Heathers 2018: I am Not Looking Forward to This

Recently, it seems that there’s a new Heathers trailer that came out. Now I am a huge fan of Heathers myself, I love the movie and the musical. Heck, I even cosplay as Heather Chandler. Upon hearing the announcement for a TV show adaptation, I was honestly excited for what was going to happen. However, the trailer got released and it just screams representation gone wrong and ignoring the entire plot of the original.

As you can see, the producers decided to make Heather Chandler fat, Heather Duke a Trans/ Queer Character, and Heather McNamara a WoC while Veronica remains a straight white slim woman. I personally have no problem with diversity in casting but this isn’t how it’s supposed to work for the Heathers. The Heathers are supposed to be a group of girls who are privileged, rich, and popular. Essentially, the Heathers represent social norms for American women and they have earned a high status at Westerberg high for it. Thus, making the Heathers into what they are in the trailer makes no sense and destroys the plot of the original if they are planning to follow it.

Monarch. #Heathers

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Firstly, look at Heather Chandler. In the original version, Chandler was supposed to be the main bully of the school and constantly made fun of girls who weren’t thin. This was the main reason why Martha Dunnstock was a target for bullies, she was fat. So why does Heather Chandler look like one of her victims?

Tectonic. #Heathers

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Secondly, we have Heather Duke being a Trans/Queer character. This is a huge problem towards the plot of the original. A majority of LGBTQ+ people in real life are not as privileged as a Heather. Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox are possibly the only trans people who have a lifestyle like the Heathers. Meanwhile, other queer teenagers don’t have that privilege. I should even add that in the movie, Kurt and Ram were murdered but it was made to look like a gay suicide pact. Nobody accepted gay people in the movie or musical until Kurt and Ram were killed. So how would Kurt and Ram’s murders work out in the TV show when one of the Heathers is already queer? Also, why would a Heather be queer from the start if again these were the kind of kids who would get bullied by the Heathers? If you want a queer Heather there is a way to do it. Make McNamara a closeted lesbian or bisexual this way it can connect with her depression in a way after Kurt and Ram get killed. From time to time there are moments when gay people can be accepted, but nobody would expect the person who bullies queer people to be a lesbian or Bi sexual. It just makes more sense that way.

Now I am not going to get on Heather McNamara. A PoC Heather has been done before in the musical with an Asian woman playing Heather Duke. However, the elephant in the room is that Veronica is still a straight white girl. This is following a common trend where queer or fat representation is given to the bad guys and not the good guys. This is commonly known as queer-coding fat-coding villains. So all in all, I am not excited for this Heathers reboot as it will stray really far from the plot and possibly ruin the Heathers as a whole. It’s offically time for Hollywood to stop doing these reboots and start to make more original content.

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Despite The Hype, I am Not Seeing Ghost in the Shell

Today, the film adaptation of the hit anime, “Ghost in the Shell” is releasing in theaters, and it seems to have garnered some favorability with critics. However, as a fan of anime and a supporter of minority representation in movies, I am choosing not to see this movie to avoid supporting white washing. Now before, everyone gets on their high horse, I admit that I may have seen films that do involve white actors in roles for PoC. In addition, I personally have some agreements and disagreements with the Nostalgia Critic’s video right here.

He does tend to bring up some good points, but when it comes down to Asian white washing, doing a remake of a live-action film, and doing a straight up adaptation of an original animated project are two different things. Heck, voice acting and real life acting are also quite different. When companies dub anime, they need actors who can sound and act like the character regardless of race. However, that’s not my main point, the main point I am trying to make is that Hollywood whitewashing is still a big problem and Ghost in the Shell is contributing to it.

While I can’t speak for people of color as a white woman, I feel I can agree how whitewashing affects representation in Western films. When you look at most films that feature a character who is written as a person of color, they’re often played by white people. Take for example the film “Aloha.” The character, Allison Ng was written to be 25% Chinese and 25% Native Hawaiian and was played by Emma Stone:

A bit too white to be considered Hawaiian and Chinese isn’t she? Stone may have been cast as Ng due to the fact that she’s a big name in Hollywood. Considering Nostalgia Critic’s video, it seems that the main reason why there is whitewashing in most Hollywood adaptations is for the sake of money. As he stated before, the reason why the Ancient one was whitewashed is partially due to the fact that 18% of Marvel’s movie income stems from China, and Tibet is not in a good relationship with the Chinese. Thus, I can conclude that Scarlet was chosen for two reasons, the first reason was to make money since she’s a big Hollywood actress, the second I feel is because of institutional racism in Hollywood and in our society.

Now before anyone even attempts to label me as an “SJW” or a special snowflake, I am only speaking from a reasonable perspective on how racism still exists in our society, especially in most industries. First off, when you think about it in 2016 the hashtag #oscarssowhite really did bring into question about representation films since there were no nominees that year who were PoC. Compared to 2017, where there was more racial diversity in the nominees and winners. Second, maybe this graph can explain a bit more about racial representation in film.

Yeah, notice that a lot of lead roles go to white people. Since representation matters so much to our growing PoC population, I feel it’s time for Hollywood to start sticking to source materials as opposed to just following money. After all, most high grossing films featured actors we’ve never heard about before.I admit that there are times when I have seen movies, that have done something similar and like the Nostalgia Critic said, I don’t support whitewashing but I am not going to act like I’m not guilty of it. So I am going to start by not seeing any new movies in theaters or any new shows that feature whitewashing and that includes, Ghost in the Shell.

Beauty and the Beast, IT IS NOT STOCKHOLM SYNDROME!


Well, last week the latest Disney remake has been released in theaters, Beauty and the Beast, starring Harry Potter actress, Emma Watson as the lead character, Belle. Watson herself is noted to be a feminist and has always looked forward to playing characters like Belle to empower young girls. However, one common criticism that persists for Belle amongst critics is that she has Stockholm Syndrome. However, this implication does not just stem from Watson’s recent role. Belle having Stockholms goes back to animated Belle and it’s become a huge joke on the internet.

Regardless of which incarnation of Belle you prefer, as a long time Disney fan I am going to go out of my way to say this.


BELLE DOES NOT HAVE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME!

In fact, there are a few characters with Stockholms that I will gladly show who are often overlooked. The first example is Quasimodo from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Frollo has convinced Quasimodo in this song that he’s the only one who would tolerate Quasimodo’s appearance and that the people outside of Notre Dame would hate him. As a result, Quasimodo has sympathy for Frollo as a father figure and who raised befriended him when no one else would. Now let’s move to an actual Disney Princess with Stockholm syndrome in a similar situation, Rapunzel.

Just like Quasimodo and Frollo, Mother Gothel uses emotional and mental manipulation on Rapunzel to convince her that any place outside of her tower is dangerous and evil. In this scene alone, Gothel convinces Rapunzel that she’s her real mother and only wants to protect her because she loves her. Thus, Gothel gain’s Rapunzel’s sympathy as a mother figure. This is what Stockholm syndrome is and it’s very well written for both movies. Both of the kidnappers are the villains in these movies and gain the full sympathy and trust of their victims.


What does Belle have? No, what does the BEAST have?

When you watch the movie again, it’s not about what Belle has but more about what the Beast has. Despite what people might think, it’s more clear that the Beast developed Lima Syndrome.

For those of you who are confused, Lima syndrome is the opposite of Stockholms; the kidnapper develops sympathy for their victim. When you rewatch scenes from the animated version (which is what the current version follows), you will notice these three key factors with Belle’s character:

  • Belle does not respect Beast when she’s treated poorly by him.
  • Belle does not return any kindness towards Beast unless she’s helped.
  • And Belle does not tolerate being disrespected by anyone.

Meanwhile, the Beast starts out as a jerk at first but slowly becomes more sympathetic towards Belle.

Here’s just one of the series of clips that show my points:

In this clip, when the Beast acts rude and loud, Belle refuses to follow his requests and stands by her choice to not go to dinner with him. It’s emphasized even more here:

She doesn’t go downstairs to have dinner with the Beast but later goes down on her own just before the “Be Our Guest” scene. When the Beast scares her again, she runs away. Like so:

Notice that Beast starts weeping at the last few seconds, and starts to develop sympathy for Belle. As a result, when she’s rescued from the wolves, she starts to treat Beast with some more respect, but at a slow pace:

Also, let’s not forget that Belle doesn’t tolerate disrespect from ANYONE, including Gaston. As shown in both videos here:

Gaston constantly disrespects Belle and she never returns any form of respect towards him due to his rudeness. Right here we can also see the Beast develops in character enough to let Belle go:

Right here, he has become more sympathetic towards her and lets her go free so she can see her father. Thus, we can conclude that Belle never developed Stockholm Syndrome, but instead, the Beast developed Lima Syndrome.