ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: pop culture

Why The Grammys Hurt So Much

I update my music playlists every three months. If people want the latest reviews on music, I am not the femme they should be speaking to. For some reason, listening to new music stresses me out. For one, it’s extra work. It’s often hard for me to find music, and I don’t download it illegally. Also, there’s the whole sitting there and listening to the music thing. You have to form an opinion on it. All of this is just way too much effort for me. I’d rather just listen to my Kanye West and Florence + The Machine playlist I’ve had since high school, and go on my merry way. Because of my lack of interest in new music, I guess I missed getting stung by the Beyoncé bug…. Read more »

What to Do When Your Fave is Problematic

There are certain celebrities who I simply don’t like for one reason or another. Maybe they said something once that completely changed the way I look at them. Maybe they just rub me the wrong way. Maybe I don’t even know why I don’t like them. But I have to admit I get the tiniest sense of satisfaction or joy whenever one of them gets called out for saying or doing something problematic. This works both ways though. There are celebrities who I love that are problematic. The most obvious is Taylor Swift. I’ve been a fan since her early days, since the first time I heard Tim McGraw. It’s been said time and time again in what ways she has been problematic, especially in recent years, so I won’t… Read more »

These are the Characters You’re Looking For

  Warning: mild SPOILERS for the newest Star Wars film ahead When it was announced that Disney made a deal with George Lucas to buy out the Star Wars series, I was worried. I expected Disney to warp it into the common princess/damsel in distress trope, but Disney and J.J. Abrams came through and created a female character with more depth than many major film franchises are afraid to give to their female leads, including the original Star Wars trilogy. Not only that, but the cast chosen for Star Wars: The Force Awakens’s central trio is basically perfect and handle dumb questions like the one’s about BB-8’s gender (more correctly, lack thereof) with such grace. I also have high hopes for an open and repeatedly recognized gay relationship between a former… Read more »

“Grandma” is Great, But Not Without its Flaws

After watching Grandma, I left the theatre feeling like if the culmination of all past feminist victories were really just leading up to the creation of Lily Tomlin’s near perfect, badass role, I’d be happy. But, socially conscious feminist comedies about abortion can have that effect on me. Like similar films that have taken on the taboo of portraying abortion as a medical decision which women and girls are perfectly capable of making on their own terms, Grandma did an admirable job. Rather than agonize over the decision to have an abortion, the story begins with a young teenager, Sage, who’s made up her mind and needs the financial support of her grandmother Elle, played by Lily Tomlin, in order to go through with the procedure. As Sage and her… Read more »

It’s Okay to Like Problematic Things

I’m a simple person. I love pop culture. I love consuming as much media as I can — TV, books, music. Sometimes, though, the things that I like are flawed, just like most things in life. Sometimes, I like things that are problematic, and don’t align with my views on social justice. I like “The Devil Wears Prada,” even though it paints eating disorders and a thin frame as healthy and perfect. I like “Lord of the Rings,” even though the storyline demonizes women and certain races. Romantic comedies are my guilty pleasure but I often have to ignore a nagging voice in my head while I watch them—“Wow, this is pretty sexist and misogynist. I definitely shouldn’t be enjoying this.” Sometimes, my life feels too much like the Onion’s… Read more »

Pop Goes Sex Positive: Now With 0% Slut Shaming

When Christina Aguilera’s new single “Love Your Body” dropped several weeks back, I made the point to check it out. The artist has gone through as many unique phases as a chameleon, from teen pop royalty to blue-eyed soul icon. I was interested to see what the artist formerly known as Xtina had up her sleeve this time around. What I discovered was not just a really catchy pop song, but one with a sex-positive message. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cfCgLgiFDM