Black Widow

Marvel’s Black Widow Needs Her Own Stand-Alone Film, ASAP

We love strong, independent women destroying everything that comes at them.

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I remember the first Marvel movie I had ever watched. A classic move by twelve-year-old me: hopping on the mainstream superhero bandwagon to watch "The Avengers" before having seen any other Marvel film. Watching "The Avengers" was life changing for me—I finally understood all the obsession surrounding the franchise, and I was hooked from the moment the musical theme started playing. I remember seeing all of these people with special powers and skills—and all of them treating each other as equals. I was able to keep up with the plot despite having no backstory (a tribute to Joss Whedon's spectacular directing), and I immediately resolved to spend time watching as many of the stand-alone films as I was able to get my hands on.

Unfortunately, I haven't managed to watch all of them yet (I need to step up my game, I know). Over the years, I've watched every "Avengers" movie, two of the "Captain America" movies, the "Thor" movies, "Spiderman: Homecoming", the "Ant Man" movies, and (my personal favorite) "Black Panther". Despite loving all of these movies (almost more than life itself… I swear I'm not obsessed with the Marvel franchise), I spent years after the first "Avengers" movie wondering why I could never find a stand-alone film of Black Widow, the primary female protagonist seen in many Marvel movies.

In every Marvel movie, I saw her as a strong, independent, well-written female character. She has an excruciatingly intriguing backstory, which the movies only occasionally hint at, but they seem to have avoided giving her the proper attention she deserves. I don't know how many hours I've spent trying to piece together her backstory (given the fact that I have not read the comics and that I do not know how much spotlight she is given when she appears as a recurring character throughout the "Avengers" comics).

Recently, I heard rumors that a "Black Widow" standalone film is in the making. I wasn't sure whether those were exactly that, rumors, but it would seem that Scarlett Johansson, as Natasha Romanoff, is finally going to star in her own movie, drawing all the attention to this brilliant female character and the conflicts she has overcome, moving from the KGB and the USSR to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the United States.

Just think about the role she plays in every "Avengers" movie: she's in charge of her own unit of combat, and she plays an integral part in the planning of attacks and defense. Her dialogue is all well-written, provides proof of thought, and shows off her individual, unique sense of humor. A "Black Widow" film would depict the story of how a young girl changed into this amazing, intelligent, bad-ass woman who terrifies anyone she faces—I can't think of a better story or a better role model to have prevalent in mainstream media.

Black Widow has proven to me that women can fight and be integral to success in the media without having to deal with being sexualized through wardrobe choices and combative roles. She serves as a reminder and an example to all the young, impressionable girls out there who want to fight or be superheroes or warriors. Natasha Romanoff is a testament to independent women, women who take charge of their own lives, missions, and destinies, and women who don't need anyone telling them what to do in order to succeed. Marvel has done a fantastic job of introducing strong female characters, sorry, warriors, into the franchise, but still. I, for one, can't wait for this story to be aired and for this feminist icon to receive the big screen time she deserves.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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In Case You Haven't Heard, My Body Means My Choice, So Deal With It

With all the political differences and laws trying to be passed, based on what a woman can do with her body, demonstrates how the United States decides to use their power and control others by the means of it.

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Since the beginning of America, there have always been minority groups, which include African American, Hispanics, the disabled, homosexuals, and women. Such minority groups have made it their responsibility to fight for their rights and earn justice for it. However, there has recently sprung up a debate on abortion policies, attempting to alter and re-write the rules on Roe vs Wade per state to pursue when or if abortion is illegal based on certain circumstances.

Now, I am not writing this in any means to deter you from your individual opinion on this situation or your perspective, but I do believe that I have a voice in this situation since I am a woman and this situation affects me if any of you individuals like that or not. And most of all, I deserve to be heard.

Starting off, in no means should a man, government officials, or anyone for that matter be able to decide what is acceptable to do with my own individual body, EVER. How have we become a country that thinks it is more than okay to tell what others can do based on the decision of another person. See, we have this thing called bodily autonomy which means we have independence over our own body, or at least we should. A prime example of this is when an individual dies, a surgeon can not remove the person's organs (if they were an organ donor) until the designated power of attorney says it is okay to do so. However, it is apparently acceptable and illegal for someone who has become pregnant through rape or in general is unable to care for a child to receive an abortion and loses their bodily autonomy for the following 9 months. How does a corpse have more rights and bodily autonomy than a pregnant woman does today?

Currently, the state of Alabama has passed a bill that makes abortion illegal under any circumstances and committing this now known felony, can lead to a very long jail sentence. In fact, committing abortion in Alabama (for the woman or the doctor) can lead to a longer jail sentence than someone who raped another individual. Wow. How is that acceptable????

Many states are following in Alabama's lead and we need to put a stop to it before it becomes too far. We women, need to fight for achieving our bodily autonomy and band together and show America that we are a force to be reckoned with.

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