Rowan Blanchard is a 13-year-old girl who defines passionate. This is true not only for her work on “Girl meets the world,” but also in everything she does –she is a vocal activist and an ambassador for the #TeamHeForShe. You can see this on the essay she posted on her Tumblr and Instagram accounts.
Most celebrities would rather avoid questions related to social issues, because once you expose your opinion on a difficult subject, you are signing up for multiple collateral effects.
On Tumblr, grnblu asked: Row, I wanted to ask your opinion on the term “white feminism” and how common feminism might exclude women of color and non cis/queer women (ex: women are stronger because they have periods! or men don’t have to think about how they dress when in public!)
Rowan could have avoided this question, but she chose to use her fame as a Disney starlet as a tool to reach the masses and discuss such an important topic. We are all glad she did it.
A month ago my friend and I were waiting at the bus stop after work when two young men approached. One of them was holding a gun and told my friend to give him her purse, while the other one went straight to the other five women at that bus stop. I looked into my friend’s eyes, and in my mind I told her not to hand over her purse, I told her this wasn’t happening, that it had to be a joke.
But when I realized that it wasn’t a joke, I froze.
It felt like I was watching the whole thing from above. I saw the other guy taking the women’s purses, I saw them begging for their stuff. I thought to myself, “No, my purse no! I won’t give you MY purse!” There was nothing of value in that purse, but my first reaction was to protect what was mine, even that big umbrella I forgot I was holding fiercely.
Then I did what people always told me not to do: I ran.
I can’t figure it out whether I was brave or just dumb enough to do that, but I turned around the corner and realized that the street was completely deserted. There was no one I could call for help, except for a car parked with open doors waiting for those guys to come back.
I turned back and saw that they were coming towards the car, and somehow it was as if they didn’t see me there. I don’t know whether I was miraculously invisible or they were too busy to mind me, but they got into the car and sped away.
Luckily they didn’t hurt any of the women, and they didn’t steal anything from me, at least not my stuff, but they did something worse; they stole my peace! They stole my hope, they stole my faith in people, and I couldn’t trust anyone anymore, not even the old lady sitting in the seat next to mine, on the bus that I took right after the guys drove off.
I have been a big fan of telenovelas since I was a child, actually I don’t know why I let too much drama into my life at such a young age, but anyways. As I grew older I became more critic regarding to what I was going to watch, so unconsciously I quit watching telenovelas (except when SBT reprized La Usurpadora –because Paola Bracho is an icon!), that was until a few weeks ago when my older sister, Jessica, invited me to watch Corazón Indomable, a Mexican telenovela produced by Nathalie Lartilleux for Televisa. It is a remake of the 1994 Mexican telenovela, Marimar and a new version of La Indomable created by the legendary writer Inés Rodena.
In short, Corazón Indomable could be described as a typical “melodrama Mexicano”, but after watching 50 episodes in a row, I can tell you that this story can teach you a couple of life lessons, too. Although the whole story has 162 episodes, 50 are enough for you to see how the story develops itself, and possibly how it’s going to end (or at least, how you expect it to end).
Maricruz Olivares lives with Ramiro, her maternal grandfather, and Solita, who is deaf-mute and whom they found abandoned when she was a little baby. She lives in a shack located in the middle of nature, near the Narvaez´s ranch property line. Miguel and Octavio are siblings and they both own the Narvaez´s ranch, which is mortgaged because of the bad administration Miguel, the older brother, has made. Octavio is a pilot and arrives in the ranch in need of money since he has lost his job and wants the lands to be sold. He doesn´t imagine that soon he will forget this purpose and will discover that the earth, the sowing and sharing with the workmen become a source of passion for him.
Octavio meets Maricruz while he is traveling around the lands and catches his foreman mistreating her. Regardless of her humble origins, he defends her as a gentleman. Immediately, he is trapped by her sympathy and beauty. When Octavio discovers the malice with which Lucia, his sister-in-law, treats Maricruz, he gets really angry and decides to marry Maricruz in order to teach his brother and Lucia a lesson.
However, when he receives a tempting job offer as a pilot, Octavio leaves the ranch and asks his brother to give Maricruz his part of the land. Lucia and her cousin Esther set a trap to Maricruz who is accused unjustly of being a thief and ends up in jail. Fortunately, a lawyer believes in her and achieves her freedom; but when she returns, she is shocked to discover that her grandparent died during a fire.
Some things go witout saying and yet I feel like explaining myself sometimes. Therefore I decided to write this post to tell you a little bit about me, what I do and moreover: what I believe in.
When I say that I am proud to be Christian is because to be a Christian means to be the best version of yourself, to be kind and merciful, to forgive and be forgiven. My belief in God invites me to see the world through God’s lovely eyes and the mankind as His masterpiece. God is a verb and that’s why I believe that words are powerful!
I decided I wanted to tell stories when I was twelve, but I only became a writer at the age of 19, at 21 I decided that I wanted to write in English, not only in Portuguese (my native language) this took the challenge of writing to another level for me. But don’t take me wrong, I love Portuguese, I love what it means to be a Brazilian, but I also knew that in order to achieve my goals in life I had to break the barriers of communication between me and the rest of the world.
I don’t mean to brag myself here but I need to tell you that I learned English and Spanish all by myself (with the assistance of some lovely friends). And the reason I have to say this is because I won’t have a certificate to prove my skills, because I couldn’t afford these courses (that happen to be very expensive in Brazil), but I couldn’t let the lack of money to be an obstacle on my way to pursue my dreams.
Speaking of dreams, I am a dreamer! Dreams are what moves me, along with my unshakable faith and hope for a better future. I may seem a little naive for thinking that way, but although I am aware of the evils of this world, I decided to have faith in the unconscious ability that human beings have of doing good. Because doing good was supposed to be our first response to everything, the problem is that sometimes we think too much.
I think too much(!), I care too much, I feel too much, too much that sometimes it feels like my heart is going to explode, that’s the price you pay for being a sensitive person, but it has its rewards too, it allows me to make wise decisions, and sense what other people are feeling, which makes me more empathetic and compassionate.
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is not an easy task, that’s the reason I admire people that can do that in real life and in front of the cameras. As shallow as the entertainment industry can be, I truly believe that it has a crucial importance in our society, television as much as TV shows, telenovelas and movies have the unique ability of starting conversations that matter, as they portray our lives on the screens they help us to think outside the box, and the limited scenarios of our lives.
I haven’t always had this view about life, there was a time in which I almost gave up on everything. Life can be really tough at times, but remember that: just because you are having a bad day it doesn’t mean that you have a bad life. That’s the most beautiful thing about God, He has the power of erasing your failures in order to increase your virtues and highlight your qualities, so you can live life to the fullest!
With all my heart,
A reflection on Malala’s birthday action. Originally posted on iamthatgirl.com.
Malala turned 18 on July 12th, and she had one wish. She wants us to show world leaders we choose #BooksNotBullets
Post a photo of yourself holding up your favorite book and share why YOU choose #BooksNotBullets – and tell world leaders to fund the real weapon for change, education.
— Luana Mattos (@luanatmattos) July 12, 2015
This action made me wonder how we have got to this point of fighting against each other using guns. That’s not the way I want to fight, I want to fight with my voice, with my words, not with my body, I have never raised a hand against another human being, except when I was a child, way before education, before I learn that there were other ways to fight a good fight, that people did not have to get hurt just so I can make a point. Why? Why are we turning against our own race? Don’t they know we are all part of a big and only family? That the fact that among all these 7 billions of people on Earth and the hundreds that have lived before us, none of us share the same fingerprint just to remind ourselves how unique we are, that all hands together are capable of creating something so beautiful and so wonderful that overpasses our understanding?! I believe that if we choose books over bullets we may be able to witness this! “The shocking truth is that world leaders have the money to fully fund primary AND secondary education around the world – but they are choosing to spend it on other things, like their military budgets. In fact, if the whole world stopped spending money on the military for just 8 days, we could have the $39 billion still needed to provide 12 years of free, quality education to every child on the planet.” Says Malala.
Malala shares why she chooses #booksnotbullets. Will you, too? Post your photo & take action –> (details in profile link) *** “I chose ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ because the book reveals the courage and strength of a young girl living under war and conflict. It inspires me to believe that every child deserves the right to dream, the right to learn and the right to live in peace. I urge world leaders to prioritize education because education is the only way through which we can defeat terrorism, fight against poverty and bring peace and prosperity. The money that is spent on just a few guns, if given to a child’s education, can change that child’s life. We cannot stop terrorism just by killing the terrorists and people. We need to fight against the ideology of terrorism and extremism, and that can be done successfully only through education. If a child, suffering from poverty and difficulties, is not given a book, he will pick up a gun. I call on my sisters and brothers all around the world to join me in this mission – #booksnotbullets.” -Malala Uma foto publicada por Malala Yousafzai (@malalafund) em
To celebrate her 18th birthday Malala and the Fund opened a school for child refugees of the Syrian civil war in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. As a child Malala lived under war and conflict, now as an adult she stands for girls that are still under the threat of extremists.
Malala is determined to fight for their education, but she can’t do it without your help. Donate now to stand with Malala and support this new project.