feminism, feminist, gender, race, racism, strenght, women

Viola Davis Makes History and (Hopefully) Changes History with her Acceptance Speech

The beautiful Viola Davis just made history, as the first black woman ever to win an Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actress in a series. Her role in How To Get Away With Murder as Professor Annalaise Keating has been praised countless times since the series’ debut in 2014 and her role is appraised alongside those of Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope on Scandal, Deception‘s Meagan Good and Taraji P Henson as Cookie in the massive series Empire and, of course, the notably diverse cast of Orange is the New Black.

Certainly, the growing visibility of coloured women on our screen is wonderful, with such shows dominating television ratings and challenging racist ideologies worldwide; but – and this there is no denying – the continued and ingrained racism which television and movie production companies and hierarchies continue to flout evidently hinder the existence of roles available for women of colour. And this is exactly what Davis emphasises.

As she takes the stage, resplendent and emotional in equal measures, Davis emphasises the lack of opportunities available for women in the entertaiment industry:

Let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else, is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. (Davis)

In that moment, Davis captures the heart of her audience, both before her and watching on screen, and Davis continues to take her opportunity to challenge hegemonic beauty myths which establish white women as desirable and beautiful, by quoting Harriet Taubman’s still relevant words:

In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line. (Taubman)

Davis continues to praising those that have withstood these racist ideals and created spaces for women of colour on screen and finally applauds those actresses who stand with her challenging these ingrained racist ideologies and proving women of colour worth their salt both on screen and off.

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advice, feminism, feminist, literature, misogyny, race, racism, sexism, strenght, women

The Best of the Oscars (According to Me)

Everyone’s talking about the Oscars. The epic photobombs; the celebrity selfies; the best dressed. And, of course, the beautiful Lupita Nyong’o, who took home the coveted Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Everyone’s talking about her eloquence, her dress (seriously, though, that dress!), and her speech. And obviously, this is the Oscars and the hypes still all in the air, so the Academy’s best and brightest are still catching us out on the speech acceptance videos (hopefully soon there’ll be a full update) but for the moment, here’s some of the highlights for Lupita’s acceptance speech:

Lupita later dedicated the win to her parents, but inspiringly stated:

When I look down at this golden statue, me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

Lupita, furthermore, recognised the pain and suffering which led Solomon Northup to narrate both his and Patsey’s despondent story.

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And then, there are the lesser told stories. Blogs and news pages are full of Lupita’s graceful figure and eloquent quotes; let’s not forget Cate Blanchett’s own win and stark reminder.

Blanchett now boasts the best actress award for her work as the lead in Blue Jasmine, and cut a stunning in a Georgio Armani gown. What really stole the show for me, however, was her speech, in which she recognised the incredible talent of her fellow nominees, stating:

As random and as subjective as this award is, it means a great deal in a year, yet again, of extraordinary performances by women […]  [There are those] who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences.’ she said. ‘They are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money. […] The world is round people.

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And then, after the awards and celebrations, their was Lupita’s entrance on Ellen:

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