Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious)": Virgin Mary

Virgin Mary She was chosen by GOD to give birth to JESUS CHRIST at thirteen in a manger and then watched Jesus die on a cross thirty years later. Need I say more? Through it all, she accepted and understood everything, though at first she was confused and frightened by the approach of the angel Gabriel who informed her about God's plan for her, and had so much strength. She was unlike any other woman due to her sinless nature and purity because she was God's choice and He made her that way. She will forever be that woman who sticks out amongst them all and is perhaps the greatest woman that ever lived.

Virgin Mary, though there are plenty of different representations of her

This concludes this year's edition of "Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious)". Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Mimi Marquez

Daphne-Rubin Vega originates the role on Broadway
Rosario Dawson as Mimi in the 2005 film version
Mimi Marquez (Rent) Though many people may not totally categorize a heroin-addicted, AIDS infected, exotic dancer as a woman role model, but there is one aspect about Mimi that I really admire. Despite the issues she may have, in practically every scene she is cheerful and always living life to the fullest. In fact, she is the one person who influences Roger to live “every moment as their last” and that there is “No Day But Today.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Ellen Degeneres

      Ellen Degeneres After having her own sitcom and now her own talk show, Ellen Degeneres proves that you can be funny without vulgarity or gossip. On her talk show she has a warm relationship with all of her guests and audience members. She is also a big believer in both animal and gay rights. She had the courage to be, from my understanding, the first character to ever come out on a sitcom. It was a way for her character to come out and for Ellen Degeneres herself to come out in real life as well.

Ellen Degeneres


The part of the "The Puppy Episode" from the sitcom "Ellen" when the character Ellen, and Ellen Degeneres herself, comes out on TV. It was one of those moments that went down in TV history. This sitcom brought a more positive light to the idea of homosexuality while also challenged the negative connotations that go along with it.




One of my favorite Ellen videos on YouTube!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Cornflower and Constance

Cornflower and Constance (Redwall) Ok, so Cornflower is a mouse. Regardless, she is a female mouse with brave qualities, although these brave qualities aren’t known until the cartoon television series "Redwall," based on the novel by Brian Jacques of the same name, aired. In the book she has a minor role whereas in the show she is one of the lead female characters who takes part briefly in battles but mainly spends her time healing and feeding the heroes while also trying to save Redwall from the evil Cluny the Scourge by using her intelligence and intuition. Badger Constance is a motherly figure to all of the Redwallers but yet isn’t afraid to get rough when the going gets tough to protect Redwall’s inhabitants in both book and TV show.

(RIP to Brian Jacques, who passed away February 5, 2011.)

Cornflower
Constance




Monday, March 21, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Britney Spears

Britney Spears


Britney Spears Now maybe some wouldn’t expect to find Britney Spears on a list for real women role models, but there is one thing I really admire about her. She was a child pop star, originating on The Mickey Mouse Club and thereafter creating her own franchise, so give her credit for actually accomplishing what she did. However, like most child stars, she hit a snag in the road and did not record music for quite some time but gave herself a continuously bad reputation instead. Regardless of this, she made a comeback and made sure nobody forgot her. Not a lot of child stars do that. She is the perfect example that proves that even though you may have inner issues and family struggles, there is always a chance that you can pick right up where you left off.

In addition, to me she just seems really down to earth and is now doing very well for herself.

YouTube personality Kingsley actually discusses the point I am trying to make in his video when he talks about Spears's new song and video "Hold it Against Me":





And here is Britney Spears's latest music video! :) Not for nothing, but to me, this is the best she's ever sounded lol:




Saturday, March 19, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Rachel Berry

Rachel Berry

      
Rachel Berry (Glee) Though she may be considered the most irritating character to some on the new hit dramedy-musical, aspiring singer Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) is at least true to herself in many circumstances, especially when two lead characters Puck (Mark Salling) and Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) each make sexual advances towards her (twice!) and she rejects them both (twice!). That is more than we can say for so-called Christian celibacy club president Quinn Fabray (Dianna Argon) who sleeps with a guy the first chance she gets, becomes pregnant, and claims that he “got her drunk.”


While I am on the subject of comparing Rachel and Quinn, allow me to briefly address the annoying love triangle that has been going on between them and Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) since the very first episode. Why is Finn so quick to forgive Quinn for her cheating on him with his best friend Puck, thus getting pregnant with his child, and willing to get back with her whereas he tells Rachel he loves her and then storms out on her when she reveals that she cheated on him after she was hurt upon hearing the news about him and Santana (Naya Rivera) without seeming to give their relationship a second thought? Rachel's situation was less severe considering she did not go all the way with Puck like Quinn did, although we don't really know Rachel's true intentions of how far she wanted it to go or how far it would have gone if Puck had not stopped it.

In both instances, Finn found out about the cheating through Rachel. Rachel told him about the true paternity of Quinn's baby and also had the guts to reveal to Finn about her own cheating on him with Puck. Quinn did not have this same integrity and courage. Rachel is obviously the better girlfriend for Finn.

And yet he chooses Quinn over Rachel. Why?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Young Females in the Music Business: Bringing Innocence Back to Music

This whole week I have been hearing a lot about this new young female popstar Rebecca Black and her new single "Friday." A lot of people have been poking fun at the child, annoyed with her and her lack of musical talents, but like always I am going to go against the norm and defend her.




I had the liberty to provide you with the music video to the song so you know what I am talking about just in case you haven't heard or seen it yet. I know it is very corny and cliche. She's not a very good singer and one of my friends even compared her to Fran Drescher (whom I love by the way but let's be honest her voice isn't that pleasant). The song is pointless, the kids are annoying for some reason, and the lyrics are not creative at all. However, I know a majority of people are going to disagree with me, but I like the song and I like her.

As repetitive and irritating it may be, the song actually puts me in a good mood. She's happy about spending the weekend with her friends. That's the gist of the song. That's all it is. There is absolutely no reference to underage drinking, drugs, or sex. The partying she and her friends do are dancing and singing! It's all innocent and a breath of fresh air from what you see nowadays in the media. 

Why is it that Ke$ha has such a huge following when all she sings about is drinking and partying, sending raunchy messages (though I would admit that I do enjoy listening to her music and "We R Who We R" does send a positive message) but everybody is treating Black like she is this musical devil when she actually sings about something positive and her message is decent and tame. We can all relate to looking forward to the weekend. Both women are pretty much talentless to an extent (because I don't think either Ke$ha or Black is completely terrible), and neither of their lyrics are diverse but are rather bland, so I don't understand what gives Ke$ha a higher advantage. 

There is question though if she skips school on a Friday. Uh oh! A bad message??? Well, you can look at it like that. However, perhaps you can also look at it as her waiting for the bus to take her home from school for the weekend as opposed to taking her to school from home. Then she runs into her underage driving friends. Now, okay, this part of the song is just funny. There's this big dilemma of what seat she should chose. It's just not to be taken seriously so I wouldn't worry about it much.

The last thing I would like to address is how people are constantly calling her the next Justin Bieber. Um, why? What are you trying to say? 

Are you trying to say that they both lack decent vocals? Because that kid can SING! The only reason why I don't like him is the hype and always seeing his face, but that goes for anything that is overplayed after a while. 

Are you trying to say that Black is going to be the next child superstar and eventually we are all going to get tired of her? Well, maybe. It doesn't hurt to say that people are probably tired of her already. 

But, are you trying to say that she is the next young superstar who is going to inherit a success like Bieber's? Because if you are, prepare to see a lot more of Rebecca Black in the future, folks.

My friend Celeste then introduced me to this kid whose song is just as painful yet tame as Black's. This young lady's name is Jenna Rose and in this song appropriately named "My Jeans," she discusses her jeans and how celebrities wear the same ones as she. The plot of this song is even less substantial than the last. I don't understand why these songs seem to follow a trend of describing the girls' morning routines, hanging out with friends, and underage driving, but I can't say I entirely dislike it. Like Black, Rose is not horrible, but yet she's not very good either.




I wouldn't necessarily qualify either girl as a real influential woman role model just yet considering we haven't seen much of them yet, but let's just say they are both honorary members of "Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious)." ;)

I guess what I am trying to say is it could be worse. I applaud these girls for putting a more cheery spin on music nowadays as opposed to other kinds of music that can actually be derogatory, especially towards women. These girls are doing what girls should do at this age: be happy and enjoy life the natural way. Notice how bright and cheery the colors and lights are in the videos? 

There are people who make fun of them, trying to fathom just how these girls are getting record deals and air time because of their lack of talent. I do it too because it's laughable and shocking when we see and hear it. We are not used to this kind of cutesy and simplistic music in today's society so when it happens we think it's a joke. Bottom line is, they are the ones doing it, we aren't, so we probably shouldn't have any say whatsoever in what they do and if their lives skyrocket to success. They are getting their names out there, beginning their careers, and we are talking about them. They are accomplishing a lot for people who haven't hit their twenties yet, so kudos to them. 

Some may see this as music going downhill. Maybe we should look at it as going uphill. 

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Heather Veitch

Heather Veitch
Heather Veitch This woman is one of my biggest heroes and inspirations. Veitch was once a stripper but then decided to turn her life around and founded Christian ministry JC’s (Jesus Christ) Girls. I first discovered her on 20/20 and admired her ability to turn her life around and the determination she has to help other women in her position to do the same. She enters strip clubs, buys a dance, and spends the night talking to the girl about God. I was so impressed that I dedicated a project for my religion class in high school to her. Here is the article I used for my project: Heather Veitch 20/20

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Sara Von Gillern

Sara von Gillern

Sara Von Gillern (So You Think You Can Dance Season 3) Back in high school, I was obsessed with FOX’s "So You Think You Can Dance." It still is the one show I watch on television because I admire the dancing talents and hot male contestants lol. One contestant that stood out to me was resident b-girl Sara Von Gillern, one of the few female break dancers the show has seen. In one episode, she states that she was a journalism major is college, so ever since then I felt a connection with her. On the show she always had this confidence and maturity about her and she always looked like she enjoyed herself during her routines.

I also read an interview where she discusses how women are often regarded as sexual objects and how she disapproves. The following is the full quote from her interview with Daemon’s TV when asked what she hopes to hear from fans: “Just that, hopefully for the girls, that they’re inspired to a be little bit stronger because I think a lot of time in the hip hop world the video girls wear the revealing clothes and dance around, just sexual objects. What I do is more a strength and shows that woman can be powerful too. Hopefully, it inspires them to dance and be themselves.” This quote of hers really stuck with me and ever since she had become one of my idols. Click here if you wish to read the rest of the interview
Sara Von Gillern's Daemon's TV Interview

Monday, March 14, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) SPECIAL EDITION: Ma Joad

Ma Joad (Lena Chilingerian) and Tom Joad (Dustin Fontaine)
Credit: Jason Flamos
Ma Joad (The Grapes of Wrath) This one is a special edition for this series. Ma Joad, from The Grapes of Wrath, was not on my list originally simply because I did not know who she was until now because, believe it or not, I never read the book. This is the perfect time to write about her.

This past Thursday night my friend Kelly and I kicked off our spring break by seeing the Peak Performance of The Grapes of Wrath, based on John Steinbeck's classic novel and written by Frank Galati, performed at MSU, which ran March 9-12 at Alexander Kasser Theater. You may recall me discussing this show back in February in my interview with Corinne Chandler. It was a very phenomenal and epic show that was very well done with its imagery and made you feel and think with its intensity. One character that really stood out to me was Ma Joad, played by senior BFA Acting major Lena Chilingerian (www.lenachilingerian.com).

The one thing that comes to mind when I think about Chilingerian's performance as Ma is that she was pretty badass. Like, she did not take crap from anybody. She has this stern and powerful aura about her while also maintaining warmth and love for her family. With her family she has a strictness as well while also providing hugs when they are most needed. She is not one of those frail wife and mothers, but rather one who takes control of any issue. Nobody stands in her way or questions her authority or her decisions once they are made. When she makes a decision, there is no turning back or rethinking. She moves forward. Plenty of obstacles get in the way of Ma and her family as they travel from Oklahoma to California, but Ma never shows any weakness. She does show emotion, but she is able to pick herself right back up to be strong for the rest of her family and very rarely displays any worry. When she does, it does not last long, for underneath it all she has an understanding nobody else could grasp, and it is very rare that she sheds a tear. She is always there to protect her family from any harm and acts as this knot so the family sticks together. They always listen to her, for she is the matriarch of the family and quite possibly the most powerful character in the play, for she rules with an iron fist.

Ma Joad is the kind of mother anyone would want. This is especially true when her daughter, Rose of Sharon, played by senior BFA Acting major Elizabeth Mackintosh, goes into labor or is criticized by a woman for being a sinner, both times comforted by Ma in a warm embrace. She is not a very laid back person, but yet she has this calmness about her. She takes care of everybody and does not turn away anybody who needs her care.

Lena Chilingerian was an amazing actress in this play! She was very convincing and strong, for you could tell that she had passion for the role, and also handles the southern accent very well. She did the same thing for her role as Nelly Windrod in The Rimers of Eldtrich. Much luck to her in her future endeavors! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Kahlan Amnell and Cara Mason

Kahlan Amnell and Cara Mason (Legend of the Seeker) Mother Confessor Kahlan (Bridget Regan) and former Mord’Sith Cara (Tabrett Bethell) both play female leads beside Richard Cipher (Craig Horner) and Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (Bruce Spence) in the fantasy TV series based on book series The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. Amidst their quest to save the world from certain evils, Kahlan and Cara (the latter of whom entered the series as a main character in Season 2 when she left the bad side for the good) act as warrior heroes while also using their women’s intuition to help the men out in certain situations rather than being the stereotypical secondary citizens of medieval times who stand idly by and watch their male counterparts fight in battles. Without Kahlan and her daggers, plus her confessing power that forces people to tell the truth, and Cara with her agiel (a magical device that causes unimaginable pain), it’s possible to say that Richard, the chosen one hero of the series, would never get as far as he did.

Kahlan Amnell
Cara Mason


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Love My Mommy and Aunt Ea!

My Mom and Aunt Maria (Ea), two of the most important women in my life, know how important Women's History Month is to me and have been reading my series so far, so they are celebrating with me by sending me Women's History Month messages! They are so sweet!

E-mail from my mom <3



E-card from my aunt <3 Click here to see the animation



Even Google is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day :)


Happy International Women's Day Everyone! :D


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Alice Kramden

Alice Kramden
      Alice Kramden (The Honeymooners) As bus driver Ralph Kramden’s (Jackie Gleason) wife, Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) represents your stereotypical fifties wife. She cooks and dotes on her husband and willingly listens to him as he rampages through the door. However, she is not as submissive as your typical fifties wife. She stands up to Ralph with a sharp tongue and strong eyes without domestic violence and eventually unlocks every secret Ralph keeps from her. Not only that, she is the one who handles the finances. She is breath of fresh air when compared to the cutesy Trixie (Joyce Randolph), wife of Norton (Art Carney).




Alice Kramden and her husband Ralph Kramden

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious): Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony (aka my hero)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Susan B. Anthony (including other Women Suffragists etc.) Ladies and gentlemen, the original fighter for women’s rights and suffrage. I am forever in debt to her and thank her so much for what she has done for women like me. We still have a long way to go, but none of this would have been possible without her. Rallying other women, picketing outside of buildings, being fined and arrested for voting in an election are the many actions of Susan B. Anthony and the many women who fought for my suffrage. Thank you, Susan B. Anthony, for proving that women have a place other than the kitchen.

This is actually another reason why I chose Susan B. Anthony as the first woman to showcase this series. I attempted to memorize this speech for Forensics back in eighth grade. I chose it randomly for the speech category and am glad I did because it helped me learn more about women's suffrage: Susan B. Anthony's Speech on Women's Suffrage In this speech she discusses her qualms with being arrested and fined for voting in a recent election.


Lucretia Mott
Hilary Swank as Alice Paul in Iron Jawed Angels (2004), a movie about women's suffrage