MR: Me, Earl, And the Dying Girl

This is one of the very rare occasions where the movie is better than the book. Loaded with gross humor, the book comes across as juvenile. On the other hand, the film highlights the beauty of the book, which is that it is a story of growth, coming of age, innovation, creation, loss, fear, life, friendship.

It is truly a beautiful fun film. With sharp wit, and a wonderful sense of humor, the story progresses as Greg befriends Rachel. I thought their relationship developed at a great pace. The actors did a marvelous job connecting on screen and capturing the nuances of connecting.

Earl is excellent, too. His relationship with Greg is fascinating. Their collaborations are brilliant (even if they that their work is horrible. I truly would watch those movies and enjoy them thoroughly). Earl is perceptive, sensitive, thoughtful. He balances Greg out. I love that their friendship is not perfect; that despite their differences, they bond but still have tension. I love their argument/fight scene.

The film is quite nice to watch. It is visually appealing. Beautifully shot. I like that it does not show us Rachel’s final film. It’s “so bad” that it “kills” her. I can relate to Greg’s guilt after that film. But, like many films about death and life, we learn that there is life after death: we can continue to know a person and discover them long after they are gone. People are endless seas, deep and tremendous, with much more nuance than we tend to give them. And, I suppose the message of viewing people more complexly comes to mind with this film, too.

Definitely, this is one of my favorite stories to watch unfold. I may not be as crazy about the book as I am about the film, but I would recommend both. They teach so much, without sounding preachy. They reflect on life and its complexity, at an age of confusion as a backdrop. Check them out!

      I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some
Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The
When watching Poldark, most people feel passionate about Ross and his story, but I am

BT: Sweater Weather Tag

I thought to participate in the sweater weather tag in the hopes of sharing more about myself on here. Hope you like the tag!

Favorite candle scent:


I am not a fan of candles at all. Fire freaks me out.

 

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Tea all the way.

What’s the best Autumn memory you have?

When I started therapy, I was given an assignment to go out every day for a walk. So, I have this picture of my sister laughing while walking. It was during the autumn time. It’s my favorite season.

 

Best fragrance for Autumn:

I don’t really change fragrances with the seasons. I mostly enjoy lavender and whatever perfume I have for going on. Normally, though, I am a fan of coconut, lavender, and anything sweet.

Favorite Thanksgiving food:

Whatever is vegan, I will probably eat it. Even tofurkey.

What is autumn weather like where you live?

Sunny and somewhat chilly sometimes. It’s pleasant enough for dressing up and looking cute still. You don’t really look like a marshmallow snow-person until winter here.

Most worn sweater:

A burgundy oversized one.

Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

Neither.

Skinny jeans or leggings?

Both! I like longer shirts or tunics with fitted pants. Hijab fashion for the win!

 

Combat boots or Uggs? 

Neither. I am a chubby person, and, until I lose the weight, I can’t comfortably wear either one.

Is Pumpkin Spice worth the hype?

Not really.

Favorite Autumn TV show:

Community!

 

What song really gets you into the Autumn spirit?

“Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap

Hats or scarves?

Kind of both?I wear hats and scarves. Whatever covers me best and feels comfortable. But, I am a fan of scarves more.

What’s your #1 favorite thing about Autumn?

My birthday is in the autumn! Halloween is right after my birthday. I’m a fan.

 

    I was watching Aly from Hardback Hoarder's video on this tag, and I
    While watching Ally's video on this tag, I decided to follow suit. In
I'm late to the party, but I thought of sharing a book tag to celebrate

To Book Characters: Haven’t Met You Yet

Today, a box of books appeared on ohaventmetuyet1ur front step, which is probably the most exciting thing to happen to me (yet, anyway). I love reading because I get to meet different people and worlds, wrapped in beautiful words like truffles melting on my tongue. Never does it get old and I am happy because I get this opportunity to be introduced and make this life long acquaintance (which later on grows into a friendship/relationship) with lots of awesome people.

So, I decided to list characters I am excited to meet in books on my shelves:
1. The Darkling (The Grisha trilogy).
I love a good villain, especially when they are interested in the main character romantically. Most times, I end up shipping them together. I am just saying this in advance, because I can see myself loving this character so much. I blame Sam from Thoughts on Tomes for making me love this trilogy and world. It is an overwhelming love, I admit, because I don’t know what to expect really. I just hope the Darkling has a big role in the series, because of reasons. Also: Tumblr, where you at? You better step up your game and have mood boards and character castings.
2. Blue Sargent and Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle)
I have read two fairy books by Maggie S. They were amazing. I hate to sound like Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim, but, damn, that woman can write. Beautifully and hauntingly. I just feel incredibly in awe of her talents and her personality. She just has a captivating presence and spirit. It is so cool. Thanks, Tumblr. I already have headcanons and theories about the series (rhyming poet in the house!). Seriously, though, I am ecstatic to have this quartet.
3. Aristotle and Dante (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe). 
 
For someone who grew up slashing everyone (because LGBTQ+ was virtually taboo and unheard of in my world), I don’t have enough characters in my world who are not straight. Much to my dismay. I heard amazing things about this book. I don’t like that there’s a second one coming (I know, I am in the minority here. I may be an extinct species at this point). I just like finality in one-shot stories. I don’t like it when authors revisit a world in a series of stand-alone pieces. Like, let it go (Elsa style). Anyway, I already feel attached to these two dude bros. I know I will be utterly in love with their stories.
4. Kesteral (The Winners trilogy)
Did I get her name right? I am not sure. I just love me a character who is not, not a fighter, because, listen, listen, listen, observe: strength isn’t always physical. In fact, sometimes, being clever and emotionally strong can outweigh muscle. And, that’s all I am going to say. Actually: hold that thought, because I want to complain about the new covers that I ended up getting (price is a thing). Why is she brandishing a knife/sword thing? I thought she didn’t fight! That’s the appeal for me, anyway.
5. Main character from The Girl of Fire and Thorns 
Because of medications and recovery from ED’s, I have gained a significant amount of weight over the years of my journey with mental illnesses. It is a source of much shaming and embarrassment. I heard that the character in these books is a bigger girl, and that makes me so keen to hopefully have a fictional soul sister who inspires me to be strong and unabashed by my appearance.
6. The Dragon (Uprooted) 
Way back when I was in my more hippie times, I used to really focus on mythology. One of my favorites was the Persephone and Hades storyline. Anyway, I feel like this story (along with Star Touched Queen) will satisfy this missing part of my life without me having to read the same boring stories and interpretations.
7. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) 
This is kind of a cheat, but I have read a bit of the first book in this series, and I adore Karou. She’s an artist and her power is just mind blowing. I love the world she lives in, so I can’t wait to delve in and see what will happen. Not too crazy about fallen angels; this should be interesting. Laini Taylor is a crafter of beautiful phrasings and characters. I know that much to be true.
8. Nora and Kettle (Nora and Kettle). 
I don’t know if I have mentioned this on the blog before, but I have specialized in young adult literature and children’s literature while working on my master’s degree in literature. I wrote my graduate thesis/dissertation on Harry Potter. So: naturally, I analytically read Peter Pan. When I heard of this retelling, however, I felt a strong pull toward it. I am not sure why. But, I learned to follow my gut when it comes to books.
9. Morpheus (Splintered trilogy)
Again, I felt like Alice in Wonderland was interesting especially when viewed from a lens that identifies/acknowledges mental illnesses. This retelling sounds like it would have a lot of history and depth. Very exciting.
10. Eon(a) (Eon/Eona) 
I think gender is one of those things that were unbreakable growing up. Ironically, I broke it all the time. I spent years dressing up and referring to myself as a boy in response to trauma. I am looking forward to seeing a girl kick butt in a man’s world. Also: the cultural aspects of this novel are compelling as well.
Set in 1960, the film opens with the death of Ellie's mother as she prepares
A Birder's Guide to Everything is a small movie with many credits to its accomplishments
While Snape is a fascinating character, he's by no means my favorite out of the

Anl. Feminism in BBC’s Musketeers

Another show with fantastic female characters is the BBC’s Musketeers. At first glance, one would assume the show would have weakly portrayed women because of its name. The series is focused on the relationships between the main four Musketeers.  However, this adaptation does things differently through its portrayal of: Constance, Milady, and Queen Anne.

 

Constance Bonacieux

It’s fascinating that Constance in this show is married. She is unhappy about the marriage, it is slowly suggested, as she goes on adventures with D’Artagnan and the Musketeers. For example, she helps with the escape of young Prince Henry, Louie’s nephew. She even helps fight men throughout the series.

She takes charge of her own destiny when she openly asks D’Artagnan to, “Teach me how to shoot.”  And, she is not a beginner, either. She is shown as strong and capable. She kicks butt.

But, it is not just her physical abilities that are impressive. I love that she longs for adventure. She tells D’Artagnan, “Things were quiet before you got here, monsieur.” When he apologizes for this, she says that she doesn’t miss it for a minute!

In fact, D’Artagnan understands that part of his charm is that he can help her have a life full of adventure.

Milady De Winter

The most obvious feminist figure on this show is probably Milady De Winter. She is unattached to anyone, and focuses on her own wellbeing. She is a rogue agent for the most part. Sure, she follows the orders of the Cardinal, but she also has her own way with the Musketeers, particularly Athos and D’Artagnan. Plotting for revenge, she is often shown as an angry force to be reckoned with.

From her attempts to get Athos killed to her assassination of various political figures, it is impressive to see such a remarkable strong woman at such an old time.

She is a fascinating figure as she somehow built her image, her rank, and networked her way through royalty. What can you not love about Milady?

Queen Anne

Anne takes charge of her world through her ruling. She is very sensible, and often clashes with Louie and the Cardinal. She is analytical and clever, questions Louie’s mother, and in general grows into her own reign with strength.

I like that her love life reflects this strength. While infidelity is not synonymous with strength, I do think she has more control of her life than the average woman at the time did. She chooses to be with Aramis and chooses to keep his child. She chooses to be a strong-willed queen and not be ruled by her husband, who says that “I have never seen a woman with so many opinions.”

Your turn:

What do you think of the presentation of women in BBC’s Musketeers? Do you have any favorite characters on the show? Favorite relationships? Share in the comments!

I love the way women are portrayed in BBC's Sherlock. It is refreshing to see
I watched The Force Awakens and I have been a fan ever since that late
Community is a show that is amusing, sure, but it is also about growth and development.

Anl: Paper Towns and Coming of Age

Paper Towns is one of my favorite stories. Like many of John Green’s works, Paper Towns involves a lot of complicated themes. In it, there is a discussion regarding analysis, imagining people complexly, and accepting the diversity of people.
Wheels are Turning

I find the beginning of Margo and Quentin’s friendship telling regarding the theme of analysis and its importance. When facing the dead man left in the park, she openly investigates the case. Margo Roth Spiegleman is already displaying analytical skills.

Rather than dismissing the death of a man, she imagines him, his life, his struggles, and says, “All the strings inside him broke.” Not focusing on his outward appearance, she thinks of  the “strings” inside him.

She lives with this skill in mind. From not understanding the basic approaches to adulthood through Q, she diverts from traditional paths to happiness.

When Q tells her, “Duke in the fall, go to med school, and become an oncologist,” she replies, “Isn’t there something that can make you happy now?”

As Q tries to understand her better, he finds her own copy of Leaves of Grass by Whitman, a piece all about the complexity of person-hood and individuality. She circles, “I contain multitudes.” Don’t we all?

Through her adventure with Q, she is humanizing the popular kids by providing Q with background information on them. From Jase cheating on her with her friend, to Lacey confronting his perception of her and sharing the rumors people say about her, to the myth of Margo, John Green brings a sense of realism to the way people perceive as “better”

“Everything is uglier up close,” she tells him. By the end of the story, he realizes how true this statement is. Lacey doesn’t think Margo is that good of a friend. Q wonders if she ever left him any clues to find her, or if she was simply telling him she’s okay.

 

Unattainable Love

Part of the story’s charm is the focus on unattainable women. From Ben’s infatuation with Q’s mother, to his growing affection towards Lacey, and then finally to his maturity as someone fairly comfortable with being single, Paper Towns is ultimately the story of demystifying the manic pixie dream girl. This image of a girl so out of reach, so perfect, so complicated, is given a more realistic form.

The same idea applies to Angela, a girl that Radar hides a huge part of his identity from. He doesn’t talk about the black Santas in his home and doesn’t let her come over. Furthermore, he doesn’t let her talk to his friends that much.

When she does find out his secret, she talks of how Santa is a construct, much like every perception we have about others. And, constructs are meant to be challenged.

Perceptions as Constructs

It begins with Q assuming that his “miracle” was Margo Roth Spiegleman. He assumes that, “Margo always loved mysteries. Maybe she loved them so much, she became them.”

But, by the end of the movie and novel, he realizes that she is just a girl, not a mystery to be solved or a myth to be followed. In fact, he realizes that the story is hers to tell, not his. He says, “what a treacherous thing it is to believe that  a person is more than a person. Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventurer. She was not some fine, precious things. She was a girl.”

Not only this, but she also tells him that she felt just as papery as the paper town she lived in–past and present.

In addition, he realizes that his miracle is his friends and the experiences they shared.  He understands that the lesson is to notice the miracles as they come in life, “that doesn’t mean we won’t have amazing adventures, meet exceptional people, and make indelible memories. The trick is to notice before it’s too late.”

Being stuck and sad makes reading, sleeping, eating, drinking, praying difficult. Everything is hard then.
1.What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?  Maze Runner,  The Gemma
Today, a box of books appeared on our front step, which is probably the most

BR: Depression and Art in Hold Still

“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.” –Nina LaCour, Hold Still.

Accuracy in the Complications 


It is very rare for an author to capture the pains of being suicidal and misunderstood. It is hard to convey this isolation, the desperate attempts to find glimmers of hope, the guilt for not being okay. Yet, LaCour achieves these feats with grace and honest understanding. It’s so matter of fact, this loneliness depression Ingrid has. There is no “justification” going on and I was so grateful for that, because mental illness is not something to reason with. It just exists and seeps the life out of you. Ingrid’s self-harm, her sadness, her despair: all are presented as valid. Caitlin never blames her friend for feeling this way. If anything, she mostly struggled with how she didn’t do anything to help, which is a powerful message to have in a book aimed at young adults. It’s interesting to read, because I was at this point before, and just taken to a hospital, so my life was spared. But, I remember the note-writing and the research. It is unfortunate that some people write about self-harm methods and techniques, about suicide ways. In a way, this book offers a suggestion: consider the impact you have on others since you don’t operate in a vacuum. 

Caitlin

This leads me to Caitlin, who was just reeling from the loss of her best friend. She is not annoying about it, but she is grieving and struggling to understand, which makes sense. I never was the friend who wanted to save a life. I was kind of too overwhelmed by my own self that I just didn’t ever read someone’s journals or see signs of a struggle, and that makes the book even more powerful because I could learn a thing or two from Caitlin. She’s empathic and brave. I love how she reaches out to Dylan repeatedly, and chooses her to be a friend. Choosing your friends is important as hell. It is so crucial to be in control of who gets to be in your life. It’s your life. Be careful who you pick. I like the role art plays in Caitlin’s life, because it truly brings her character to maturity and understanding. She processes her identity through Ingrid’s portraits of her. In a way, I wish I could have an Ingrid to show me who I am, because, seriously, mental illnesses can hijack your sense of self. People can be limiting, and simplistic. 

Ms. Delani


Ms. Delani hit very close home because I was once a teacher, and I remember the responsibility of the position. I remember looking for signs of trouble, I remember reaching out to people, and I remember being shut out many times. But, I can’t even imagine the loss of a student. That is so difficult to process, especially when they are so engaged and talented–they leave traces around your life for good. I like that she is portrayed as a pained person who uses photography to get through the pain of the vacancy. 


Photography, friendship, love, family, are all used as vehicles to cope with loss and pain, and I think that is a wonderfully inspiring thing to read. It’s also the hardest, most honest thing you can suggest to someone with mental illness. Reach out, throw yourself into something that helps you express the pain. For some, it is photography. Caitlin saw the world differently behind the lens. She gave Ingrid a home through the pictures (and through pictures, Ingrid did the same for her best friend). Maybe it is simply creating (the tree house was a great idea, too). I like Taylor being understanding and sweet. I like Dylan and Maddy. Not like, love, and I haven’t feel this full emotionally and mentally since
The Fault in Our Stars. 

I have been thinking a lot about how much things have changed for me over
When I approached Since You've Been Gone, I slacked and hesitated. Then, one night, I
Part of having an online presence is this weird isolation from real life, whatever that

Your Older Sister: On Therapy and Its Benefits

 

I have been in therapy since mid 2012. I remember the fear and anxiety of starting it. There’s such a huge stigma against getting help, or even addressing mental illness. But, as I worked my way through therapy, I have found a way to get the best out of it (for more on that, check this out).

I have been thinking a lot about therapy and its benefits, so I thought I’d share what I have noticed its effects.

1. Refocus the Brain

I remember assuming the worst out of people. My brain jumped straight into anger and judgment. I knew I didn’t want to be like this, but didn’t know how to break away. Moreover, I was self harming and couldn’t think of a better way to cope.

Therapy shifted my thought process because we discuss how I think often. The more you go to therapy, the more you’ll notice the cycles you fall into when faced with stress.

2. Reflection Time

Another benefit of therapy is that it gives you a chance to reflect on your thoughts and actions. You start to see patterns in the way you behave. It also gives you a chance to look back on incidents in your life. You start to look deeply at what you thought was just a normal day (or not).

 

3. Giving you Language

For me, I started to find words to my unsaid emotions and thoughts. When you say things out loud and the therapist just tells you scientific terms for it, these emotions are validated. You start not to feel as weird as you thought.

 

You start to know what to call the feelings you feel. For example, I was diagnosed with OCD recently. So, now, when my compulsions act up, I can express exactly what is making me act “out of order.”

The same goes with anxiety and depression. You start to have the terminology to clearly examine your experiences.

4. Accountability

When you have someone to talk to about your issues, whatever they may be, a certain aspect of accountability is non-verbally set. My therapist often helps me come up with “homework” to try to achieve. Goal, if you may, can drive you towards a healthier approach to life. There is this person helping you chart your progress, too.

Before I met my current psychiatrist, I wasn’t able to sleep very well. I remember blaming it on hormones, but then my therapist would snap me out of this belief and help me see that it’s an ongoing issue. It helps a lot.

5. Complicating Things

Not only was I accountable for the way I act, but I also am pushed to think deeply about people. Before I got sick, I used to resort to judgment and suppressed anger–often thinly veiled in the guise of passive aggression.

The more I realized how complicated I am, I started to see that people in general have reasons for acting the way they do and that it is my job to be considerate of them, if I am asking them to be considerate towards me.

It’s all about give and take, sure, but I think mostly about being of service. I want to serve people and help them in any way I can.

6. Coping Mechanisms

I think of therapy as coaching. The more you do it, the more you try to apply the mechanisms mentioned throughout your sessions, the more likely you’ll find some techniques that work for you.

For example, I remember not being able to live without self-harm and suicidal tendencies (yes, I see the irony in that). But, the more I worked on other coping mechanisms, the more likely I was to apply them rather than resorting to my distorted thinking.

7. Finding a Purpose

Meaning, you find your place in the world, not depending on whatever qualifications you may have. Like, right now, I don’t work as a professor. But, I found that writing is what I can do given my health. It’s more satisfying right now. I get to teach in simpler yet grander ways.

8. Listening

Oh, how beautiful is it to have someone to listen to you for an hour. This is something I learned from therapy: listening helps. You can interject when the thought development process is flawed, sure. For the most part, supporting others helps a lot. Again, it goes back to feeling you have a purpose and that you are giving back to the community somehow.

I don’t think we ever have the total picture down, though, so I am open to people disagreeing obviously.

9. Nothing Repressed

The other thing I love about therapy is that the more you trust your therapist, the more you can let out the weirdest behaviors and feelings out. For instance, I was diagnosed with hypomania, which is never talked about usually. I used to think you’re either hardcore bipolar or straight up depressed. But, again, just like with people, you start realizing that mental health is complicated. We mostly fit on a grey spectrum, nothing too stark of a difference.

10. Addressing Phobias, Traumas, and Abuse

Coming from a series of traumas, I have to give this background to therapists. They will help you find a way to cope with these terrifying taboos. You get to express yourself openly in therapy and the more you let it out, the better you’ll feel.

I am not saying it’ll be sunshine after therapy. I still suffer from PTSD and it’s not going to go away because it’s part of my conditioning. But, you learn those coping mechanisms.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried therapy? What was it like for you? Share in the comments!

For More:

11 Intriguing Reasons to Give Talk Therapy a Try 

Top 10 Reasons to Try Therapy 

 

I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

Your Older Sister: On Getting the Most Out of Your Therapy Sessions

I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached with better understanding. In turn, expectations can be adjusted to more realistic levels.
Therapy is a conversation between you and a licensed professional. However, I do want to posit that therapy is more of a form of self care. It is like meditation: it requires focus and precision. Moreoever, it requires a patience. Patience is necessary as it takes a lot of time and effort to find: a) the right therapist, b) the right pacing, c) the right balance of talking and listening, and, d)the right approach from participating parties.
Professional and Approachable

When looking for a therapist, it is crucial to find someone who is able to be approachable and professional at the same time. I have met doctors who were so detached and clinically cold, it was off putting and discouraging to talk to them at all. They scribbled notes, frowned the whole time, and some even jumped to conclusions and diagnoses. It is not bad to have a diagnosis (in fact, I strongly recommend asking for a diagnosis by the first two sessions).

Lifestyle

Next, you need to make sure the therapist you are working with is supportive of your lifestyle. I have encountered homophobic and racist therapists, unfortunately. Therapists, for the most part, tend to be upfront about their approaches and techniques. While in the mental hospital, I was exposed to a heavy dose of Judeo-Christian influences in our group therapy sessions and 12 Step Program.

Gender and religion sometimes can help when it comes to therapy.  Often, as an approach to trauma, doctors remind me of a bigger picture when it comes to my struggles, but, of course it depends on the patient–or as they refer to us: “clients.”

Pacing

Let’s talk about pacing. Therapy is all about give and take. You don’t want to go to a therapist without a plan. It’s very helpful to write down things you want to tackle in the session. You can make a mental note of topics and incidents you’d like to discuss. Sometimes, topics come up organically, and it’s very advisable to go with the flow in these instances. But, for the most part, it is your session, so please do take it seriously and take control. Steer conversations to hit on your troubles. The key is to ask questions so that you are not doing all the talking. Ask about your diagnoses and tendencies. After a while, you and your therapist will find there are prominent topics that ebb and flow through your life. Sometimes, it is bad habits (like negative self talk, or all or nothing thinking, and so on). At other times, it is illness-related issues, such as: trauma, assault, abuse, drug abuse, self harm, etc.

Try to create continuity from session to session by asking for required reading, videos, or homework. These things should help apply coping techniques discussed in therapy. If your therapist is not giving you coping techniques, ask them to. Remember, this is your session. It is up to you to make the most out of it.

Now, go get theraped.

Good luck.

  I have been in therapy since mid 2012. I remember the fear and anxiety
I want to expand on the idea of self care. In addition, I'd like to
In order to minimize the effects of collision the ground, it is helpful to try

Love, Rosie

If you ever want to experience a love story, a beautiful one at that, read on. I watched Love, Rosie because the trailers were just breathtaking. A story of two people missing each other over and over can be exhausting, but it is not the case for this film. It is a lovely story about two friends, best friends, who are not sure if there is more to their relationship than platonic love.

And, they go through relationships with other people, longing for each other, trying clasping hands and staying together in some form or another. The relationships are not negative in any way; there was no demonizing of anyone. I mean, there was cheating involved, but it did not make the people seem like bad people. They just didn’t work as a couple. That’s life.

Maybe this is why the film means so much to me: it is one of the few films that deal with my age group without making us sound like boring people. You don’t stop having feelings after you are eighteen. Unfortunately (or not), that is not how it works. Heartbreak is still a thing. Trust issues, clarity, confusion, agendas: these are all things we see in the film. We see what it means to find a soul mate, no matter what the age, no matter how quick it can happen.

There’s crying in this film; there is heartbreak, obviously, but there is also joy and beautiful, beautiful cinematography. Wonderful acting is another positive aspect of this film.

Guess what, though? I would not recommend the novel. It drags on and on. Just watch the beautiful film and enjoy a love story that doesn’t depress you.

When I first heard of Me Before You, I was drawn to the cast. Emilia
While it is endearing,  My Big Fat Greek Wedding relies on stereotypes to communicate the difference
When I approached Since You've Been Gone, I slacked and hesitated. Then, one night, I

Romance and Sexuality in Pushing Daisies

One of my favorite series ever is Pushing Daisies, a show about a pie maker called Ned, who briefly raises people from the dead to solve their murders and bring them justice (and collect the reward, too. That can’t hurt, right?). This is his life until he has to unfold the death of his childhood sweetheart, who he touches to learn about her killers only to realize that he cannot part with her. In doing so, he brings her back to life for good, but with one caveat: he cannot touch her ever again.

Tone:

The show is sweet and charming. It has bright colors, sweet characters, and a PG plot. What makes it truly fascinating is its contribution to the ongoing conversation about sexuality and romance. In the absence of touchy feel-y moments, the show is surprisingly able to contain enough love to tide its audience over. In fact, it offers a rather satisfactory take on romance, where both parties rely on touching with gloves on, hugging in bulky suits, and kissing with saran wrap.

 

Different Take on Sexuality

At a time where sex is presented as a synonym for romance, this is starkly different. Ned, in general, is very shy and, given his background and magical abilities, he is not too crazy about touching people overall. And, Chuck respects that. She doesn’t glamorize his trauma. What’s really cool is that Ned’s powers are treated as very much part of him that Chuck learns to accept, much like someone’s sexual orientation (asexual, perhaps?) and sexual preferences. Yes, Chuck sometimes tries to find physical stand ins so she can pretend to hold Ned while holding their hands. But, she quickly learns that love doesn’t have to be physical.

sex isn’t synonymous with romance

In a way, the show divorces sex from romance, which opens up the dialogue about sexual orientations and preferences. It frees people and drops the expectation of intense physical contact as part of human relationships. It is the center and forefront relationship, which is quite unorthodox–and it makes the show stand out.

Your Turn: 

Are there any representations of asexuality in media that you like? Share in the comments!

Over the past week, I have inched my way through the second season of The
When watching Poldark, most people feel passionate about Ross and his story, but I am
Shows are a rare thing in my life, because I always worry about committing to