Find the Right Path with Pocahontas

PocahontasandJohn.jpgI knew it at eight years old and I know it today—Pocahontas rocks!  As a kid I loved her because she rode in a canoe, climbed and talked to trees, had a pet raccoon, and followed her heart. Today I love her for all those reasons and then some. Not only is the 1995 Disney film artistically stunning, but its heroine actually shows viewers the importance of independence, intuition, and moral courage while the movie as a whole illustrates a sense of identity that extends beyond finding one’s “other half.”

Unfortunately, its profundity is undermined by its packaging. Pocahontas’s busty and leggy appearance does nothing to showcase the deeper themes of the film but rather draws attention to the importance of feminine physique. The lingering close up of her face when she meets John Smith further enforces the value of a woman’s exotic beauty in the eyes of a man as opposed to her character. Still, there’s much to celebrate about this flick so let’s take a look! Continue reading “Find the Right Path with Pocahontas”

Permission to Admire Yourself GRANTED!

I crunched on a deliciously salty tortilla chip covered in fresh, spicey salsa and thought about how I shouldn’t be eating it. I had had a big lunch and really wasn’t that hungry for dinner, but I love Mexican food… I kept crunching and looked across the table at my date… my mom! Her day had been spent thinking about our upcoming move, her church activities, her daughters, and work. We sat in silence for a while (except for the chip crunching of course) before I asked:

“Mom, what do you admire most about yourself?” Continue reading “Permission to Admire Yourself GRANTED!”

Does Hope Spring or Fall Flat?

Hope-Springs_2012_Couples-PosterMeryl Streep did it again. She garnered yet another Golden Globe Award nomination for her role in the David Frankel directed film Hope Springs. Trailers never sparked my interest, but I gave the flick a shot when I heard of Streep’s nomination.

Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are trapped in a monotonous, tired, and unaffectionate marriage, so Kay decides to make a change. She signs them both up for an intensive week of counseling with Dr. Feld (Steve Carell).

To start, the characters fail to charm. I’m well aware that a good movie doesn’t depend on likeable characters that live happily ever after. Just the same, something about them has to capture me. Kay is mousy, submissive, and just plain pathetic while Arnold is narrow-minded, disrespectful and controlling. I was relieved when Steve Carell entered the picture—he’ll add some much needed humor and charm, I thought. But a surprisingly straight-faced and uninteresting Carell only asks the couple a series of awkward questions, making the film all the more unbearable. Continue reading “Does Hope Spring or Fall Flat?”

Wake Up Your Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty—the very title of the Disney film encapsulates a host of negative messages for women. It reflects a patriarchal view that a woman’s silence marks her value. It’s also indicative of a desire to display women as pretty, inanimate objects. The fact that Princess Aurora is only present for about twenty minutes of the entire seventy five minute movie also does nothing to support her as strong role-model for young girls and women. However, a deeper analysis puts a new spin on both the title and this princess. Continue reading “Wake Up Your Sleeping Beauty”

Cinderella’s Secrets to Success

Disney’s Cinderella: a simple rags-to-riches romance that has influenced decades of young girls and women to dream of their own “happily ever after” complete with Prince Charming. The “sweetest story ever told” seems to perpetuate the idea that salvation from life’s hardships comes through marriage and that finding “Mr. (or Mrs.) Right” transforms one from ordinary to extraordinary. However, considering the movie again, Cinderella actually illustrates a quest for sisterhood and ultimate self-actualization (a sense of oneself as a whole individual). Cinderella’s efforts prove fruitful while her stepmother and stepsisters fail.  Cinderella’s recipe for success? Respect, hard work, patient giving, and independence based on a solid sense of self-worth. Continue reading “Cinderella’s Secrets to Success”

The Way Home (Part 1)

Here is the final story included in my capstone!

The Way Home

            Julie hurried to the dresser and pulled out another pair of hot pants, jeans, and a few halter tops. Her hands shook as she reached into the jar that contained a few months’ worth of allowance. She shoved the clothes, the cash, and everything she thought she would need into her brown leather messenger bag.

            It was about noon and the large white house was quiet. Julie could hear the drone of the motorcycle through her open window.

            An hour earlier, Julie had been on her way to history class when Pete came up behind her and whispered, “Let’s get out of here.” His breath was warm and smoky at her ear.  Continue reading “The Way Home (Part 1)”