of my healing process.
If you believe you are in arelationship where you carry out habits of being codependent, the first thing in becoming independent is to take a look at yourself first and not at others. Signs that you be codependent include feeling responsible for the actions of others, doing more than you should in your relationships to keep the peace, being afraid of being alone, needing the approval of others to attain your self-worth, challenges with adapting to change or making decisions for yourself, and having your own emotions determined by the thoughts and feelings of those around you.
But here is the good news, codependency is a behavior you can unlearn. In order to hold space for all healthy relationships in your life, you need to heal yourself first. Start with being honest with yourself and others, in your communication and in expressing your needs and desires. Practice having positive thoughts and higher expectations to counteract the negative ones. Learn to not take things personally, not everything is yours to fix or change. Take breaks! Taking breaks is important in grounding yourself and remembering who you are. And last but not least establish boundaries. Establishing boundaries is one of my favorite things to do lately, not only with others but with yourself as well. Having boundaries has taught me where my needs begin and where the other person’s needs end.
As you navigate your way in trying to break the cycle of codependency, it may seem as though you are being selfish and unfair. You’re not. Putting yourself first is not selfish but rather self-care. Unlearning unhealthy habits needs one to be patient with themselves and allow for mistakes along the way, as you won’t always get it right. If you start to experience feelings of guilt when you make the initiative to put yourself first, know that it is okay and that you are still learning.