Ariana Grande’s Japanese tattoo has recently gained international attention, but not for positive reasons. The hand tattoo, inspired by her music video titled “7 Rings,” was supposed to be a translation of the song’s title in Japanese. The full Japanese translation is “七つの指輪,” as shown repeatedly in the music video and in promo materials for the song. However, when Ariana got the tattoo, she shortened the phrase to ”七輪” due to the pain of getting the tattoo. Unfortunately, the phrase no longer translates to “seven rings,” but instead, an idiom that means “small Japanese charcoal grill.”Read More
In all my time on this good green Earth, I have never found someone like you. My two decades of media consumption have led me to Hermione Grangers, Scout Finches, Jane Eyres, Kurt Hummels, Willow Rosenbergs, Ygrittes, Eowyns, Ben Wyatts, and Pam Beeslys—a vast array of colorful characters who are wonderfully and lovingly crafted, like me in some ways and so very different in others. But you, Chidi, are something else.Read More
I wasn’t prepared for Black Panther. It gave me something new to believe in.
This is not an origin story, and it’s not a typical superhero story. The Black Panther isn’t tasked with saving the world. The film is full of difficult questions and is unapologetically black. Ryan Coogler shows off blackness in all its complexity—as a diaspora.Read More
For y'all unaware of the greatest television show of all time, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a sitcom about the shenanigans that the police detectives get up to in a fictionalized version of Brooklyn's 99th precinct. The show first aired in 2013 and has been wildly successful amongst twenty-somethings and college students ever since. Created by Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Good Place) and Dan Goor (Parks and Recreation, The Daily Show, Conan), the show seamlessly incorporates pop culture, millennial humor, and even addresses current, culturally relevant issues without morphing into a drama.Read More
I fell in love with the Brontë sisters when I was sixteen. I read Wuthering Heights in a slow-churning tempest of terror and intrigue, Cathy’s ghost lingering over my shoulder as I drew complex family trees of the Earnshaw and Linton families at my kitchen table. I carried my black-penned copy of Emily’s singular work to you, Wellesley, where it sat watching me, witchlike, waiting to be joined by its sister novels. It didn’t take long. By my second semester, I was in the Nineteenth Century Novel class, combing obsessively through Jane Eyre. I wasn’t just hooked. I was haunted.Read More
My first Counterpoint article was about Taylor Swift. I was a first-year trying to figure out how to be a college student; now I’m a senior trying to come to terms with the person who I’ve become. On the eve of the next Taylor Swift album—and wondering if it could be the last—I’m sitting down to write about her again. I’ve never been in a serious (or really any) romantic relationship, so the reason I like Taylor’s music isn’t that I relate to most of it. I definitely didn’t start listening to her music because I’m a country fan. You can’t really choose who you love. If you could, I don’t know if I would have chosen Taylor.Read More
On the day after the 2016 US presidential elections, a queer international student of color found herself at a comic book store face-to-face with a superhero she had never seen before. In encountering Kamala Khan—known by her superhero alias, Ms. Marvel—I discovered a girl much like myself: brown, Muslim, fighting demons, trying to find a balance between Americanization and her South Asian roots.Read More
When I was fourteen years old, I bought The Fault in Our Stars at a Barnes and Noble in Darien, Illinois. It was a hot summer weekend, and I spent the afternoon in my grandmother's air-conditioned basement curled up on a blow-up mattress, falling in love with John Green's most recent novel of the time.Read More
The original Spider-Man was created in 1962 by Stan Lee, who had noticed a rise in teen comic book readers and a lack of teen comic book characters. Most Marvel characters were adults at the time—take, for instance, Iron Man and Captain America, who both have origin stories linked to war even if their comics were written with a young audience in mind. Lee wanted a teen character that young people could identify with. He created Peter Parker, a fifteen-year-old New Yorker who loved science, was the victim of high school bullying, and, because of a radioactive spider-bite, spent his after-school hours protecting people on the streets of Queens in a mask and spandex.
When Marvel decided to incorporate the character of Spider-Man into the complex, multi-character, multimillion-dollar Cinematic Universe, the company finally took Peter Parker back to his rootsRead More
The Hate U Give follows 16-year old Starr Carter as she navigates the ins and outs of being a teenager: from friendships and sometimes fighting to boyfriends and maybe taking the next step. But Starr’s life is more complicated than some 16-year olds’ are. She has to navigate living between two worlds: the black neighborhood she calls home and the elite, predominately white high school she attends. Starr’s life quickly becomes even more complicated when she is the only witness when her childhood best friend Khalil, unarmed, is killed by a cop.Read More
The film crushed my heart with the wistfulness of love lost over the course of chasing dreams, of the sacrifices of creative drive.
Throughout the film, however, my mind was bogged down by an incessant observation: all the people of color (except John Legend’s character) were in the background as amorphous jazz music machines. The thing is, they had presences as brilliant jazz musicians, but they had almost no speaking roles, didn’t drive the story, and were only there to supplement the main characters, who were almost all white. The film was centered around two white characters, while subsequently using people of color as musical props.Read More