The Brilliance of Lana Del Rey.

Elizabeth Woolridge Grant

“Find someone who has the life that you want and figure how
 they got it. Read books. Pick your role models wisely. Find
 out what they did and do it.”

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With her music being recognised for its cinematic sound and its references to pop-culture, particularly 1960s Americana, Lana Del Rey has to be my favourite artist of 21st century. In particular, it is the Hollywood Sadcore of her music which speaks to me and attracts me not only to Lana’s music, but her philosophies concerning life as well.

487baefaf3db3c10063cc65c35909ac5Describing herself as a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” and a “Lolita lost in the hood”, Lana Del Rey is an amazing role model and inspiration when it comes to creating your own world centred around turning your darkest desires, weaknesses and flaws into a form of strength. Moreover, she has created an identity that is beautiful. For instance, the singer claims that she chose the name Lana Del Rey because it reminds her “of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous, coming off the tip of the tongue”.

Also, I love the fact that although she is already a feminist icon in herself, she doesn’t hide her romantic ideals and ideas about love and relationships. She manages to mix independence, power and success with the beauty of being somebody’s ‘woman’ and having a cool boyfriend. In addressing the criticism she received in relation to her breakthrough song ‘Video Games’, Lana said “I didn’t understand how that arose any kind of feminist commentary, because all I was saying was, ‘I’m so happy when you get home, and heaven is a place on earth with you. I’ve never been happier.’  I didn’t understand any reason why that sounded submissive, to me. In fact, I actually thought that at such a young age, I was blessed to find someone who made me so happy. And I just didn’t understand why true love shouldn’t be the end-all, be-all. I have everything else, you know? But obviously, in other songs, it takes a different turn. And it’s just different experiences, really.”

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What Women Really Need From Men.

Angelina Jolie.

"We need policies for long-term security that are designed by 
women, focused on women, executed by women- not at the expense 
of men, or instead of men, but alongside and with men."

Angelina Jolie Pitt gave a powerful speech on June 11 at the biannual African Union Summit, using her star power to draw attention to women’s rights across the globe.

According to The Independent, the actress and activist addressed a group of delegates in Johannesburg, South Africa, including African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and British foreign minister William Hague.

Her speech focused on the need for the global community to address the violence and human rights violations that impact women and girls around the world.

“There is a global epidemic of violence against women — both within conflict zones and within societies at peace — and it is still treated as a lesser crime and lower priority,” Jolie Pitt said.

“Women and girls are bearing the brunt of extremists that revel in treating them barbarically,” she added. “This is inextricably linked to our overall failure to prevent and end conflicts worldwide, which is causing human suffering on an unprecedented level.”

The 40-year-old actress and Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees finished her address by offering solutions to the ongoing problem.

“We need policies for long-term security that are designed by women, focused on women, executed by women,” Jolie explained, “Not at the expense of men, or instead of men, but alongside and with men.”

Jolie Pitt spoke to the critical need to engage men in the global women’s rights movement, which begins at the individual level. “There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman,” she said. “And there is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership.”

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Law-Makers.

Suffragette (2015)

"Never underestimate the power we women have to define our own
destiny"
-Emmeline Pankhurst.
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The real-life suffragettes.

In 1912, England, before women had a voice; they had to fight for their freedom.

Inspired by the true story of the ordinary women who inspired the world, Suffragette is a drama that tracks the story of the early feminist movement, women who were forced

Carey Mulligan as 'Maud'.

Carey Mulligan as Maud.

underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal state. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality- their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives.

With an all-star cast, including Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff, I cannot wait to see this film. Not only does it star my all time favourite well-spoken actress, Carey Mulligan, playing a working class cockney Londoner, the trailer looks absolutely phenomenal. It gives me goose-pimples every time I watch it. A truly inspirational story about the horrendous struggle our fore-mothers had to endure in order to fight for their dignity. This film appears to be both enriching and heartbreaking.

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A Model Example of Motherhood.

Brooke Shields

"People think of me as a mannequin, all show and no substance."
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The infamous Calvin Klein Jeans campaign.

In July of 2005, the American Actress, model and former child star; Brooke Shields published this essay (below) entitled ‘War of Words’ , defending herself and her choice to seek medical attention for her postpatrum depression after the birth of her first child in 2003. Shields bravely addressed Tom Cruise’s prior criticism concerning her use of antidepressants, after he publicly called her actions “irresponsible” and “dangerous”. In this insightful and truly inspirational essay, she sums up how the ignorant movie star should “stick to fighting aliens” (a reference to  to Cruise’s starring role in ‘War of the Worlds’ as well as some of the more exotic aspects of Scientology), “and let mothers decide the best way to treat postpartum depression.” Honest and brave, as well as well-written, I think it is safe to say that no one could accuse this intelligent and kind actress, of being just a “mannequin” with “no substance”. 

War of Words

By Brooke Shields  July 1, 2005

I WAS hoping that it wouldn’t come to this, but after Tom Cruise’s interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC show “Today” last week, I feel compelled to speak not just for myself but also for hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered from postpartum depression. While Mr Cruise says that Mr Laurer and I do not “understand the history of psychiatry”, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mr Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression.

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A difference of opinions: Brooke poses for obligatory magazine cover photo with newborn, whilst hiding her true feelings regarding her experience of motherhood.

Postpartum depression is caused by the hormonal shifts that occur after childbirth. During pregnancy, a woman’s level of estrogen and progesterone greatly increases; then, in the first 24 hours after childbirth, the amount of these hormones rapidly drops to normal, nonpregnant level.  This change in hormonal levels can lead to reactions that range from restlessness and irritability to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. I never thought that I would have postpartum depression. After two years of trying to conceive and several attempts at in-vitro fertilization, I thought I would be overjoyed when my daughter, Rowan Francis, was born in the spring of 2003. But instead I felt completely overwhelmed. This baby was a stranger to me. I didn’t know what to do with her. I didn’t feel at all joyful. I attributed feelings of doom to simple fatigue and figured that they would eventually go away. But they didn’t; in fact they got worse.

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The Truth: Brooke opens up about her struggle with postpatrum depression.

I couldn’t bear the sound of Rowan crying, and I dreaded the moments my husband would bring her to me. I wanted her to disappear. I wanted to disappear. At my lowest points, I thought of swallowing a bottle of pills or jumping out of the window of my apartment. I couldn’t believe it when my doctor told me that I was suffering from postartum depression and gave me a prescription for the antidepressant Paxil. I wasn’t thrilled to be taking drugs. In fact, I prematurely stopped taking them and had a relapse that almost led me to drive my car into a wall with Rowan in the back-seat. But the drugs and my weekly therapy sessions are what saved me–and my family. Since writing about my problem with the disease, I have been approached by many women who have told me their stories and thanked me for opening up about a topic that is often not discussed because of fear, shame or lack of support and information. Experts estimate that one in 10 women suffer, usually in silence, with this treatable disease. We are living in an era of so-called family values, yet because almost all of postnatal focus is on the baby, mothers are overlooked and left behind to endure what can be very dark times. And comments like those made by Mr Cruise are a disservice to mothers everywhere. To suggest that I was wronged to take drugs to deal with my depression, and that instead I should have taken vitamins and exercised shows an utter lack of understanding about postpatrum depression and childbirth in general. If anything good can come of Mr Cruise’s ridiculous rant, let’s hope that is gives much-needed attention to a serious disease. Perhaps now is the time to call on doctors, particularly obstetricians and paediatricians, to screen to postpatrum depression. After all, for the first three months after childbirth, you see a paediatrician at least three times. While paediatricians are trained to take care of children, it would make sense for them to talk to new mothers, ask questions and inform them of the symptoms and treatment should they show signs of postpatrum depression.

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The Henchy Family today; Brooke with her husband Chris Henchy and their daughters; Rowan (right) and Grier (left).

In a strange way it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpatrum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable. With the doctor’s care, I have since tapered off the medication, but without it, I wouldn’t have become the loving parent that I am today. So, there you have it. It’s not the history of psychiatry, but it is my history, personal and real.

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Feminism in Harry Potter

The Women of Harry Potter:

A dedication to the women of Harry Potter, in the words of their author and the actresses who portrayed them.

"I am a female writer and what's interesting about the 
wizarding world is when you take physical strength out
of the equation, a woman can fight just the same as a 
man can fight, a woman can do magic just as powerfully 
as a man can to magic and I consider that I've written 
a lot of well-rounded female characters in these books."
- J.K.Rowling

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J.K. Rowling: As an author non of the women ever gave me trouble actually. It was always the men that gave me trouble, never the women. But Harry came to me as Harry and I never wanted to change that because switching gender isn’t simply putting a dress and a pretty name on a boy, is it? A lot of preoccupations and expectations are different on men and on women, and so the books would have been incredibly different I think.

Bonnie Wright “Ginny Weasley”: Considering that the protagonist is a male, I don’t think it was so obvious at the beginning that she very much wanted to portray her female characters as very strong-willed and sort of admirable, but as the films went on I think you could really see it.

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A mother’s love: Harry and his parents.

J.K. Rowling: It’s interesting for me with Harry because throughout the series he is so much a boy, in search of a father, and yet at these times of real stress its his mother that’s a place of refuge. And I think that it is not very hard to see the reason why. My mother died six month into the writing of Harry Potter and I became a mother to a daughter, so I just suppose that as a woman and as a daughter maybe I feel that that is a form of love that doesn’t get explored as much as it should do, given that it is so formative in everyone’s life, for good or for ill.

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The making of a monster: Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Funnily enough I founded a charity called Lumos  which is about institutionalized children largely in eastern Europe and some of the many disturbing things that I found out from being involved closely with that charity is how much measurable brain damage is done when a child is taken from its’ mother and placed  in an institution. And when I say measurable, you can scan the brain and you will see that pathways haven’t been made and you can never get that back. So in fact when I wrote about Harry being incredibly loved in his earliest days, is measurably true, that will literally have give him protection that no one an undo. His brain would have developed in a way that Voldemort’s brian didn’t because Voldemort from the moment of his birth was institutionalised. So I suppose that Lilly was the representative of safety, in a way that a father couldn’t be because he is constantly told ‘you look just like your father’ and that he has to live up to the expectation of ‘your father’. But Lilly is different. Lilly is the person who stood by the cot and tried to  stop her baby dying. So yes, a mother’s love is hugely important in the books.

 Mrs Weasley

"What have they (Fred and George) done this time? If its got
anything to do with Weasley's Wizard Wheezes."
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“Now behave, wont you? Wont you, Fred? And you, George?”

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: I just think that its so cool that Jo has Mrs Weasley and really pays homage to this incredible mother figure and how key her role is in keeping that family together, to taking care of Harry and the whole of Dumbledore’s army really.

Julie Waters “Mrs Weasley”: Apart from the three main characters, Mrs Weasley is the greatest force for good, I think in it. She is the mother of that world and I think that is very female.

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A mother’s protection: “Not my daughter, you bitch!”

J.K.Rowling: What really impressed me with Julie was, she always had the sense, I felt, that this wasn’t just this warm and cosy 1950s  housewife pottering around her kitchen, there was a real steel in there. Now you could there would have to be steel in a woman who raised Fred and George otherwise you would go raving mad. However, it was completely plausible to me when she stepped forward in the great hall and though ‘right you bitch, your getting yours’. And you thought ‘yeah she is about to get hers’, Bellatrix messed with the wrong woman.

Julie Waters “Mrs Weasley”: It comes from her womb, that feeling of defence, defending her child. She has already lost one so its the mother, the female lion or tiger depending her babies, so you know it is unstoppable, which is wonderful. I doubt whether that would have taken place if it had been a man, writing it.

J.K.Rowling: I really enjoyed killing Bellatrix, and I really enjoyed having it be Molly that did it. And of course you also have two very different kinds of female energy there pitted against each other. You have Molly who will mother the whole world if she can, and you have Bellatrix, whose idea of love is very perverse and twisted, and that was satisfying. But there was something else that I wanted to do with the way that Bellatrix ended and this was very important to me, because very early on I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley is ‘just a mother’ and I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now I consider myself to be a feminist and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a free choice to say ‘well I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice, I may go back to a career or I might have a career part time’, doesn’t mean that that is all she can do and as we have proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield. And I also loved that Professor Mcgonagall got her moment to really show what she could do.

Professor mcgonagall

"Hogwarts is threatend! Man the boundaries. Protect us! Do you 
duty to our school!"
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A teacher’s strength: “I’ve always wanted to do that spell!”

Bonnie Wright “Ginny Weasley”: The teachers have really been repressed in how they see Hogwarts obviously form its new ruling, that you can see that they just are itching for their fight back against evil and I love that. For Professor Mcgonagall she really shows what she’s made of.

J.K.Rowling: I don’t like the marginalisation of women when the fighting breaks out. You know we get to fight too. I really wanted that and in fact there was an earlier draft where it was Harry that took on Snape in that confrontation and I really didn’t want that to happen. In the book Minerva Mcgonagall was the one, and it was very important that she does that.

 Bellatrix Lestrange

"I was the Dark Lord's most loyal servant. I learned the Dark
Arts from him, and I know spells of such power that you 
can never hope to compete!"
HPDH1-07267 (L-r from center) TOM FELTON as Draco Malfoy, JASON ISAACS as Lucius Malfoy, HELEN McCRORY as Narcissa Malfoy and HELENA BONHAM CARTER as Bellatrix Lestrange in Warner Bros. Pictures’ fantasy adventure “HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.    Photo by Jaap Buitendijk

A female psychopath: Bellatrix Lestrange.

J.K.Rowling: I felt that I had a lot of fully fledged members of the Order of the Phoenix that were female who were fighting along side the men and I really needed to show some female Death Eaters, and Bellatrix is the female Death Eater par excellence.

Helen McCroy “Narcissa Malfoy”: Bellatrix is not a great advertisement for prison, if this is what its done to her. But she is doing everything for Voldemort and she follows him.

J.K.Rowling: There’s an interesting thing about female psychopaths isn’t there? They often need to meet a male counterpart to release that part of themselves and that’s how I see Bellatrix.

Helena Bonham Carter “Bellatrix Lestrange”: She is the only true follower. Bellatrix thinks she went to Azkaban: she’s prepared to die. So, she’s pretty convince by his supremacy and superiority and his worthiness.

J.K.Rowling: I mean Voldemort really is her idol, her obsession. He is the only person to whom she feels subservience. She has that curious personality disorder or quirk that is peculiarly female and I think that Helena portrays that with such gusto which is fabulous to watch. However, its my strong feeling, of the two sisters, Narcissa and Bellatrix, Narcissa is a much more decent person.

Narcissa Malfoy

"There is nothing I wouldn't do any more!"
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Another protective mother: Narcissa Malfoy.

Helen McCroy “Narcissa Malfoy”: It’s interesting that J.K.Rowling decided to do that. She decided that the woman that would risk her own life to save her son understands loyalty and understands preservation of life.

J.K.Rowling: Well I think one could argue that Draco who is ultimately revealed not to be an evil character, Draco got his goodness from his mother and ultimately, there is an echo of what Lilly did, a quite conscience echo of what Lilly did right at the start of the story, at the very end of the story. At the start of the story Lilly dies to keep her son alive. At the end of the story Harry lies pretending to be dead on the ground and its a mother who saves him again, because she is trying to get to her own son. So that was closing a circle. He was saved there by Lilly and he’s saved there by Narcissa.

Dolores Umbridge

"The Ministry places a rather higher value on my life, than on
yours, I'm afraid."
Dolores-Umbridge

The teacher from hell: Dolores Umbridge.

J.K.Rowling:  I do strongly express my world view in the books. One of the things I find most revolting is self-righteousness which coverts self interest. And that was Umbridge from beginning to end. And she’s actually quite as sadistic as Bellatrix but it all “justified because I work for the Ministry”. A horrible woman.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: She has this kind of like horrible side to hear where on the outside she’s all fluffiness, pinkness and niceness, and then on the inside she’s just evil, just pure evil.

Imelda Staunton “Dolores Umbridge”: I think this is just making the most of what little power she has, but she will hang on to it and keep clearing people out as long as she can.

 

J.K.Rowling giving a commencement speech at the prestigious Harvard University.

J.K.Rowling giving a commencement speech at the prestigious Harvard University.

J.K.Rowling: Power for me is a very difficult issue. I’m suspicious of people who want power, which I think comes across quite strongly in the books. But I have come to accept that if you are in a position to give for example a lot of money to a cause, then that gives you power because money can be a very powerful tool. If you have a profile which means you can give a voice to a cause that otherwise wouldn’t have such a large voice, than that is also power. But for me its a slightly more difficult issue than that because I think as an author, I chose a career path that traditionally does not lead to a position of power and so I really, not being disingenuous when say that any form of power that has come to be through Harry Potter was very very unexpected.

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Emma Watson through the years.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: I really admire her Grace. She’s definitely been an inspiration and a role model. I mean I just feel so blessed that I was given a chance toexperience all these amazing women. Helena was also a really important mentor to me on this last movie. Se very sweetly invited me over for dinner and we talked about books a lot and just being a woman. I feel as if somehow I have been under the microscope even slightly more than the boys just by being the girl. Whether its what I’m wearing, whether its what I’m going, where I’m going to school, just in every sense, the public are just so much harder on women. So I think we both know how that feels, being under that kind of scrutiny. We talked about how to absorb criticism and absorb flattery and knowing what’s genuine and what isn’t and knowing who to trust. It was such a big evening for me, I don’t know whether she knows how important it was for me but after I had my evening with her I went home and wrote down everything that she said and I actually have a book important encounters to me where I right down things that they say. Because I think one day I’ll really want to remember what that incredible person said and what they though about things and I just don’t want to forget so, Jo has a page too.

Hermione Granger

"To Miss Hermione Granger, the cool use of intellect when others 
were in grave peril; 50 points!"
-Professor Dumbledore.
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The brightest witch: Hemione Granger.

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Hermione in her first year.

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An emerging women: Hermione in her Yule Ball gown.

J.K.Rowling: I wouldn’t say that I based any of these women on specific women that I knew, but Hermione is an exaggeration of me. So Hermione really did come from a really deep place inside me. I was very insecure, still am quite insecure in a lot of ways but I was very insecure person for longer than I like to admit. And I think writing about the time in Hermione’s life that I write about, growing from childhood into womanhood, literally because when we finish the books she’s 18, I think it bought back to me how very difficult it is. So much is expected of you as you become a woman and often you are asked to sacrifice parts of you in becoming a girl, I would say. Hermione doesn’t. She doesn’t play the game if you like.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: The type of teasing that Ron gives Hermione is something I’ve had to deal with all my life, guys giving me a hard time for doing well and being smart so I can totally relate.

J.K.Rowling: From the very first conversation I had with Emma I just though ‘oh thank Christ’. I did because you knew who they were going to cast as Hermione, you know I was more worried about Hermione than anyone else. I thought you know, are you going to get

The two real-life Hermione's: J.K.Rowling and Emma Watson.

The two real-life Hermiones: J.K.Rowling and Emma Watson.

a girl and put her in glasses because that shows she’s clever? You know how many times have we seen that? And I spoke to Emma on the phone, she was very young, I think she was ten and I thought you are going to be able to play a very bright, articulate girl who has conviction because that’s who you are.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: I felt like I had the most pressure in a way because if I screwed up Hermione I would somehow being screwing up a part of Jo, and it just would have been awful. But I remember that she sent me a letter after the third movie. She wrote me a letter and she said, “To My perfect Hermione” and to hear that from the creator of her was obviously the biggest compliment I could receive and that was when I really knew that I had done a good job.

J.K.Rowling: I think that the main three really work together because of their gender and I had fun with that. I had fun with that in Deathly Hallows when its the three main characters alone in a tent. And Hermione says “I notice that I’m the only one who gets to do the cooking because you know I’m the girl I suppose” and Ron says “no its because your the best witch and your the best at magic”. So it was fun to play with that.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: They couldn’t get through a day without her. She really is, she’s the brains, she’s the best at spells, she’s always two steps ahead; she’s very much part of the action.

Ginny Weasley 

"Anything is possible if you've got enough nerve".
A female seeker: Ginny Weasley.

A female seeker: Ginny Weasley.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: The main female characters aren’t there as an added bonus which I feel like so many female characters are. Even Ginny is this incredibly powerful, stubborn, intelligent, quick-witted woman. She’s another kind of girl power figure.

Bonnie Wright “Ginny Weasley”: Obviously as Ginny’s character develops you really see her as very independent and I think people portray female characters as very loud and chatty and needing to show maybe their sexuality, although its not really needed, so that’s what’s makes Jo’s female characters very strong because they’re a bit more naturalistic and a bit more down to earth.

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: She is just completely true to herself no matter what and I think that’s a really important message.

Luna Lovegood.

"The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps 
it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left 
ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace 
of Butterbeer caps, or that she was reading a magazine upside 
down."

 

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The quirkiest witch: Luna Lovegood.

 

Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: Even Luna who is this sort of airy-fairy, in her own world type of character, still has this amazing conviction in her beliefs and she is still incredibly smart and is very emotionally clever.

J.K.Rowling: The key to Luna is that she has that unbelievably rare quality of actually not giving a damn about what anyone else thinks of her. Now if we as adults say honestly how many people we have known like that, I think very many of us would say none. And Luna is like that, she doesn’t actually care. She is so comfortable with being different; she’s fearless. And I loved writing scenes where Luna and Hermione were together, because Luna and Hermione are the absolute antithesis of each other and yet I love them both equally.  It is sometimes very difficult as a woman to say “well actually this is who I am and I’m not going to pretend otherwise”, but that’s the only way to be truly happy so that’s what I would want to say to girl particularly.

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Emma Watson “Hermione Granger”: I’ve had countless mothers come up to me and say “thank-you so much for giving my daughter a role model, she absolutely idolizes Hermione” and I feel really privileged to have been able to play her.

J.K.Rowling: I would like to think that Hermione is a role model for girls. You see I was a plain, and that is relevant, that’s not a trivial thing when your a kid, I was very plain, bookish, freckly, bright little girl. I was a massive bookworm and I spent a significant part of my reading looking for people like me. Now I didn’t come up with nothing, you know I remember Jo March who had a temper and wanted to be a writer, so that was a lifeline. There’s a heroine in a book called The Little White Horse who I who was plain and wow that was fabulous, you get to be a heroine and you get to be plain, not a raving beauty. But you know, these were pretty slim pickings and I feel in creating Hermione I created a heroine who wasn’t sexy, nor was she the girl in glasses who entirely sexless, she’s a real girl. She’s a girl. She fancies Ron but her hopes are initially pretty low; she’s a real girl. But she never compromises on being a smart girl, she never compromises in acting dumb, she never tries to make Ron feel better by pretending to be less than she is, which is why they don’t get together a lot sooner, but I’m proud of Hermione. She is who is she. And if that spoke to girls like me then of course I am hugely hugely proud of that. That is what it is all about.

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“Hermione Grnager has freed us all!”- quoted from a female Harry Potter Fan.

 

Posted in Women in Cinema, Women in Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Love Story of a Lifetime.

Jennifer Cavalleri.

"What can you say about a 25 year old girl that died? 
That she was beautiful, and brilliant."

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Known for its infamous tag-line “Love means never having to say your sorry”, Love Story follows Harvard law student Oliver Barrett IV and music student Jennifer Cavalleri, as their brutally honest friendship develops into the love story of their lives. Despite their different backgrounds, the young couple put their hearts on the line for each other through hardships and tragedy, believing love can fix anything.

Quick-witted and independent, the heroine of this Love Story, Jennifer Cavalleri, is a working-class girl of Italian decent, who attends Radcliffe College. Along with her teasing 39892065-5cbc-4779-a4ea-a1e727de8f5enature and preppy sense of style, Ali MacGraw’s character in Love Story can be considered a great feminist icon of both literature and cinema.

In particular, Jennifer Cavalleri’s shrewd sense of humour establishes her as a feminist role model within the opening of the film. This is when she first meets her wealthy future husband Olivier. For instance, as well as addressing him a “stupid and rich”, she manages to assert herself by declaring that she is in fact “smart and poor” and that the only reason she wouldn’t go out with him is because he is too foolish to have the sense to ask her out in the first place. Therefore, her flirty and bold nature suggests she is confident and strong-willed.

As well as this, Jennifer shows fierce integrity when has to go and meet Olivier’s parents at their impressive and intimating stately home. Despite her initial fears that his parents will dislike her due to the fact that she is a ‘social zero’, Jenny appears to be un-phased by their20101007-ali-mcgraw-love-story-1-300x205 interrogation when she boldly declares that her father is a down to earth owner of a bakery.

Another way in which the character of Jennifer Cavalleri can be seen as a great feminist role model is true her hard work and perseverance. For instance, this is demonstrated, not only through her academic success, but also the way in which the young couple have to face hardships, struggling to make ends meat when Olivier is cut off from his family as a result of their marriage. However, by far the most impressive quality of Jenny is her selfless nature. In particular, after she is diagnosed with a life threatening disease, she tells Olivier that she hopes he will be able to remarry after she is 06artsbeat-weepie1-blog480dead. Although, this is a completely heartbreaking moment in the movie, it shows the intensity of the love she feels for him. Moreover, this is due to the fact that she is more concerned with the welfare of both her husband and father as a result of her death, than her actual death itself.

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J-Law’s Wise Words.

Jennifer Lawrence.

"I'm a big believer in accepting yourself and not really 
worrying about it."

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