Feminist Fridays: Why I’m excited about some dolls.

As we all know, little girls are expected to like and play with dolls of all variety, I was no different. I had a box of Barbies, piles of Polly Pockets and stacks of generic Baby Dolls. There was something missing though, of course my Barbies started to have jobs (Vet Barbie was a personal favourite), but they rarely kicked butt. They didn’t say to me that girls could be as cool as boys in films, that we weren’t confined to pink and only pink. I didn’t get into Star Wars until I was 20 but damn I needed it. I needed to be reminded that women were powerful and could lead a war.

There are going to be new Star Wars Dolls for Star Wars: Forces of Destiny to accompany a new TV show. I read the news over on the brilliant Heroic Girls and when I saw these dolls I had a wave of excitement. These were posable dolls of some of the most fearless women in the galaxy. Of course, these are going to be collected by fans but for the little girls of today? Little girls who have seen Star Wars and what a girl can do, these dolls are something else. Of course, as time goes by we are starting to see more kick ass dolls on the market, ones that appeal to both boys and girls. Let’s not forget the boys in this, the ones who are told that ‘dolls are for girls’, WRONG.

When I was a kid I used to draw these dolls called ‘Jenny’, I used to draw her in every job that I knew, particularly jobs that I knew people said that boys did. The dolls weren’t there for me so I designed my own. That and I know for a fact one of the boxes for Army Barbie came with the slogan ‘hat and short skirt too!’ Yeah, because that’s going to help when the enemy is firing at you, a short skirt.

Corny or not, kids are the future. How can we expect them to be any better if we don’t teach them about equality as children. That girls and boys can be what they want and play with the toys I want.

Damn right I’m excited about these dolls, and I hope it’s just the beginning.

Feminist Friday: Star Wars Special

 

 

I’ve just gotten back from watching the latest part of the Star Wars series, Rogue One. Before going in I debated whether or not to do a Star Wars special post on Feminist Friday, because of course I know that there are some issues with Star Wars from a feminist standpoint (that gold bikini was a huge mistake, so was Padme’s ‘oops my shirt got ripped’ outfit) BUT I firmly believe that despite some smaller things Star Wars gave a huge boost to woman and girls everywhere. Star Wars provided kick-ass female role models.

In the pictures above, if you don’t know, are of Princess Leia from the original trilogy, Jyn from Rogue One, Rey from The Force Awakens and Padme from the prequels. In each film there has been a strong female in central focus. Firstly Princess Leia, while she is dressed in white and helped (not saved) by Luke and Han initially she doesn’t act with feminine worship and gratitude. Leia knows what she needs to do and she’s going to do it, with or without a scruffy nerf-herder, a Wookie and a Jedi in training. In the next set of films that were released (in the wrong order, we’ll let that go for now) Padme aka Queen Amidala, a strong leader in her own right and respected in the senate. Moving on to last years stunning release, Rey is the centre of the latest trilogy, while we don’t know much about her she’s strong, fast and highly intelligent. Lastly, tonight I watched the character of Jyn, a leader and a fighter. These characters are incredible, intelligent and strong women.

Whenever I watch these films, I just feel an immense sense of pride that women are being represented this way on screen. As leaders, as fighters, not simply being saved. This is what we need more of in the film industry. Women can still have relationships, fall in love but that doesn’t make them unable to fight in a rebellion, to have ideas and stand up for themselves. I get a heart full of joy when I go to conventions and events and see little kids dressed as Leia or Rey, because they’re dressing up as powerful role models, people who they can look up to.

There’s already so many reasons I love Star Wars and these kick-ass ladies just make me love it more.

Comic Con Summer 2016!

Today I attended my second ever MCM Comic Con! This was the first time I’ve put together a costume and became a cosplayer! I’ve been sure I wanted to cosplay someone from Star Wars for a while and then I saw The Force Awakens *cough, three times, cough* I was sure I wanted to be Rey. Here was this absolutely incredible character, she was strong, she kicked ass and this was something I could make. So for the past few months Ali and I looked up parts for costumes, Ali’s took a lot more work than mine and is so realistic I can’t begin to describe just how awesome it looks. I was still stitching mine this morning (while Ali had fixed up my awesome hair do) and had to do a few adjustments at Con as well…hey, I’m still learning.

One of the things I love most about Con is how creative people are. You just look at some people and are in awe of their talent and creativity, I hope that one day I can do something so that someone might think that of me. Ali and I did get quite a few comments and smiles through the day. The best part for me though was when I saw kids who thought we were Rey and another Jedi. The kids in my building were left open-mouthed, whispering as we went past ‘They’re Jedi!’, it was so much fun just to see their faces. We were walking around with Ben and Abbie, just looking around, laughing, oh and buying…

 

Aside from the amazing stacks of Funko Pops around (yes, I have to be very careful with my spending and have saved up for Con for MONTHS before) there is also Artist’s Alley, a hub of incredible talent. I picked up so many different prints and pieces of artwork. It’s hard to explain how amazing it is to see and talk to these artists about their work and get customs done, things like that. You really never know what you’re going to find, it’s something Abbie and I get really excited about it.

It was nice to have Comic Con to look forward to after all the stresses of assignments last month, I just got to hang out with my friends, wear a costume I was comfortable in and just be the huge geek I am inside. Am I already planning October? You bet I am.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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After weeks of having Star Wars constantly on the brain today I got to put on my new jumper and head into a galaxy far, far, away. Yes, I got to go and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens today with Ali after booking what seems like a lifetime ago. I’ll say now this WILL NOT have spoilers, because I think that’s cruel to all the people who haven’t seen it yet. That and someone ruined a big plot point for me on Twitter and I have a special hatred for them that will last a lifetime.

Did I like the movie? Yes, of course I did. I was apprehensive before going in and kept reminding myself that this was a new film, new characters and just to enjoy it for that but as soon as the music started I had a chill down my spine and squealed. Of course it’s common knowledge that the original heroes are back and of course they were incredible (there’s no question about that) but I need to focus on the new trio.

Rey, Finn and Poe are going to be incredible through the next set of films, I’m calling it now. All three actors were absolutely phenomenal and were working with an incredible script that made you fall into the story seamlessly. The boys both had a brilliant on screen dynamic and really gelled I felt but it’s Daisy Ridley that I have to give a special mention to. She’s had minimal acting experience but there is no way that you would know, her performance of Rey was flawless and I’ve fallen in love with both Daisy’s character and her acting.

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The only thing I’m still not sure about as I write this is how I feel about our new Dark Side. Despite all the promo Captain Phasma didn’t seem to be that much of a big deal to me, she looked cool but I don’t know how vital she is to the story. Additionally I’m not 100% on Kylo Ren as a villain at this point, I have a feeling that as the movies continue our new villain will be one of the greatest but I’m just not feeling it yet.

So I’ve left the theatre feeling a spectrum of emotions and my overwhelming feeling is that I need to see it again as soon as possible. The Star Wars franchise is very much back and I’m already obsessed over theories for the next film. Only a year and a half to go!