The True Legend Behind Mulan

The True Legend Behind Mulan

The real-life warrior behind the story of Mulan sets an example for a truly strong woman.
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Fun fact: Frozen wasn’t the first Disney movie to say you don’t need a man to save you. Mulan far preceded the Arendelle sisters, and I don’t think this story gets enough attention. Sure, I may be a little biased; the movie came into the world in the same year I did, and the animator for Mushu is an artist in residence at my college. Nevertheless, the story is still greatly underappreciated.

While now appreciated in certain groups for its feminist message, Mulan actually did quite poorly in theaters. The movie was based off a poem entitled “Ballad of Mulan,” which is thought to be based off of a real female warrior. There is some debate over which exact Chinese female warrior it was, but there was one I found most intriguing. Her name was Fu Hao, and she was what we might call a total boss.

Fu Hao had a host of titles, including Lady Hao, Lady Fu Hao, Mu Xin (after she died), and Fù Hǎo. In the Shang Dynasty, which lasted from 1250 to 1192 B.C., King Wu Ding would take wives from neighboring tribes to build allegiances. Fu Hao was one of 60, but she stood out and rose through the ranks. She led many military campaigns, winning a decent amount to boot! She commanded up to 13,000 soldiers, as well as had two important generals, Zhi and Hou Gao, serving under her. She was one of the most important military leaders in her time, if not the most important. And she did all this while still being a wife and mother. Her high martial status can be seen in the sheer number of weapons that were found in her tomb. Fu Hao was also a high priestess and an oracle caster; there are many sacrificial bronze vessels and tortoise shells that have “prepared by Fu Hao” carved into them. She even had her own estate on the borders of the empire and earned the king’s confidence in her. No wonder someone made a poem about her.

In the “Ballad of Mulan,” the heroine is named Mulan. She was modified a bit for the era it was written in, so her story is not quite identical to Fu Hao’s. Basically, Hua Mulan fights in the war because her brother is too young and her father is too old. After 10 years, she denies any military honors and goes home. Her family is overjoyed to see her and her comrades finally figure out, after 12 years, that she is a girl (it took her two years to walk home). They kind of kick themselves for not noticing but don’t mind beyond that.

Between real life and the ballad, quite a few differences exist. As I said previously, this woman was a woman of the times she was written into. First off, Mulan is not a queen. Also, while there is ambiguity to whether or not Mulan hid her gender, Fu Hao’s was never a secret. I am not sure how long Fu Hao fought, but I assume that it must have been more than 10 years to gain the influence she did. Fu Hao was in a different dynasty, but since the author was writing the poem for their own time, that’s to be expected. Interestingly enough, the rulers at the time it was written were not Chinese but rather Turkish. Likely due to this ethnicity shift, the Northern Wei Dynasty is marked with political instability and intense cultural and social modifications.

Between the movie and the ballad, there are not as many differences. Instead of Hua Mulan, we have Fa Mulan. The ballad does not specifically state who Mulan is fighting, but we know from the time period and location that it was not barbaric Huns from the north. At least Disney gives a shoutout to Mulan’s little brother with her dog, Little Brother. In this movie, one could argue that Disney has actually enhanced the story with their modifications. Both Fu Hao and the original Mulan did not have to face the punishment that could come from being a woman in the army. All they had to do, which admittedly was daunting, was fight a war. Mulan of 1998 had to face a disapproving society — to the extent of death penalty in the barren snow-covered mountains. She faced that challenge and was given another noble motive of saving her father from certain death. In the emperor’s great words, “You stole your father’s armor, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonored the Chinese army, destroyed my palace, and you have saved us all.” Despite the costs, Mulan fought for what she believed in. Both Fa Mulan and Fu Hao are women to be admired.

Sources

Cover Image Credit: Her Campus

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100 Of The Best Vines Of All Time

Hi, welcome to Chili's!
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Not to be dramatic, but the Vine app was the best thing to ever happen to me.

The Vine app truly understood me and my extremely odd sense of humor. When it was shut down, I felt like a part of me shut down with it. Luckily, I still have the ability to reflect on the good times that I had with Vine. Although there aren't any new Vine videos keeping my spirit alive, the Vine videos from the past are enough to keep me going.

This is way overdue, but here are the 100 best Vines to ever exist (in no particular order).

1. You better stop.

2. Come get y'all juice.

3. WTF is up Kyle.

4. That is NOT correct.

5. Mr. Postman.

6. Good evening.

7. This is your space, this is your area.

8. Honestly not sure what to title this one, but it's great so.

9. Someone help Elmo.

10. Pst...what?

11. Can I get a waffle?

12. Welcome back to Jesus Christ Hotline.

13. Oooooh, my boy going to school.

14. Lebron James.

15. #1 Dad.

16. Two bros chillin' in the hot tub.

17. Iz the fourth of July.

18. You have to say that you're fine and you're not really fine.

19. Tweaka Tweaka.

20. Hi, welcome to Chili's.

21. What up, I'm Jared.

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23. When you think you look fresh, but your fish disagrees.

24. Rat in Walmart.

25. I'm dying... without me?

26. White ppl will turn anything into a casserole.

27. So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift.

28. You want a french fry? Eat a french fry.

29. ifyoulikemakingloveatmidnight.

30. Ms. Keisha.

31. Girl you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.

32. My cinnamon apple.

33. Two shots of vodka.

34. Whoever threw that paper.

35. Wow.

36. Do the math.

37. Rip your face off.

38. Fed up teacher.

39. You can't kill me.

40. Look at me now snake.

41. Walking a duck.

42. No matter when you pause this one, it's hilarious.

43. I don't even understand this one.

44. I dropped my hot pocket.

45. I thought you were American.

46. I can't swim.

47. I wanna be a cowboy.

48. I look like Mona Lisa.

49. Look at this graph.

50. Yungman.

51. Squidward dabbing

52. Living with Nicholas Cage.

53. If Tinder had video profiles.

54. Why you always lying.

55. Chicken wing ch-chi-chicken wing.

56. Uh my chicle.

57. Love the Nickleback version.

58. Any excuse to nae nae.

59. I want to be famous.

60. That's my opinion.

61. There she goes.

62. I have to restart my potatoes.

63. And they don't stop coming.

64. Cat horn.

65. Who is she.

66. The bob.

67. Summertime.

68. Do I look like.

69. Nice Ron.

70. Mom hearing 'Only' by Nicki Minaj for the first time.

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72. I'm washing me and my clothes.

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77. Patricia honey can you be quiet.

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80. Out shopping with my coven.

81. Extreme makeover home edition.

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89. When you leave your makeup on after a night out.

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91. Noodle head.

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Honestly, I still can think of 100 more of the greatest vines of all time... but I guess I should stop now.

Cover Image Credit: NY Mag

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12 Not-So-Boujee Must Haves For Your First Home/Apartment, If You Want To Actually Survive

Broom > Swiffer. Trust me.

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Whether a college student or just moving into your first home or apartment, here is a list of things you probably didn't know you needed.

1. Shower Curtain Rod. 

In my furnished apartment, I was thinking the past tenant would have left this item. WRONG. Walmart is going to be your best bet for getting this, I went to at least three other stores first, and none of them had it so save yourself time and just go to Walmart.

2. Organizers. 

I was lucky enough to already have one. However, drawer organizers are so important. Not only do they save space for me in my apartment and on my desk, but it acts as my nightstand. Living on the fourth floor of my apartment, the last thing I wanted to do was haul a wooden nightstand up to my room. So get an organizer that has wheels, they usually have colored drawers so they can follow whatever color scheme you have going on.

3. Wall Decorations. 

I'm usually not one worried about decorating, but the walls will feel empty without even a cheap poster from Walmart or family photos. Something about decorating just really makes it feel more like home, than if you had just an empty room.

4. Oil Diffuser.

This was new to me. However, not only does my oil diffuser give a little extra light when it's on, but my room always smells amazing now, even if the rest of the house smells like food. Scentsy pots work too, but with the oil diffusers there's less mess and you can use oils similar to DoTerra for health and mood benefits.

5. Tinfoil. 

We all eat food. And let's be honest, college students are lazy and life is so much easier when you can just throw tinfoil on top of your dish and toss it in the fridge. Especially when you're in a hurry. Yes, that's also what Tupperware is for but you also can use it for cooking in the oven.

6. Rugs. 

Most kitchens are hardwood or tile of some sort, having a rug in front of the entrance and in front of the sink are essential to creating less mess to clean. We have a lot of guests in our apartment and since we don't have carpet anywhere but our rooms, it is tough to ask for shoes off so having a rug at the front door can cut down the amount of dirt tracked in.

7. Lamps. 

Lighting can be limited in rooms so it's nice to bring some sort of extra lighting. Either a stand up lamp or just a desk lamp can make a huge difference in the lighting of your room.

8. Dry Shampoo. 

This is less of a need for your home and more of a need for you. I have recently jumped on the dry shampoo trend and it's a life-saver. If you have a long night of studying or wake up late and don't have time to wash your hair, it's a great fix and easy way to keep from looking like you are losing your mind.

9. Extension Cords. 

If you didn't figure this out in a dorm, you are now. Outlets can be in inconvenient places, and as a college student, you have to have space to plug in a laptop, printer, phone, lamps, and anything else that you need to plug in. Extension cords and power strips will solve that problem.

10. Broom. 

Yes, a broom. Not a swiffer. Sadly, if you have more dirt than dust, a swiffer will do you no good. You can get a cheap broom at just about any store that carries any cleaning supplies.

11. Paper Towel Holder. 

I mean you could go without but it does make things more convenient. Also looks nicer than just having a roll of paper towels sitting on the counter.

12. Cooking Oil. 

Super easy to forget, but used more often than you think. Cooking oil is used for so many things, and if you have a kitchen, make sure you have it. Nothing is worse than having a meal planned and finding out you don't have cooking oil.

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