Each year Women's History Month has a different theme. The theme for 2023 is "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories". According to the National Women's History Alliance (the organization responsible for choosing the theme), the purpose of this year's theme is to "encourage recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, and more."
As I reflect on this theme, I cannot help but think how fitting this theme is for someone like me who values storytelling and has been telling stories across multiple platforms and mediums throughout my entire life.
Throughout history women's voices have been silenced time and time again. Women have been denied the right to vote, the right to education, the right to equality and most importantly the right to be heard. Despite the constant silencing of women, we have fought back and ensured that our voices are heard.
Violence was inflicted on Malala Yousafzai and attempts to silence her were made, because she was advocating for girl's education around the world, Still she did not let anything not even a gunshot to the head silence her. Meanwhile Maya Angelou went mute for six years, after experiencing severe trauma, but this didn't silence her and eventually she became a world famous poet and civil rights activist.
Those are just two examples of women who didn't allow themselves to be silenced and went on to change history. Both Malala and Maya Angelou, should serve as an inspiration to women everywhere. People will always try to silence us, but it is vital that we do not allow ourselves to be silenced. We need to tell our stories and make our voices heard, and it is only by doing this that we can change the future and write our own history.
All over the world women are still being silenced. In some countries women do not have the right to free speech and cannot tell their stories, even if they wanted to. They are the reason that I continue using my voice and telling stories. I have been blessed with the privilege to tell stories and use my voice. Women in other countries and women throughout history have not had this same privilege, and that is why I do what I do.
I use my blog to write about the importance of girl power and share a bit about who I am, I use my podcast to support and promote women making a difference in pop culture, I use my Youtube Channel to create content that tells the story of who I am and entertain people all over the world, I use my talent of dancing to tell stories without even saying a word and I use my writing abilities to write articles to shares stories in multiple publications.
Storytelling is the very core of who I am. I love creating content, being creative and most importantly telling stories. It is not lost upon me how privileged I am to be able to create and share stories across so many platforms. I can only aspire to have to tell stories that will make an impact on the world the way many women storytellers have done before me.
This month as we reflect on the meaning of Women's History Month, I hope every woman realizes that they cannot be silenced. You have a voice, and you deserve to use it. Tell your stories, if not for yourself do it for the women who still don't have the privilege to tell their own stories.
Over the weekend I got to see the new Captain Marvel Movie and it was definitely the Girl Power movie of the year, so I knew I couldn't not review it. (WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD)
(LAST SPOILER WARNING)
As you may or may not know I am a huge Marvel fan I read Marvel Comics more than I read my school textbooks (kidding... but not really) and the MCU movies are pretty much the only movies I go to the movie theater the day they are released (or sometimes the day before thanks to early showings). As all of you know I am a huge fan of all things Girl Power too, so when Marvel announced they were making a Captain Marvel movie their was no doubt about it that I would be watching the movie.
Normally I would have gone to the early showing on Thursday March 7, but since Friday was International Women's Day I decided to use every ounce of patience in my body and wait to watch the movie on Friday so I could watch it on International Women's Day. To my surprise when I walked into the theater it was no where near full, which is extremely rare for a Marvel movie. The last time I had seen such an empty theater had been when I went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp the day it was released. I hoped the emptiness of the theater was not a result of people not wanting to watch a female-led superhero movie. Later I realized that the emptiness of the theater in reality was probably since there had been several showing on Thursday and quite a few showings prior to the one I went to on Friday.
As with any movie before you actually get to watch the film, you must sit through previews. I have to say I was quite disappointed because I expected an Avengers Endgame trailer or at the very least a Spider-Man Far From Home Trailer, but to my surprise we did not see a trailer for either movie. After a few minutes of trailers the movie began and as with all Marvel movies it started with the iconic Marvel logo/opening. This time though the opening did not show pictures of the MCU superheroes, but rather of the late Stan Lee who created many of the beloved superheroes from the Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe. The tribute was a nice nod at the creator of the comics and in my opinion got fans even more excited for the movie.
The movie for those who are unaware takes place in the 90's before all the other MCU movies and is a prequel of sorts. Most of the beginning of the movie was Carol Danvers or as the Kree called her "Vers" trying to remember her past on earth. Eventually Carol ends up on earth following a series of events between the Kree and Skrulls (if you don't have any idea who the Kree and Skrulls are please reference the movie or comic books). The scene where Carol ends up on earth is quite funny and she lands in a Blockbuster.
Once Carol is on earth she meets Agent Nick Fury (who has been absent from too many of the recent Marvel movies in my opinion). Eventually Carol and Agent Fury team up to try to stop the Skrulls who at this point they believe to be the villains. We also see a glimpse of Agent Coulson in his early days at S.H.I.E.L.D. and later on in the film he even helps Carol and Fury escape during a battle, but that's another story.
As the movie goes on Carol starts piecing together her old life. She realized she was in the Air Force, she finds her best friend from her past, discovers the real villains are the Kree not the Skrulls, finds out she was thought to be dead, realizes her mentor from her time on earth was creating some top secret technology and teams up with the Skrulls and Agent Fury to defeat the Kree. (That's the condensed version of the plot in case you were wondering).
As the movie goes on Carol begins to realize just how powerful she really is. We see a montage of Carol falling several times throughout her life, which we had already seen earlier in the movie but this time we see that each time she has the strength to get back up. We also learn that the technology Carol's mentor created was actually the Tesseract which holds and infinity stone. We also find out her mentor's real name was Mar-vell (for those who don't know in the comic books Carol is originally Ms Marvel, who you may know now as Kamal Khan and the original Captain Marvel was actually Captain Mar-vell although in the comics Captain Mar-vell was a male not a female), which I thought was a nice nod at the comics.
Carol, Agent Fury and the Skrulls are able to retrieve the tesseract. At this point pretty much the entire Kree civilization is after Carol, but she has already realized the full potential of her powers and easily is able to destroy ( hundreds?Thousands?) of Skrull in a matter of minutes. We also see a familiar Skrull, Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy (not to be confused with Ronin, Hawkeyes new identity). Carol doesn't kill Ronan but she scares him off.
The movie ends with Carol leaving earth, but not before leaving Fury a pager (we've seen before) and telling him to use it if he ever needed anything and then going off to defend the people on other planets and galaxies who needed her more than earth did. We also get to see Goose the cat who Fury took a liking too scratch his eye after being show too much affection, which is apparently the reason Fury loses his eye (quite dramatic since Fury once told Captain America that the last time her trusted somebody he lost an eye).
The best scene in the entire movie (in my opinion) was the end credit scene although it might be tied with the great battle scene at the end. During the end credit scene we see the Avengers (or the remaining ones anyway) Steve Rogers, Black Widow and Bruce Banner standing around the pager wondering what it is and why it was so important to Fury. As they're staring at the pager Captain Marvel appears behind Black Widow asking where Fury is. This scene is clearly from Avengers Endgame and after seeing how powerful Carol is, I was so excited to see her around the other Avengers especially seeing her next to Black Widow because who doesn't love a great Girl Power moment.
Overall the movie exceeded my expectations, not to say I didn't expect it to be great but the movie was beyond great and the trailers did not do it justice. Even my uncle who entered the movie less than excited and expecting it to be just a blah Marvel movie left the theater excited to see what role Captain Marvel would play in Avengers Endgame. After watching the movie I had no doubt Captain Marvel could defeat Thanos and there was no arguing Captain Marvel is the strongest Avenger/ Marvel superhero so we don't leave Doctor Strange, The Guardians and other non-Avenger heroes out of the mix.
The movie has the typical humorous Marvel movie moments and a lot of those were thanks to Goose the cat or whatever species Goose is adding some humor. I also liked the plot twist because I really thought the Skrulls were the villains, but turns out I was wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by the end credit scene, and it made up for not seeing a trailer for Avengers Endgame before the movie. I also really enjoyed seeing moments where Carol pieced together her past, and the moments with her best friend showed a more human side of Carol that I could appreciate. The soundtrack was also great and during the final battle they played one particular song "Just a Girl" by No Doubt that I liked so much I ended up adding it to one of my most played Spotify playlists. I also really enjoyed that we got a backstory for Agent Fury we learned why he chose the name Avengers, why he decided to create the Avengers and how he lost his eye.
One thing I felt the movie lacked is an explanation for why Carol decided on the name Captain Marvel. For starters they never actually called her Captain Marvel once throughout the movie. I would've liked first of all for someone even Carol herself to call her Captain Marvel and also for us to get some kind of reasoning for why the name Captain Marvel. One can assume it's because of her mentor's name Mar-vell but it wasn't clear enough in the movie plus we completely left out her Ms Marvel stage, which if Kamala Khan (the current Ms Marvel) is ever in the MCU it will make the connection between Carol and Kamala less strong. Also I kind of wish the movie has been titled "Captain Marvel: The real first Avenger" because it has become clear Steve Rogers AKA Captain America wasn't quite the first avenger.
As far as the future of Carol Danvers in the MCU, I can't wait to see how she is incorporated into Avengers Endgame. I'd like to see her fight side by side with Thor since their powers and even their stories are somewhat similar, I'd also like to see a big Girl Power moment between the female heroes hopefully with Scarlett Witch, Gamora, Shuri and The Wasp all alive. As far as a sequel I think it is highly likely that their will be a Captain Marvel 2, I think it would be great to see another prequel, that takes place after this Captain Marvel movie but before Endgame. It would be great to see what Carol has been doing all these years on other planets, I'd also love to see some kind of interaction between her and the Guardians even though its quite unlikely unless this interaction takes place during or after Avengers Endgame. Most of all I'd really like to see Kamala Khan/ Ms Marvel play some kind of role in the sequel.
To sum everything up, and if you're still reading this thank you I really appreciate it. Captain Marvel was a great movie, perhaps one of the top 5 Marvel movies to date. Carol Danvers is an extremely powerful character, and I can't wait to see what the future of the MCU has in store for her. If you haven't already I highly recommend watching the movie (also shame on you for reading spoilers) and if you have already seen the movie you should go see it again, because I know I'm going to.
Not only is today International Women's Day but it also happens to be the day Captain Marvel is being released in theaters. For those who don't know Captain Marvel is the first Marvel Movie about a female superhero (even though The Wasp is arguably the lead in Ant-Man and The Wasp and Black Widow is an original MCU Avenger). Either way that makes Captain Marvel a big deal for the MCU. So I decided to create a list of all my favorite female Marvel heroes from the comic books, movies and tv series'. You might be familiar with some of them but hopefully you learn about a few more of the marvel heroines or as I like to call them superHERoes, and decide to learn more about them.
1. Black Widow: In the MCU Black Widow is played by Scarlett Johansson but the character exists in the Marvel Comics as well. Most recently Black Widow has been revived with her own comic book series. The history of the character who's actual name is Natasha Romanoff is that she was trained as a ballerina (which is super cool as a fellow ballerina), later becomes an assassin, eventually becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and then an Avenger. Although her story varies a little bit from comic book to screen she is brave both on screen and on the comic book pages.
2. Spider-Gwen: If you're not familiar with the comic books and haven't gotten around to seeing the Spiderverse movie yet, I should probably tell you that there is a multiverse which basically consists of different dimensions in each dimension there is a different Spider-Man type superhero. Spider-Gwen is one of these heroes and she is basically the version of Gwen Stacy that got bit by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. Spider-Gwen like Black Widow is a ballerina in the Spiderverse movie, she isn't in the comics but I won't complain since I love a good powerful ballerina character. Most recently she's had to deal with the deaths of a lot of the other Spiderverse heroes in the Spider Geddon comics, and we're now seeing the aftermath in her own comic book series.
3. America Chavez: Throughout the years various characters have taken on the title of Captain America. If you're a fan of the MCU you probably know Steve Rogers as Captain America, but Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson have also held the title of Captain America. Most recently America Chavez has taken on the title. America is a Latina character, which Is amazing since there isn't much Latina representation in comic books. She is currently part of the West Coast Avengers and has become a leader of sorts for the Avengers.
4. Ms Marvel: Originally Carol Danvers who you probably know as Captain Marvel held the Ms Marvel name, but when she became Captain Marvel a new girl Kamala Khan adopted the name. Kamala is the first Muslim Marvel superhero. She is able to enlarge her limbs and to some extent shapeshifter. The cool thing about Kamala is much like Spider-Man or other similar characters she isn't a super genius or billionaire she's just a normal high school student. Just this year her catchphrase "embiggen" which basically means to enlarge was added to the dictionary thanks partly to the awesome superhero that is Ms Marvel. (I also did a pretty awesome cosplay of her at Comic Con last year if anyone was curious).
5. Squirrel Girl: I don't think it's even possible to mention Ms Marvel without mentioning Squirrel Girl considering they are total Bestie Goals. The unbeatable squirrel girl as she is known has squirrel like super powers and the cutest squirrel sidekick. Much like Kamala she is also a high school student. Squirrel Girl didn't receive the title of unbeatable for no reason in fact she is considered to be one of the most powerful Marvel heroes having defeated some of the most powerful villains including Thanos.
6. Nico Minorou, Karolina Dean, Gert(rude) Yorkes and Molly Hayes Hernandez: I decided to mention these four powerful ladies at once since they all belong to the same team The Runaways. The Runaways exist both in the Marvel comics and in their own television show. Each of the four girls possesses a different power including super strength and the power to control a dinosaur. The diversity within the group is amazing Nico is an Asian American and Molly who's last name is Hayes in the comics is Molly Hernandez in the television show and is Latina. The girls are part of a group of heroes that formed after learning that their parents were super villains, running away from home and discovering they each had unique powers and abilities.
7. Kate Bishop: Kate is one of the West Coast Avengers and goes by the name of Hawkeye. During a time in the comics when the original Hawkeye Clint Barton was in retirement the young Kate Bishop decided to take over as Hawkeye. Just like the original she was very skilled in archery. When Clint found out that she was using the name he helped train her. Eventually both Clint and Kate joined the West Coast Avengers and they even agreed to both go by Hawkeye so that neither one of them had to change their name.
8. Silk: Remember when I said the multiverse consists of different dimensions each with their own Spider-Manesque well Silk is another one of these spider heroes. Silk unlike most of the other spider heroes is actually from the same dimension as Peter Parker Spider-Man (confusing... trust me I know!). She is Korean-American and has fought many times along Peter Parker himself. Not to mention she has what I would say is arguably on of the coolest spider hero costumes in the Marvel comics.
9. Shuri: You may know her as the Black Panther T''Challa's sister from the Marvel Cinematic Universe but Shuri is also a superhero who has taken on the title of the Black Panther and is most recently starring in her own comic book series. Shuri is one of the of the smartest heroes in the MCU and is arguably more intelligent than Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Not to mention the Shuri comics have some of the most beautiful artwork I've seen in any recent comic books.
10. Captain Marvel: Finally the hero you'll soon be very familiar with Captain Marvel Carol Danvers. As you know her movie was released today so you'll know a lot more about her soon but here is the rundown. Carol is the second person to hold the title Captain Marvel, the original Captain Marvel was a male and Marvel was pronounced like Mar-vell. She is a Kree which is basically an "alien" (in quotations since she's technically an alien human hybrid) from another planet. In the movie she will be fighting against Skrulls another type of alien. Her movie will also be set in the 90's so we'll she a lot of MCU throwbacks including a young Agent Fury.
Unfortunately I couldn't list every female Marvel superhero, because I would probably be here for ever. I even had to omit some of my favorites from the list. If you're interested in learning more about the Marvel superHERoes I highly recommend purchasing the book "Marvel Power of a Girl" by Lorrain Cink. I'll also list some honorable mentions below in case you want to research them yourself.
Honorable Mentions: Agent Peggy Carter, Valkyrie, Gamora, Nebula, Mantis, Spider-Woman, Spider-Girls (May Parker, Annie Parker and Anya Corazon), The ladies of the Dora Milaje, Iron Heart, Scarlet Witch, Gwenpool, The Wasp, Sharon Carter, Maria Hill,She-Hulk,Vivian Vision, Mary Jane Watson and Jane Foster.
Music is a big part of our daily lives, we hear music all around us. If you're anything like me you a blast music whenever you have the chance. I personally am obsessed with creating playlists you should see my Spotify it's flooded with playlists for every mood. Girl Power is defined as an attitude of independence, confidence and empowerment amongst women and in my opinion Girl Power is it's own mood. It's a mood I feel everyday, so I thought I would share with all you lovely ladies my ultimate guide for creating playlists and my Girl Power song recommendations.
Creating a Playlist Step 1: Decide what music platform you are going to use. I personally use Spotify, and sometimes I will make a playlist with the downloaded music on my phone in case I ever don't have internet connection. If you don't want to spend money for Spotify Premium or to purchase music on your phone another great option is Youtube.
Creating a Playlist Step 2: Decide what the purpose of your playlist is. In this case the purpose is to create a playlist of Girl Power songs but if you want to be specific you can narrow it down to upbeat Girl Power songs, slow more inspiring Girl Power songs or even Girl Power songs that are perfect for karaoke night with your girls.
Creating a Playlist Step 3: On most music platforms you can add cover art to your playlist. This step is of course completely optional, but I really enjoy doing this. Your cover art can pretty much be any image; an image from google, the digital version of something you drew yourself or even a collage made on Photoshop.
Creating a Playlist Step 4: The last and most important step is to select the music for your playlist. This usually starts by choosing a mood or general theme for your playlist in this case it would be Girl Power. You can even make it more specific and opt for upbeat Girl Power songs that are perfect for Karaoke night with your besties or decide to choose more slow inspirational Girl Power songs. Below are some of my recommendations for Girl Power songs.
Run the World Girls- By: Beyonce
This song has an awesome beat and is the literal definition of a Girl Power song. Plus it totally serves as a reminder of who runs the world... girls (duh!).
Warrior- By: ChloexHalle
This song is a good mix between upbeat and inspirational. It will definitely put a smile on anyone's face and bring out the inner warrior inside every girl.
Scars to Your Beautiful- By: Alessia Cara
If you're going for more of an inspirational vibe this song is perfect. It's a reminder that we are all beautiful.
Ain't Your Mama- By: Jennifer Lopez
This is more of a fun song, for when the man in your life is treating you more like his mom (who totally deserves to be treated better) than the powerful woman that you are.
Girls Like You- By: Maroon 5
Even though this song isn't by a female artist I decided to allow it on the list because the music video for this song features a ton of amazing inspirational women. Not to mention Cardi B talk rapping about not needing a white horse and a carriage and instead needing white Porsches and karats is literally everything.
Now that I've started you with a great list of Girl Power songs and a complete guide with the steps you'll need to go create your playlist... What are you waiting for? Go create your Girl Power playlist and jam to it with your favorite women this International Woman's Day.
At only 19 years old Yara Shahidi is already a successful actress and activist. At the age of 6 she began her acting career starting out in commercials for many companies including; McDonalds, Ralph Lauren, Target, Gap Kids, Disney, Guess Kids and The Children's Place. During her early career she also starred in movies including Imagine That and Salt. At the young age of 14 she landed the role of Zoey Johnson on the ABC series Black-ish and in early 2018 she received her own spinoff show on Freeform called Grown-ish, which has recently been renewed for a third season. Throughout her career Yara has received numerous awards including an NAACP Image Award of Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role in Black-ish.
In addition to being a successful actress Yara is also known for being an activist. She founded Eighteen x 18 in 2018, a platform that encouraged first-time voters to vote during the midterm elections. She also founded an organizations called Yara's Club in partnership with the Young Women's Leadership Network of New York, which provide online mentorship to students with a goal of ending poverty through education. As a result of her activism former First Lady Michelle Obama recognized Yara and wrote her a recommendation letter for Harvard University. Yara was accepted to Harvard University and plans on attending in Fall 2019, after taking a gap year. Also as a result of her activism Teen Vogue gave her the opportunity to interview Hilary Clinton in 2017.
Yara's Freeform series Grown-ish is set to return for the second part of it's second season this summer and has also been renewed for a third season that is set to go into production soon. Yara is also set to star alongside Riverdale's Charles Melton in the upcoming movie The Sun is Also a Star this summer. Yara has also recently been made into a Barbie as part of their More Role Models campaign.
Why is Yara Shahidi WOW this week?
As you probably know by now about a week ago I revamped my blog, and added the Girl Power Page, at that time the idea of having a WOW (Woman of the Week) each week came to me. I knew I wanted my first WOW to be someone I found truly inspiring. I made a list, and many of those women will be featured as WOW in the upcoming weeks, but upon reviewing the list I knew I only had one choice for my first WOW and that was Yara Shahidi. What stands out to me about Yara is at 19 years old (the same age I currently am) she has become so successful, and has managed to stray away from scandal and use her fame for something that matters. In my opinion that is truly inspiring!