Yep, Wonder Woman Made Me Cry Too

I’ll be honest. I didn’t grow up with Wonder Woman like I did Batman and Superman. Though I didn’t get into comic books until college–where is where I first started reading about Diana Prince–I grew up watching the old Adam West Batman series, and I was obsessed with Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. So when the DCEU started up in force, my old friends Bruce and Clark just didn’t feel the same as the guys I grew up with. Though I loved the Dark Knight Trilogy, I just wasn’t on board with the constant dark and twisty Superman and Batman (I know–there’s a HUGE debate about this, but stick with me).

So when I found out they were making a Wonder Woman movie, I was excited, sure. I was well aware what a huge deal it was for a female superhero to get her own standalone film, but I didn’t have a lot of faith in the DCEU. Then I saw that Comic-Con exclusive trailer:

It hooked me. And the more TV spots and trailers I saw, the more hyped I got. This movie was going to be important, and I couldn’t wait. So when I got in the theaters, I wasn’t surprised that I was immediately pulled in. What I was surprised was how emotional I got.

I’m not the first person to say that watching Wonder Woman made them emotional. Meredith Woerner at the LA Times  shared about how the film moved her, especially in the “No Man’s Land” scene.

nomansland

And this scene was utterly badass, to be certain. That scene is a pivotal one for the movie (avoiding spoilers for you poor unfortunate souls who haven’t gotten to see it yet), and it’s where Diana really asserts herself as a hero and a capable warrior. It’s amazing and wonderful.

Of course, that wasn’t the only amazing, powerful moment of the film. I loved watching the Amazons fight on the beach of Themyscira. I loved watching Diana flip a tank with her bare hands, and I loved watching the drive she had to fight for what was right. It was all amazing, but the emotions didn’t hit me until the final moments of the movie.

It was in those final moments of the film that really got me. I hadn’t realized how much I had grown accustomed to seeing powerful women portrayed through a man’s gaze. From a film’s promotional material to the female characters’ fighting style to the angles female heroes are normally shot, I was so numbed to seeing a woman onscreen portrayed as eye candy, and where any aspect of her strength was meant to add to her sex appeal (and maybe pander to female viewers). I was used to seeing women portrayed as either loving and compassionate or powerful and strong. I was used to seeing a woman’s emotions portrayed as an Achilles’ heel or as a punchline.

But in Wonder Woman, there was none of that.

Diana had compassion for people. It was what drew her out of Themyscira in the first place. It was what sent her face-first into No Man’s Land. Sure, she’s a badass fighter, but she’s ultimately concerned about helping those who can’t help themselves. She puts herself in the line of fire–literally–to use her strength and power to help those less powerful than her.

no-mans-land

Her emotions aren’t portrayed as a weakness or some dark and twisty secret that she tries to suppress, and they aren’t portrayed as something that makes her weak, a liability, shrill, or flighty. They’re what makes her a hero. Her emotion, her compassion, and her faith in people is what ultimately drives her to be the amazing hero we all know her as.

But even the way the film’s director, Patty Jenkins, filmed Gal Gadot as she portrayed Wonder Woman was wildly different from what I’m used to seeing. When Diana was fighting, she was more concerned with winning than looking sexy.

WW

Badass and a fighter with a bit of flourish, sure, but it wasn’t a move meant to show off her tits or her ass. Diana was portrayed as powerful and skilled, and her fight scenes were meant to draw attention to that, not various parts of her body.

Jenkins utilized slow motion in many of her fights. She’s not the first to do this, certainly. A lot of people herald the Wachowskis as being the first to really make this a popular technique in modern filmmaking by introducing what they called “bullet time” in their Matrix franchise. You remember bullet time, right?

neo

But even in the Matrix films (which I will always love), there was a severe difference in how men and women were portrayed in that slow motion action shot. Look at Neo in that gif above. He’s not trying to look tough or sexy. In fact, he’s got a definite “ohshitohshitohshitohshit” expression. Despite all of that, this is super badass–and you’re meant to think that. The focus of this shot is Neo’s strength and dexterity, and the power he’s been able to harness through the matrix. Even though the big stunt here is how bent over he is, the focus is his abilities and talent, not his actual body. Compare that to the film’s female lead, Trinity, in her two most iconic bullet time scenes:

trinity

trinity

Please hear me when I say I love these movies, and I love Trinity. She’s amazing. But look at these gifs a sec. While she’s exhibiting a ton of physical prowess and strength, it’s definitely got a lot more focus on how Trinity looks here than what she’s doing. I mean, that second gif has a huge close up of Trinity’s butt in her skin-tight leather. So even though I have so much love for the Matrix films and the character Trinity, I’m just used to movies giving me characters I love while heavily sexualizing and objectifying them onscreen.

So when I watched Wonder Woman and saw stuff like this…

ww fight.gif

and this…

antiope.gif

…shots that were slowed down to highlight the fighting technique and style, not cater to the guys in the audience? I hadn’t realized how starved I was for female representation onscreen that wasn’t meant to arouse a guy. These women were portrayed from start to finish as dimensional and powerful characters who weren’t just “sexy tough girls”. They were wise, loving, compassionate, and brave. They were shown to be capable, amazing soldiers, and the impact of that hit me like a freight train when credits rolled for Wonder Woman. I couldn’t–and still can’t–remember the last time I saw an action/superhero movie that was made by women and for women.

I grew up with heroes like Princess Leia, and even though I LOVE her, she was definitely sexualized and objectified in the Star Wars films (if you’ve never heard Carrie Fisher rant about George Lucas’ insistence that she not wear a bra as Leia–you’ve got to Google that shit). Thinking about little girls growing up with Diana and the Amazons of Themyscira to look up to made me pretty emotional.

Of course, there were problems in the film. There’s no such thing as a perfect movie. The representation of women of color isn’t great, and there are some amazing pieces out there discussing that (like this one from Valerie Complex and Robert Jones Jr. or this one from Kendra James, for instance). Because even though Wonder Woman was a huge step forward in filmmaking, there are still tons of ways to continue to improve and represent all of humanity in the stories we tell in television and movies.

But even though there is more progress to be made, I think the number of women who found themselves in tears over this film proves that Patty Jenkins has made a powerful statement in Hollywood. A lot of us didn’t realize how conditioned we were to watch stories about women or that featured women through a guy’s eyes. Seeing Jenkins portrayal of strong women was fun, it was exciting, and it was empowering as hell.

I work in male-dominated industries, and I am constantly fighting to prove that I deserve a seat at the table and that my perspective is valid. Watching Wonder Woman felt like maybe a change in the tides is coming. Maybe the little girls growing up now won’t have to fight to prove that their ideas, perspective, and stories are valid and important. They won’t have to fight like we did to be heard in meetings, they won’t have to deal with patronizing or gross co-workers, and they’ll get paid what they deserve. The movie inspired me and made me feel hopeful because we’ve got Diana of Themyscira fighting for us now. So yeah. The movie made me cry.

TL;DR:

Here’s why I cried after watching Wonder Woman:

The First Trailer For the Will & Grace Revival Is Here!

Earlier this year, it was announced that Will & Grace would be coming back to television, and I was THRILLED. I love Will & Grace, and I was so excited to see my friends again after all of these years (even though I did have a handful of demands for the writers).

Since then, I’ve been obsessively following the Will & Grace Facebook and Twitter, and was rewarded today with the first sort-of trailer for the new season. Here it is if you haven’t seen it just yet:

Since Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, and Debra Messing are all still pretty close, it’s immediately apparent that their old chemistry is still very much in tact. And honestly, that’s the heart of the show right there. I’m totally fine with people growing (and from a joke about Jack and his “blue pill”, it seems the show will not shy away from talking about the gang aging), but that bond is what keeps me watching.

Of course one thing I found interesting was their repeated line of “it’s like we never said goodbye”. It got me thinking: is that just a marketing tactic to say it’s the same show you’ve always loved, and it will feel like picking up right where you left off with an old, loved friend? OR are they hinting at the story line?

The original series ended in a pretty definitive place. Will ended up marrying and having a kid with his adorable cop boyfriend, Vince. Grace got back together with Leo, and they raised their kid together. Jack ends up with his bestie Karen (and Beverly Leslie’s fortune after Beverly was killed due to being swept off his balcony by a strong breeze). And even more precious, Will and Vince’s son ends up falling in love and marrying Grace and Leo’s daughter. The show ended with the four reuniting, implying that they’d spend the rest of their lives together. I thought it was cute, and a fun way to end the show.

WG finale.gif

While some people did take issue with various bits of how the story ended, the story did end. Unlike some other sitcom endings (like Parks and Rec, for instance), they really didn’t leave us with any loose ends. And since the finale zoomed the story so far into Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen’s future, they didn’t leave a real opening for “continued stories”. And as for their lives between Leo and Grace first reuniting to that final shot together, the finale makes it clear that Will and Grace are pretty estranged from the moment Leo re-enters Grace’s life. So are will the revival just retcon Will & Grace’s relationship to say they were actually closer than the finale made us think? Or are they pretending it never happened? Or is this new trailer leaving us a hint? If the show is continuing “like they never said goodbye”, then are they just erasing the events that set the show’s finale in motion? Are they maybe just going to pretend like it never happened?

Who knows honestly, but this is one show where I really trust the writers. If their initial W&G reunion for the “Vote, Honey” skit is any indication, the Will & Grace writers know still how to tell a legit and believable story in that universe. And ultimately, as long as the gang still has the love for one another that they had back when the show was originally on the air, I’m in. So while we wait for the show’s fall premiere, please enjoy this adorable tribute to Jack and Karen.

What do you think of the trailer for the Will & Grace revival? What do you  hope to see when the show returns this fall? Tell me what you think in the comments!

Comic Con Survival Guide For People With Anxiety

If you haven’t noticed from this site and my Twitter, I’m heading to both Denver Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con this year. I hit up DCC every year, but this will be my very first time hitting up the craziness that is SDCC.

I’ll be real honest with you guys: I’m super intimidated about attending SDCC. I’ll be attending as press, so I’ll be working (read: running about the con like a crazylady), which will certainly help keep me focused and less overwhelmed. Still, it’s such a GIANT event with TONS of people everywhere. I’ve got anxiety (and I’m also a stone-cold introvert) and conventions can be a lot for me. So here are some survival tips I’ve learned that can hopefully help keep convention season fun for you (and can help make SDCC a bit less intimidating for me).

Take Your Meds

meds

I mean, this one almost goes without saying, but if you’re on meds, be sure you take them. If you’re travelling out of the city or out of state for the convention, be sure you pack them, and be sure you have some sort of an alarm to remind you to take them when you’re supposed to during the convention. Seriously. Time can be hard to keep track of in a convention, so don’t rely on your memory when it comes to your medication. Keep a water bottle with you (for hydration as well–cons are hot and you will get thirsty) so you can take your pill when the time comes, regardless of where you are.

Bring Headphones

titus

It doesn’t matter how big or small the convention you’re attending will be. There will be people milling about everywhere, and feeling like you’re trapped in an endless stream of humans with no power over your own movements can be a lot. While you can’t control the crowds, if you have headphones you can give yourself a mini-break by popping those bad boys in and listening to some music or relaxing sounds while you’re waiting in a line or walking to a panel. While you need to make sure you’re still aware of what’s going on around you (headphones don’t mean you get to stop being spatially aware), they can help keep you calm if the crowds are getting stressful. Having headphones is also good if you need to just take a break from the convention entirely and have a moment to yourself. Which brings me to my next point…

Find Yourself a Safe Spot

Sit-Here-Quietly

You may not ever end up needing it, but try to scope out a place that you can go if you need some space and quiet. Of course be sure that your spot is in line with the convention rules (so don’t pick a “quiet spot” in a restricted area), but it’s nice to know that if you’re feeling particularly spent or anxious that you have a place you can go to calm down a bit. Depending on the size of the convention, a quiet (or less noisy) spot may be hard to find. But don’t be afraid to tell the people you’re with that you just need to take a bit of a break if things get to be too much.

Set Up a Signal With Your Friends..and Don’t Be Afraid to Use It

signal

If you’re going with a group of friends or family, set up a signal that you can use if you either need help (like you’re stuck in a conversation with someone and you need out) or you need a break from everything. Whether its a hand signal you flash across a room or something you send via text, make sure they know that it means either “rescue me” or “I just need a minute”. You won’t always be right next to your group, and trying to let your friends know what’s up without any sort of previously agreed upon signal when there’s a sea of people between you is a PAIN. So create a signal, and don’t be afraid to use it! Conventions are a blast, but if you’re stuck somewhere trying to fight an anxiety attack, you’ll be miserable. So set up something from the start with your group, and take care of yourself if you need it.

Stay Open To New Experiences

adventure

While it’s good to have all of these avenues of self-care in the midst of convention crazy, it’s important to go in with the attitude of having adventures and new experiences. Sure, your comfort zone might be the absolute opposite of the convention scene, but cons are a ton of fun. Expect to push yourself and try some new things, and while you should always feel safe to back away when you need it, be ready to expand your horizons a bit!

Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Twitter and come back here to see my 2017 convention adventures! 

Get Your Tissues Out for the Star War’s Celebration Carrie Fisher Tribute Video

If you’ve spent any time around me or this blog, you know how important Carrie Fisher was–and still is–to me.

carrie fisher.gif

When I heard she died, I was weirdly gutted. I never had the honor of meeting Carrie Fisher, but I still couldn’t help but feel as though I’d lost someone. Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia–the two are so intertwined to me–were so important to me growing up and as an adult. Losing her, and losing her well before her time, was just tragic. I won’t rehash what she meant to me. You can follow the hyperlinks above if you want to read my words on the impact she had on my life.

But as much as she meant to me, I can’t imagine how the cast and crew from the Star Wars films felt after her death. As most of you know, Orlando is currently playing host to the biggest Star Wars event in the country–the Star Wars Celebration. Unsurprisingly, the event played a beautiful video tribute to our Princess. It perfectly captured her spirit, her humor, and the impact she had on people, as well as so many young girls just like me. Take a peek, but grab your tissues.

What did Carrie Fisher mean to you? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Thor: Ragnorak’s First Teaser Is Here!

Thor is undoubtedly my favorite Avenger (at least in the MCU–I am a bit more torn in the comics universe). His standalone films haven’t always garnered heaps of fan praise (though I’ll fight anyone who says Kat Dennings isn’t a freaking gem in those movies), but Thor’s latest movie seems like it’s going to be one for the ages. I am so excited for Thor: Ragnorak to hit theaters, and I’ve been hyped up since they first announced it WAY back at the Marvel Event in 2014. Marvel has slowly been releasing images from the film and promotional pieces, and they look AMAZING. Just look at this poster:

I think Ragnorak is going to feel unlike any other Thor film before, and will work nicely into the new look and feel that Marvel is cultivating with Phase III. And while I personally enjoyed the first Thor and Dark World (though I admit that they most certainly had their issues) I think infusing some fresh energy into his films can do nothing but good. Let’s take a look at the teaser trailer that released today!

Obviously, this trailer is teaser and doesn’t give too much away, but we know that Thor has been captured and is forced to become a gladiator (and cut his hair–which some might argue is the real tragedy here). And happily, we find that he’s captured with his ol’ green buddy, Hulk/Bruce Banner–though I’m really curious to see how much Bruce Banner we’ll see and how much of The Other Guy we’ll see in the film as this can’t be a safe environment for Bruce to show his human form–unhappily, they’ve got to fight each other in the ring. Regardless of the outcome of their fight (though my money’s on both of them surviving…because, well, obviously), I absolutely adore Thor’s reaction to seeing the Hulk in the ring. I definitely wanted to cheer alongside of Thor when the Hulk burst onto the scene, but I just died when Thor shouted, “He’s a friend from work!” Classic Thor, and I love that this movie isn’t losing that corny Marvel shtick that makes these heroes lovable (while still portraying them as highly skilled fighters).

Apart from getting a fresh story from one of my faves, there are some amazing new faces entering the MCU. Jeff Goldblum as General Commodus, Cate Blanchett is the utterly badass Hela, and Tessa Thompson is the incredible Valkyrie. We didn’t get too much of Valkyrie in action (though she looks like she’ll be a force to be reckoned with), so I’m excited to see more of her. And Hela…oh man, Hela. I wasn’t sure how Cate Blanchett would do as an MCU baddie, but HOLY CRAP. Hela looks like she’s going to kick some serious ass in this film, and I am READY FOR IT.

As the MCU grows, it can get a bit nerve-wracking that this behemoth of comic book goodness will get too big for Disney and Marvel to handle well. However, I think Phase III has gotten off to a great start, and this new Thor film is going to knock everyone’s socks off. Of course we’ve got to wait quite a while for Thor to hit theaters–November, to be exact. But to slate your Marvel thirst, here are the dates of all of the amazing Marvel stuff coming out between then and now:

Out now: Iron Fist, Netflix
May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, theaters
July 7: Spider-Man: Homecoming, theaters
August 18: Defenders, Netflix

Are you excited about Thor: Ragnorak? What other Phase III properties are you excited to see? Let me know in the comments! 

Get Ready for Your First Shift at Los Pollos Hermanos

I’ve mentioned here before how much I loved the show Breaking Bad. I was a latecomer to the drug-addled fun, but I quickly became obsessed with the exploits of Jesse and Walt. So watching Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spin-off, was kind of a no-brainer for me.

Plus, I really love Bob Odenkirk. He’s my favorite marriage counselor-turned-actor.

bob odenkirk.gif

When I went to LA, I got to go to a taping of The Late Late Show with James Corden (proof, I’m the chick in denim jacket on the far right high-fiving Corden–who was sick with a cold that I would come down with a few days later), Bob Odenkirk was one of the guests. I randomly tried to get tickets for nearly every night of our LA trip well before the guests were announced, and the only show that we were able to get tickets to was the one with Odenkirk as a guest. It was serendipitous.

BUT I DIGRESS.

The point is, I love Breaking Bad and it’s spin-off Better Call Saul. One of my favorite aspects of the show is getting to see the “origin story” of some of my favorite BrBa characters. It’s great to see familiar faces like Mike, Tuco, and Crazy Eight (or Domingo) show up. In the coming season of Better Call Saul (which will premiere  Monday, April 10 on AMC), we get to see the early days of one of Breaking Bad‘s most infamous characters: Gus Fring.

do it.gif

Naturally, there’s a lot of hype behind Gus’ appearance on the show. After all, he’s the biggest villain that we’ve seen from Breaking Bad on the show since we met Tuco in the first two episodes of the BCS. BCS definitely re-introduced us to Tuco in a memorable and, dare I say, bone-crushing fashion. While Gus’ style was never as brazen as Tuco’s, I expect Gus’ introduction to Jimmy McGill’s world (or, more likely, Mike Ehrmantraut) to be just as memorable…though hopefully a bit less messy.

To keep that hype going, AMC released this fantastic Los Pollos Hermanos training video so we can all work our first shift at Pollos on the 10th in style. So check out Gustavo Fring’s video and listen to his wise words because remember, someone is always watching.

Remember to tune in to Better Call Saul on Monday, April 10 on  AMC! Let me know if you’ll be watching and any other Breaking Bad characters you’d like to see on BCS in the comments! 

YOU Could Name the Official Denver Comic Con 2017 Beer

Denver Comic Con 2015 Official Beer

It’s that time again! Time to enter the Denver Comic Con beer naming contest for 2017! As always, this contest is sponsored by the amazing Breckenridge Brewery. The exclusive DCC beer is one of the most fun and unique pieces of Denver Comic Con, and this year the mastermind behind the con beer could be YOU! Past cons have had amazing names like Hulk’s Mash and Snape-ricot (last year’s brew that I found particularly tasty), and I just know that some of you fine folks could think of some other fantastic names. So while you get your creative juices flowing, here are the contest details:

WHAT:

The annual “Name the Denver Comic Con Beer” contest starts March 21. This is the sixth year Breckenridge Brewery has brewed a special beer exclusive for Denver Comic Con (DCC). The 2017 DCC official beer is a Bohemian-style Pilsner. It’s delicate and well-balanced, light yet complex. Saaz hops, a classic pilsner ingredient, impart a pleasant, earthy aroma while giving spicy flavor characteristics and a crisp, dry finish. Past winners of the “Name the Comic Con Beer” contest are, The Fantastic Pour, The Caped Brewsader, Brews Wayne, Hulk’s Mash, and Snape-ricot.

WHEN:

March 21 – “Name the Denver Comic Con Beer” contest starts
March 23, 5:00 pm – Deadline for name submissions
March 24 – Final four names announced and voting period opens
March 29 – Official name and winner announced
April – May – Stay tuned for more info on final artwork and beer release date

HOW:

To submit an idea for a name, comment in the section of this Facebook post here by 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 23rd. Check back on Facebook, Friday March 24th to vote for one of the four select entries decided on by Breck and DCC.

WHY:

This year’s winning name will be illustrated by a local comic book artist and featured on this year’s DCC pint glass. The winner receives a custom prize package from Breckenridge Brewery that includes free beer for a year and a Denver Comic Con beer tap handle.

So get to naming, nerds! The hero behind this year’s brew could be YOU! And if you haven’t bought your passes for the con yet, be sure to get yours ASAP! Are you attending DCC? Let me know if you are, or your other convention plans in the comments! 

Image credit: Breckenridge Breqwery

Please Enjoy theCHIVE’s Secret First Look at Iron Fist

,aIron Fist is set to hit Netflix on March 17! If the waiting for a new Netflix Marvel series is KILLING you, I’ve got some good news. theCHIVE is featuring an exclusive clip on their site. But, because we’re dealing with Danny Rand here, you’ve got to get a bit creative to reach the content.

iron fist.gif

When you get to theCHIVE, you’ve got to enter a secret cheat code (think old-school gaming): Up, Up, Down, Down, left, right, left, right, b,a

Once you do that, you’ll have to break through a brick wall (because Iron Fist, y’all) to access the content. Of course, if you can’t make the cheat code doesn’t work, or you just want to make things easier, you can access the clip by entering “Danny Rand” into theCHIVE’s search bar. Trust me, regardless of how you get there, you’re gonna want to check out this clip. March 17th cannot get here quickly enough!

What did you think of the new clip? Are you excited for Iron Fist, or are you more excited for another Netflix Marvel show to return? How do you think Danny Rand will play into The Defenders? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! 

Feast Your Eyes on the New Doctor Who Trailer!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper, season-long adventure with the Doctor. Can you believe that season 9 ended in 2015?! But happily, our wait for the new season of Doctor Who is nearly over. Season 10–also known as the first season for Pearl Mackie’s companion, Bill, and Peter Capaldi‘s final season as the Doctor–will start on April 15. From the looks of the trailer, we’re in for a fun season.

Capaldi’s Doctor has been met with some mixed reviews. He was starkly different from Matt Smith‘s Raggedy Man, and fans had a bit of a tough time adjusting to that new dynamic between Clara and the Doctor. However, I personally felt like Capaldi finally settled into his role as the Doctor last season, and I think this new season will be the perfect cherry on top of his tenure as our favorite time traveler from Gallifrey.

But in addition to saying hello to new faces and goodbye to old ones, it looks like this season has a lot of fun in store for us. We, happily, will get to see more of Michelle Gomez as Missy/The Master, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and we’ll also get to see some of our old faves like Daleks and Cybermen (and not just the upgraded Cybermen–this season will kick it old school with the original 1960’s Cybermen), as well as the return of the Ice Monsters.

So even though we’re going to have to say goodbye to yet another Doctor (and potentially a companion, as there is no word on Pearl Mackie’s intentions to stay or go after Capaldi regenerates), this season is shaping up to be one hell of a last ride for Twelve…or Thirteen, depending on how you count the War Doctor. Regardless of where you count him, be sure to set your DVRs for the Doctor Who premiere on April 15th on BBC America!

What do you think of the season 10 trailer? What are you most pumped to see this season? Are you excited to see Peter Capaldi regenerate, or did he win you over? Who do you want to see helm the TARDIS once he’s gone? Tell me in the comments! 

International Women’s Day: To the Women Who Inspired Me

It’s International Women’s Day, so in honor of this day celebrating girl-power and badass women doing amazing things, I wanted to highlight the women who have inspired me. While I thought about doing a post highlighting some of my favorites from movies, books, and television, I decided instead to focus on those real-life women who inspired me as a writer. These are the women that gave me courage, made me feel empowered, and made me feel like my goals were achievable. Our world wouldn’t be the same without these women, and I know several of you likely feel the same way.

Felicia Day

felicia day
Felicia is such a huge inspiration to me. She blazed her own trail, opting to make her hugely popular webseries, The Guild, on her own when she couldn’t  a network interested. She’s created her own website, her own brand, and she gave us all permission to embrace our inner weird and to be unabashedly ourselves. She’s also legitimately kind. She can sit at a book signing for hours, and make everyone feel like they’re the first person she’s interacted with all day–I got to experience this firsthand. All the while, Felicia is battling crippling anxiety, and isn’t embarrassed about it. She’s helped me feel empowered to blaze my own trail, start something based on my passions, and to not feel embarrassed about my mental health struggles.

Rachel Bloom

rachel bloom.gif

Do you ever read or watch something, and it’s so good that you get almost annoyed that you didn’t write it yourself? That is how I feel when I watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It’s that perfect blend of self-deprecating humor, feminism, messed up, dark humor, dumb humor, and ~*~showtunes~*~ that speaks to a very specific part of me that I didn’t think anyone else had. Rachel wrote a show that is real about mental illness, it doesn’t shy away from making its heroine strong and likeable yet DEEPLY flawed,  and it portrays women in a real and hilarious way. I’m a latecomer to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but I’m so glad to have found something that speaks to my sense of humor so specifically. She inspires me to write stuff that truly makes me laugh, and she inspires me to be true to myself while owning my shit (even if that comes from writing a hyperbolic version of myself where she admits how messed up she is).

Mindy Kaling

mindy kaling

Mindy Kaling inspired me to embrace all parts of myself, and to not be just one thing. She’s girly, she’s sarcastic, she’s hilarious, she’s smart, she’s creative, she’s quick to acknowledge her shortcomings, but she’s confident (or at least appears confident) in her strengths. She hustled her ass off to write Matt and Ben, to write for The Office, get her own show, and she writes the most hilarious and relatable books ever. She inspires me to be a better writer and a better businesswoman.

Tina Fey

tina fey

Tina Fey doesn’t just inspire me to be a better writer, but she also inspires me to lean in to my quirks. She’s self-deprecating, she shined one of the best (and most accurate) lights on my kind of introversion, and the fact that the idea of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt came from her brain makes her my kind of twisted. Tina Fey was one of the first women to show me that women can be really, really funny, and that they can write stuff that will make you cry laughing, and they can do it all while rockin’ a Snuggie, snacking on some Night Cheese. She was the original person to inspire me to be myself in my writing, and let myself be real, at least in the stuff I wrote.

Carrie Fisher

carrie fisher.gif

Carrie Fisher. She was the first. I knew Leia Organa long before I really knew anything about Carrie Fisher. Through Leia, she taught me about being strong and being brave (I wrote all about this at Nerdist, so I won’t rehash it here). However, as I grew up and saw her in other roles like the furious jilted lover in Blues Brothers, and as I learned about her as a person, her own struggles with addiction and mental illness, I saw her more as an IRL-embodiment of that princess from Alderaan that first inspired me as a little girl. Fisher was honest, brutally honest, and she was never afraid to use her mistakes to help teach others. She was vocal about her mental health, and made other people–me included–not only feel safe to share their struggles, but made us feel empowered. After all, if Princess freaking Leia could still be amazing while having to fight with her own brain, so could we, right? But she wasn’t just an advocate and an actor. She also wrote–and she wrote amazingly well. She has that dark sense of humor I love, and she is able to effortlessly make you laugh and make you think all at the same time. Plus, she was an unabashed crazy dog lady. Carrie Fisher has been a constant, ever-evolving source of inspiration for me since I first met her watching Star Wars as a little girl. She inspires me to be creative, to be bold, to be honest, to be funny, and to be strong.

Who are some the women who have inspired you? Tell me in the comments, and be sure to tell THEM! Happy International Women’s Day!