Teen Dramas: The Girls of Rosewood, Part 4

Pretty Little Liars is based on the series of books by Sara Shepard and debuted in 2010. It centres around four teenage friends who are brought back together when the remains of their missing friend are found. The series follows them as they try to solve the mystery of who killed her, all while dealing with the mysterious “A” that torments them throughout the series. The series ran for seven years and the character profiles contain spoilers. Hanna Marin When we meet Hanna Marin in Season 1, we learn she is one of the most popular girls at Rosewood High. Alongside her best friend...

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Cinderella: A tale centuries old

When people say the name “Cinderella‚” many jump to the 1950’s Disney version of the story. Or perhaps, you think of Disney’s 2015 reimagining. However, few know that the origins of the folktale date to the 1st century BCE, with its current format being attributed to French author Charles Perrault and his 1697-98, book Cendrillon. This story, like many others, was then retold by the Grimm Brothers in their folktale collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, first published in 1812. Cendrillon tells of a stepmother who enlists her husband’s daughter in the worst of...

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Mythological Girls: The Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba appears in many holy texts, including the Jewish and Christian Bibles, the Islamic Qu’rān, and the Ethiopian Kebra Nagast. Despite having no ancient inscriptions dedicated to her, it may be that her myth is rooted in truth. The Sabaean Kingdom existed between approximately 1200 BCE to 275 CE. It included many of the countries in the Horn of Africa, but predominantly Yemen and Ethiopia. The modern Yemenite capital of Marib was believed to be the capital of Saba. The kingdom was well-established during the Classical period, with ancient references to its status made by...

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Let’s Tell and Rewrite the Stories Ourselves

By the end of February, I read somewhere that there was a ‘challenge’ called “Name 5 women artists.” I started thinking about my own list – Abramović, Kusama, Calle, Iturbide and… no-no-no-no, I don’t want to think of Kahlo, please! – and then felt tremendously bad for not being knowledgeable enough. At this point, I don’t think that this has happened because I don’t care. Believe me, I do – and I’ve started to care more than I’d ever imagined. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure that this is because we do lack in presence and representation within the Art History manuals, not because...

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Creating “Havoc” in 1970s Britain

There wasn’t any other doll quite like Havoc in early 1970s Britain. This was because Havoc was a “fearless, fiery” super-agent who had the “skills and daring to surmount every hazard, outwit every foe.” She did not come equipped with a hair brush and comb but instead a training pack which featured a Karate outfit, tommy gun and a bullet proof vest. I wouldn’t have known about this very little known 70s doll had it not been for my Mum. Havoc was an unusual toy both then and now – she didn’t have long hair like Barbie. Plus, she wore a jumpsuit accessorised with green eyeshadow and bright red...

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Film Review: The Shallows

The Shallows is a film about a girl who goes surfing and has to fight for her life against an enormous shark. The director is Jaume Collet-Serra, who directed the hit movie Orphan (2009) with a powerful female lead. I went to a theater and prepared myself for something I did not expect. The movie begins with our heroine Nancy, played by Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively. She travels to a remote beach trying to connect with her deceased mother. We find out that Nancy has dropped out of medical school. She loses faith in the occupation because medicine failed to save her mother from cancer. Nancy...

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