Every Month Of 2017, Recapped By Incredibly Bad*ss Women- & POC-Led Movies

Every Month Of 2017, Recapped By Incredibly Bad*ss Women- & POC-Led Movies

Who run the world? Underrepresented groups in the film world, that's who! Sorry, Beyonce.
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As 2017 draws to a close and we look back to what this year gave us, we might find ourselves a bit disappointed in some (okay, most) regards. Be it from political transitions, natural disasters, or just plain social drama, 2017 has served us chaos on a silver platter. It truly wasn't all a disappointment, though: from the Women's March to the Silence Breakers, this year has shown us our capacity and potential to make real change in our lives for the better. Nothing could depict the silver lining to an otherwise questionable year than some of 2017's best films.

Here's a breakdown of movies released in each month of 2017, all of which lead by amazing women and POC actors.

January: Hidden Figures

Major Events: The Women's March on Washington, Hollyweed, Muslim Travel Ban

The year started out with a bang when pranksters tampered with the famous Hollywood sign to make it appear to say "Hollyweed" on January 1st. Maybe we should've taken the sign prank as a signal for how the rest of the year would go, but, ya know, the US has never really been too great at reading between the lines. This month also marked the end of the Obama administration and the introduction of the Trump administration, whose inauguration was protested most notably in Washington DC by the Women's March. The demonstration, as characterized by empowerment and a push for visibility as it was, along with Trump's first major act as President with the Muslim ban, is the perfect complement to "Hidden Figures," whose depiction of the amazing accomplishments of the black women of NASA in the sixties and their fight for recognition of their talents is an emotional must-see.

February: Get Out

Major Events: Trump overturns directive on transgender rights to use toilets, the Moonlight/La La Land mix-up at the Oscars

February gave us the masterpiece that is Jordan Peele's "Get Out." The film goes about discussing themes of racism and more through a unique, well-thought, and thrilling storyline. These ideas are reflected in some of the month's major events, such as Trump's repeal of the directive that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identified with. Shutting down and taking away freedoms of minorities such as this is aptly discussed in Peele's ground-breaking film, making it the perfect representation of the month.

March: Beauty and the Beast

Major Events: South Korea overthrows and arrests its president, Disney refuses to cut the "gay moment" from Beauty and the Beast for Malaysia and pulls the film from there instead, federal judges block Trump's second Muslim ban

In March, Disney released its live-action remake of its classic "Beauty and the Beast." The film, while following very closely to the original, intersperses some feminist themes into the story, causing quite an upset, much like the upsets caused when South Korea removed their president from office, or when federal judges in the US used their power to block Trump's second attempt at his Muslim ban.

April: Gifted


Major Events: Controversial Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner, Missile strike ordered on Syria, Fox News lets go of Bill O'Reilly after sexual harassment allegations

"Gifted" was released on April 7th, and tells the story of an extremely talented little girl and the custody battle over her between her uncle and grandmother. The film features strong women and girls of varying ages and backgrounds, and does a stellar job of playing with the ideas of family and what it means to defy stereotypes in a heartwarming and thoughtful way. The tenderness of the film provides a stark contrast to April's events, such as the violent missile attacks ordered by Trump on Syria.

May: Everything, Everything


Major Events: MTV hosts the first awards show with gender-neutral categories, attack on Ariana Grande's concert in London, Trump meets the Pope

May opened with a strong statement from MTV, whose Movie & TV awards became the first award show to feature gender neutral categories. This breakaway from tradition is similar to "Everything, Everything," the YA novel-turned-movie whose stories centers around a girl whose illness keeps her locked inside her own home and the next door neighbor that she falls in love with. The film features an interracial novel, something far too underrepresented in entertainment, especially in things directed towards adolescents, like "Everything, Everything."

June: Wonder Woman

Major Events: "Wonder Woman "is the first superhero film to be directed by a woman, Trump announces US withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement, "Dear Evan Hansen" wins the Tony for Best Musical

With the start of summer, June brought some pretty impressive milestones in the entertainment industry: "Wonder Woman "became the first superhero movie released that was directed by a female director. The film itself shows the kickass Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, whose badassery is spurned by the pure desire for justice, unlike the tragic backstories that most strong female characters are often given. Her desire for a better and peaceful world was, unfortunately, contrasted by Trump's June 1st announcement that the US would oppose the Paris Climate agreement that would combat climate change. While he claimed it would hurt our economy, we'd need Wonder Woman's lasso of truth to get a real explanation for why we're the only country to have rejected the agreement.

July: Atomic Blonde

Major Events: BBC announces the first ever female Doctor on "Doctor Who," Justin Bieber is barred from performing in China, Trump announces policy (on Twitter, very official) to ban Transgender people from joining the military

Following suit with "Wonder Woman "in June, July brought us another amazing female character not motivated by a tragic past with "Atomic Blonde. "Charlize Theron plays an assassin whose antics will both impress and amaze. It is a refreshing sight to see an older woman be a strong protagonist whose might will leave the audience in awe. Speaking of new representations of women, BBC announced this month that the next Doctor in "Doctor Who", who has always been played by a man, would be played by a woman. Go BBC for that step in the equality direction, but boo to Trump, who once again revoked rights from transgenders when he announced in a tweet that transgender people would not be allowed to join the military.

August: The Glass Castle

Major events: Disney announces plans for its own streaming service, a giant inflatable chicken that resembled Trump was placed outside of the White House as a form of protest, White supremacists march on Charlottesville, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma devastate Texas, Florida, and Georgia

With the events in Charlottesville and two hurricanes leaving parts of the US devastated, August proved to be somewhat tumultuous, much like the family in the emotionally-charged "The Glass Castle. "For a light-hearted aspect of an otherwise dark month (and film), an inflatable chicken that resembled Trump was set-up outside the White House in protest. When it comes to making a statement, those who set up the inflatable sure didn't "chicken "out, am I right?

September: It

Major events: Trump announces plan to end DACA, Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico and leaves entire country without power, Lebron James calls Trump a "bum" in a tweet

As the latter part of the year progressed, it brought with it "It, "an amazingly-made remake of the classic horror film about a child-devouring crown. The movie made a big splash, from showing the awesome talent of the cast of mostly children to causing some people to be attracted to a murderous clown. In terms of terrorization, August had its fair share of that outside of "It: "another hurricane left Puerto Rico suffering and without power, and Trump announced a plan to end DACA which protected children of illegal immigrants brought to the US at a young age.

October: Happy Death Day

Major Events: The New York Times publishes investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, sparking the beginning of the "Me too" movement

October brought the spookiness with "Happy Death Day, "which tells the story of a woman who has to relive the day of her death repeatedly until she solves her own murder. A woman-focused movie is an apt representation for October, for the month contained the release of the sexual harassment investigation into Harvey Weinstein, an entertainment bigwig, which then sparked a whole lot more. The "me too" movement had its beginning, where people were encouraged to post "me too" on social media if they had ever been a victim of sexual harassment. The show of solidarity was further supplemented by various sexual harassment allegations coming to light against many prominent men in positions of power, both in and out of the entertainment industry. Similar to "Happy Death Day, "the cycle appeared to repeat itself.

November: Lady Bird

Major Events: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement, Matt Lauer is fired from NBC, Australia legalizes gay marriage

Spilling over from October, the trend of sexual harassment claims continued in a big way, with events such as Matt Lauer's sudden firing from NBC. Changes continued to occur on a more positive note with Australia's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Female empowerment ran no only through November's days, and "Lady Bird "continued the theme with a moving and interesting story about the bond between a mother and her fiercely opinionated daughter.

December: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Major Events: Times Magazine names their "Person of the Year" as "the Silence Breakers," Trump announces US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, wildfires near LA shut down a major highway, the Federal Communications Commission votes to end net neutrality

2017 did not disappoint when it came to finishing out on a wild note. Along with Trump defying precedent with recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, wildfires in California stirring up a lot of trouble near LA, and the FCC voting to end net neutrality, the latest installment of the beloved "Star Wars" saga broke away from the norm with its content. The film, while well-loved and hailed by most, was much like 2017 in its entirety: starting with a bit of madness, getting all tangled up in the middle, and ending in a big ol' mess. Rey is still a badass, though, so we can forgive it.

Cover Image Credit: johnboyega / Instagram

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Picking Passion Over Pressure Is The Answer To A Fulfillng Life

Don't crack under pressure, flourish with passion.

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What motivates your actions? The answer to this critical question can determine whether or not you are living a fulfilling life. Many of us follow a social script as if we are reading lines from a play. We succumb to the influence of those around us and roam aimlessly in the direction of the masses.

The concept of living within the confinement of certain "norms" is an expectation society calls us to uphold, and it is not an entirely negative idea. But when life becomes "a series of motions to go through", this expectation can become problematic. When you find yourself stressed out about doing whatever it is you think that you have to do, stop and ask yourself if it makes you truly happy. Are you pursuing your passion or are you just performing under pressure? To find true contentment in your life, pick passion over pressure.

Be an individual before an identity.

When people first introduce themselves to a new friend or group of people, they are quick to jump to aspects of their life that compose their identity. Many of us define ourselves by what it is we do, and not necessarily who we actually are. For example, this can include identifying as a member of a club or sports team or even defining yourself based on accolades and accomplishments you have achieved. While these are definitely adequate ways to distinguish yourself from others, have you ever stopped to look beneath the surface? It is important to know what unique qualities make you an individual and not just a part of a larger entity.

By viewing yourself as an individual, you will find your passions in life more easily and find genuine enjoyment in all that you do. Taking on an identity will only hold you under unnecessary pressure to fulfill a role that could leave you feeling unsatisfied later on.

Become self-aware.

To find out what makes you truly happy, you need to establish a clear sense of who you are. Fostering self-awareness is a journey, and it can be discovered through life experiences. In order to figure out what you love doing, push yourself out of your comfort zone to figure out what you don't love doing. This can mean joining a new club, taking a challenging class, or working in an environment that you are unfamiliar with. Once you begin to discover how you react in certain situations, use these personality traits to your advantage.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and avoid taking on a position that you know would not be compatible with your lifestyle. By becoming self-aware, you will discover your passion more easily and will be able to take on realistic opportunities that will prove to be fulfilling. When you try to become someone you are not, it will seem like there is always a lingering pressure to "keep up the act", and it will be harder to accomplish tasks because you don't truly enjoy doing them.

View outside opinions with a filtered lens.

Don't let others dictate your future. When you make life decisions based on what other people think is best for you, you will be pleasing everyone except yourself. Consciously decide whose opinions are valid, meaningful, and constructive to your life. This can include the wisdom of close friends and relatives, professors, or a boss that has known you for years. By finding out who knows you best and who truly desires the best for your life, you can tune out the background noise and hone in on the few voices that actually do matter.

Place value in what these people have to say, and take the words of others with a grain of salt. Avoid letting irrelevant or negative opinions linger in your mind. If you allow the influence of others to infiltrate your decision making, you will find yourself in many regrettable situations and unsatisfied with the outcome of your choices. By subscribing to the helpful advice shared by those closest to you, you can foster your true passion.

Practice positive thinking. 

You can't find out what makes you happy in life without actually experiencing what happiness is. To discover your passion, adopt a positive mindset. Get out of the habit of mentally putting yourself down, and take the word "can't" out of your thought process. The more mental blocks you put on yourself, the less likely you are to have good experiences. Release your inhibitions and train your brain seek positivity in any situation.

Don't allow minor inconveniences to disturb you, and remind yourself of the saying that "it is only a bad day, not a bad life." In doing so, the positive choices you make will lead you in the direction of your passion so that you can live a fulfilling life.

Be open to new ideas. 

Keeping an open mind will allow you to experience life from a new perspective. Even when something seems foreboding, treat it as a lesson. If you cannot think of a positive quality for the situation you find yourself in, then don't assign your circumstances any qualities at all. If you keep a neutral mindset, you will eliminate the possibility for disappointment. This will encourage learning and growth, which are essential in your journey to finding your true passion.

Being open to new ideas will help you avoid sticking to the status quo. By taking part in something you have never done before, you are less likely to find yourself confined by what others expect you to do.

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