BUST: For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests - BUST http://bust.com Mon, 20 Feb 2017 05:47:31 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb debbie@bust.com (BUST ) The First American Boy Doll Is Here, And People Have FEELINGS About It http://bust.com/feminism/19144-the-first-american-boy-doll-is-both-diverse-and-perverse.html http://bust.com/feminism/19144-the-first-american-boy-doll-is-both-diverse-and-perverse.html  


American Girl dolls have been popular amongst little girls in the U.S for a while now. I fondly remember visits to the American Girl Place in New York City when I was a kid. The company has a line of diverse historical dolls from different eras of American history, including Native American Kaya, Civil War-era Addy and Mexican-American Josefina.

Now, the company has just introduced their first American Boy doll - a white boy named Logan Everett. "We do an enormous amount of research with girls and their parents, and the one thing we've heard loud and clear is a desire for more—specifically more characters and stories from today—with more experiences, more diversity, and more interests," Julie Parks, spokesperson for American Girl, said.

And in terms of diversity, many on Twitter aren’t buying the idea that a white boy is “diverse.” In fact, they’ve pretty much insisted he’s a hipster fuckboy.

While there shouldn’t be shame or stigma around boys playing with dolls, one North Carolina pastor totally disagrees.

Rev. Keith Ogden, a pastor at Hill Street Baptist Church in Asheville, learned about the new doll from a segment on Good Morning America.

Outraged, he sent a message to the members of his church titled, “KILLING THE MINDS OF MALE BABIES.”

“This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to (emasculate little boys) and confuse their role to become men,” he wrote. “There are those in this world who want to alter God’s creation of the male and female. The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children and grandchildren by perverting, distorting and twisting to TRUTH of WHO GOD created them to be.”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Ogden stated that he doesn’t believe children’s toys should be gender-neutral and that kids should continue to exclusively play with toys designed for their gender. “Anytime you take anything away from its original design or purpose, there is a possibility of perversion,” he said.

Clearly, we disagree. And in fact, there have been other companies looking to decrease the stigma around young boys playing with dolls. One such example is Wonder Crew, which features male dolls of different races dressed as superheroes. Another is Boy Story, funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Like American Girl's Logan, the dolls Billy and Mason have their own story books. The company also explicitly looks to break gender roles and even features #HeForShe versions of the dolls, where a percentage of each purchase goes to the UN Women’s HeForShe efforts to promote gender equality in the world. Additionally, American Girl has also made boy dolls in the past as part of their Bitty Twins line, marketed towards younger children, where there are options for male twins with various skin tones.

Here’s hoping that American Girl introduces even more diversity with male dolls of different races, and perhaps even agender dolls.

Top Image via Mattel


More from BUST

A Congressman Literally Compared Trump’s America To 'Stranger Things'

To The Men That Tell Women To Smile

Listen To Poptarts: BUST's Shiny New Pop Culture Podcast!



gunzrafaella@gmail.com (Rafaella Gunz) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:53:31 -0500
Senator Breaks a Glass Table With His Gavel to Cut Off Pro-Choice Arguments, in the Opposite of Breaking the Glass Ceiling http://bust.com/feminism/19145-senator-breaks-table-interrupting-pro-choice-speaker.html http://bust.com/feminism/19145-senator-breaks-table-interrupting-pro-choice-speaker.html Screen Shot 2017 02 17 at 2.24.15 PM

During a Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing, a state Senator broke the glass of a table while banging his gavel in order to stop a NARAL intern from giving her testimony against one of the state's many controversial abortion bills.

NARAL’s legislative intern, Maggie Hennessy, spoke about the dangers a bill like Senate Bill 415 could have on women’s health. The bill targets dilation and evacuation or D&E abortions, which are the safest and most common form of second-trimester abortions. The language in the bill is loaded and uses the word "dismemberment” instead of the medical terms used in previous legislation.

Hennessy argued on the Senate floor, “This bill is full of false, medically inaccurate, ideological language designed to further stigmatize and shame women receiving abortion care,” saying, “It’s an outright ban on the safest abortion method for some patients. In order to obtain care that is not banned by this bill, women would be forced to undergo an additional, invasive and unnecessary medical procedure, even against the medical judgment of their physician.”

After going over her time limit a bit, Hennessy began wrapping up her speech and was abruptly interrupted by Sen. Schwertner banging his gavel so hard that he broke the glass on the table.

We couldn’t find a more obvious sign of Republicans disregarding women's rights than a Senator breaking a glass table while fighting against women’s reproductive health. We weren’t the only ones to pick up on this — Twitter took notice, too:

glass ceiling

To watch the full hearing, click here.

Top photo via TwitterAlexa Garcia-Ditta

More from BUST

Anti-Choice Lawmaker Says Women Are ‘Hosts’ For Fetuses

Pro-Life Planned Parenthood Protests Silenced By Groups Of Pro-Choice, Nasty Women

What You Should Take Away From The Sanders Vs. Cruz Obamacare Debate

samantha.mercado@stonybrook.edu (Samantha Mercado) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:28:26 -0500
Listen to Poptarts: BUST's Shiny New Pop Culture Podcast! http://bust.com/entertainment/19136-podcast-test.html http://bust.com/entertainment/19136-podcast-test.html poptart logo

It's been in the works for quite a while, and it's finally here!

"Poptarts" is a twice-monthly podcast hosted by BUST Magazine editors Emily Rems and Callie Watts that celebrates women in pop culture. The first half of each episode is devoted to a hot topic in entertainment, and in the second half, a segment called "Whatcha Watchin'?," Callie and Emily dig into all the shows, movies, books, music, videos, and podcasts they've enjoyed since the last episode, and either praise or pan each experience.

In the first episode, "Celebs vs. Trump," the gals discuss how famous women have been speaking out against president Trump and his policies. This segment is followed by  "Whatcha Watchin'?" a recurring feature in which Emily and Callie dish on all the pop culture delicacies they've consumed over the past two weeks. 

You download this podcast, listen below, or subscribe to our feed

{podcast id=1}

This podcast was produced for BUST by Rachel Withers.

socialmedia@bust.com (BUST Magazine) ROOT Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:55:35 -0500
A Congressman Literally Compared Trump’s America to 'Stranger Things' http://bust.com/living/19141-a-congressman-literally-compared-trump-s-america-to-stranger-things.html http://bust.com/living/19141-a-congressman-literally-compared-trump-s-america-to-stranger-things.html Screen Shot 2017 02 17 at 11.38.28 AM copy

For those of you who have frequently thought that Trump’s America is comparable to the Upside Down — prepare to feel validated by the United States government.

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island took the House floor on Thursday to compare the current climate of America to that of the fictional Upside Down, the creepy and demon-infested parallel universe of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

“Mr. Speaker, like the main characters in Stranger Things, we are now stuck in the Upside Down,” Cicilline began as he stood beside a large poster propped up on an easel to further illustrate his point. “Right is wrong, up is down, black is white.”

He goes on, listing a few examples of the White House’s faulty moral compass. He touches on the Muslim ban, Trump’s camaraderie with Putin and the president’s choice to spend $20 billion on a border wall while Flint, Mich. is still without clean drinking water.

“Speaker, mornings might be for coffee and contemplation, but Chief Jim Hopper is not coming to rescue us. This is not a T.V. show. This is real life,” Cicilline said, taking the words out of our mouths and assuring that we aren’t crazy for thinking along the same lines.

“We have a President unlike any we have ever known, and like Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven, we must remain focused on the task at hand and hold this administration accountable so we can escape from our own version of the Upside Down,” the Congressman finished.

This is almost as good as the time Bernie Sanders used an oversized Trump tweet as a floor prop.

sanders.tweet copy

Photos are screenshots 

More From BUST

American Horror Story Will Force Us To Relive The Nightmare That Was The 2016 General Election

11 Scary Sweet 'Stranger Things' Gifts

The Many Faces of Stranger Things' Jonathan Byers

ems626@nyu.edu (Elissa Sanci) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:08:18 -0500
From 'River of Grass' To 'Certain Women,' Kelly Reichardt Dominates The Festival Circuit: 52 Weeks Of Directors http://bust.com/movies/19140-from-river-of-grass-to-certain-women-kelly-reichardt-still-dominates-the-festival-circuit-52-weeks-of-directors-2.html http://bust.com/movies/19140-from-river-of-grass-to-certain-women-kelly-reichardt-still-dominates-the-festival-circuit-52-weeks-of-directors-2.html hero Certain Women 2016

Kelly Reichardt is a good example of an indie filmmaker who seems to be edging towards wider recognition (at least where film critics are concerned.) Her films such as Wendy & Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, and Old Joy often receive critical acclaim and are frequently part of the film festival circuit.

Reichardt grew up in Miami, Florida, about as different a landscape as you can get from the lush flora and fauna of Oregon, where many of her films are set. She developed an interest in photography from an early age.

After attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Reichardt’s debut film River of Grass premiered in 1994. It was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Reichardt isn’t comfortable with the idea of success, despite multiple appearances at various film festivals and many of her films receiving critical accolades. She still relies on her job teaching at Bard for a steady income. In an interview with The Guardian, she talks about how after River of Grass she couldn’t get anything made. “It had a lot to do with being a woman. That’s definitely a factor in raising money. During that time it was impossible to get anything going, so I just said, ‘Fuck you’ and did Super 8 shorts instead.”

In an interview with Gus Van Sant for BOMB Magazine, Reichardt talks about what happened in the 12 years between making River of Grass and Old Joy.

“I had a feature in development that never happened. I got really disillusioned by feature filmmaking. Eventually I started teaching. I realized I really liked it. It gave me structure and a means of support and a way to keep thinking about film. Teaching is great because so much of filmmaking is indulgent and teaching totally pulls you out of yourself,” Reichardt said.

Reichardt began her collaboration with Jon Raymond and in 2006 she directed Old Joy, based on one of his short stories. She and Raymond adapted another short story to make Wendy and Lucy.

Night Moves was in the line up at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. Similar to her other films, it’s set in the wide open spaces of Oregon, focusing on eco-terrorists. Contrast to the lush landscape, the characters in the film are drawn sparsely and despite the environmental focus, the film is hardly political. The motives for blowing up the damn are never clear. We only have a vague knowledge of what Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dena (Elle Fanning) do. Josh is part of a farming co-op and Dena works in a New Age spa. They aren’t part of a larger collective and the third member, Josh’s friend, Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) seems even more removed from society, living a Thoreau-esque lifestyle out in the woods close to the dam.

In the first half of the film, the focus is on the plan: to blow up a local dam. Tension and suspense are easily generated by their preparation: first, Josh and Dena pose as a couple and buy a boat. Then, once they meet up with Harmon, they have to procure a large amount of toxic fertilizer needed to blow up the dam. Once they are at the local park surrounding the dam, they have to avert friendly fisherman and campers so as not to expose their identities to those who might later single them out as suspicious.

However, with so much build up to the dam plot, it’s expected to be more of an event. But in quiet films like Reichardt’s, all we get are the stony gazes of the trio as they speed away from the scene of the crime.

The second half of the film is still quiet, but quiet in a different, eerie way. It is the silent and stifled sounds of two of the trio unraveling over the aftereffects of their act of eco-terrorism.

“I remember when I was first trying to make Night Moves, I was working at it for a year and it just wasn’t happening,” she recalls. “I’m 49 years old and I’ve gone out to Oregon and in the course of eight months I stayed in 21 different places. And I thought: Jesus, I’m nearly 50 and here I am still couch-hopping. I’m so pathetic; this is such a pitiful existence. I’ve finally outdone the Kurt character in Old Joy,” she told The Guardian.

Despite her struggles, Reichardt continues making films. Her next, Certain Women, is based on Maile Meloy’s 2009 collection of short stories, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It. Reichardt seems content with her work and her teaching job and tends to shy away from the idea that the frequent occurrence of her films in the festival circuit equates to success.

Top photo: Certain Women

This post originally appeared on laurencbyrd.wordpress.com and is reprinted here with permission. We're posting one director spotlight by Lauren each week.

Lauren C. Byrd is a freelance writer and blogger. After leaving Tennessee post-college, she has lived in Los Angeles, update New York, Queens, and Los Angeles again. She loves to talk about women in film, but also cares about good TV, documentaries, podcasts, true crime, journalism, and social justice.

More from BUST

Courtney Hunt Proves Great Films Take Time: 52 Weeks Of Directors

How Kathyrn Bigelow Became The Only Woman To Win The Best Director Oscar: 52 Weeks Of Directors

Haifaa Al-Mansour Tells Saudi Women's Stories: 52 Weeks Of Directors

lauren.byrd@gmail.com (Lauren C. Byrd) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:04:26 -0500
To The Men That Tell Women To Smile http://bust.com/feminism/19143-men-who-tell-women-to-smile.html http://bust.com/feminism/19143-men-who-tell-women-to-smile.html broad city copy

To The Men That Tell Women to Smile,

Nobody. Fucking. Likes. You.

You telling me to smile is basically saying, “Excuse me ma’am, but you have some SERIOUS resting bitch face going on.” Do you think that makes us happy? Cause if you do, please tell me your stretching routine. You must be pretty flexible to have your head so far up your ass.

Saying “smile” only makes us ladies want to frown more. We might be having a bad day, and now we know that it shows. Receiving this command pisses us off even further and makes our bad day worse. A person saying that you should change your current facial expression is not remotely attractive. Yet a part of me still throbs when I hear “smile” on a crappy day.

Oh, right, that throbbing is from the massive erection that you are giving my middle finger. However, I must conceal it, since society believes that flipping the bird is unladylike. But in all seriousness, sir, screw off.

So, the moral of the story — and this goes for people of all genders –– is next time you decide to tell someone to smile, don’t.

Danielle Keating got her start in writing by authoring haiku poetry in a magazine titled Exchange Students Online. From there, she began writing and submitting more works and now has fifteen poems and two nonfiction stories published. Companies that feature her work include Associated Christian Schools International (ACSI), Prolific Press, Animal Stories, and Eber and Wein. Currently, Keating is pursuing a degree in humanities with an emphasis in creative writing from Concordia University Irvine. (Estimated graduation 2019). Follow her on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

Top photo: Broad City

More from BUST

How The Man Who Sexually Harassed Me Ended Up With A Black Eye

Mexico Is Giving Out Rape Whistles To Women, But Is It Enough?

He Tried To Kidnap Me — Or Maybe It Was Just Locker Room Talk

danielle_moke@yahoo.com (Danielle Keating) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:46:36 -0500
Why I'm Staying Sober Through The Trump Regime http://bust.com/living/19142-why-i-m-staying-sober-through-the-trump-regime.html http://bust.com/living/19142-why-i-m-staying-sober-through-the-trump-regime.html 16177478 1200724280015303 8415635985413124723 o

We’re living in a nation where powerful women are told to sit down when they persist in quoting Coretta Scott King, and bigotry of every flavor is being loudly and systematically reinforced. There is a constant stream of alarming news and calls to action, and in case you need your hourly reminder, our president is a reality television star with the linguistic capability of a 10-year-old who hates to read. It’s a lot worse for some than for others, but it’s a chaotic time in general.

A desire to “check out” is understandable, I’d say. God knows, as a sober person with a history of alcohol abuse, my instinctual coping method is to party life into submission. While some people can safely indulge in a little Chablis or a Colt 45 to curb the edge, sometimes I need a reminder as to why that’s a bad idea for me.

Here are a few reasons, despite the Trumpocolypse, I’m going to stay sober until the bitter (or hopefully better) end.

1. When I drink, I totally lose control.

The exact cause of alcoholism is still obscure, but it seems a kind of perfect storm of conditions in one body. There are physiological, neurological, conditional, and personality factors, as well as cultural and genealogical influences that can all be at play. The “phenomenon” of alcoholic drinking is that when you start, you can’t stop, and you can’t control how much you consume. I’ve heard it described to be like eating but getting hungrier.

By the time I was 19, I had such an intense physical reaction to alcohol, I’d not only get drunk and sick, I’d often get “meth jaw,” a deeply unattractive symptom (commonly associated with meth highs) in which you grind your teeth while your jaw dances a wild sideways jig. Yes, it’s weird. I’d also get hangovers that left me feeling like my spiritual and corporeal forms had both been charged by a semi. Suffice it to say, I was not in top form, which is important since...

2. We need all hands on deck

When I drink, I can’t be of much use to the world. And by “of much use,” I do mean I’m pretty useless. I can’t listen, I can’t process information, I can’t show up, I can’t even stand up. (Literally or figuratively.)

All of these things are obviously important. How I communicate and how I expend my energy is really important. Listening is really important, especially to people who are most negatively affected by the political structure, like people of color or LGBT folks or folks with mental or physical disabilities. Being present and sentient means I can show up to life and give what I can.

3. Avoiding problems doesn't work

I’ve come to believe trauma and previously untreated depression were also major factors in my substance abuse. This is not an uncommon form of self-medicating, wherever your stresses or trauma stems from, and it all gets exacerbated in times of chaos. Alcohol aides in forgetting.

Dr. Judith Herman writes in Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, “...because altered states keep the traumatic experience walled off from ordinary consciousness, they prevent the integration necessary for healing.”

Meaning if I don’t deal with it, it can’t be fixed. So far it’s been more fruitful for me to tackle things gently but head on, and I think the same is true of being a citizen right now. In my personal life, I’ve done this with the help of recovery groups, community, therapy, and taking care of myself because...

4. Self-care is rad(ical)!

This is an awesome truth that has been talked about a lot in the past few years, and especially in our current climate. Audre Lorde called caring for herself “an act of political warfare” in her book A Burst of Light, and writer Evette Dionne wrote a great article about how this is particularly true for Black women. I take this idea to mean that in a system designed to keep some people down and dead, to keep oneself alive and well is a radical act.

While I know acts of self-care are of the utmost importance to my well-being, it can still be something I find practically challenging at the times I need it most. So, I practice. This includes eating well, exercising, dancing, resting, being with people that make me laugh, buying a book or taking myself to the movies. And now more than ever: BACKING AWAY FROM THE SCREENZ.

Really simple, oddly difficult, of paramount importance.

5. I'm stronger this way.

It’s just true. Here’s to being alive, awake and well so we can, you know. Fight the good fight.

Annakeara Stinson is a writer who lives in Brooklyn. You can follow her at @totalhellness.

Top photo: Facebook/White House

More from BUST

Mentally Ill, Addicted, And Medicated: BUST True Story

15 Delightful Mocktails To Freshen Up Your Day

Trump's Congressional Black Caucus Answer Shows He's Not, In Fact, 'The Least Racist Person'


annakeara@gmail.com (Annakeara Stinson) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:17:29 -0500
Why I Said No To Being On MTV http://bust.com/tv/19032-why-i-said-no-to-being-on-mtv.html http://bust.com/tv/19032-why-i-said-no-to-being-on-mtv.html  

MTV Logo

Last year, I was harassed by a group of “Anti-Social Justice Warrior” trolls for my feminist beliefs. The trolls infiltrated the feminism Facebook group I admin and when I caught on and started to ban them, the harassment began. Messages soon flooded my Facebook inbox, and the trolls even began to migrate to other platforms including Twitter and email. I wrote about some of my experience for Ravishly, but after that article was published, the harassment got even worse — the trolls contacted my mom and my school pretending to be a concerned friend, claiming I was suicidal. One, known as “Citation Needed,” made YouTube videos about me, which included my full name, photo, and screenshots from my private Facebook page. YouTube removed the video after I reported it, but he just re-uploaded it with my last name blurred out, and then uploaded the original version to Russian video streaming sites.

Screen Shot 2017 02 03 at 11.56.55 AM

Screen Shot 2017 02 03 at 12.01.04 PM

Screen Shot 2017 02 03 at 12.00.38 PM

Screen Shot 2017 02 03 at 12.01.13 PM

Since this whole ordeal, combating online harassment has become an issue I’m very passionate about, even writing my college thesis about the abuse women often face online.

I had some revenge fantasies for my own personal gratification about applying to MTV’s Catfish and exposing these assholes on TV for everyone to see. And weirdly enough, I actually had the opportunity to do so.

Last summer, I began dabbling on Reddit, participating in subs about feminism and cyber bullying. It was from my posts in the cyberbullying sub that a recruiter from Critical Content reached out to me about an upcoming series called Beyond The Keyboard.

imageedit 11 9143072936

Apparently, the show is by the creators of Catfish and looks to bring trolls together with their targets. As the recruiter told me via email, it’s meant to “turn a negative into a positive as it will hopefully eliminate this sort of trolling.”

I spoke to him on the phone and sent him some relevant links to my case, thinking he’d just have a look and keep them on file. Instead, he reached out to my harassers without my consent and used my name to tell them about casting for the show. And just my luck, a couple of the trolls tried reaching out to me again — tweeting at me and creating Facebook posts about this. It was only after emailing the recruiter twice asking him to not reach out to the trolls using my name that he finally stopped.

It was clear from this that neither the recruiter nor the creators of the show had my best interest in mind. What I went through was pretty traumatizing, and seeing messages from my trolls pop up on my phone yet again just brought it all back. The show is not about “turning negative into positive.” It’s not about trying to eliminate cyberbullying. It’s about creating drama for ratings. Unlike Catfish, the show doesn’t look to bring together people in online relationships who actually like each other. It’s trying to bring together a bully with their victim for entertainment purposes. And get this: both the harasser and the harassee get paid $4,000 for their time.

Essentially, the trolls are being rewarded for their bad behavior. And just like Catfish didn’t stop people from catfishing, Beyond The Keyboard won’t stop cyber bullies from harassing people. In fact, it might even increase the presence of cyberbullying, now that they know they can be on TV and make money. Just as many people start to catfish in attempts to be on the show.

What’s even more disturbing is upon Googling “Beyond The Keyboard MTV Show,” you can see the different ways the show was pitched to different groups of people. Crave reports the show “will focus on gamers who disagree with feminism, Black Lives Matter and trans issues.” They posted the text of the Craigslist ad they came across for the show:

“Are you sick of fake gamer girls and ‘boobie streamers’ racking up HUGE followings on Twitch and YouTube while real gamer channels go unfollowed?

Do you make sure to give them a piece of your mind in their live chats and comments sections? If so, we want to hear from you!

The creators of Catfish: The TV Show are developing a new docu-series about Internet trolls and the people they torment.

On our program, you’ll have the opportunity to confront the phony gamer of your choosing face-to-face and show them what geek culture is really about.

If this opportunity interests you, please reply to this message with a recent photo, phone number, and brief description of your situation.”

At the end of the day, I want to be the one in control of my story. Who knows how it will be skewed on the show, especially with how they’re presenting it to the trolls? And with such a sizable platform as MTV, I fear the harassment will only get worse once the show airs.

Nick Valdez, writing for destructoid.com, came across this ad and shares my senitment. "To put it bluntly, this series will only serve to fuel hatred and further give terrible people more power than they already have now. The only ones I can see enjoying, or even conceiving this premise, are those who already exercise the horrible behavior this series wants to promote," he writes. "Who thought it was a good idea to force an unwilling person to meet someone who's been viciously degrading them online? It's already hard enough for women in gaming (and anyone who doesn't align with white males), so I hope this show burns to the ground before it can ever happen."

According to Mark Jafar, Senior Vice President at MTV Press, Beyond The Keyboard isn't currently slated for development by the station. This may mean Critical Content just plans to pitch this idea to them in the future.

Critical Content declined to comment.

So while I won’t be participating in the show, I worry about the wellbeing of other women who might. That’s why I started this change.org petition to MTV and Viacom, urging them not to pick up this show if and when Critical Content pitches it. If you’re against this type of exploitation, please sign and share.


Top Image via Wikimedia Commons


More from BUST

Samantha Bee’s "'Not-A-Muslim' Muslim Ban" Is The Only Recap Of This Weekend’s Events You Need

Rose McGowan On Quitting Acting And Smashing The Patriarchy: BUST Interview

The Problem With Donald Trump's Response To The UC Berkeley Protests

gunzrafaella@gmail.com (Rafaella Gunz) ROOT Fri, 03 Feb 2017 13:36:47 -0500
Evanna Lynch Talks Moving Away From Luna Lovegood And Playing Bad Bitches: BUST Interview http://bust.com/movies/19120-evanna-lynch-talks-moving-away-from-luna-lovegood-and-playing-bad-bitches-bust-interview.html http://bust.com/movies/19120-evanna-lynch-talks-moving-away-from-luna-lovegood-and-playing-bad-bitches-bust-interview.html maxresdefault

Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch is back on the silver screen, in a new movie released in the US this Friday, February 17th. Best known for her role as Luna Lovegood, Evanna plays the title role in My Name Is Emily, a beautiful story of love, loss, and redemption, directed by Simon Fitzmaurice. In an interview with BUST, the Irish actress talks about drawing confidence from the role of Emily, moving away from Luna, and the ‘bad bitches’ she hopes to play in 2017.

My Name Is Emily follows a young woman, Emily (Evanna Lynch) whose father (Michael Smiley) is institutionalized after the tragic death of her mother. She is placed in a foster home, and when she doesn’t receive a card from her father on her 16th birthday, she sets out on a road trip with her friend Arden (George Webster) to rescue him from the psychiatric ward. Evanna says she immediately connected with the character of Emily, and just had to audition for the role as soon as she read the script.

“I thought she was so interesting; I loved how fearless she was about expressing herself. She never holds back what she’s feeling or thinking just to please people. I think so much of the time that’s where we encounter pain: when we try to please people, and we ignore what’s actually going on inside of us.” She says she connects to characters that are “boldly authentic” because when she was growing up she struggled to fit in. “I didn’t quite fit anywhere but I told myself that that was not okay, so I suppose I’m always drawn to characters who show me how to be proud of being myself.” 

Screenshot 2017 02 14 at 5.01.06 PM

My Name Is Emily is a powerful movie that explores who we are when everything we know and love is taken from us; Emily has to find herself after her support network has been stripped away. “The script was unflinching in its exploration of the grief that both Emily and her father are dealing with, and how that changes them irrevocably,” Evanna says. “It wasn’t trying to paint a happy or optimistic picture, it was just showing exactly how they dealt with it and how they were changed by it.”

What makes the movie even more incredible is Simon Fitzmaurice. The award-winning writer and director was diagnosed with ALS after the premiere of his short film The Sound of People at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and he is now completely paralyzed. He wrote and directed My Name Is Emily and communicated with the cast and crew solely through the movement of his eyes, using iris recognition software. Evanna says it was intimidating to work with him at first, but inspiring to be around someone who’d been through so much and had such a passion for life and living. “It was pressure because I knew how important that film was to so many people. Simon had spent 5 years developing it and had to write the fricking thing with his eyes. I very much had a sense of ‘I cannot mess this up, I can’t blow this. I have to give it my all every day’.”

She also felt that interacting with Simon was an important practice in having confidence and conviction in the things she says. “I realized from working with Simon that so much of the time I say things and wait for validation, like a nod or something, before I continue talking. But, because it takes him a long time to type up anything he wants to say, in that time all my doubts and insecurities would flood to the front of my mind. But it got me to stop questioning what I say-- to say something and mean it and stand by it.”

Evanna Lynch is Emily in MY NAME IS EMILY. Photo Courtesy of Monument Releasing

One aspect of her life where Evanna is not lacking conviction is her work as a vegan activist and animal rights advocate. Having been a vegetarian since age 11, she says she believed in the vegan philosophy before she had even heard of it. “I believed that animals are individuals and there’s no God-given right to exploit them or use them,” she says. “I realized that there’s so much brainwashing that goes on when you’re a child; you’re being fed chickens but you’re cuddling with cows in the fields, and your parents say that’s just the way it’s always been.” She got to a point where she realized she could challenge and question these ideas and that spurred her turn to veganism. She even has plans to start a vegan podcast, as she’s noticed the main reason people are reluctant to try it is that they’re not sure how to begin. “There are small things you can do, step-by-step, that make it accessible,” she says, “It took me a while. I didn’t do it overnight and I don’t think anyone should because you’re essentially undoing decades worth of social programming.”

Having worked in London for the Harry Potter films and subsequently moved to the US, working on My Name Is Emily was Evanna’s first time filming in Ireland, her home country. “Personally, I felt I had to move away from home because there was a lot of cynicism around having a job in the arts. People would think that [acting] wasn’t a real viable career option, and there’s a sense that if you aspire to it you must think you’re something special.” That culture made it all the more meaningful to work with other Irish artists “that I knew had had to overcome that kind of thinking and had to see their art as a real job and something that they could throw their all into.” Living in LA for five years also meant that she witnessed from afar the boom in Irish filmmaking in the last few years.“There are so many amazing movies and TV shows coming out of there,” she says, “I think the Oscars last year and again this year was so representative of that-- there’s so much Irish talent. To be part of this small but artistic scene was just eye-opening.” My Name is Emily is also a stunning showcase of Irish musical talent, with a haunting soundtrack featuring songs from James Vincent McMorrow, Liza Flume and Lisa Hannigan.

Screenshot 2017 02 14 at 5.00.44 PM

While her role in this award-winning indie movie will introduce Evanna to a whole new audience, there is definitely a generation of moviegoers who will always associate her with the role of Luna Lovegood. This doesn’t bother her, however, as she sees that role as a blessing and is grateful for the fact that it provided her with a safety net. “Luna is a character that really inspires me and inspires so many young girls,” she explains, “so I’m glad that I’ll always have that. I think as long as I don’t limit myself, it’s fine. It also gives me a hunger and a drive to challenge people’s expectations and do something that’s completely different.”

And Evanna is already seeking out these new and different roles. In an Instagram post earlier this year, she said, “Dear 2017: this year I would like to play some bad bitches with nice hair. Just putting it out there.” Since she set this intention, she says, roles like that, “women who are unapologetic and have a mission — textured, real women” have already started coming her way. “A director I worked with a few years ago actually reached out to me recently with a script and a character like that, and he said “I really want to workshop this, I know that she’s not complete yet” and that was so cool: that there are [male] directors who recognize that they don’t understand the complexities of the female mind and they want women's input. With the feminist movement that’s happening, there’s definitely more of an effort to include women like that.”

My Name Is Emily opens February 17th, 2017 in New York and LA, with other cities and VOD on February 24th.

Photos via My Name Is Emily

More From BUST

Pussy Riot’s Nadya On Feminism, Bravery, And The 2016 Election: Sneak Peek

Titus Recreating Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ In The New ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ Trailer Is The Only Valentine We Need

A Must-See Film For Cat Lovers

aoiferbkelly@gmail.com (Aoife Kelly) ROOT Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:11:03 -0500
Trump's Congressional Black Caucus Answer Shows He's Not, In Fact, 'The Least Racist Person' http://bust.com/living/19138-trump-asks-reporter-to-set-up-meeting-with-black-lawmakers-because-he-thinks-all-black-people-know-each-other.html http://bust.com/living/19138-trump-asks-reporter-to-set-up-meeting-with-black-lawmakers-because-he-thinks-all-black-people-know-each-other.html Screenshot 2017 02 17 at 11.16.21 AM

In a rambling and downright bizarre press conference yesterday, Trump asked an African-American reporter if the Congressional Black Caucus were friends of hers. Having assured the public that he is “the least racist person,” Trump then responded to a question by April Ryan, a journalist for American Urban Radio Networks. She enquired about his campaign promise to revitalize the American inner cities and asked if he would be arranging a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss this.

He responded: "Well I would. Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours? Set up the meeting!" Because, according to Trump, all black people know each other...?

Ryan appeared on MSNBC later yesterday to state, "I'm not a facilitator, I'm not a convener, I am a White House correspondent. I am a reporter, a journalist.” She noted that members of the group of African-American lawmakers did want to set up a meeting, which they later confirmed in a tweet to Trump:

Screenshot 2017 02 17 at 11.13.26 AMvia Twitter/@OfficialCBC


Top Photo: CNN

More From BUST

Anti-Semitic Threats Have Skyrocketed Under Trump, But He Responds By Bragging About His Electoral College Win

Samantha Bee On Why Paul Ryan Is The Taylor Swift Of The Trump Administration

American Horror Story Will Force Us To Relive The Nightmare That Was The 2016 General Election


aoiferbkelly@gmail.com (Aoife Kelly) ROOT Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:38:09 -0500