The Chosen

I recently joined the millions of other Christians in my country who have been watching the new series “the Chosen.”

Some say it’s the best show about Jesus to come out.

And I’ve made it through all the available episodes, and I’ve been enjoying it.

This wouldn’t be a very interesting post if that was all I had to say though, and unfortunately, my impression of it is not all positive.

If you are new the blog and just clicked on this post out of curiosity then you may wonder why you should care what I think, though you’re you’re probably still curious, because don’t we all like to read critical reviws of whatever’s popular.

But I do have one claim to a relavent relavent opinion, I’ve been reading the Bible since I was a child, and have read the Gospels many times, which is the main source material for the show. I’m not a bible scholar officially, but I’m about as scholarly as laymen get.

And since I am the target audience for this show, a young woman who is always open to getting a btter undestnad of Jesus, I think my opinion ought to interest some people.

That out of the way, let’s begin:

What I like

I don’t need a lot of time for this part.

I love the sets and backdrops of this show, I can’t figure out how a webseries has the budget for those sets and constumes. They’re beautiful and very real feeling, maybe not dirty enough always, but I’m not one to complain about that.

A lot of beautiful locations too.

Also, the acting is good. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s believable most of the time. The actors clearly enjoy their roles.

Jesus ins’t a stiff, I like that. I mean, he’s alive again for a reason, people. I’ve never been of the party that thinks Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor, or that God doens’t. I have pets, I know God has a sense of Humor.

I do enjoy the miracles too… well, some of them. It’s very cool to see that with better technology than we used to have to depict these things.

What I don’t like

“Dislike” can be a strong word. Most of the things that I didn’t like about the show were minor annoyances that I was williing to let go of.

Again,I’m not a stickler for presenting Jesus as “holier than thou” super serious, and a buzz kill. I never have liked that version of Jesus.

As for the internal conflict, one of the other main complaints about the plot, I mostly don’t mind that either. We know from the Gospels that the disciples had clashes sometimes. They argued about who was the greatest.

If anything, they are a little too mature in this story because it’s hard to picture these guys having such a stupid argument. I guess we all stumble.

But there are some things I don’t feel right just glossing over as flaws in the show. Some because they are writing errors, and others because I am concerned they are going agaisnt scripture.

The smaller concern is the writing errors.

It’s not the most important thing, but approaching the Gospel and taking the stories out of order and giving the characters motivations not specifically denoted in the Bible creates problems.

The first being, the timeline is totally messed up. John the Baptist has been in and out of imprisonment, and has no disciples following him at the current point in the story, and this is kind of a problem if they wish to accurately portray the real issues he and Jesus had in the Gospel. When his disciples came to ask Jeuss if he was the one o ne, or if they looked for another.

Jesus responded them “Tell John, the blind see, the deaf hear,”

I wonder if John really doubted, or if his disciples did and he sent them to Jesus just to see what he’d tell them. Haven’t we all set up people to get a verbal set down at least once? No? Just me?

Even if John doubted, it was while he was in prison. Not before. this time line has become very confusing.

Also, I’m not sure that esus even met Mary MAdalgene befor ehe called teh 12. But, that’s not something we can verifiy, so I’d let that one slide.

The real issue is being in seaons 2 and not having all 12 dispcile stoghet yet. A lot of JEsu misntiry hasn’t evens tarted yet, because most o fi tihappend after he had the 12, and alarge other amoung of folower.

He sents out 70, if I reember right, to prepare the way for him. He hasn’t collected even half that maount now. And taht wasn’t that far into his 3 year misntiry.

they could decide to removed this, but since this is a very detailed vesrionf of the story, it would be odd to do so. Most depictiosn of JEsus only focus on his miracle, or hhis death. They odn’t try to vocer all the in bewteeen.

And there’s a godo reaosn for that.

The disciples themselves who wrote of his deeds said if they included all of them, the world couldn’t hold the books.

IT’s ahrd to picurre just how cosntnat jesus works must have been, for them tos ay that.

So, sadly, any depiction of him as he lived his dilay life, is never going to be able to fit in all that he did.

The problem this presents us is that, it is impossible for it to be true to Jesus’s experiences under such limitations.

But I think that the show maybe be making the problem even worse by spending so much time on Jesus doing very little.

Case in point: Episdoe 5

This episode annoyed me, not because of them partying a did so Jesus that I don’t believe in, but because they portrayed a side of him that wouldn’t have existed unless they wrote it in.

When John and Jesus are talking about his ministry, John asks Jesus why he isn’t doing more, why he doesn’t call out the sins of the people more, the corruption at high levels.

And Jesus seems to ba little heistiant about answering, and cautioning John not to call out Herod’s sin.

I’m sorry, Jesus? Our Jesus? The Jesus that preached against sin constantly? That Jesus? Is telling John not to do this?

Is Jesus confused?

I know that I would get called uptight for complaining about it. Because “oh Jesus was human, they’re just showing him and John as human.”

I guess “human” now means uncertain of what to do in life. But that’s not what it used to mean.

What gulls me about this is that there is no biblical foundation for that scene whatsoever. And, the circumstances prompting it, John’s questions, would not exist, has Jesus been doing as he actually did in scripture.

Jesus called out the sins of the pharisee very early on in his ministry (something I cannot even see their version of him doing so far). He called out the secret sins of the heart in one of his first recorded sermons, the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5-7.

What puzzles me is that the writer have knowingly rearranged what Jesus did, and now, are making excuses for it, with his character. As if John is being used to lampshade their own show by asking what the audience might be asking, like “uh, why are we not getting more than one miracle per episode, save for the one with Mary.”

A good question. Jesus did miracles constantly, and he’s barely done any, yet most of his disciples are gathered..?

Yeah, if I were John the Baptist, and had read the Gospel, I’d be wondering what was going on with this version of Jesus too.

See, it’s actually bad writing to create problems, and then use characters to argue over those came problems, in an adaptation, because it would not have been there had you stayed true to the source materials. If you have to change the characters and actions so much to create conflict, you are doing something the author never did, and people don’t always read the source material, and will blame you for doing it.

Like those awful changes they made in the Narnia movies that made no dang sense…

I have another problem with John questioning Jesus at all and actually telling him what to do.

John, the same John who says “whose sandels I am not worthy to untie?” Is going to tell Jesus he’s dong it wrong.

John is the one who said “The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

I won’t say John never had doubts or questions, but it’s one thing to wonder, it’s another to go so far as to reprove Jesus. The one John believed was the son of God before anyone else did, even. An often overlooked fact.

Who said “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

Oh, and yet another problem here.

By the time John got arrested by Herod, Jesus already had a huge minority. We know this because he had began baptizing people, (his disciples had, John 4:2 ), and some of John’s were going over to Jesus. John said this was how it should be. That is was the natural order of things, basically.

Jesus had way more followers by that point. And John got arrested after that.

It would not have been when he still had less than 20. And hadn’t started doing a lot of miracles yet.

So between the timeline being messed up, and deviating from scripture, we have a serious problem.

Now John saying that isn’t going to make any sense, I doubt it will even happen, since he’s going to get killed by Herod (spoiler to no one who’s read the gospel.)

And that’s a key thing about ministry that will not get to be included in this show.

They changed John from the Bible.

And you may say that it’s not a big deal to change it. I’d counter that it’s too much change for a historical figure. A good example would be if someone made a movie about Martin Luther King Jr. and portrayed him as being racist against Mexicans, or mistreating other black people under him. It’s just not his character. Wouldn’t that get a real rise out of people?

But we can’t prove he wasn’t like that…

We can’t prove he was either.

And they changed Jesus, who never once doubted his own actions on record.

We attribute human weakness to Jesus because we know he was tempted like we are, but there is a reason He is not recorded at saying them.

Words have power. Jesus’s had more power than anyone.

Whatever he sometimes felt and thought, he would not have voiced doubt in God, until that moment on the cross when it was part of completing his desolation.

Once you speak doubt, it take a much former hold on you. Even a psychologist would tell you that.

And, as a writer, I also know that using doubt in a story can be complicated. I actually stay away from it unless it serves a specific purpose.

Call me crazy but doubt doesn’t make me relate to characters more, or like them. I want to be confident in what I’m doing. I hate doubt.

And I get annoyed when characters obsess over it. For crying out loud, if you’re that unsure, I’m not sure you’re the right person for the job. (No disrespect to Moses or Gideon, there’s exceptions, in God, but He does tells us not to doubt. God treats doubt as an evil He sometimes has to get around, but mostly will just not tolerate.)

I find other elements of the show weird, like their portrayal of demons. Anyone who’s actually witness deliverance ministry knows it’s nothing like what they are showing. How it would be for Jesus, I don’t know, but the whole “false name thing” has no scriptural foundation. Demons have names, but people possessed by them don’t change their names. It’s doubtful if they even remember them half the time.

Also, calling out someone’s true name is not how you free them from a demon. It can be part of healing and other forms of ministry, but only Jesus casts out demons, and only His name is able to overcome them, not ours.

The Bible says God “gave him the name is above every name” for a reason.

That’s not the biggest problem, it’s just weird.

But the biggest problem is what I already mentioned. Going too far from scriptures.

I was watching the live chat for the episode, and someone said “This is like historical fiction for the Gospel.”

Right. That’s exaclty right.

Actually, it’s more like fan fiction.

Historical fiction doesn’t change how real life people acted, usually. It is set around someone who didn’t actually live then, experience it. And while they may give real figures in history more personality, they don’t change their actions, because that’s not historical then.

Fan fictions, on the other hand, is where you change canon characters and how they act and what they feel and what their backstories are.

And now my question, a serous one, is: How is Historical Fan fiction about the Gospels actually helping us?”

I can’t be the only one who wonders what the point of this show is.

The first season diverged less from “canon” if you will, but season 2 is taking some big creative leaps.

And why?

I believe strongly in the potency of the Gospels, as being God inspired for accuracy and power, and many people have been changed by reading them.

I don’t believe nearly as much in the power of a “good example” to win souls.

We are called to be a “good example” of course, or we are hypocrites. And sometimes that’s the only witness we can have.

But the primary commission of christian is to preach, heal, and free people. Jesus told us to do that.

And so, telling an accurate account of him is very important if we’re going to go everywhere and preach about Him.

You see, I don’t need “one interpretation” of Jesus. I need Jesus. I need Him as he was, what he really said, because I believe He said it for a reason. I believe there’s power in his words that there is not in ordinary men.

Changing what He said, and how He said it, to me is a great affront to Jesus, because it is as if we think we can explain what He meant better than he can.

Paraphrase, sure. Use an analogy to help people, absolutely.

But base it off what he actually said.

And when you have Jesus portrayed by an actor, being in His time, in His place, then changing what he said is a very problematical. It’s wrong, sometimes.

I noted it when he healed the man who was lame for so many years too. he didn’t say the same things to Him.

I for one, don’t think Jesus needs to really explain what He’s going to do, He just does it. I think it takes away form the power of what He says if you add all these weird explanations He never gave on record of why He said it.

To Jesus, healing the man was a simple as telling him to get up and walk. He didn’t have to say “I’m what you need” because He was what He needed. You don’t have to tell someone that if it’s obvious.

Please.

It sounds like I’m nitpicking, and that’s because it’s very hard to convey what I mean. It’s something you almost have to know God already to know is true.

If you know Jesus, deeply, you know he is direct.

I make up reasons, I make up explanations, I make up a backstory for what He’s telling me, I may be right, I may be wrong.

But He just tells me. Jesus isn’t vague.

If I’ve learned one thing from reading Jesus and imitating Him when I write, it’s that, when He is vague, He is actually being the most direct. It is only vague because we don’t understand it.

If a scientist said to you E=MC squared, with no context, you might say “that was really vague and cryptic.”

But to the scientist, that make perfect sense. It’s actually a very exact answer to them. Because it’s an equation. This is not room for interpreting.

When Jesus called out sin, and told us what it meant to be right now, I don’t think He intends us to try to interpret it away.

Some things require context and research now that’s it’s been 2000 years, but it’s important to remember, when they were spoken, that was not the case. I suspect it was crystal clear to them.

When Jesus was vague was with Parables, and those are not really that vague, just hard to grasp in fullness.

I just wonder, if anyone watching The Chosen and truly walking away with a better understanding of Jesus.

You see, The Chosen, is taking Jesus, and putting a modern spin on him. Changing his words, using our church cliches that no one really understands.

And that might be okay as a paraphrase, but it’s not as a direct quote, if you catch my meaning.

And what good is watching a paraphrase? Paraphrase is useful only for a few moments to help you understand the original meaning better, if you go to a paraphrase as your source of truth, you lose something in the translation. If you’ve ever read a “no fear Shakespeare” paraphrase, you know what I mean (ugh.)

You see, someone who only watches the Chosen, as it is now, would be quite shocked with how Jesus is in the Bible.

He would seem cold by comparison. Cold and judgemental.

I believe you have to learn to read the Gospel and see Jesus for how He really was. Not turn him into what you think He should be like.

I think, honestly, the problem is the whole concept.

“Getting to now Jesus through the eyes of His followers.”

I mean, when has that ever worked?

It’s helpful to build each other up with our personal stories, and try to see each other in them, but, I have never truly been helped except by directly knowing Jesus himself.

You an’t “know Jesus” through the eyes of his followers, if anything, that’s what we have too much of now in the Wast. We watch movies, read books, and hear sermons about what Jesus is like, but don’t get to know Him ourselves.

A sermon is helpful, but it’s not the core of Christianity.

We’re taking one thing that is meant to be a supplement, or at most, a portion, of our diet, and we’re making it the full meal.

This is not the fault solely of the writers and directors of The Chosen, but its saddens me to see such a clear influence of that kind of culture in the show.

I’m sure mine will never be a popular opinion, but I don’t expect it to be.

Knowing Jesus, really, is not ever popular, is it?

I Initially was wary of this show because it was popular, because I felt any real depiction of Jesus cannot ever be widely popular, it would offend too many people to see Jesus as he really is. The world hates him, that’s in the bible.

Then it seemed to be okay.

But what bothered me was how little power I felt in it.

Emotional response is not the same as power.

A powerful scene can give you a new perspective after watching it.

Just crying, and getting angry is not power.

In fact that’s all we know how to do now, cry and rage and laugh at stuff.

Even needing a show like The Chosen to give us an emotional background for these people, is just a sign of how emotional deprived we are.

If reading the Gospel doesn’t invoke some feeling in you, and watching it portrayed how it actually was wouldn’t, then…. that seems like a you problem.

I think helping us understand what is in there between would be more beneficial than adding stuff to it.

I know , I know, they are not trying to replace the Bible.

But… just what do you think you’re going to do then?

Get a bunch of people to read the Gospels, realize Jesus is not like that, and get angry, or say “I like the Chosen version of Jesus better.”

What an affront to God if that happened.

It probably already has.

I hope it would not work out that way, but since he’s just so different, I can’t really believe it won’t.

And, one last thing…

Why do we need a show about Jesus’s follower anyway?

Are they what matter? Should they be the main characters.

It’s startling when you realize Jesus is actually a side character who’s barley in some episodes, and it very muted most of the time he is there.

Jesus? A side character?

What about “I must become less, and he must become great?”

I question if there is any power or truth in focusing on followers.

I don’t want people looking at my life and trying to understand Jesus through that. I can help them, but by direct them to Him, no to me. I’m not the answer.

The motivation of this writing decision would baffle me if I didn’t have an all too common explanation:

It resonates better with the audience.

Because, it’s easier to swallow than the truth would be.

And we’re used to the shallow and full spectrum of human weaknesses thanks to Hollywood.

I don’t think we need to be competing with that in Christian media.

I may have made the same mistakes in my writing, I can own up to that. But, I am avoiding portraying Jesus directly all that often. And I am not trying to put the gospel into a new suit.

I sue parallels, but that’s all they are. Like the Chronicles of Narnia. Parallels are powerful.

I looked it up, and I did find one person who seems to have noticed the same thing I did about the show, and had more time to research it:

“Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.

This is one of many examples of him stating that Mormonism, Catholicism, and Christianity simply have minor theological differences. He calls them “different perspectives” that are “exciting to explore, not dangerous”. He consults a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and an evangelical christian after writing each episode to make sure they are “biblically accurate”. You can find him saying many times that we all believe in or that we all love the same Jesus.

But do we? Both the church of LDS and Catholics believe in a combination of works and faith. Mormons believe that God attained His supreme status by righteous works and that Jesus is a created being and not equal to God. I could go into more details behind the errors of the Mormon and Catholic faiths and what makes them false religions, but I’ll save that for another day. However, the differences between the true Christian faith and the Mormon and Catholic faiths are essential, gospel issues and not simply theological differences we can brush over. And the bottom line is this: If Dallas Jenkins believes what he’s saying then he doesn’t understand the true Gospel. The Gospel that says there’s only one way. The Gospel that says we are forgiven on the merit of Christ alone and not of anything we can do. The one and only Gospel that is founded on the belief that Jesus is God incarnate.” Full article is linked here:

I think she summed it up pretty well too.

I do question the Show’s constant defensiveness about it not being “your bible.”

Like, no one said it was. But is it too much to ask we stick to the source?

As the Aesop’s fable goes, you cannot please everyone. If you try, you please no one.

But the show will have mass appeal, because it has values that appeal to the masses.

Jesus promoting women is biblical, and the article I linked has one thing wrong, Mary Magdalene and other women did travel with Jesus and supported him out of their own wealth. It was culturally inappropriate, but they did it.

But there is no record of the other things listed. The author is right about that.

I didn’t know about the connection to Mormonism and Judaism till now. But I can see it.

I was in a Co-op with Mormons for quite a while in my teenage years, and I can say, there is definitely a difference between Mormonism and Christianity. They claim to be Christians, but they don’t understand the idea of grace at all.

They also are not free thinkers, though they are very smart, educated people.

Being a free thinker is not perhaps a biblical requirement, but it helps you not be swayed by peer pressure.

I find the part where Dallas said he wants to “enhance” scripture to be the most disturbing, to be honest.

Like this lady says, we’ll all have to decide for ourselves, I would caution any Christian who is watching it to fact check it by the Bible at the very least, and take what it is for what it’s wroth, but not as fact.

Also, I think the show villainizing any Christians who complain about the biblical inaccuracy by saying that’s not their intention, are missing the point.

Because, bro, if you don’t want to represent my Bible, of my Faith, accurately, then, stop claiming to be of my Faith. I don’t need you to speak for me, thanks.

Don’t see why that’s so hard to understand.

All right, I think that’ll do for this post, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

What women from Ocean’s 8 want

Sorry, it’s been a while, but I had a project I was rushing to finish on a deadline, and I had to spend all my spare time on that, I even strained my eyes and hands from spending so much time typing.

That said, I have a bit of a different topic for you all, just a break from the anime and life stories I’ve been mostly doing.

I want to talk about two movies I watched in the last month for the first time. “What Women Want” (original with Mel Gibson) and “Ocean’s 8.”

Now, at first glance, you may say, these two movies have absolutely nothing in common.

But I would make the argument, they both have one thing in common: Unintentionally sexist writing.

I will give the screenwriters the benefit of the doubt, I think “What Women Want” Was really intended to be a good movie, and actually, I don’t have an issue with how women were portrayed in the movie. I thought it did a good job of making us human, but not perfect.

I did have an issue with how men were portrayed, however.

I don’t know why it is, but any time a movie decides to focus on one gender, they tend to make the other one look bad, or oversimplified.

I won’t bash on this movie too much, I really liked Mel Gibson’s acting in it, and his change in the movie made sense, but, it seems a little odd to me how there was no other male character int eh movie that was at all nice to women, respectful of women, or a decent human being. Not one that was focused on, anyway. all the men seemed wiling to take advantage of women whenever they could.

Now, some cynical woman is going to say “And so? That’s how men are.”

If you just thought that, than may I ask you, the sexist, to please leave the site… just kidding, you can stick around I want you to read this.

And actually, before some man goes off about feminists, guess who I’ve hear the most male sexism from in my life? Other men.

My father used to tell me regularly that men were “pigs” that they would take advantage of girls any chance they got (in so many words), and wouldn’t mind if a random woman came up and kissed them out of nowhere (implying consent for men is no big deal), and, my favorite item, that men weren’t hard to please, just “feed us, love us, and leave us alone.” Meaning, cook, sex and affection, and never nag about anything.

Yep, that’s all it takes girls, hope you’re taking notes. Men aren’t complicated at all.

Ironically, my dad is a far more complicated person than that, who I later realized is just impossible to please period, and doesn’t follow his own rules for male bliss.

He also made fun of me for trying to understand men and husbands more (yes, this all has a point to my main subject, I know I tend to go off into anecdotes).

Geez, y’all men should be thankful a girl like me took time, on purpose, to learn more about men. I wish men would do that about women, actually, I know a lot of them have, just not the ones I’ve met.

Come to think of it, I basically wanted what Nick wants, to get to know how men think. And, I can say, I haven’t figured it out yet, no matter how much I studied it. In fact, based on books, I don’t see any gaping difference between how men and women think. Anime can often show this, ironically, by making women the snippy, violent characters, and men the sniveling, meek wimps. Anime is famously sexist too.

Not that there’s anything empowering about a violent woman, Naruto is proof of that, I’d say the best females on that show are the less violent ones.

But seriously, the differences between how we think are not that significant. Do more women like to cook and garden then men? I can’t tell you statistically. Do more women care about relationships than men? Probable, but there are thousands of male counselors out there, and men who write books about love. One I read religiously for a while was “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Which is one of the most unhelpful books about relationships there is in my collection, but it’s not useless for understanding yourself and others better even so.

Nick trying to understand women by hearing their thoughts isn’t helpful, because even if by some miracle you could understand every women around you, you would understand women in general any better. People cannot be generalization just by the random thoughts in their head. Two thoughts can be in different people’s heads, meaning two different things.

I’m glad I read, or my idea of men would be really skewed. As it is, I’m sure I’ll spend years of dating and marriage realizing how different men can be.

Of course, the ideas I got from books were not always helpful. I remember one in particularly “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” I read it a bunch of times, and this book essentially blamed women for most of the problems in relationships, told them “They have the power” and that their husbands would “walk through fire to get them a quart of cookie dough ice cream.” I found this intriguing, but it didn’t seem to match up with my father. Who once threw a fit about dropping me off at school when it was a 15 minute drive, just because he had finished working already… or was it the bus stop, a 3 minute drive? Doesn’t matter, he would have either way.

My dad never helped me with anything unless it was related to his livelihood, unless we begged him to over and over, and not always then. He is one of the most selfish people I know. But women, of course, are the ones in charge.

That’s all bull hockey, and the author of this book was a woman, to make matters worse, with a talk show. She seemed to be completely unaware that abuse, manipulation, gas-lighting, and toxicity are a thing for men too. A little sex and less nagging aren’t going to fix that.

There are some marriages a little sex and more kindness would probably help, but if it needs to be “Fixed” that’s not going to do it.

To get back to the movie, having all this in the back of my mind, I rather thought the movie did not go far enough.

Some women are not nice. I get that the writers were probably trying to be nice to us, and goodness knows, if the move portrayed our thoughts the way they really are, the feminists would have jumped on it (I suspect they still would anyway)

It’s not a huge complaint, it’s just that he movie could have had more depth if Mel’s character met some nasty women too that he had to deal with, or else just be shocked by. Women are not inherently less selfish or self centered than men are.

And what’s funny is that the behavior Mel exhibits, using women, ignoring their needs, is exactly what I saw from my father, and the women being above that is what I have striven to be, and seen in other women, so why of all things would I complain ti was unrealistic?

Because, I myself have to choose, consciously, not to broad brush men, and not to assume all women will always be nicer.

I’ve been exploited by many men (not sexually, thank goodness, but in other ways) but I’ve been exploited by just as many women. And sometimes with more of a fury. Given the choice being a narcissistic man and a woman, I think the man may be easier to tolerate, if only because they usually walk away from you, while women can try to tear you down. But that’s a generalization, and men do that too. We’re always only going to be talking about what the majority it prone to, but the majority is going to depend a lot on where you live and who you attract.

See, it doesn’t actually make women look good, to make men look bad. If anything, I always end up wondering after watching a movie or reading a book with this slant “geez, why do women even put up with men if this is how they get treated?” And with the book I mentioned before, I wondered what possessed men to marry women who treated them like this. My dad’s ever helpful response? “Sex. Most men wont’ care, as long as she’s attractive.”

Wow….just wow….

Well, I used to believe that. And it may be true, many men don’t care. Those men are idiots. And have low self esteem.

It’s my dream to see men stand up for themselves a little more. I want to be sick when I see men taking womens’ crap by apologizing on behalf of their sex for what some jackasses do. I’m like “dude, if you didn’t do it, don’t even being it up to me. It’s more insulting to me that you feel the need to do that, than that it happens.”

And women who bring up what other men do, to assign blame to perfectly innocent men, disgust me. But I won’t apologize for them to you, and, if a man were to expect me to, I’d put him firmly in his place. But no man has ever been sexist to me, except my own father. So… yeah…

I think the movie actually came to the basic conclusion I have though, that a man will never understand every woman, because women don’t understand themselves, or each other, any more than men do. Men don’t understand themselves or each other either.

And I can understand people better than the average person thanks to my empathic abilities, and I still don’t understand them, really. Even if you know how people basically feel, you won’t know what they will do because of that.

But you don’t need to understand women, totally, to be able to care about them and what they want, and isn’t that the real goal?

Before I get back into this, let’s talk about thew other movie, that’ll round out my point. “

So, “Ocean’s 8” the unspectacular female spin off of the Oceans movies. I don’t have any issue with it in of itself, it was unremarkable, but enjoyable enough if you like heist films, and the actresses were not grating, but should have had more time to act together and be their quirky selves, instead of the 2 dimensional characters they were.

But it occurred to me after watching it, that, there really is nothing at all about it to make it unique. It’s just, 8 women, instead of however many men it happened to be in the other films. Big whoop.

Aside from throwing in some more female stuff like:

dealing with kids

betrayed by your love interest

not having enough female friends

….?

None of these women were especially bad in any other ways other than their particular crimes, which was interesting from a moral standpoint, but rather redundant from a character standpoint.

The movie was relying on star power to make people watch it, which is why I did, but with all that talent, why not do something more creative?

The simple answer is, it’s just another female empowerment movie because a female version of everything has to exist.

No thought it put into what would suit the actresses best, show off their talent the most, and make the most sense for a story centered around them.

And forgive me for saying so but that seems inherently far more sexist than just saying 8 women wouldn’t pull of a heist.

Have 8 women ever pulled off a heist without any men involved except as pawns? Go ahead, look it up, I’d like to know.

Have 8 women every done anything remarkable in history, for that matter, that involved crime?

If it’s happened, it’s not well known enough for a history over like me to have heard of it, and that’s already kind of telling. If there was a true story of this nature, it would have been made into a movie already.

No, even if you make the argument it must have happened at least once in thousands of years, it won’t do much for the movie industry, since they can’t find it.

So, that said…. why limit the characters so much. This is just Hollywood using these talented women to roll in the cash for a “feminist’ movie, and using them to make money instead of to make a good, well balanced movie, is very sexist. As well as giving them no complex thoughts in the movie.

Excuse me if I think a movie about women showing off their talents at hacking, and inventing tools, and scamming people is not exactly making us look deep, or layered. What about philosophy?

Name the last “female empowerment” movie you saw that talked about the philosophy of a women in it? Go ahead, try.

They all have women who tell off men, care a whole lot about promoting women’s rights, and who wear heels…

Yeah, so all powerful women care about is ourselves? Great message, Hollywood.

And it’s completely untrue. Great women, in real life, often have very deep philosophies, wisdom, and practicality. Often our greatest talents is knowing how to get people to do what we want, not whine about it being unfair. Look deep into the life of any capable, impactful woman, see if I’m wrong.

That’s because we’re people. Who, shock! Actually care about others other than ourselves. Imagine that.

(A much better movie is the Harriet one that came out, that hardly anyone seems to have remembered. Based on my own studies, it was quite accurate in many ways, and didn’t lionize Harriet at all. It made her awesome, but still human. Great story.)

Not to mention, you lose the heart of the original.

Do men make movies about other men to exclude women? I know some SJWs actually believe that, they’ve been fed the idea that patriarchal values dictate our society, and all men are actively or subconsciously trying to suppress women.

Geez, the world forbid a man make a movie about things other men and himself are interested in, because he knows thy are, and he wants to make a movie about it without worrying about political savvy.

Some men like including female characters, others don’t. It annoys me when a show lacks female leads, but guess what I do then, I don’t watch it! Why should I?

And why do I need to care? If I can admit that I only want to watch shows that have women in them, regardless of plot, then…well… that’s kind of sexist, isn’t it? At least, it would sound sexist if a man said it right?

See, me enjoying My Little Pony a female dominated show, is fine. But if a man wants to watch an old male dominated show, then he’s a sexist. Id on’t get it. If he wants to watch men, then fine.

Some men like it if ther’es women on the show too, not all of them for reasons I really agree with. Is a sexual deviatn less of a sexist because he watches a show only if it has hot female characters on it?

No.

Really, writers should be allowed to tell the story they want to tell, regardless of whether they sue men or women to tell it. And while I don’t gravitate towards male dominated stories, I do read them. And I enjoy them. Am I going to get mad at J. R. R. Tolkien because there’s only a few women in LOTR? Am I gong to get mad at Charles Dickens because most of his MCs are men, and the girls ones often die off? (So do the boys).

I guess Ic ould, but it kind of misses the pont of the story doesn’ it?

When we make everything about gender, we destroy any deeper meaning, any actual art. And, at times, I am tempted to think that is what they really want.

If the SJWs and media can keep us fighting about stuff that we will never achieve, like gender equality, (it is truly impossible to make men and women equal, biology itself won’t let us dot hat), Then we’ll stop talking about things like love, honor, respect, truth, self sacrifice, courage, persistence, the things we used to make movies about. And male centered stories used to be some of the best about that.

Call me crazy but I really don’t care whether it’s a man or woman telling me, if it’s true. And I don’t intend to go easy on a liar just because they share my gender. If anything, that’s more insulting to me, if it means people will assume I agree with her.

But I’ll wait till doomsday if I wait for the entertainment industry to stop stereotyping, exploiting, and pitting us against each other, so this is not an indictment against Hollywood. I’m not gong to waste my time doing that.

Instead, I appeal to the viewers.

I’m sure most of you don’t like these slants anymore than I do, but it can be hard to explain why. How do you explain this kind of subtle sexism? Especially if it felt unintentional?

I had someone ask me on YouTube, how they could make a male or female character feel male or female. How do they get that real feeling to it.

My advice to them? Don’t try to make them male or female. I don’t believe that gender is unimportant to life, but to writing, it’s a huge mistake to try to write a character to be manly or feminine. Unless you are doing it ironically. You will not be able to avoid making them too superficial.

See, only God has ever been able to nail making male and female things without some impediment to His imagination because of limited experience.

I can’t write men perfectly because I have not met every man int eh world. What is distinctly masculine? I don’t know. It changes every few decades, doesn’t it? Men have an essence, not a singular personality trait, anyone who seriously they do is an idiot.

Women are the same. We have an essence, but not singular characteristic. Is tea drinking and dresses really universally female? No, even looking at different cultures that becomes obvious.

Being a mother is feminine, because a man can’t be a mother. But a man can have motherly traits, if you think that nurturing trait belongs more to mothers than fathers, I really don’t. You see how it works? You have to start with the assumption that something is a masculine or feminine trait before you can say a character is masculine or feminine for having it.

Lifting weights, it’s manly right?

So women never lift weights. And women never should. Or they can, but it will always be more manly than feminine….why? Why does it matter?

And dresses are feminine, so men can not wear robes, though for centuries, they did… and was it feminine then?

Okay, what about traits of personality?

Men are… unemotional, right? So, all the poets, writers, and unstable men of history just weren’t manly… because we all know, women spend more time making poetry, books, and losing their cool than men do…. right?

Women are… petty? Because we all now women spend far more time stabbing each other int the back over nothing, ignoring the bigger picture, and getting revenge than men do. And the ones who didn’t do that… as in most of the respected women of society, were just not feminine…

Yeah, see how stupid it sounds when you really think about it?

What makes someone seem like a woman or man is something impossible to pin point, you will never succeed, the closest anyone has gotten is in pinpoint what we desire, which does seem to be the biggest difference between us.

We all want love, but men and women do tend to want it in different ways. Women tend to want to feel safe and secure with men, men tend to want to feel they can count on women to believe in them. Even that has nuance to it, in some people it is almost unrecognizable, and other authors beside me have described it better.

But my point is, we can’t put each other into these stupid little boxes. If I try to do that to my husband, I am sure it will end terribly, because he can fit into the box my dad gave me. And I can’t fit into a box either.

I like crowns and sparkles, I also like physical combat more than most men I know, and enjoy doing dark emo looks for videos, and most of the time, I really don’t think about what I do being feminine or masculine.

Of course, some standards are good. I’m not against ladylike behavior. I just think it should be part of your character, not dictating what hobbies you have. You can be ladylike punching someone in boxing, and you can be crass while having a tea party. It’s all on the inside.

And man can be gentile whether he’s an accountant or a soldier or a plumber. If it’s a real gentlemen, you really own’t care anymore what he is. Some men render cleaning pipes a noble act, some men render saving your life a disagreeable experience (bad doctors, anyone?) it depends.

So, I guess, my conclusion is, we should be more fair… and we should stop being ashamed of who we are.

This feminist slant has humiliated women as well as men. We should just respect each other, and stop fanning the flames of hatred. As that underrated show “Girl Meets World” tied to demonstrate in the “Girl Meets STEM” episode.

There’s much more to this subject than I can cover in one post, but I hope this was some food for thought.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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Rediscovering Intimacy: Darling in the Franxx

Whew! I have been looking forward to writing this one!

Darling in the Franxx - Wikipedia

Let’s talk about this anime: Darling in the Franxx.

I heard about this from an AMV of all things, and someone in the comments gave me the title, so I looked it up, liked the reviews, and decided to check it out. Then my sister, who I convinced to join me, told me “Oh, I heard this whole show is one big metaphor for sex.” I was surprised since the review I watched never mentioned this (nor most of the plot) just the ending. But I said the reviews were so positive, I was sure it couldn’t be just sex jokes, people said it was deep and moving. So, both my sisters agreed to try out one episode.

Spoiler Warning now, I will be talking about the end and all major plot points:

So, episode one did confirm all my sisters thought, and I was kind of grossed out. They refused to watch any more, but I was still convinced it had to get better if so many people who weren’t even anime fans liked it. So, weeks later, I finally picked it back up, and within about a week, I both finished it and convinced them to watch the end with me, my younger sister actually got more interested because I watched a back story episode and she paid attention and decided it was interesting.

By the end, we all liked it, and actually had no complaint about the ending, which was a rare opinion among the fans, I already knew.

I tend to run long with reviews, so I decided not to bother giving a full synopsis of the show’s plot here, trust me, the plot is the weakest element, and the end was all over the place.

But what is worth talking about is the themes, pacing, and characters themselves.

Fun fact, this show is not based on a manga like most anime, it’s actually original.

One of the best epidsoes is the backstory of MC Hiro and 2nd MC Zero 2, it’s the first anime epsidose I’ve seen with a split narrative throughout the whole thing and it was very skillfully done even by my American standards (as it’s far more common here).

The characters

So, the characters of this show, who I will not be able to spell all the names of, sadly, are a cast of kids who pilot special mechs that are designed after weird bug monsters, typical anime stuff. The mechs need a male and female pairing to operate, and the teens are basically organized into different types of ships. We have

Goro and Ichigo– the competent pairing (you’ve seen it plenty of times in anime)

24 Goro x Ichigo ideas | darling in the franxx, zero two, anime

Miku and Zorome–the old married couple, who bicker constantly and are often immature but would rather do that with each other than get along with anyone else.

8 Zorome (Darling in the FranXX) HD Wallpapers | Background Images -  Wallpaper Abyss

Eventually after some partner swapping, we also have Kokoro and Mitsuru

Mitsuru and Kokoro – The Best Part of Darling in the Franxx – Objection  Network

And we have Ikuno and Futoshi, who are the only non-ship partners (she’s supposed to be gay, he gets married to someone else later.)

Darling in the FranXX (Ikuno, Futoshi (Darling In The Franxx)) - Minitokyo

Lastly, of course, we have Hiro and Zero 2, who I think the show believes are the pervy couple, but they really aren’t.

Darling In The Franxx Wallpapers - Wallpaper Cave

The whole confusion kicks off after Hiro fails to be able to pair with his old partner, Naomi, and she’s taken away from their home, she comes back later though.

Naomi | DARLING in the FRANXX Wiki | Fandom
Naomi

So, these are the pairings we have to work with and analyze, like most multi-ship animes, the show uses the different personalities and dynamics to show different ideas of romantic or friendship love. Over time as they develop emotions and affection for each other, the friendships get stronger, though feelings get more complicated, and they become more of a family than a plantoon (squad? What’s a ten person soldier group called?)

We see the kids mature, and resolve conflicts that arise form having emotions. They start to realize people aren’t perfect if they have feelings, which is why the Adults on the show have chosen to shut down all their feelings, but by the end the kids understand that to not have feelings is really not to be living at all, it’s not to be human at all.

This anime offends me less in the “not having answers to its own problems” complaint I usually have, because the kids are starting from the ground up, and have no resources to teach them morals or philosophy, you wouldn’t expect Socratic answers from them, just gong off feelings and their own logic is all they can do, and their logic isn’t so bad considering.

What makes Hiro different, we are told, is that he asks questions, what attracts him to 02 is that she also fights the system of cruelty and apathy that he hates so much but doesn’t understand how to leave. He’s just a kid when they meet, but they promise to be together forever. Which the show appropriately acknowledges as marriage.

02 is embittered by eyars of mistreatment as a living experiment from a very sick doctor (who is still somehow not the villain) and being told she’s a monster. She starts off as a very uncaring, sometimes psychotic seeming character. While she clearly is drawn to Hiro, she doesn’t realize who he is, and tries to use him to get her goal.

She had the most complex character, I would say. While we don’t approve her behavior, we see how ears of being told you’re a monster, and forced to act like one by being sued a s a weapon, and given men to literally drain the life out of, without anyone seeming to care about it, would twist someone pretty bad. She shows signs of guilt, but is unable to change just because the team calls her a monster. It takes Hiro thinking that for her to realize what she’s done, but she still doesn’t stop because she thinks she’s lost it all already.

Hiro then realizes he has to be with 02, even if she’s done some bad things, because she is still a person who he loves, and he wants. So, he forgives her, and she finally accepts his love. Then the 2nd half of the story begins.

Along the way, we deal with Ichigo having feelings for Hiro, and having to accept he won’t be hers, which is hard when she’s never had love before, and doesn’t see other options, though Goro loves her. And Mitsuru and Kokoro begin to develop a relationship also. Culminating in them getting married, torn apart by the Adults, and then eventually getting back together and having a baby.

The characters are not extrmeely intersting in of themselves, but they are human and likable. I didn’t expect a whole lot since there was so many, but they all did what they needed to for the plot, and it’s not a long enough show to spend as much time as MHA or Naruto on developing personality ad backstory for everyone, the pint it the expereinces they share, and what they do with them. Sci-fi anime tends to focus more on that then on individusla, form what I’ve seen.

Themes

Okay, this is the strongest aspect of the show, and I want to try to stay on track here, there’s a lot I could talk about.

First, the elephant in the room: Sex, is the show really about sex?

Yes, and no.

I would not show any kids this show, the innuendo isn’t really the problem because it’s mostly non visual, but there are scary, gory elements I didn’t have an easy time with myself.

That said, if you’re a parent looking this review up to see if it’s okay for kids, just watch it yourself first and decide if your kids can handle it.

I’d say young teenagers are more at risk of missing the deeper themes and just watching it for the sexual innuendo, and probably young adults too, to be honest.

I mostly don’t get turned on by animation, it’s just not real enough for me to be effected, it bothers me more in live action movies, I try to avoid highly sexual ones. But a 2D character? They don’t look like a real person. So, I can watch most anime and only be grossed out by the idea of it, not tempted to actually look. But this is a specific trait of mine and I am cautious recommending anime to other people who may have more of an issue, as clearly plenty of otakus don’t have any difficult sexualizing 2D characters (ew).

So, if you do have a problem with it, this may not be the show for you, at least int eh first 3 episodes, it gets better after that.

The show is about sex. It’s like one long Sex Ed class, there’s metaphors for infertility, deep intimacy, compatibility, DNA, and possibly STDs, though it was unclear. A lot of the language has double meanings.

However, on the other hand, none of what it says about Sex is really wrong. The show is not promoting immorality, or promiscuity, or perverseness. The topics are broached lightly, but the mature route is taken by the kids. They talk honestly about how they should treat each other with respect, and forgive each other for having a little trouble occasionally with ogling, as it is hard to never do that if you like someone (and if you are married, wouldn’t even be natural.)

Kissing is talked about, and Hiro decides it is something you should only do with the one person you love, you should kiss around, basically. Partner swaps are taken seriously.

Though riding in the Franxx mechs is a metaphor for sex, the show remembers it is just a metaphor, and doesn’t treat changing partners as cheating, more like realizing you’re not right for your bf or gf and not forcing yourself to stay with them. Though Kokorp does break a promise, it’s not literally marriage, since the show later has actual marriage, so you don’t have to feel it’s the icky affair divorce and infidelity would be.

Also the Franxx are a metaphor for emotional intimacy, the kids literally connect their minds and feelings inside them, and while sex is one way to do that, it’s not the only purpose of the metaphor. People who are not sexually attracted to each other can still pilot together, if they have mutual trust and are willing to try, because it is also about relational intimacy. The lesbian and the reaming guy can still work together because they are friends, not as effective as the others maybe, but it’s not a sexual thing for them.

Some fans probably saw this as inconsistent, but I saw it as wisdom on the writer’s part not to take their own metaphor too far, that always cause major plot issues in a story, you need to remember no metaphor is perfect.

The idea that you should find the right person and stick with them forever is actually stressed constantly by the show. And you could say it leaves room for arranged marriage, at least two of the couples are put together by the Adults without getting a say in it, but they eventually grow close and make it work, while the other get to choose their own partners eventually, and they make that work. The point is if you are willing to try and you have a decent person, you can learn to get along.

Then there’s 02, she, I eventually realized, is sort of in the role of a slut/prostitute, if you follow the metaphor. She lets herself be used, and devours other people, which of course is a sexual term, one found in the Bible also. Used specifically for harlots and cheaters. like most lusts, 02 does this because she has no self respect and feels it is all she is good for, and she hates the men she is given the same way most sinners hate the ones they sin against, she calls them “fodder” because that is what the system is giving them to her to be, and she hates it but feels stuck.

As with many whores, though, 02 secretly dreams of love and trust just like ordinary people can have. She met Hiro years ago and wants to find him again and be with him, no matter who she has to kill and what she has to do. As her conscience grows, she gets more desperate and unhinged, then feels ashamed once she finds out the truth.

I thought it was one of the most powerful thematic moments when it hit her that her lifestyle of debauchery in order to find love was exactly what made her unable to have it once she did find it. A major reality check you could say.

Then, in a Hosea like move, Hiro forgives her and accepts her anyway, and she confesses “I am a monster” but he’s already told her he doesn’t care.

Let’s unpack that.

Should you actually be with someone like that? People like 02 have very deep issues, and often will do what she did, try to suck your life out in order to fill their own void, like with her, it may not even be something she always does on purpose, it just happens. Then they may start doing it on purpose as a way to cope.

The show stresses that 02 is a monster in some ways. That her actions made her that way, even if her DNA didn’t. But believing she was a monster is what caused her to do that. Hiro was the first person who made her feel human and she wanted to be human so she could be with him.

I believe the “monster” metaphor is meant to represent how people do have ugly parts to them, and you have to accept that.

I was reminded of Fruits Basket, which I am also currently re-watching, in episode 23, I believe, when Kyo laments his mother covering up his ugly form. he says he knew it was monstrous, and he wish she would just face that with him together, instead of pretending he was not what he was.

People are not literally bests or monsters, but it’s a metaphor, so we can’t take it too literally. The point is that we all have ugly sides to us.

I don’t hold with calling that a good thing, it’s not. But neither of these shows seems to be falling into that error. 02 is clearly not a monster for her horns and pink hair, bur for her actions. Kyo had damage and a curse that makes him have an ugly side, but it is not who he is truly, he transforms back to a human when Tohru accepts that about him.

I was reminded of myself. I spent many years worried about being a monster, I used to think it was just me, I later learned it’s almost everyone, at some level, whether we all use that word or not. I struggle even today with wondering if anyone will ever love me enough to get past that.

Most people would not describe me as someone with confidence issues, or as a bad person. I have gotten much better at loving myself than I use to be, but it doesn’t rear its’ ugly head at times.

I know that I will always, in this life, have moments of insecurity. Maybe not about this, but about some things, to be human is to sometimes have fear. But you don’t have to live in torment of it.

My family does accept me, much more than ever before, and I have healed, but an abusive past is a detriment to many people when they consider who they want to spend their life with. Though I do not believe I will repeat my dad’s mistakes, some people don’t think that way. And I know that the trust issues I have are likely to flare up in a romantic relationship, all the therapy in the world will not take it away, it just gives you a way to work it out. Something many people don’t understand.

Hiro chooses to see 02 as beautiful despite her differences, and at first she rejects that as much as any broken person would, but when she realizes he loved her from the beginning, she melts.

The relationship is not one side though. Hiro teaches 02 how to accept love, but she teaches him what passion and emotion are, she brings him to life.

It’s very much how I’ve read the male-female relationship is meant to work. Man gives strength and care to woman, she gives it back to him in life and beauty and enriching his existence, you need both.

Goro and Ichigo have a more typical anime type relationship where Goro had to be in it for the long game, and Ichigo doesn’t love him at first, but eventually he does win her over, though we don’t get to see it own screen. The point is he never becomes bitter because she likes someone else, and she learns to be mature about it, and let Hiro go. I was surprised at the illogical hate fans had for her, when I didn’t really see any other way she would have handled it, knowing nothing and with 02 being a anything but healthy at first.

It’s a tough call too, some broken people should not be in a romantic relationship, and if your friends are warning you about that, you should take it seriously. Other times, a broken person can be healed through a romantic relationships.

I am no expert in this field, but the best clues I can guess at are look very carefully at what kind of broken they are, the reason behind it, and if they seem at all willing to change. 02 wants to become human so much that once she realizes what that means, she changes very quickly, not without road-bumps along the way, but still, Hiro’s trust in her proves justified. If she didn’t want that, it would be an entirely different thing, and some anime do go there, some of Western shows go there (actually way too many now) and that is very toxic.

Final Themes

All right, the final themes I want to talk about are the idea of what makes us human, what it means to bring life into the world, and the surprising take on what sex is really about.

Some feelings make us human. But pure lust doesn’t. The doctor character lusts after a creature on the show, but that makes him a monster, very Claude Frollo like. 02 understand lust in a weird, twisted, way, but not love. Hatred doesn’t make us human.

But the alternative the show’s villains offer, that of only purely spiritual feelings, is also not human. They don’t quite go so far as killing god, thanks goodness, but the idea of becoming gods is actually voiced, to my surprise. The Doctor says repeatedly “I’m an atheist.”

He might be, but is the show? Not really. Prayer is actually part of the solution to the final battle. Not prayer to any specific god, but still. Spirituality is not actually discouraged, but the idea of disassociating it with being human, and leaving behind humanity to be “spiritual” is what is denounced.

C. S. Lewis warned that Spiritual pride and Spiritual sins are the worst kind. The most dehumanizing. In the end, a witch becomes little better than a pure beast, because their value for anything good will be eaten away by their darkness, this is quite literally in “The Silver Chair” where the witch is literally a serpent. not human at all.

Now, the Bible teaches us that our mortal bodies do house sin, and we will be rid of them. But we will be given new bodies, not be disembodied spirits. Jesus is described as having a body.

The point is not to think of it as choosing between a body and a soul, but it becoming a new kind of being, never before seen, that is someone both at the same time. That is what the Bible says Jesus is, and that is is till now unheard of.

And, to my astonsihment, DITF actaully went to that conclusion.

Darling in the FranXX Windows 10 Theme - themepack.me

At the very end, 02 and Hiro combine their bodies, minds, and spirit, to become something that is both a physical and spiritual entity. Hard to explain with any scientific logic, but if you are following the metaphor, it makes perfect sense. True perfection is the melding of those two or three things.

Not many people even in church know this, but the sexual act is supposed to represent in a very small way, the connection between Christ and the Church.

In the best sex, between a man and wife, you experience the other person. You become one with them, while remaining yourself.

The show describes this as “I can’t tell where you begin and I end” and going deeper inside that person.

While you could see that as crass, it only happens when the show is putting empathsis on the spiritual connection, not just the physical act of sex. Yes, the physical components do mirror the emotional ones in that way, I’m a virgin and I can understand that. The whole sexual design is a living metaphor for connection between people.

Which is why it’s been degraded so much by the culture. We sexualize everything, because we have no ability to understand spiritual intimacy anymore. Sex is the closest experience to that the average person has, so many people bring it into everything.

But, it is about so much more than that.

The show is far from being vulgar. It keeps it within the context of a husband and wife, and explores what it really means.

It deviates a little from just sex, as they share memories too, but the point is it’s a deep connection. When it goes from 02 using him to her doing it out of love, they become a whole new person, in a very literal sense.

The show ends with them saying they are ONE. Not like that weird alien creeps are all one, uni-formally, but ONE because they joined together two very different creatures, but embrace that fully.

I realize I can’t write this without it sounding like innuendo, darn it show!

But there is a reason we use those terms about sex too, it is true. When it’s between people who have that real relationship out of the bedroom it will be expressed in the bedroom too.

I don’t feel embarrassed talking about it, though I’ve never experienced it, because I see it as beautiful. God-ordained, and I see no reason to treat it like a shameful thing.

I was surprised that the show used the terminology is did. It sounded like the Bible. Saying the two became One. Hiro literally leaves his Papa to become joined to 02 (though in this case, he wasn’t leaving anything worth having, as PAPA was just the villain.)

The Bible has the unique idea, among religions, that becoming one doesn’t take away your individuality. That God is 3 in 1, all 3 being different, but being 1. That husband and wife show this to us on a smaller scale.

It’s like if you fit puzzle pieces together, the only way they can fit is if they are different, yet made to fit together. Men and women quite literally are made to fit together. If we were more alike, we couldn’t do that.

In the most poignant part of the metaphor, Hiro and 02 even look alike, and have exchanged DNA (not like that), they have fully merged, yet remain separate in a way.

Not everyone knows this, but your DNA in sex does get imprinted ont eh toher person, in a strange way. Even if it’s just one time and a one night stand. I’ve heard that it’s harmful in every ocntext but marriage.

Married people start to look and act alike after awhile, and sound alike. My mom’s sense of humor a=changed after marrying my dad.

Actually, if that’s not happening, it’s a sign of dysfunction.

Finally, the theme of life, and legacy. Not much to say on, but I really liked that the show depicted having a baby as something to value, and the beauty of new life. When Mitsuru cried at his daughter being born, I got emotional, something is very precious about seeing babies valued in media.

In Conclusion

There are more themes in the show, micro themes like what to do with unplanned pregnancy, and if you don’t remember something are you still responsible, and I liked the show’s way of handling them all, but I can’t go into them here, I covered the most important stuff.

So, I hope this was enough to convince you to check this show out, but even if you don’t, I hope you got something out of this post.

I have to admit, I better be careful who I admit having watched this too, since I think its reputation is skewed by the people who only watched it for the sex thrills. They were probably disappointed ultimately in its mature take on all that. I loved it though.

It’s not the anime I enjoyed the most, and it may not be on my top 5 list of ones I’ll re-watch, it’s not really that kind of story. But it is beautiful, and poignant, and worth seeing at least once. It’s also one of the first ones I’ve seen that I honestly can’t disagree with the conclusion of, and that is remarkable.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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True Beauty

Sigh… okay let’s talk about another Webtoon.

I won’t be the first person to express frustration with True Beauty. It seemed like it would be a story about what makes someone truly beautiful, not being make-up, or clothes, or hair, but what’s inside. For a Korean story, that’s quite a risk.

I didn’t know this ,but my internet savvy sister informed me how Korea is kind of obsessed with external beauty, that plastic surgery is not uncommon there, and people try really hard. Maybe that’s the reason behind the k-pop craze.

I’ve seen some pictures, and I think it all looks a little too plastic for my tastes, plus I don’t really like feminine looking men all that much, I like men that look like men. I mean, the idols are cute, but I couldn’t see myself dating one.

I also found out age is counted differently in Korea. I’d be 23 there.

With a culture like that, it’s not surprising that the huge influx of webtoons from Korea (most webtoons are from Korea) focus on the damages of being obsessed with appearance superficial stuff like singing, acting, etc.

I currently read “No Longer a Heroine” and “Your Smile is a Trap” two stories that focus a lot on those subjects. True Beauty does give some attention to it, but the fans began to get annoyed with how long the MC (I can’t spell the names) kept obsessing over it, and over which of two hot guys she should ed up with.

If you read it and care about my opinion, I’m team Suho,

Fan casting of 9 characters in True beauty

but I don’t enjoy either ship very much, I just find Suho more likable overall (and his is the only name I can spell, let alone pronounce). I don’t dislike the other guy, on his own, but all his interactions with the MC annoy the crap out of me.

Anyway, so in short, the fans feel the story promised one thing and delivered another. This is not uncommon for anime, from what I’ve seen, but for Webtoons, it actually is. Most of the ones I’ve read deliver on their message fairly well, I was quite impressed. They handle story way better than most shows I’ve seen do. Perhaps part of it is the lack of studio interference, let’s hope it stays that way.

I can’t accurately theorize about why the author chose this route, I actually believe their goal is still to explore the theme of true beauty, but they are not sure of the best way to do that at this stage. I think they set out to do that, and got caught up in the romance, but maybe I’m wrong, maybe they are just basic. It doesn’t really matter, I try to judge a story by its potential.

The trick with that though is, judging by potential can miss the point. My favorite anime is MHA, and the biggest haters of that show tend to criticize it for not doing what they think it should. My old fave, RWBY, got heat for the same reason.

While MHA is still good, RWBY devolved due to studio interference and too much fan hate into something that no longer make any kind of sense or even resembles its original self. It’s no longer about potential so much as the loss of anything meaningful at all.

But MHA drew me in because the author constantly subverts tropes and uses them in a new way. The angry character is sensitive and level headed, the ditsy character is actually grounded, the hero can sometimes be too naive, the villain can be evil but still able to be a foil for the hero without making him/her sympathetic. So, in the end, what I expected and din’t get was a good thing. The potential of the show is unlimited as long as the writing style stays that way it is. It’s not perfect, but it is unique.

So, as I said, Potential is tricky many fans are presumptions and pretentious about it, and I don’t want to be there. I will say, I was never really a fan of this comic to being with, I was on the fence, so I don’t think I’m blinded by fan-passion.

The reason I think it’s fair to criticize this story based on potential, is because there’s actually nothing of substance in the story, except for the backstory of the two male leads, which was quite heartbreaking. The MC isn’t a bad person, but she does nothing noteworthy at all, she has nothing profound to add to the story, and she is annoying.

I’m actually not that invested in the message of true beauty being only inward, as I don’t really believe that. I believe beauty is outward, inward, and beyond. Music is beautiful, so is art, so is virtue. I find stories that say that outward beauty doesn’t matter to be just untrue. The Bible actually doesn’t support this idea despite what is popularly believed. It tells us not to obsess over outward adornment, but many stories in it support being a s beautiful as you can be. Ruth, Ester, Abigail, Sarah, and others were all renowned for their beauty, and tried to be beautiful, at least in 3 out of 4 of those examples.

I personally believe if you don’t try to be your best self, outward as well as inward, you don’t respect yourself. I try to look good even when I’m not wearing make up and am in my comfy clothes. I still coordinate and clean up and brush my hair. I never leave the house with the kind of sloppy, messy bun I see other women walk around with. It’s not that I think I’m better than them, it’s that I think my appearance tells people I respect myself and I respect others. I have almost never been hit on or disrespected in public. I think the facts speak for themselves.

Given that I have this attitude, what drives me crazy about True Beauty is the MC’s toxic attitude toward herself. Her family doesn’t help her much, but still, she’s so grating. She acts like her face is the worst thing ever. According to the other characters in the story, she’s actually cute, even without make up, but she uses make-up to change how she looks.

True Beauty- My First Impression | Shoujo Amino Amino

I guess I shoudl address this since it cause a lto of conroversy in the world of make up.

I did my time watching tutorials on YouTube, I could even link my favorite channel below. I got into make up tutorials because they were artistic, I wanted to learn how to imitate characters I liked, and do themed looks, like Seasonal, Disney, Princess, Fairy, etc. So, I learned about changing how your face looks for costume sake. And I actually applied it while I was doing Shakespeare plays, I did a really amazing amateur job to make my sister look old and decrepit when she played Shylock. Since I didn’t have professional make up to work with, it didn’t show up much on stage, but up close it was quite impressive. I’ve done other looks since, with moderate success.

My own make up, I don’t use to change how my face looks, I lean into my natural beauties. I enhance my eye shape, rather than change it, and I bring out my lip color and skin tone by picking colors similar to my own.

I am blessed with very good base features to begin with, I can go out without make up on and feel perfectly confident of my appearance. Make up is a fun thing for me because I don’t take it so seriously, and I’ve seen other girls who have confidence say the same.

That being said, you can see why someone treating make up as a life saver would be unrelatable for me. and someone hating on their natural face is also weird, as I just don’t do that.

Yes, the thought crosses my mind, but I don’t humor it. I think every woman has temptations to judge her face too harshly, I think men do also, but for me it is a temptation, not a compulsion.

You may say (though I doubt you all would really judge me on this one) that it is easy for me because I am naturally pretty, and I don’t have a toxic family telling me how ugly I am all the time.

Well, to that I would say: You haven’t read this blog long enough, go back and check out my abuse category.

I grew up believe I was ugly. I didn’t like my nose, or my face. I thought my eyes were scary. I have very sculpted eyebrows naturally, and dark eyes, and I used to think I looked angry all the time, other people sometimes thought I did. But some people began saying they were pretty, and my mind changed.

But once I hit puberty and began doing make up and outfits on my won more, I wanted to be pretty. I still wan’t sure I was. I asked my family, my mom would tell me I was digging for a compliment (and she sounded so disdainful about it, I was shocked) and not answer usually, sometimes she would say I had nice eyes or a nice smile, but when I would still be insecure and need to hear it again, she’s say I was digging for it.

My dad was decidedly worse, I would ask how I looked (and not even direct the question to him) and he’d answer “Hideous” every single time. I think he complimented me one time in 6-8 years about how I looked. Once he asked if I was going to use make-up, I said I didn’t need it (tried to be confident, you know) he said “It wouldn’t hurt you to use a little make up and style your hair.”

My hair has been praise more than any other of my features. It’s a unique color, wavy almost curly, and long and soft. I usually leave it alone because it’s naturally styled for me by being wavy and curling it doesn’t really work, it’s too thick. And everyone else loves it, but my dad…I think he was being spiteful, quite honestly.

These memories don’t hurt as much as they once did, but they do serve as a reminder to me that my confidence is not because of my parents, but in spite of them.

So yeah, I did not have a family who lifted my up. I did make some friends who did, and it was through that, and reading some good books, and prayer, that I began to feel confident. I now can look at myself and think I look really good. I owe that to God and better friends and sisters who thankfully did not inherit my parents dysfunctional traits (or are working to overcome them as I am).

One thing that also change it for me was learning to give compliments and look for beauty in other people, even if I found them unattractive at first, if I looked long enough or know them enough I could see something pretty or handsome about them. Doing that to others taught me to give myself a bit more credit too, I realized if I could see it in them, they could probably see it in me.

Sometimes when I feel bad about my face, I think to myself “Well, I may not see it, but other people think I look good, so why feel down about it?” And that snaps me out of it pretty quickly. Really, almost everyone can be thought attractive by others, people have very diverse tastes. Some people like chubbiness, some like stock, some like beard, some like unsaved legs for crying out loud (actually, most culture don’t care about shaved legs, that’s very American, I think Asian too).

Given that I has this background I do, and I still became confident, I have zero sympathy for the MC of True Beauty. It’s not necessarily he choice to have issues to being with, but I actively sought out a way to overcome those issues, I put better ideas into my head, and she doesn’t. She goes to online forums that only encourage a shallow way of thinking, surrounds herself with friends who also care too much, though not as much as she does. And she doesn’t take care of her skin or body, to be the best natural self she could be. Then she whines about being ugly. I’m like “Girl, you chose this, it’s not like you couldn’t be pretty if you took care of yourself.”

I mean, if she stopped doing make up for a few months, took care of her skin, and ate less sugar, she’d be fine. But she refuses to drop her beauty facade for even a week.

At the end of the day, the cycle she’s in is one she made for herself, and it’s not anyone else’s fault, she’s not ugly, and she doesn’t have to do what she does, but she does it because she prefers the shortcut way to beauty.

And that’s the thing, True Beauty takes work. Being beautiful outside and inside.

I take care of my skin. I use facial scrubs, I use lotio, I wash it usuallyy at lesa once a day before bed. I put on chapstick. It all take a few mintues tops. When I feel like it, I do more, but doing at least that much has given me pretty cldan skin. And this is not reaching for the stars. Every woman who can fofrd make up can afford skin care, if we prioritzed that instead.

I didn’t use to think skin care was that improtant, but I’ve learned it actually seems to reduce stress and helath issues when my skin is soft and clean. IT just geels better, getiing tocxis and dirt off. So, hey, d it for you r mood if not for your body.

Plus, thats workin with wha God gave you.

As for body type, a think that the MC also gripse about, there is such a thing s style.

My sisters and I have tihs issue. I have a body type that is perfect for store-boufth mainsteeam clothes. They are all desgien to look good on someone with my specofic body type. I’ve been told I could model. I don’t think I could handle the ahssle and pressure f it, but I have noticed that my figure is the right kind. I am tall also.

Most people don’t reali that mainstream clothes are desgined to look good on only one kind of person. That’s becuase it’s easier to seel in mass that way. And if you don’t buy off the rack, you’re stuck with it.

However, there are away around it. My sisters and I use belts, hats, scarves, and different match ups of clothes to create our own unique mesh of styles that accenuate our good points.

My poont is:t’s not that hard to be beautiful.

But even if you do have deformities, or health problems whtat affect your appearance, you don’t have to think you’re ugly.

Even if you are ugly, it does not have to matter in the long run.

The truth is, bueaty only matters in circles that focus on i. If you don’t have that natural beuaty that people cracve, don’t run aorund social media, the entertaiment indstry, and modeling and other beuaty themed careers. Beuaty of that sort is just a gift, like any other, to be enjoyed, and used if you like, but it’s not quintessential to a good life.

IF you respect yourself, others will respect you even ifyou are truly ugly, and fe people are. Most are not as ugly as they think they are, even if they are plain.

And plain people can still be beautiful. Inner light shines out, it doesn’t matter whether you have a good face or not.

In the end, certai cirlse of people will never call you beautiful if you don’t meet a sstandard. They will not call a fat person beautifl even if they are, because fat is a disqulaifier for them. IT’s not based onre ality.

I actually see no real issue with this. If I’m casting for a role that matches a certain despeciription, it doesn’t matter how hot someone is, if they don’t match that depcirptin, I can’t use them. For better or worse, the moern beauty industry has one standard, and that’s thwy they are looking for. May of the peole in it might admit it’s narrow, and beuaty is bigger than a singlual body type, but it’s impossible to amek it competaive that way.

And competiton isn ecessary to have beaty be a sourc eof income.

And if you think hat’as unfair, tough. Becuae I think penty of peoel who support their family with their face, and take good care of their body and larnt he art of make upa nd style deserve some reward for it. Ther’s nothing worng with any of that. tRaing you boy like a canvas can incease your respect for the body. Just as becoign apainter yoursle finceras yoru repsect for paint and canvas. I love paper and pens in a way other s don’t because I am a wirter, I love books ad their smell and feel becuase I am a reader, I love the detail of FRench and ASL becuaes I am a language buff. I don’t see why beuaty is any different.

the insiantiy is that people don’t see it as having enres. They think all beuaty is one way. Mainsteam beuaty could be seen as the genre of fanstasy. That’s the goal, to be better than reality, or at least markedly different. Not relaistic. No one want s realizm in fantasty.

But the genre of beuaty could also be in athethic beauty, or old fashioned beauty, or a materanl family kind. I see beuaty in allt hose areas, I don’t expect a stay at home mom to look like a model, but she can be beuatufil, just in the way that makes sens for what she does.

I hope my poinnti is not too compbulted, It hink I got on a roll.

You see what I mean? Beuaty if different for differnt people, and honeslty, the people in the copetive egine often understand that just fine, it’s their job to conform to the standard os their profession, they wose ones will stay out of the other genres.

IT’s us who try to comibne them all into some disgusting mess that no one can keep up with.

YEs, the mainstream doe stkae it too far. ED should not be a common problem for models and actors.

But, it’s not all evil either.

I think Miss Congeniality made a good point about this, if you put no effort in, it’s not jsut that you think beauty doesn’t matter, it means that you think you can be subpar on purpose.

And any area of life you settle for less than your best in, you are still falling short.

IF the best osme people cna do is be 300lbs and happy, that’s all good. IF you can’t lose weight, don’t feel bad. IF you can’t gain weigh, (I can’t) don’t feel bad.

But if you choose to be 200lbs when you could be 180;bs with better helath decisions…well, I don’t want to listen to your girping. which is my issue with True Beauty.

If you choose to be unattractive, and have unattractive attitudes, I don’t think you deserve much pity. I hop you get help, but if you refuse it when it’s offered, why should I feel sorry for you? Or try to build up your ego when you will knock it down yourself?

There are people who have made bad choices and are now sorry. That’s not who I’m talking about. I think recovery is admirable and important, I ought to after all the recovery I’ve been doing.

I mean the ones who park there forever.

Depend upon it, how you treat your outwear self does effect you inward.

The MC becomes a liar and a hypocrite. I just got to episode 94 or so, where she chides her bf about not being honest with her, and then realizes she is not honest with him either. She evens talked to her her ex about this, and he encourages her to be honest, her sister encourages it also. But she stills flips out and runs form her bf the second he sees her without make up, and almost gets hit by a car. At that point, as her bf, I would have yelled at her and been really mad. That’s just stupidity. He’s very nice about it, instead, but that says more about his insecurities than hers.

Pin by CarrieMaxwell on *Web Toon saves* | True beauty, Photo editing vsco,  Anime people

I mean, if I found out my SO was hiding their face form me, for months, I would feel insulted. It implies they don’t trust me.

Now hear me on this, it’s true she’s insecure, and she’s got problems, so she believes he will be disappointed no matter what. All that is real, and I won’t make fun of it or diminish it, I have issues too.

But this is what I think: If you are going to be with someone, romantically, you need to be wiling to show them your ugly side, even if you believe they will hate it. It is only fair to them,and if you really love them, you will not lie. It may be hard for you, it may be all you hear is screaming in your head that you’ll be rejected, but it doesn’t matter. You must be vulnerable to be a in a real, loving relationship.

I have a crush, and I have not hesitated to tell him I had an abusive past, and now have no father. He has not stopped being my friend, or treated me differently over it, but if he had, I’d have wanted to know that sooner rather than later.

Does that mean my crush should be my bf? No, but it means, I didn’t hide anything, if it was to happen.

And it wasn’t always easy. I know some people see others as damaged goods. They have terrible reactions to hearing you were a victim. Or they are overwhelmed. That may happen to me, it actually did, with someone else… but, I refuse to act like I have anything to be ashamed of. I’ve found people to be much more sympathetic because of that.

And I don’t judge others as much now that I’ve come to see it in myself. If someone complains about their parents, I don’t assume that thy are just bad kids, I’ve learned it can be quite real.

One more thing:

I don’t like the attitude of True Beauty that you need your boyfriend to affirm he will not stop loving you if you don’t look the same without make up. If that is even a question, you are dating the wrong guy. Or girl, gents, if you have that problem too.

Hey, he may be surprised, but if you change your face, he has a right to be surprised, who wouldn’t be? It doesn’t mean you’re ugly, you idiot (I mean the MC.)

If I gave myself slanted eyes with make up and then took it off, I’d expect someone who didn’t know to be a little stunned.

If anything, the guy should dump her for lying to him for months, but he did the same so I guess he can’t talk. Great foundation for a relationship, I know. Ugh.

I detest dishonesty above almost all else in a relationship, and I don’t practice it myself. Sometimes I think I get lied to without knowing it because I expect others to be as honest with me as I am with them.

That’s a discussion for another time, however.

To wrap it all up, true Beauty is something hard to quantify. I think if you glory in looking good outside, that is part of your true beauty, and as long as you are not prideful about it, that’s fine. If you don’t care about make up and clothes, but you still respect yourself and take care of yourself, than true Beauty is in that. It’s also in your soul.

But if you treat yourself like you are ugly, you become ugly inside and out. That’s the end of it.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

Link to my favorite Make-up channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/charismastar

My (updated) thoughts on RWBY.

Well, it’s been over a week, and I thought I’d take a break from blogging about my life and instead return to a well worn subject: Things I watch.

Namely RWBY. Volume 8 has been releasing since last month, and will be going on hiatus after this week till February, I hear, so it seems like the perfectly imperfect time to talk about the show again.

I started watching RWBY about 2 1/2 years ago, when Vol 5 was out and Vol 6 was coming in, I think, 6 months or so. I blogged about it back then, and I’ve mentioned it since and used the characters for references in other posts, so if you read that stuff, you probably remember my interest in it… but if you’re new, stick around, this is never boring.

Breakdown

If you don’t watch RWBY, I’ll give you a brief break down. It’s center around 4 girls who are on a team of huntsmen (like superheroes combined with special operatives, typical anime idea), and their quest to save Remnant, their world. The first 3 volumes focus on developing the characters and their dream and goals, and the next 5 focus on world building, and explaining the main conflicts of the story.

It’s been said by many other fans that the show is inconsistent about what those conflicts are. Volume 4 focus on revealing the BIG BAD, Salem, the archetype of evil in the world. The she-devil, basically. The ruler of the monsters that devour people, only humans too, no animals. Volume 5 focused more on the racism in the world because the show tries to be woke (not that I minded the theme if it was consistent), Vol 6 goes back to explaining about Salem and Ozpin, the alleged Dumbledore/Professor X of this world, and their history of a very Magneto vs Prof X kind of struggle, with some Thanos MCU type villain stuff thrown in, and healthy dose of probably the worst mythology of gods I’ve ever seen. It really makes no sense.

I didn’t really mind this too much though, I was still invested up till Vol 7.

But last year the show just took a weird turn, and fans have been arguing since about why it has and who’s to blame and if it can get back on track.

And why should we care?

Because I think the problems with RWBY are ones that reflect our culture overall, and the show is just a particularity cringy example of them, but I see them everywhere, and it’s pretty telling about the mindset people have nowadays.

First of all, the writers do not know how to write. I tried hard to believe they did, after Vol 3, the last one Monty was involved in, and Vol 5, the last one I actually liked the ending of. Partly I had the benefit of getting to watch all of them consecutively, so the slow pace didn’t bother me, I now understand why the older fans must have found it frustrating.

I still maintain that Volume 5 is not the train-wreck everyone says it is for the simple reason that it accomplishes something, it has two story threads that it keeps up with consistently, even if they do drag on in places, and the ending at least makes sense, once it’s all tied together, plus gives us a few emotional moments.

Volume 6 seemed okay to me up until the last episode where I just couldn’t buy Cordovan letting them go, it was too convenient.

Volume 7 however, has the real problems with writing in my opinion.

Now aside from this blog, I write original stories, fan fictions, and papers for college classes when necessary. I read other author’s writing tips whenever I can. I read classics. I watch videos breaking down story structure, tropes, and character development. I don’t agree with all of it, but I’m well immersed in the community and culture of writing, and I’ve personally encountered the difficulties I’ve seen in this show, and others.

So, I don’t criticize writers lightly, I feel it’s tough to be a writer, especially with someone else’s show. But since I write fan fiction, I am pretty familiar with how you convert other people’s ideas into your own story. I’ve gotten very good at it, by trial and error.

All this to say, I did not go from being a fan to a hater willingly, on RWBY, and I think that’s important, because with art, it’s the people who truly want to love it and polish their own skills who should be talking about it, not the people who just want to get what they want. I don’t criticize art lightly.

I have my preferences, but I critique things differently based on personal taste, than based on actually deep flaws. Like, I hate Belle in the Disney Beauty and the Beast, I always have, I don’t think that makes the movie the worst princess movie, I’d argue it’s better than most of the other renaissance movies plot-wise, but I loathe Belle. It’s not my cup of tea. Still, if someone else likes it I don’t question their whole outlook on movies and stories in general.

Versus Naruto, where the people who praise Itachi and Pain and Obito scare the crap out of me. How the heck can you excuse literal mass murderers on the grounds that they “thought they were doing the right thing” especially when Itachi admits he knew it was a horrible thing to do and still did it… ugh.

So, with RWBY, I’m not going to be superficial. Yes, I find some new elements very annoying in the later volumes, but those are not really what bother me, I might even get to like them if the other problems weren’t there, and if the problems weren’t there mostly because of our culture’s very strange approach to shows and content.

You can find whole videos explaining in detail what’s wrong with the new volumes, I recommend the ones by Vexed Viewer if you want the closest to my opinion, and he was not always a hater either, I think. He is mostly fair and doesn’t just whine because it didn’t go how he wanted it to like some other fans I’ve watched.

So, I will just briefly describe what I mean, I can’t possibly be as thorough here as a whole video could be to each separate item, or cover them all.

But I think the three main things that bother me are:

  1. Changing character’s personalities and values and goals completley from vol 1 to volume 8, or even vol 7 to vol 8.
  2. Forgetting the lore established earlier, or changing it to be plot convenient.
  3. Pandering to one part of the fandom, and ignoring the other part.

Let’s start with number 1.

I loathe character inconsistency more than almost any other flaw in storytelling. So, I denied RWBY had changed its characters for a very long time, but vol 7 finally did it for me. Winter was the last straw.

I loved Winter Schnee in vol 3, and if you follow the short stories the company releases, we find out a little more about her, she’s a great character. Also a victim of familial abuse and neglect, she has a lot of traits I could relate to, we’re both the older sisters, we both tried to protect our younger siblings from our parents, an both feel the need to be strong, independent, and not let our guard down easy. We also both have tempers. That was all established with only a few scenes, a great VA (Elizabeth Maxwell is superb), and a little manga detail that is considered canon. Winter is awesome. Volume 7 did something to her I just couldn’t get behind.

I am not going to say I expect Winter to be perfect, I thought she’d probably be loyal to Ironwood to a fault, (I actually wrote fan fiction dealing with just that subject), but what I wrote and believed, is that someone as independent as Winter, who questioned her father enough to abandon her inheritance and join the military, and who is capable of being a top level Atlas Elite, basically the right hand woman to Ironwood, would really be so much of a sheep as to follow all his terrible orders in vol 7’s finale without so much as a word of protest. I also don’t believe someone who spent most of her time at home taking care of Weiss and preparing her to be strong, would immediately turn on her and tell her to run away… and arguably, before Weiss had really done anything worthy of being arrested other than disagree with Ironwood.

I’m sorry, it just doesn’t compute. Winter’s loyal, but that loyal?

Thankfully, vol 8 seems to be suggesting she’ll reconsider, and maybe she can be salvaged, but I still think it’s bad writing to make her such a predictable person when her best trait in vol 3 was being able to show us two very different sides to her in just two or three scenes. I’d say she was one of the best written characters of the show. It’s hard to tell people so much in so little time, I’ve struggled to do it myself. But experienced writers do it all the time, most really good movies establish a character in the first 10 minutes.

Winter is a personal peeve of mine, perhaps, but she’s honestly the least of the examples here. The main cast have much, MUCH bigger issues.

As most people have acknowledged, both Blake and Yang have gone downhill since vol 6. Yang got really good development in vol 4 and 5, and Blake had an actual arc (rare on this show) with Sun, her love interest (more on that in a second) and then vol 6 hit and… something just went off the rails. I didn’t care about the PTSD that much, because it’s not the same for everybody, and not everybody has it the same, but Blake just seemed to forget about the faunas after spending two volumes getting involved in taking back the White Fang. Yang seems to forget about her Mommy issues with Raven (and by the way, she’s still not bothered to tell anybody that Raven is the Spring Maiden, which could be kind of important, since Cinder is going around hunting down maidens and also knows Raven is one. Yang may not know that, but still, if they want to put the relic back, it might be kind of important!) They kill Adam (which was great, I never liked him, though a little rushed I thought) and then volume 7 has them making goo goo eyes and forgetting to ever discuss their unresolved issues. Vol 8 is doing even worse with it so far.

About the ship, I never liked it. I don’t ship LGBT stuff anyway, but I can acknowledge when it’s written better and when it’s not. And this has to be almost as bad as She-Ra’s, but at least one of these girls didn’t try to kill each other.

But they’ve never talked about Yang’s anger with Blake for running off, Blake’s weird behavior about Yang’s arm, or either of their trauma with Adam. I’ve never seen them “Talk” really openly and unrestrained, since volume 2. 2! Yet somehow I am supposed to think they are a good couple? Heck, Weiss and Yang would make more sense if we went by actual communication.

Of course my chief annoyance is that Yang was straight in vol 1 and checking out the boys, while Blake was interested in Sun from that volume all the way up till volume 6. 6! and they dated a couple times. But nope, I’m supposed to forget that and believe she liked Yang the whole time and Yang went from straight to gay in the course of one year with no circumstances prompting it whatsoever.

You know, even if I wrote this kind of stuff, I wouldn’t just change it half way through without any development. In real life people transition from straight or gay due to a myriad of circumstances and steps, it doesn’t just happen. There’s no struggle in this show, no reason for it. It’s just inconsistent. And that is bad character writing.

There are fans who justify it for literally no other reason than that they “need representation” that they don’t get as much as us straight people, so even if it’s bad, they still need it.

Well, first of all, that’s pathetic. I don’t appreciate bad portrayals of Christians in movies just because it’s so rare to find us portrayed at all. Do I need the world’s approval or endorsement of my lifestyle? No.

Second, is it the job of writers and artists to boost the self esteem of their fans? It’s nice when they do, I don’t mind when shows choose to tackle hard subjects because they want to contribute something. But when the fandom is demanding it, and throwing a fit if they don’t get what they want, and saying they are “owed” representation, then where exactly do they get off?

I ask, is it a writer’s job to endorse your personal choices? Or to even care to validate your identity, if you choose to base it on something as flimsy as sexuality or race? Why do they need to do that? They are just trying to tell a story, why does it need to have a political message?

If that is the point of the story, I have no issue, I just won’t watch it if I don’t want to see it. But if the story was initially about something else, and that got added only because it’s “woke” and the fandom clamored for it, then that’s extremely irresponsible of the writers and extremely insensitive of the fans.

When I criticize a show for not doing what I want, I do it because I think there is a standard of morality that every good show has to follow: good is good, evil is evil, truth is important, Love is the most valuable thing there is, Unselfishness is better than selfishness, etc. How each piece of art interprets those themes is up to them, I learn a lot from the differences.

If a political agenda is thrown in there, I sometimes don’t mind if it’s tastefully done, but then there’s Zootopia, something that’s jamming the comparisons down your throat till it’s not a story anymore, it’s one 90 minute long metaphor that I’d have been able to read much faster if it was in book form.

Pandering

This is point 3 also, the writers of RWBY pander to the fans who have a political agenda. They pander to the ones who think race has to be talked about in every single work of fiction, and that Gay Pride deserves to be reinforced in every single show and movie there is.

Which is kind of like saying if every movie doesn’t have at least one romance, it’s bad. And if every movie doesn’t have at least one black character, it’s bad… oh wait, they already do say that.

Yes, because the color of someone’s skin is what decides the quality of their work… oh, wait, that’s racist… then why do black people have to be included? I don’t care if they are because they are good, but why are the races of classic characters altered just to be more inclusive? Isn’t that a bit untrue to the original author’s work? Why should we change it just to appeal to people’s political agendas? You know, that used to be called propaganda.

Not to belabor the point, but RWBY has been doing this for the past 2 years and it’s not surprising that everything interesting about Yang and Blake has been completely forgotten. They aren’t in the story to be characters anymore, they are in it to make the fans happy.

If you are going to ask me why the fans shouldn’t be happy, then let me explain what I mean.

I think pandering is okay if it’s harmless, like Easter Eggs, stuff that doesn’t change the plot, it’s just there to be cute, funny, or show the fans the writers appreciate them. My Little Pony did some great stuff like that in its filler and Easter egg episode’s.

I think listening to criticism that is well thought out and shows an understandinf of the plot and direction of the show is perfectly fine.

But I do not think doing a major twist or change solely because “the fans wanted it” and “representation is good” is a reason to include anything. It’s always clumsy when it’s done for that reason anyway. I can’t name one time it’s felt natural to me when I watch, and even the supporters of it admit that. They know it’s just there to “represent” them, not because it feels natural.

With every good story, the plot twists are surprising, but fit naturally into the rest of the story. Things build off each other. They make sense. The changes in Ozpin’s character worked well, we always knew he was suspicious and irresponsible, finding out why and how, made sense (though I hate the gods part, it’s so badly conceived), but by contrast, Ironwood acts one way in vol 3, continues to act that way up through half of volume 7, then snaps, and goes full on dictator villain.

I thought he would corrupt because anyone who would jam someone’s soul into someone else’s body is already crossing the moral line and then some, but to become heartless and domineering to that point in the course of literally one day in actual story time… how? Why? Why wouldn’t he hesitate? Why is no one questioning this sudden callous, irrational behavior? And how is he stupid enough to let Watts hack Penny, a twist my siblings and I predicted since the ending of the last volume, and possibly before, according to my sister, and yet the people who designed Penny can’t predict it…what?

Sue me for thinking there would actually be explanations for this…

Though stupidity is a minor annoyance for me, since it’s usually inevitable with shows that go on for longer than 3 or 4 seasons. It’s really hard to keep a story going that long, especially without an original ending in mind, and characters tend to be dumb when the plot calls for it.

But stupid and immoral are not the same thing.

Vexed Viewer actually pointed out to me that in volume 7 team RWBY is against focusing on the world instead of Mantle, but in vol 8, with no apparent transition, half the team suddenly thinks they should focus on the world, and the other half thinking they should focus on a single city. Which they haven’t a prayer of saving anyway, as they all know deep down. So, basically, Ruby agrees with Ironwood… so why turn on him, and make yourself a public enemy then? Why not compromise? Ask him if you and your team could help Mantle privately, while some of you help with Atlas… why not do that? Jaune could come up with that plan in 5 minutes… of course, he wasn’t there in vol 7, so I guess that explains it, Ruby is just dumb.

I liked Ruby, honestly, up till vol 7. She wasn’t my favorite, but she has a personality, I believed in her intentions. Now I can’t understand what she’s doing at all. She wanted to help people and be a hero, now she’s acting like she has to single handedly have all the answers and no one can do anything unless she approves of it…which is the opposite of how she was in vol 1. She didn’t want people to think she was special.

This isn’t an arc, however, because at no point did Ruby ever come to grips with being special, she just suddenly starts thinking she’s the bees knees, to use Yang’s term. And Yang actually puts pressure on Ruby by saying “she always knows the right thing to do” and then takes zero responsibility for Ruby making bad decision because she’s forced to do it on the spot and no one else will step up and have an idea. Then Yang, the biggest supporter of Ruby as a leader, turns on her with no warning and says she’s been making bad choices… yeah, Yang, and you were right there questioning them the whole time right? No, you weren’t. You never questioned any of them till now.

I hesitated to use the word bad, but this is bad. Objectively, it just isn’t consistent or built up to at all.

Some might say I am biased because I am A Christian and these changes go against my world view.

Well, I would still disagree with the moral direction of these decisions, but I do criticize Christian art also, when poorly written, and one of the worst ways it is is when conversions are rushed. They just happen for no reason. No drama or progress. Or depth. A Conversion is the most common arc in a Christian story, though there are others.

So, if I compare RWBY to my own standards, I still think it’s being badly done. But the change is recent. Up till vol 5, I didn’t think the characters had changed drastically.

I can’t say exactly why it changed, but I think the moment I would pinpoint as the real change was the death of Adam. Adam was a useless character by that time, I agree he could have been more interesting, but I hated his guts too much to care about it, and I don’t think his death hurt the show in any measurable way. People bemoan the lack of importance more than the actual effect of it. However, it was then that the Bumblebee ship began to be pushed for no reason, and Yang and Blake both started saying weird stuff that made no sense.

However, I really wasn’t sure it was going to go bad till the end of vol 7 when all the characters started doing stuff I couldn’t understand at all, turning on each other, and playing right into Salem’s hands. Like they are doing this on purpose?

Now in vol 8, Ren is pointing out the obvious, that the characters are not ready to be heroes. Well, great, that’s what the fans have been saying for years… so, you’re agreeing with us… and then what…?

Personally, it almost seems like the writers are admitting they have no idea what they are doing or why, and are hoping they will stumble upon the answer.

As a writer myself, I know that if I had any clue where I was going with the story, I’d have set it up by now, I wouldn’t be waiting for 5 seasons to get to the point. I would have had the characters actually change and grow by now, having petty fights in the team should have been a thing back when it first assembled, not now. Now when they can’t afford to be disagreeing and having resentment.

I can say this because I’ve written very similar stories and had to time this out myself, I’m not just underestimating the difficulty of doing this.

Now it’s true I have no fanbase to please, but I am not overly concerned with pleasing the whims of people, I want to go for something meaningful. When you change whole plot points just to please fans, you have a real conflict of interests.

To go back to Bumblebee (which is truly the poison all this started from if you track it because it’s the first time the writers did something just to appease fans) it was never really established for five volumes, while BlackSun, the ship between Blake and Sun, was built up in every volume. They had moments in 1, 2, 3, 4 , and 5. with 1 and 5 featuring Sun as important in two major steps in Blake’s life. Sun, in fact, gets Blake out of the hole she digs herself into on both those occasions, plus they date and flirt in between.

Now, ship or no ship, Sun is huge part of her arc, and it would be wisest to keep him relevant since that would encourage building off her arc. As soon as he’s gone, the show can’t really drive Blake forward because her parents and friends who were helping her grow are gone and she’s on RWBY, where she doesn’t really have anything to contribute, since racism is not the focus of that team. Since Blake has nothing to add to the central themes of wanting to be a hero and telling the truth, as she’s never been great at either of those two things, and does not even call on her bad experiences to help the others avoid making her same mistakes (something that would actually be useful right about now).

And then they push Yang, but don’t do any of the actual work to make that believable. One talk in volume 2 doesn’t cut it.

Losing both Blake and Yang’s depth affected the wider plot, since if Yang talked about Raven, the drama of volume 5 might actually have led to something with the girls and Qrow. If Blake talked about Adam, maybe they could have used the White Fang as a guideline for how to help resolve tensions in Atlas. But no, nothing. Because ship, ship, ship.

Lore

Lastly, my second point. There’s one glaring problem with the lore. It might be overlooked if it was the only problem, but it adds insult to injury.

Penny has become a maiden… even though she is a robot. Maidens had to be girls, had to be young, and had, we thought, to be human. Otherwise, why the heck would they not try to put the power into a machine before? And Penny has a soul, allegedly but it’s a man’s soul, since it came from her father. There should be no way she could take on the maiden powers.

It’s one thing, but it kind of throws off the whole build up since volume 3 of the rules and lore around the magic, and makes you question if the writers just want any excuse to do what they want and make Penny important. Which I wouldn’t mind, if it was following their own rules.

Is someone holding a gun to their heads and making them break the rules they wrote into the show? The world may never know.

I think I explained already why I think this is important. I guess this turned into a post about the intergrity of writing and art in general. Which I could defintely follow up with some other posts expanding ont the differnt points.

But for now I think that’s enough to mull over, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Some thoughts about Self Love

Sorry for the wait, and welcome to my new followers, thanks to you guys I am almost at 170 and I didn’t even post for like a week.

Let’s talk about something that’s been catching my eye recently.

A lot of people in this culture, specifically Western culture, are now promoting the idea that you are enough for yourself.

Perhaps one of the most recent, famous examples is in the sequel to the iconic Frozen, as some of you know, my personal favorite movie.

Now the first movie is awesome, and I will dab on them haters over that, no one talks me out of liking a good movie just because it was over hyped (blame marketing analysts for that), and I finally, after forestalling for a year, watched Frozen 2.

I’ve heard about 50-50 good/bad opinions on this film, some people liked it, some hated it, pretty much everyone agrees it can’t compare to the original, standard sequel stuff, unless you’re STAR WARS.

But if you care at all about Disney, you probably already knew that, so I’ll cut to the chase:

The conclusion of this movie, despite some excellent ideas int he middle and beginning, is abominable. Elsa is told by her mom (by the way, how was her mom even there? It’s never explained if she was magic, or if Elsa was just remembering her, or whatever) that she is all she needs. She’s the answer she’s been looking for.

I, up till that point, might have been anticipating the answer to Elsa’s search, but at that point, I’m thinking “Bullcrap.”

Elsa starts this movie with a relatable problem just like int he first, she feels she’s not what she’s meant to be, and she feels the call of something more, something beyond herself. So she goes to look for it, and discovers a lot of truths about her world she didn’t know before…and the answer is, HERSELF? Talk about being disappointed.

I mean, put yourself in her place, you go off expecting to find someone, this voice calling you, and then you’re told “no, the voice was just you the whole time”…aren’t you doing to be disappointed?

Look, if I wanted to find myself, I wouldn’t have left home chasing someone else’s voice.

If it comes to it, how can she be hearing her own voice call her? If she’s the spirit…ugh, it just doesn’t make sense.

But it strikes me that it’s a product of our culture. I’m sure I’m not the first person to say so, but I haven’t seen anyone else talking about it yet, so I’ll give my take.

It’s known as the message of Self Love, usually. I don’t need anyone else’s approval, if I’m okay with who I am, etc. Accept yourself, love yourself, and so on and so forth.

In a world where we are addicted to screens, and spend hours alone in our rooms, even if we’re chatting online, physically we’re alone, perhaps it makes sense that we are feeding ourselves the lie that we are all we need.

I know many people, particularly women, embrace that lie, after failed relationships, and being hurt by their fathers, or mothers, and hearing the whole feminist speel, we want to feel empowered. I am my own answer, etc. Self Help,here we come

I used to think that way too. If you’ve been following my journey on this blood of this year and my life falling in on me, you probably noticed how much I’ve talked about how I can’t do this alone.

Yeah, being alone trying to love myself is what got me into this, along with my dad’s abuse, and my family’s neglect.

Actually, people like me are terrible at self care. I’m programmed to feel guilty if I ever prioritize myself. You take a church background, and add to it two parents who don’t model self care or healthy expressions of feelings, needs, or wants, and you get a child who is afraid to feel, want, or need anything. Feelings are scary.

But I read it in books as I searched for answers as a young teen, that I need to affirm myself. And my therapist told me the same thing. Other people have told me that too.

Crap, if that was enough, I’d be fine.

Contrary to what’s usual for victims of abuse, I don’t actually treat myself badly or think I’m rubbish. I have confidence in my intelligence, appearance, and kindness as a person. I don’t think I’m terrible. Not consciously anyway. I’m satisifeid with myslef on an averge day when it comes to the outer things, the thigns we want people to see us for.

I never have been one to hate on myself openly. I was a feisty little girl, and still am. I didn’t take crap frome people or my dad as a kid, I still don’t.

And that is why I can tell ouuo form the depths of my heart, that that was not enough.

i respected myself, I stood up for myself, I did everything I could to excape my situation: And I have lived through a year of hellish emotional issues and physical issues. STress, panic attacks, anxiwet , depression, suidical thoughts, self hatered. tension with my family, PLUS COVID!

If anyone should know that Self Love is not enough, it should be me. We cannot heal ourselves. We cannot even begin to do it. I loathe it when I hear peopel tell hurting people that they need to love themselves more. IT will never, ever, set them free.

(Before I move on, I wan to say I am not putting down Self Love it self. Of course it’s important, the Bible teaches that, but it’s important for other reasons than to give healing and meaning to our lives, we’re told to care for ourselves because we recognize our body and our life is a gift form God, created to be loved and to love Him, and we accept that, and love ourselves. It’s not a solution to our problems, just a return to what’s natural and right.)

One reason self love does not work is because we do ont see ourselves very clearly aat any itme,. Maybe you’ve heard teh analogy that we see hundreds of faces every day and the face we see the least is our own. Even when we do, it’s only through a mirror. You cannot look yourself int he face without help. SOme see this as a picture of how little we know ourselves, and how we need help to even know what we know.

And it’s true, if you can’t look at yourself clearly, how can you really know enough to say you love yourself?

G. K. Chestron worte in “Orthodoxy” that a manw ho believes fully in himslef is insane. He is compeltely convicned o f his own idea, he might think he was a poached egg, and beleive fully in his own judgment, so he believea in himslef…but he’s crazy.

Hitler bleieved in himself, you might say. HE certaily didn’t believe in God.

And in your own life, the people who believe the most int hemselve are not often your favorite peopel, are they? Narcissists cannot be questiong, ethey are always rigth, they believe that…and nobody likes them. They are insufferable prigs.

People with BDP often (unless they are trying to overcome it) beleive fully that they are alwasy the victim, and cannot be convicnec otherwise.

Really, who doesn’t prefer a little insecurity to the idea that we don’t need anyone.

We all like to say “I don’t need anyone” but when we are around someone who broadcasts that message to us, are we not completely uncomfortable? I know I am. I mean, why do they even need me to be around them.

Even basic companionship is a need we have, even if it’s expressed more as a desire. What we want and what we need are often the same thing, so if you say “I need no one but myself” you are essentially saying “I want no one but myself around me” and who wants to be around someone who hates people? (Am I making any social recluses uncomfortable yet? Hey, I’m not judging, I’m hardly antisocial but I get tired of people often).

C. S. Lewis also cautions us against the dangers of not caring what other people think of us in “Mere Christianity” when he write his chapter about Pride. He points out that if we truly cease to care what people think it is usually because we see them all as below us. You’ll hear this quite often now, “Who cares what those morons think? F— them!” “I don’t need anyone’s approval!” “To he– with your opinion”

And is it often the nicest, kindest people who spout this nonsense? Or is it not the rude, arrogant, selfish, self-obsessed ones who just want to do whatever they want without any obligation to anyone.

Usually I hear it from angry, or disrespectful people, often women, sad to say, in this culture.

Back when I also tried this, I thought it was my only escape from how my cruel father painted images of me to myself and my family and anyone who would listen.

My father would humiliate me to total strangers if I went to work with him by bad mouthing me to them and telling them things I’d say to him in private. Usually in a whiny condescending voice (you know the type people use to mock you). It happened more times than I can even remember, it happened with family friends, with family members, over and over. It happens to this day, I’m sure, as I know he calls my extended family to gripe about us cutting him off.

My father would nudge me in church whenever the pastor mentioned children respecting parents, and say, loud enough for half the congregation to hear “You hear that, insert-my-name?” My mom? Does nothing to stop him… well, okay, she would sometimes, but he wouldn’t’ listen to her and she wasn’t’ always there, other times he allowed it.

Not to mention the constant degrading things he would say to me. If I asked how I looked, not even talking to him, he’d say “hideous.” I remember maybe one time he said something nice to me about my looks, in 20 years, one time. Maybe two. He made fun of it when I got acne, when I got braces, when I became a woman, you name it.

When my writing endeavors took off, he deliberately criticized it unfairly, and encouraged my sisters to do the same.

All this to say, my dad set me up to be a real piece of work. And my only fallback, since my other family members were silent on this point, was to decide I liked myself, or believed I was in the right.

I have pages and pages of journals filled with outrage and the desperate attempt to convince myself I was not a terrible person. And I live with that doubt now.

As shocking as it is to me, I may actually have been angelic by most people’s standards, under the circumstances. Considering how my dad treated me ever since I can remember, I was surprisingly forgiving, even as a kid. And I was affectionate. It was never enough for him, but for a better parent, it would have been quite touching. At least I know I melt if kids treat me the way I treated my parents.

It wasn’t Self Love that got me to see I might not be so bad, it was a lot of help from others, and God. I still remember as an early teen when I first started getting told I was nice, cute, or pretty by people, and how much it shocked me. That was what got me to first question how my parents had taught me to see myself.

And just to expose the self love thing more, I remember two times I tried it. Once was telling my dad I didn’t wear make up because I didn’t need it (project confidence, you know) his response? In a rather evaluating tone he told me it wouldn’t hurt me to use make-up, and style my hair. (Now I don’t upload photos, but everyone loves my hair, and says I have a good face, even without make up. I do wear it, but not every time I’m in public, I like to go with my mood, so my dad was straight up blind or lying, or both.) Another time, I admired myself in a mirror, daring to think I looked a little bit pretty, and my mom called me “as vain as peacock.” Just for looking at myself. I didn’t eve say anything. If I ever asked if I looked good, she’d say I was “digging for a compliment.” This woman never praised me, ever, of her own free will, for as long as I can remember.

So, you see, both my parents crushed my attempts at self love with an almost savagely accurate cruelty. My mom is as least sorry and has come to see it was wrong. My father probably will deny it ever happened once enough time passes. He’s denied stuff before.

Even so, I kept trying to believe in myself. But my only real comfort in those dark years was knowing God loved me and saw good in me even if no one else did. It often seemed no one else did. I was in trouble at home every week, family friends (who I now know were toxic busybodies) criticized me to my parents, and people at church (also a toxic environment, remember my dad controlled all this) did the same.

Meanwhile, I was learning to write. Reading as mush theology and fiction as I could, and finding out what my interests are. I could have gone very wrong. But luckily, my parents did have good theology around, even if they didn’t demonstrate it, and I took it to heart.

Frozen actualy came out about a ear after I became a ture believer, and it was at the time I frist read “Captiviating” b John and Stasi eldege, that book coupel with that movie changed my life, not exaggeration.

It introduced me to deep inner healing, to God filling the void left by parents, and to the idea that I could say my father’s actions were wrong. The book is not about self love, but about learning to be loved.

That’s the real secret, ladies and gentlemen, you have to learn to be loved.

If you look closely at Frozen, you’ll notice that that is what that movie is actually about. Elsa is taught to hate herself by her shortsighted parents, and develops a bunch of toxic styles of relating to people and herself. Then when trouble comes, she snaps and runs away, like we all do. Then she has a breakthrough of relaxing those expectations on her were wrong, and harmful, and she throws them off. People think Let It Go is negative, but it’s actually a very important step in the journey to freedom to realize that the lies you lived under are wrong “conceal don’t feel” is terrible advice.

But recognizing the lies doesn’t free her, it just opens her up to realize the truth. When Anna finds her, she is able to express actual concern for her, but reverts back to fear once she feels guilty again. Of course wounding Anna in the process. Later Elsa becomes a captive, literally and figuratively to her fear and Hans, and runs away after giving up on helping. Finally, she is crushed by the idea that she killed her sister, and has no heart event o run and save herself anymore.

It’s significant that Elsa gives up trying to save herself at her lowest point. And that’s when Anna swoops in and save her life. Elsa can recognize it then because she stopped trying to run. That’s what makes that moment to powerful. Elsa finally receives Anna’s love by hugging her, and then it sets her free to heal Arendelle, and become the queen she’s meant to be. No longer alone.

Love is the answer. You have to learn to be loved. I was 14 or 15 when I first saw this movie, I am 22 now, it’s been near 8 years, and I am still learning to be loved, I only just realized what the movie is really about. That why the symbolism of doors is used so often. The door is like the consent to be loved. It’s never about Elsa refusing to love Anna, she always loved her, but she didn’t open the door to Anna’s love until she had nothing left t lose by doing it. Much like what happened to me. You have to open the door.

God can do many things, but I have never seen evidence that He can make us receive His love, it is always a choice to open up, even if opening up is just collapsing in defeat at His feet. I’ve done it many times.

Contrast that to the 2nd movie, and you notice they totally for got their own point. The writers did not really realize what they had with Frozen, so often that’s the case.

Frozen hit us hard because we so desperately need to hear this, that we can learn to be loved, and that will heal us. That’s all healing really is.

I stayed open to my parents love for a long time, long after I gave up expecting it. Most victims of abuse are like that. We keep hoping for the abuser to change, but with every other relationship we’re in, we find it uncomfortable to be loved, even if we crave it.

In my case, I still am not super at ease with being loved. I am only to the point where I don’t directly fight it all the time. I’ll accept the hug, I’ll ask for encouragement, I will let people give a little to me; I still feel guilty about it, but I try to ignore the guilt and remind myself that I have to be willing to accept this.

I wish I cold tell you it’s easy to do this, that I never doubt whether I’m doing the right thing. But I’ve doubted just today whether I’m worth all this, if I’m a good person, if I am on the right path.

I know that recovery is going to take a lot longer than one year.

It’s actually quite frustrating to realize how much I hate being loved, I find it irritating to be treated nicely quite often. though I also hate being treated badly. I am thrown off by kindness. People have told me I don’t take praise or encouragement really well.

I want so answer them “I’m broken. I can’t take it like a normal person… and you made me this way.”

What do you expect really? I grew up mocked, degraded, or given dead silence about y good points. Of course I find it uncomfortable.

I bet some of you reading this have the same problem. I’d love to hear if anyone has figured out how to solve it yet.

I don’t know what my process will be, but I know that God is the only one who can get me there. I know that people do get out of it. It takes time.

I know it is scary to need other people, my need for it has kept me up at night in agony becuae I felt so angry and misarable and alone.

I still get annoyed, but I now have made steps to acknowledge my need for people and to reach out.

It’s true I could get hurt again, and I will, but I don’t think that’s a reason to shut down.

I’ve had my time of using every negaitve expereince to justify my beleif that people always treat me badly, but I learned that I will be drawn to those people naturally due to my past if I don’t actively try to seek out better. Evetually, being drawn to healthy people will become the norm for me.

Anyway, I think this post is probably long enough to be an essay, so I should wrap it up.

In summary, all this is why I believe Self Love is a very dangerous band-aid to put on a gaping wound, but I do believe that being healed will enable us to love ourselves how we should.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.