Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The other day I read this article on Yahoo! about a new show in Afghanistan: Afghanistan's Next Top Model. At first, I thought that this was a great chance for oppressed women to step out into the public eye and express themselves. For so long, Afghan women were kept hidden behind their burqas and now they would have a chance to be seen. This was a great way for them to be empowered and feel good about themselves and their femininity.

Then I got to this sentence:

But asked if he looked more at the clothes or the girls, he replied with a smile: "The girls of course."

Oh, hell no! This woke me up to another side to this. America's Next Top Model is not about empowering women; it's about objectifying them! So why should Afghanistan's Next Top Model be any different? These women grew up in a society that told them they don't matter, and now they're being told that they can matter only if they are beautiful on the outside. What about the inside? Why not have a show like ABC's The Scholar where the smartest girls win scholarships? Or a Hannah Montana or Lizzie McGuire type sitcom with a strong young female lead? Now I understand that Afghanistan is new at this whole TV thing and this is a big step on it's own, but I think they should consider preventing the creation of a superficial, beauty-obsessed culture that makes girls feel bad about themselves on a daily basis like we unfortunately have in the US.

Don't believe me? Just watch this video:

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Umbrella was the official song this summer, especially in rain-soaked Texas. Check out this cover from one of my favorite singers, Mandy Moore.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Feelin Groovy

I'm really pumped cuz I kicked ass on my Physiology exam. I'm so excited and happy about this. Plus my sister is visiting me here in DC tomorrow. She'll be staying with me for a week and then we'll head back home to Texas together. Things are looking awesome.

I finished watching Sleeper Cell season 2. This show is great cuz it shows Muslims of all races, ethnicities, sexes, and even (gasp!) sexual orientation. I find it funny that the 2 Iraqi Sunni characters are played by Shi'a about your opposites. And what makes it funnier was that one of them was mistaken for an Iranian on the show itself. The show points out a lot of different issues and personal struggles that American Muslims have to deal with. One of my favorite lines is when Darwin, the undercover FBI agent pictured here, has a terrorist at gunpoint --

Terrorist: What kind of a true Muslim works for America?
Darwin: I don't work for America. I am an American.

I was like, hell yeah! Darwin is a great metaphor for American Muslims who have to live in the shadow of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. He illustrates the constant struggle between the confidence that they are wrong, the scary feeling that you can identify with them on some level, and the guilt of that identification. He knows that the only way to stop the fanatics who have hijacked his religion is to become one of them and play their game - even if it ultimately means going on his own suicide mission.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars 2007

Hooray for Hollywood! Last night's Oscars was wonderful and upbeat and full of highlights:

  • West Bank Story won for best live action short. Now, I hadn't heard of this movie before, but the acceptance speech was so great that I looked it up. I love that it is based on my favorite movie, West Side Story, but also incorporates peace in the Middle East.

  • Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly put on a hilarious musical number that pointed out the sad truth that the Academy ignores comedians when choosing Oscar nominees. I didn't really like the conclusion that the actors should take on serious roles, but I guess you can't be a guest in someone's house and then spit on them.

  • I was very surprised by a couple winners. First, I thought Eddie Murphy would win Best Supporting Actor because this was really his one chance. As mentioned above, the Academy snubs comedians so this was a great time to give it to Eddie. Of course, Alan Arkin is a comedian and played a comedic role in Little Miss Sunshine, so...yeah.
  • Another winner that surprised me was Marie Antoinette for Best Costume Design. See, in the preshow, they interviewed the Devil Wears Prada costume designer with Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway. Then they had Emily and Anne present the award and make all these jokes about how they know fashion the best b/c of the movie, and then they had to give the award to Marie Antoinette! Talk about a letdown. Although, I thought the acceptance speech was very nice.

  • Another huge upset was when Melissa Etheridge won for Best Original Song for An Inconvenient Truth. Right before the award was announced the cast of Dreamgirls performed 3 songs they were nominated for and it was huge and Broadway-tastic. Ellen even said, "I would hate to have to follow that." And then Melissa won. Yes, this Oscars had a lot of the rug being pulled out from under people.
  • The one category where I wanted this to happen was in Best Picture. I was rooting for Little Miss Sunshine, but instead it went to The Departed. It's interesting because a couple years ago I wanted The Aviator to sweep the Oscars - Leo as best actor, Scorsese as best director, and The Aviator as best picture. But instead, that honor went to The Departed to give Scorsese his long-deserved Oscar.
  • Ellen was an amazing host, and kept the banter light and apolitical, which was very different form Jon Stewart last year. She would randomly run into the audience with gags, like this one:

So it was a night of upsets and highlights, and as always, a memorable night where dreams came true for many people.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm Back and Matching!

Hey y'all, I apologize that it's been a long time since my last post - a semester in fact. I've been living in DC and growing up a lot. Maybe I'll tell you more about it, but I'm not ready now. I am ready to give you good news. Yesterday was the Texas Match and I matched to University of North Texas! Yes, I have been accepted to medical school, and I can now live up to my name! All the pain from last year seems like a dream compared to how I feel now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and darkness does not have to consume us forever. With faith, persistence, and my family's love and support I was able to keep going and achieve my goal. I wish all of you the best of luck in making your dreams come true!