It was with a Facebook post that I first even heard of the Stonewall Riots. That was never taught in class. Nor was I ever taught about the gun restrictions on people of color. That was something I learned through an MTV article.
These pieces of history I had no idea I didn’t even know. They were never even mentioned in passing. I don’t like that. I don’t like that the school systems have edited out pieces of our history, or if we are going to learn them we have to take a specific course that will take years to become a reality. You want to learn about the Stonewall Riots? You have to sign up for “LGBTQ history” and that’s only offered once every two years so you better pray that it fits into your schedule. And giving something its own course is great and all because it offers more time to learn about that, but then why isn’t it mentioned in the general U.S. history course? Shouldn’t that be a course that gives you an overview and prompts you to take the specific courses to learn more?
This is not okay. I understand that there is only so much time to learn in class and there is so much history. History that grows every second. But something needs to change. I want to be educated not just on the whitewash version of history but ALL OF IT. I want to learn from different perspectives. I want to learn the big events and the small ones that are too easily forgotten.
Unfriended came out April of 2015 and I was really bummed that I didn’t get to see it in theatre. (For those of you that don’t know I love horror movies) But I finally watched it today for a project I’m doing in one of my classes. And I’m actually really glad I didn’t pay to see it in theaters. In all honesty, this was a much better idea in concept than in practice.
For those of you that don’t know (and don’t want to watch the trailer) Unfriended takes place over Skype on the one year anniversary of a girl’s death. Supposedly her spirit takes over a Skype session between a bunch of friends and one by one they get picked off in an act of revenge.
Cool right? I thought so too. With technology becoming a more prominent part of our lives, a horror movie that really hones in on that should be really scary. Instead it felt like an MTV movie that took itself too seriously. It felt like a cigarette commercial but instead of cigarettes it centered around bullying.
I get it. Everyone has secrets and there are some really shitty people out there but there are so many things this movie could have done better. Yes we can appreciate the Skype quality. But unless you’re watching it on your computer it’s not that scary because then the whole thing is out of context. And unless you relate to any of the characters there’s not a whole lot to worry about you know? I wasn’t a party kid in high school and I would never do what these people did in the movie. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here.) Even now I wouldn’t. So it feels like unless you are a teenager that acts like that there’s not a big impact that the movie can have.
Am I kind of inclined to cover my laptop camera when I’m not using it? Sure. But beyond that…. eh.
Today marks one year since the passing of Diem Brown. She was a participant in MTV’s The Challenge and one of my biggest role models growing up.
Before I understood what reality television really was, what I was seeing was simply strong competitors. I saw what pressure can do to people. I saw real people battling real problems. And amidst all the yelling and the competition and the drama was Diem. She was one of the strongest competitors in my eyes. She wasn’t the one getting involved in every single drama in the house…. This was an at influential time for me. It was through this show that I understood how two-faced people can really be. How selfish people can really be. I hadn’t been exposed to attitudes like that too often. So it was a big wake up call. And then there was Diem. She was the one I connected to the most. She never wanted to be involved in the drama and she was an extremely strong person in the series.
When I learned, later on, that she was battling cancer I was heartbroken…. There was an episode where CT asked her to take off her wig and reminded her how beautiful she was without it and she was so shy…
Diem remains in the hearts of her family and in everyone that watched her. She was so strong and influenced people in more ways then can really be understood. My heart goes out to her family and friends. And to her.
So 2 days ago I saw an article on MTV… http://www.mtv.com/news/2239958/miley-cyrus-hannah-montana-beauty/
This was about Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana.
In case you don’t want to read the article, here’s the gist. Playing Hannah Montana gave Miley Cyrus a sense of Body Dysmorphia because she was meant to portray this perfect pop princess. She put on tons of make up, a wig, etc. Meanwhile the girl she portrayed, that looked like her, was the dork. Not only is she being transformed into beauty but she became a symbol of what beauty is.
Okay cool? Cool.
We all know Miley (may I call you Miley?) has had tons of criticism over recent years because she is no longer the “Perfect pop princess Hannah Montana”. Here’s the thing we need to remember people: she never was. She played one. That’s it. Everyone goes through a rough patch in their lives. Some people do drugs and try to discover their sexuality, others become depressed, etc. Demi Lovato tackled her issues and people were so supportive. Miley tries to tackle hers and everyone hates her. Um… last I checked, tons of people have tried drugs and experimented with their sexuality. The difference is, they didn’t have the whole world watching them. That doesn’t make her actions wrong. That makes her brave and a huge example of what a lot of people do that we just never talk about.
If I were the parent of a child who loved Hannah Montana and started seeing the Miley Cyrus side of things… I wouldn’t hide it from them. I’d talk to them. Be fucking honest with my kid. Yeah it’s hard let your kid be exposed to something that they aren’t ready for (and you aren’t ready for) but if it’s there why try to hide it? I would want my kid to understand what’s going on and what other options there are. I would tell them that Miley has been working for a long time and has had tons of pressure on her and everyone cracks at some point. Some kids dye their hair, others overcompensate and become “preppy”. Whatever. There are tons of different ways of dealing with things and that’s one of them and while I hope they don’t repeat her actions, I’d want to know. I’d want them to know that there’s an outlet, as opposed to making my kid feel like they’ll be disowned if they Fuck up (which they might). It’s really an opportunity to open bridge of conversation about growing up and the pressures that are put on you.
We see this in kids during middle school (cliques form-emos, preppy, etc). And some people experience this “What is happening to my life” feeling then. Other’s don’t get that until high school. And still, others till college or even after college. I know a handful of people who just graduated college and are in that awkward phase because it’s jarring. That’s okay. It happens. Some people start smoking weed or drinking or cutting or skipping class, etc. We need to stop pretending that doesn’t exist because that won’t help anything. I think what Miley has done here is open the doors to parents talking to their kids about what can happen and the kind of pressure society (and maybe them?) can feel like and how to deal with it.
Miley, you do you. Because you are fucking awesome.