When I was in Ninth Grade, I won a thing.
That thing, in particular, was a thirty dollar Barnes & Noble gift certificate. I was still too young for a part-time job, so I didn’t have this kind of spending cash on me, ever. I felt like a god.
Drunk with power, I fancy-stepped my way to my local B&N. I was ready to choose new books based solely on the most important of qualities…BADASS COVER ART. I walked away with a handful of paperbacks, most of which were horrible (I’m looking at you, Man-Kzin Wars III) or simply forgettable.
One book did not disappoint. I fell down the rabbit hole into a series that proved to be as badass as the cover art promised (Again, Man-Kzin Wars III, way to drop the ball on that one). With more than a dozen books in the series, I devoured them. I bought cassette tapes of ballads sung by bards in the stories. And the characters. Oh, the characters. I loved them. Gryphons, mages, but most importantly, lots of women. Different kinds of women. So many amazing women. I looked up to them, wrote bad fiction that lifted entire portions of dialogue and character descriptions, dreamed of writing something that the author would include in an anthology.
This year I decided in a fit of nostalgia to revisit the books I loved so damn much. I wanted to reconnect with my old friends…
…and I found myself facing Mary Sues. Lots of them. Perfect, perfect, perfect. A fantasy world full of Anakin Skywalkers and Nancy Drews and Wesley Crushers. I felt crushed. I had remembered such complex, deep characters and didn’t see those women in front of me at all anymore. Where were those strong women who kept me safe through the worst four years of my life?
Which led me to an important realization as I soldiered on through book after book. That’s why I needed them. Because they were Mary Sues. These books were not written to draw my attention to all the ugly bumps and whiskers of the real world. They were somewhere to hide. I was painfully aware that I was being judged by my peers and adults and found lacking. I was a fuckup. And sometimes a fuckup needs to feel like a Mary Sue. As an adult, these characters felt a little thin because they lacked the real world knowledge I, as an adult, had learned and earned. But that’s the thing…these books weren’t FOR this current version of myself. Who I am now doesn’t need a flawless hero because I’m comfortable with the idea that valuable people are also flawed.
There is a reason that most fanfiction authors, specifically girls, start with a Mary Sue. It’s because girls are taught that they are never enough. You can’t be too loud, too quiet, too smart, too stupid. You can’t ask too many questions or know too many answers. No one is flocking to you for advice. Then something wonderful happens. The girl who was told she’s stupid finds out that she can be a better wizard than Albus Dumbledore. And that is something very important. Terrible at sports? You’re a warrior who does backflips and Legolas thinks you’re THE BEST. No friends? You get a standing ovation from Han Solo and the entire Rebel Alliance when you crash-land safely on Hoth after blowing up the Super Double Death Star. It’s all about you. Everyone in your favorite universe is TOTALLY ALL ABOUT YOU.
I started writing fanfiction the way most girls did, by re-inventing themselves.
Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.
As a girl, being “selfish” was the worst thing you could be. Now you live in Narnia and Prince Caspian just proposed marriage to you. Why? Your SELF is what saved everyone from that sea serpent. Plus your hair looks totally great braided like that.
In time, hopefully, these hardworking fanfiction authors realize that it’s okay to be somewhere in the middle and their characters adjust to respond to that. As people grow and learn, characters grow and learn. Turns out your Elven Mage is more interesting if he isn’t also the best swordsman in the kingdom. Not everyone needs to be hopelessly in love with your Queen for her to be a great ruler. There are all kinds of ways for people to start owning who they are, and embracing the things that make them so beautifully weird and complicated.
Personally, though, I think it’s a lot more fun learning how to trust yourself and others if you all happen to be riding dragons.
Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.
A girl making herself the hero of her own story is a radical act. Stop shaming girls for doing it. Stop shaming yourself for it.
This is a really good point.
(Image description: A partial screenshot of a blog post. The title reads “How I reduced screaming and verbal stimming in my child with autism”, and below that is a colour photograph of a hand holding a rectangular plastic “clicker” device.)
I think I may have mentioned this blog post, and the sadness and confusion I felt when I came across it, in one of my videos. This screenshot is from the blog of an “autism parent”. Yes, that is a clicker. Yes, she is encouraging the use of animal training methods on Autistic children. Yes, she considers any kind of vocal stimming, not just screaming, to be a “bad behaviour”. To top it all off, her blog banner reads, “Discovering SOLUTIONS to the Everyday Problems of Living with AUTISM”. Here is an excerpt from her tutorial on how to train your disabled child like a dog to have a “Quiet Mouth”:
Third, I sat back and watched my child. Since he was making bad noises, I decided to reinforce Quiet Mouth (i.e., lips together, no sound). Whenever he had a split second of Quiet Mouth, I immediately tagged (made a click-sound with the device) and handed over a treat. Every time his mouth was Quiet, I tagged (clicked) and treated. Soon there was much more Quiet Mouth behavior. When doing this it is important to ignore and pay no attention to vocal stims or screaming. Do not look at the child, do not speak to him/her or explain. Just say nothing, and immediately tag and treat as soon as there is even a split second of Quiet Mouth. You can also tag and treat a child for any appropriate vocalizations. If he/she says a nice word, or makes an appropriate comment, then tag and reinforce that. Your goal is to increase Quiet Mouth and appropriate vocalizations.
And sadly, as bad as this attitude and treatment of Autistic children is, this is a relatively tame example when compared to the other unethical treatments, therapies, and methods of discipline that Autistic children are being subjected to every day (all in the name of making them appear less obviously Autistic). This is why we need Autism Acceptance Month and not the fear-mongering, negative, misinformed “awareness” that Autism Speaks and its allies are pumping out this April.
We need acceptance because Autistic children should be loved and accepted wholly and completely for who they are, not hurt and mistreated in their parent’s frantic search for a “cure”. Because Autistic people deserve to be treated with respect and listened to, not silenced and forced or coerced to conform to an ableist, non-disabled ideal. Because Autistic children need accommodation and understanding to live healthy, happy lives, not sketchy “treatments” and intensive, soul-crushing “therapies” to try to make them appear more neurotypical and less Autistic.
For more information on ASAN’s Autism Acceptance Month, see the about page on the website here: http://www.autismacceptancemonth.com/about/
oh what the fuck :(oh my…….gOD Idc what kind of mental condition your kid has, they’re not some kind of animal or pet or object, what the fuck is wrong with people who treat the disabled like this
It’s like that lady watched that episode of South Park where Cartman’s mom resorts to asking The Dog Whisperer to help control Cartman and she was like “wow why didn’t I think of that?”
I feel really bad about posting this since I don’t want to be associated with the furious hoards who hate John Green and his books since I don’t know enough about them, plus this book is really important to my best friend- But I wanted something to parody for homework and I couldn’t stop laughing at how he thought the reason why he gave a cigarette company money would change the fact that she was pissed for him giving a cigarette company money.
i think i have solid ground to stand on when i say that i normally don’t engage with this shit.
seeing people gleefully imagine domestic violence, though?
seeing people on other threads *create gifsets* because they so badly want to imagine, want to see, fatal domestic violence?
i am revolted.
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
Just in case you weren’t on the moon last night. This is what earth looked like from the moon’s perspective
Being fit isn’t about body size or shape. It’s about optimizing your body’s potential to do awesome shit like this.
this is so inspirational.
For real. I am so tired of people equating fit to being thin. Fuck that.
this is the first time i’ve seen this posted with body positive messages. great!
As someone who has done gymnastics in various forms, his height is incredible. Check out where his head is - nearly chest level! And he drops his legs down so easily, arms tucked back casually.
Rock on, dude. You’re amazing.
I hate that “you can’t be fat and fit” bullshit because it cuts an entire body type out of the equation.
People typically fall into three categories: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Ectomorphs are skinny, wiry people with fast metabolisms who build lean muscle (think track runners or gymnasts). Mesomorphs are of the archetypal athletic body type that builds muscle while burning fat; they become bodybuilders and hunky actors.
Endomorphs, the third category, are always dismissed as unhealthy for the bullshit reasons I will detail: While they gain body fat easily, they gain muscle just as easily. But since it develops under a layer of fat you can’t see it. This doesn’t mean it’s not there. An endomorph could be a bear-wrestling Appalachian trail-hiking badass and people would still look at them and think “wow look at that fatass I bet they never move”. Bitch have you ever seen a linebacker they’re fat and they run just as much as the other guys on the team. Which is another point: endomorphs can do cardio and still be fat. Their bodies don’t let go of fat without a fight and the lengths they’d have to go to in order to lose most or all of their body fat (too much exercise, too little food) could in fact be detrimental to their health. Hell, I know a cross-country hiker with a beer belly who runs six miles a day without breaking a sweat.
tl;dr the notion that body fat automatically equates to poor muscle and cardio health is a notion that only works under the assumption that everyone is naturally ectomorphic or mesomorphic. This is not true thus this idea is wrong and stupid.
THERE IS SOME REALLY GOOD INFO IN THIS POST
THIS HELPS ME SO MUCH
One of the best acrobats from Circus Harmony was tall and fat. He could fly just as gracefully as any of the lithe ‘gymnast-shaped’ performers.
What ferry incident I hear some of you say? This ferry incident.
At least 2 dead, 293 missing after S. Korea ferry full of students sinks
459 on board; 2 dead 164 rescued 293 missing
Please be sensitive as this does mean that South Korean entertainment items will be delayed out of respect and caution. And yes, this does include EXO’s overdose. Please be calm and remember that human life is more important than an on-time music video. http://
Dobby’s first and last words.
You know what fuck this gifset
harry potter harry potter
harry potter harry potter
DreamWorks Animation Studios has announced the addition of a black female heroine (gasp!) to its repertoire of white dogs, green ogres, snails, Neanderthals, pandas, white people and Antz. In doing so, it joins an elite club consisting of … well, nobody.
Not one major Hollywood studio has released a 3D animated feature starring a black character.
SHES VOICED BY RIHANNA
IVE BEEN YELLING ABOUT THIS MOVIE FOREVER