The Badass Females of Films and Books

Strength is defined as the quality or state of being physically strong. An underwhelming concept, 
when you only skim the surface of its meaning. For me, strength is something that can reach a 
mental, physical and emotional state. It can be one person, an entire nation or the entire world. It 
can take you by surprise in your darkest moments- help you pull through with power you never 
thought yourself capable of. But, it can disappear in the flash of a moment- as fleeting as an 
autumn breeze. The individuals we see as “strong” can prove to be cowards, and those we deem 
“weak” can tap into unimaginable courage. It is all a matter of perception and understanding of the 
meaning of strength. And, as corny as it sounds, what we’re fighting for.  
 
Strong, in both its purest and simplest form, female characters aren’t easy to come by. Be it in 
films or books, some of the most well-known females roles have done irreversible damage to the 
perception of women. Books and films often portray these strong females with a number of stereotypical roles and inescapable dependency. Such has a lasting effect on both the male and females population, even more so on our younger generations. Arts.Mic published an article “9 Harmful Stereotypes We Never Realized Our Favorite Disney Movies Taught Us.” This article gives readers a small taste of women being constantly forced into roles that affect how women are perceived and categorized in day-to-day life.  
 
That’s right, that cute mermaid movie that taught us women should change their physical 
appearance for a man at any cost, may have allowed females to believe that changing for someone was only a sign of love. Not to mention how that fanfiction, to book, to movie that took the world by storm with its ‘shady grey areas’ also taught readers that non-consensual BDSM was hot and may have normalized physically and mentally abusive relationships to its readers and viewers. These examples are only crumbs fallen from a large cake of inequality.
You could say that we’ve come a long way in today’s society- that females are put into parts with 
more power and importance, but there is almost always a catch… 
 
Almost… 
 
Let’s take time to appreciate just a few of the films, television shows and books that did it right, and all the way right. 
No short-cuts, no add-ins for romantic effect, no over-sexualization of the female body. Just pure 
female badassery at its finest. 
 
 
Image result for sarah connor linda
Unlike most of the women you’ll see in this list, Sarah Connor isn’t your typical badass straight off the bat. From damsel in distress, to kicking ass and taking names, Linda Hamilton brings true form to the concept of ‘fear no evil.’ Not even when that evil is a terrifying mass of steal and robotic intelligence.As the main protagonist of a film filled with menacing male characters, Sarah Connor gives them all a run for their money.
Don’t be fooled by Tom Cruise’s insistent presence in this film, because its human solider, Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt, who steals the show. As a renowned human solider during a war against the Alien race, Rita is the first solider to experience the horror of reliving the same day, over and over again. From the moment Rita makes her first on screen appearance, she’s putting her male counterparts to shame. Of course Rita doesn’t just kick ass. She even mentors co-character, Cage, whom despite being your stereotypical ‘strong man’ can’t seem to make it through a day alive, without Rita’s intervention.
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(Fast & Furious Franchise)
We all know the dangerous beauty that is, Michelle Rodriguez. Shes got a heart of gold, but don’t let that fool you. Michelle can cross her legs just as well as she can pack a punch. So when she signed on to play Letty Ortiz  in the Fast & Furious franchise, there was no denying the hurricane of self-confidence and ferocity that the audience had coming their way. After all, it takes a true badass like Rodriguez to play the on-screen equivalent. I think its safe to say that audiences weren’t disappointed.
As a book, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is arguably one of the most difficult to read. There is no beating around the bush, no subtle subtext that sympathizes with its reader’s tender emotions. No, this book is as unforgiving as it is magnificent. One of the many reasons for its unbeatable delivery? Lisbeth Salander. In both the book and the film adaptions, Salander defies normal expectations of female beauty and brings the ‘take it or leave it’ attitude to the next level. This crime-investigating computer wiz doesn’t need a man to save her. She’s got her own back and enough generosity to save her male counterparts, too. 
 
 
Harry Potter is a hero, I’ll give you that much, but he wouldn’t have gotten very far without his best friend, Hermione Granger, saving his skin at every turn. As the most mature and intelligent of the “Potter Trio”, Granger shows her unending capacity for bravery through determination and loyalty to both her friends and the fight against evil. As selfless as she was bright, there is no shortage of reasons why Hermione Granger makes the list of badass female characters. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Bustle’s article on a few of the reasons we all should learn from Hermione Granger.
Katniss Everdeen  
Image result for book katniss everdeen
So you may be wondering why there isn’t a dazzling picture of the ever-lovely, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptions of Suzanne Collin’s “The Hunger Games” trilogy. It’s simple, Katniss was her finest in the books. Don’t get me wrong, I sat in the theater and gushed over the flawless performance Lawrence gave and the way she brought life to Suzanne Collin’s beloved Girl on Fire. It was the changes they made to Katniss’s drive and personality that took away from her strengths. For one, the book version of Katniss Everdeen is interested in two things: staying alive and protecting her sister, Prim. Her love interests, Gale and Peeta, are little more background noise to the bigger picture . Shes willing to kill anyone and anything that poses a threat to her family and even uses Peeta’s romantic feelings for her, to save her own skin, with little regard (okay, no regard) for his feelings. She may not be nice, but you can’t say she isn’t a badass. 

 

If only we could pay tribute to all of the badass females of film and literature. They date back centuries and they’re only growing in number with the passing of time. So, what badass female made your blood pump a little faster and your heart beat a little louder?

 
 
 
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Childhood Icons: Then and Now

 

disney_logo
If you were anything like me as a kid then you know that nothing came in between you and the latest episode of your favorite Disney show. Needless to say, if Hannah Montana was on, you better believe you could find me rocking out on my air guitar to “Best of Both Worlds.” As time went on, the final episodes of shows like Even Stevens and Suite Life of Zack and Cody came to a tearful end. This forced the dedicated viewers, such as myself, to move on with our lives. The other night I had a nostalgic relapse. I ended up binge watching [I’m sure an unhealthy amount of] my childhood favorites. My trip down memory lane got the wheels in my brain turning and sparked the curiosity. I had to wonder, where are these Disney stars now?

Shia LeBeouf

 

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Oh the infamous Louis Stevens. Kid brother to scholar, Ren Stevens and Star athlete, Donnie Stevens. Louis is known for his immaturity and shenanigans but he’s hard not to love. Even Stevens aired for three seasons and is still one of the most iconic Disney shows talked about to this day. The show practically jump started LaBeouf’s career. From then on he was down a path of stardom. LaBeouf began starring in box office hits like Disturbia and Transformers which led to even bigger and more challenging roles. LaBeouf moved onto ground shaking films like Fury where he acted alongside Oscar winning actor Brad Pitt. Shia seemed to be climbing a ladder in which each rung he ascended people began to take him more and more seriously. His latest role in Lars Von Trier’s film, Nymphomaniac, pushes limits and showcases LeBeouf’s raw talent.

On screen the actor seems to have it all together but off screen is a completely different story. I could lay out a timeline of all of the outlandish things the former Disney star has done but let’s be honest, who has time for that? So instead let’s do a quick recap. In the past 3 years Shia LeBeouf has plagiarized a critically acclaimed author, announced his retirement from “the public life,” worn a bag on his head stating that he is no longer famous, chased a homeless man in order to obtain the man’s McDonald’s, released a “just do it” motivational speech, and ran a single man marathon (144 laps) around a museum in Amsterdam…he’s been a busy man.

All in all, Shia LaBeouf will always have a little piece of our hearts as Louis Stevens and there is no denying his talent. LeBeouf still remains one of the greats in the acting realm and one can only hope that the wandering thirty year old will eventually find his way.

Miley Cyrus

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The Disney comedy series Hannah Montana followed a normal girl living a not so normal, double life. Miley Stewart was your everyday girl living in Malibu with her trusty side kicks Lily and Oliver. Miley faced everyday teenager problems alongside her annoying brother Jackson (Jason Earles) and father Cyrus (Billy Ray Stewart). This made Miley more relatable to the kids growing up watching the show. Except there was a twist…Miley was a regular kid by day and an undercover pop sensation by night! Miley’s ability to showcase her musical talent on the show was a major key in sparking her career as a musical artist. After the fourth season, however, it was time to move on and during the last episode the pop star revealed her identity and the actress waved goodbye to her Hannah Montana days.

After the show, Miley Cyrus had this image of Hannah Montana that followed her around like Peter Pan’s Shadow. She soon became determined to rebuild a new persona. This became evident in the 2013 release of her Album “Can’t Be Tamed” which showed a much more sultry and edgy side of Miley the world hadn’t seen before. The Disney star was finally finding her independence. (You Go Miley!)

Miley is known as having a romantic relationship with Liam Hemsworth, whom she starred with in the 2010 film “The last Song.” Miley seemed to be in a great place, but as a pessimistic scholar once said, “all good things must come to an end.” The couple sadly broke off their engagement which was announced to the public in 2013. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Let me backtrack.

In 2012 Miley decided to throw a curve ball at her fans and completely shave her head. Little did we know the new hairstyle meant a new album was in the making. If her 2013 album “Bangerz” didn’t make a point that she was no longer the little girl from Disney, than I don’t know what would. Oh wait, maybe swinging in naked on a wrecking ball. Or possibly twerking on Robin Thicke at the VMA’s…But hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Miley may have gone a little crazy with the “new Identity” brigade but with the pressure Miley has received from the public for most of her life, I don’t blame her one bit. When it comes down to it, Miley is just a normal girl who lives at home with her dogs and pig. She supports organizations like City of Hope and is now a judge on NBC’s The Voice. So who’s to say the former wigged pop star doesn’t have her life together? We must always remember, “Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.”

Dylan and Cole Sprouse

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Give me a T-R-O-U-B-L-E! What does that spell?! Well, trouble. If you ask Mr. Moseby the definition of the word, he’ll respond without hesitation. Zack and Cody. What better idea for a sitcom than two troublesome twins living at a hotel causing chaos left and right. The answer is none. Well, except for two troublesome twins living on a cruise ship causing chaos left and right. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Suite life on Deck were absolute successes leaving Dylan and Cole Sprouse to be the richest pair of young twins in the year 2007 and 2010. Fame hit the twins like a freight train. And it didn’t care whether or not the boys were ready to handle it.

11 years have passed since the Suite Life aired on Disney Channel and a lot has changed in that time. In 2010, the twins received exciting news that their hours spent tutoring on set had finally paid off. They had both been accepted to New York University. Although they did not attend until a year later, Cole successfully pursued a major in archaeology while Dylan focused on Video Game design.

During the time spent in New York, Dylan actually tried out the working class lifestyle. He became a host at a restaurant simply because he has an adventurous spirit. Dylan must have enjoyed the service industry because word on the street is the former Disney star is now opening a Meadery this fall in the heart of Brooklyn. Grab your ID’s ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new brewer in town. As always, keep your fingers crossed tightly for upcoming roles to arise for these talented twins. But for now we can all be proud of how far this Dynamic Disney duo has come.

So next time you find yourself taking a trip down memory lane with your childhood favorites, take a second to appreciate people and things for what they are not and not what you think they should be. Don’t grow up too fast and always remember to hold on to the child inside of you. 

 

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Watch Zootopia

Zootopia Movie Poster

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three weeks, you’ve probably heard about Zootopia, Disney Animation’s newest movie about anthropomorphic animals. Released on March 4th, the family film raked in an outstanding $75 million on opening weekend and has been the #1 film for its first two weekends with a gross of just under $600 million worldwide as of March 23rd. (More box office information will be released soon.) The film also has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1/10 rating on IMDB, so if pure statistics are enough to convince you to see the film, there you go.

But if you really want to know why this movie is worth seeing in theaters, not once but multiple times, here’s a quick breakdown of the awesome things you can expect from what could possibly be the next Oscar winner for Animated Feature.

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Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas start their own Record Label

Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas
Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas

Talk about a powerhouse duo or shall we say: Safehouse duo? Disney alums: Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas have joined forces to start their very own record label – Safehouse Records underneath Island Records. The two have been working closely with longtime talent manager and music executive, Phil McIntyre to make this dream come true.

Before we rave about Demi and Nick’s newfound success lets rewind to the beginning of their collaborative work. In 2008 Demi and the Jonas Brothers (Nick’s band formed of his brothers) released the hit Disney Channel film, “Camp Rock.”

Fun fact: the film reached 8.9 million viewers on the first night it premiered!

Demi and Nick during Camp Rock
Demi and Nick during Camp Rock

In 2010, the same crew released “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam!” Demi even joined the brothers during their “Burning Up” tour where Demi was the opening act and they performed a few “Camp Rock” hits!

Most recently, the two collaborated on a song together, “Avalanche,” for Nick’s newest album.

Demi has mentioned several times that Nick was always there for her during her most trying times. Needless to say, Demi and Nick are not only longtime partners – but longtime friends.

Now that we have taken a trip down memory lane – what does the name “Safehouse” mean to Demi and Nick? Well, the goal of their record label is to give artists a safe environment where their creativity is put first. The team wants to give artists control over their work while giving them the best tools for their career.

Demi Lovato signs for Safehouse Records
Demi Lovato signs for Safehouse Records
The Safehouse crew is keeping their eyes and ears open for new talent – and guess what?! Demi’s fifth studio album will be the first album produced from the record label! Don’t worry, Demi is not leaving behind the record label she has called home for several years – Hollywood Records. Safehouse, Hollywood, AND Island Records will be teaming up to make the “Neon Lights” singer a – what we’re sure will be – killer album! “It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of this new company where I’m in control of all aspects of my career. I can’t wait to share what we’re working on,” Demi shared in a statement.

We are so excited to see what is in store for Safehouse Records. Because of the success that they have had together in the past we are expecting nothing less than the best from Demi and Nick.

Good luck you crazy kids!

 

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Beauty and the Beast Movie Has Its Cast

Emma Watson
Emma Watson will be playing Belle.

I’m sure by now almost everyone has heard about the upcoming live action Beauty and the Beast movie. Fans were thrilled when it was announced that Harry Potter star Emma Watson would be taking on the lead role of Belle. Recently, Watson has taken it upon herself to keep us all updated on news about the film via Twitter. Here’s everything we know.

When Watson first made the announcement in late January, she gave us only a few clues. She confirmed it would be a musical, and there would be plenty of dancing. Watson shared that she would begin singing lessons, and that her “heart was bursting” with excitement. The film is being directed by Bill Condon.

Dan Stevens
Dan Stevens will play the Beast.

As soon as this announcement was made, fans were eagerly awaiting news of who else would be joining Watson. Just last week, Watson finally shared who would be playing the Beast: Dan Stevens. Stevens is best known for his role in the British drama Downton Abbey. Days before Watson made the announcement, Stevens kept tweeting little hints about the role, such as a picture that said “Beast Mode.” Watson shared that she really was looking forward to working with Stevens.

Luke Evans
Luke Evans will play Gaston.

This left one major role to cast: the villain Gaston. The same day Watson shared the Beast news, she clued us in on another role. Luke Evans will be our Gaston, to whom Emma said “Bonjour” to via twitter as a formal announcement. Evans is a British actor who is best known for his work in The Hobbit trilogy.

With a promising cast, this new adaptation of the Disney classic will surely be a hit. Many are curious to see how the musical aspect of it will turn out. So will you be going to the theaters to see this one? And what do you think of the cast? Let us know in the comments or tweet us using #glamorouspaper!

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