Why Do Disney Films Have So Few Women in Them?

Cinderella on Sofia the First
"And then the prince traveled the land with the glass ceiling trying it on every woman in the kingdom."
There's no argument to be had that women are in fact underrepresented in Hollywood. Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, the executive director at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, compiled a report of the characters in the top 100 grossing films of 2011. Despite women being 51 percent of the population, they only represented 33 percent of the speaking roles in movies, up 5 percent from 2002. Worse than that, only one out of ten films featured a clear female lead protagonist. We won't even go into how embarrassing it is that neither Marvel or DC has launched a solo female superhero at a time when The Hunger Games is breaking box office records and even a terrible film like Lucy can rake in almost $500 million.

I got into a discussion about this online when someone spoke up about Disney as a counter argument. He said he couldn't even remember a male lead in a Disney film besides The Jungle Book. It's become a pretty silly and sad talking point of the Men's Rights "movement" that Disney has descended into this hot bed of radical feminism bent of emasculating men. "Where are teh menz?" they ask of this den of she wolves where men are barely present.

Which is a little weird because women are nearly as poorly represented in animated Disney films as they are in other films.

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[Video] A Yoga Flash Mob in Houston Wants to Remind You That the Holidays Should Be Fun

Categories: Pop Culture, Video

Be honest: with less than two weeks to go before Christmas, how are you doing this holiday season?

If you're stressed, don't feel bad because you're not alone. What many consider to be the most wonderful time of the year is sometimes anything but that. It seems that no matter where you go there are crowds and lines and noise and terrible parking situations. Even if you're one of those people that loves to get out and shop, holidays at the mall can be a nightmare. It's enough to frazzle even the strongest.

That's why in these hard holiday times it's nice that there are people out there who want to remind us via the magic of a yoga flash mob what the season is really supposed to be about.

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Why Sofia the First Will End in a Bloody Civil War

"Remember, your family is totally capable of ordering your bloody death for petty reasons."
My primary hobby in the world is overanalyzing the complex feudal politics of the kingdoms in Disney. It's how I relax. I've already explained before how Brave is not just the story of a plucky young woman finding the strength to be who she really is, but also a complex plot by her father to ensure that his line will maintain the loyalty of the lords underneath him through a combination of feminism and perpetual hope of a union. There was also my bit about how Elsa's status as a woman who is not defined by her romantic partner might be the lesson young girls need in the modern world, but creates a problem if Arendelle is to know continued peace.

Lately the princess that my daughter has been shoving into my eyeholes continuously is Sofia of the show Sofia the First. It's not a bad show, most of the time. The focus remains on learning how to be kind and fair, which is certainly something that we can all agree the world needs more of.

However, after sitting through probably my 125th episode I suddenly realized that if the tale of Sofia is taken far enough it's definitely doing to end in a blood civil war.

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Is Any Part of Bill Cosby's Legacy Worth Salvaging?

Categories: Pop Culture

A promotional image for the The Cosby Show
Bill Cosby's present is secure. Despite the 17 women (so far) who have publicly come forward with notably similar allegations of drug-enabled sexual assault, the comedian received standing ovations for his stand-up performances in the Bahamas and in Florida recently. His comeback tour will likely continue over the next few months. A handful of venues have canceled his engagements, but more than two dozen shows remain on the schedule.

Cosby's legacy, however, may be marred forever. Unsurprisingly, it's the cultural critics who grew up worshipping his TV family -- those who feel the betrayal of The Cosby Show's wholesomeness most acutely -- who have led the charge in renouncing everything the comedian has ever done. Roxane Gay powerfully (if not entirely convincingly) argued that, in the case of Cosby, the choice is "art or humanity": "There is only one side that matters...We have to stop supporting any of his endeavors. His art does not absolve him. Art is nothing compared to humanity, nothing at all." Mike Ryan was no less absolute: "All the good he did -- and his contributions to popular culture really did do a lot of good -- is now ruined."

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[Video] Meeting the People of the 2014 Halloween Montrose Crawl

Costumes have been packed away. Leftover candy is being consumed. Thoughts are turning toward Thanksgiving. After weeks of anticipation, Halloween has come and gone. Sure, between now and then there will be other costumes parties and cosplay conventions and other excuses to dress up, but Halloween is the big day, the one that we look forward to the most.

This Halloween was even more exciting because it was on a Friday, which basically meant that the entire weekend was going to be one long, costumed party. Saturday Halloweens are cool too, and we expect 2015 to be pretty wild, but there's something about getting dressed and knowing the entire weekend is ahead of you that just makes a Friday Halloween a bit more special.

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A Zen Workshop Complete With Actor Peter Coyote in Houston

Categories: Pop Culture

Photo courtesy of Peter Coyote
Peter Coyote takes off your mask
This Sunday, Peter Coyote whose distinctive voice was heard most recently in Ken Burns' The Roosevelts:An Intimate History on PBS is headed back to Houston to lead a three-hour Mask Workshop.

According to a press release announcing the event at the Houston Zen Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. November 2, the workshop helps participants "Explore the masks we all wear; putting them on, taking them off. Experience the playful and profound activity of the masks we know we wear, and - perhaps -- the masks we don't know we wear. "

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America's Next Top Model's Chris Hernandez's Take on Reality TV

America's Next Top Model: Season 20
I'll admit it... I'm a little embarrassed that I watch America's Next Top Model, but I love it and I'm not big into watching reality TV shows. For me, ANTM is the exception because it captures the reality of the modeling world... or at least I think it does. Models sometimes get a bad rap, but anyone who watches this show knows that it's not an easy industry to deal with...So that got me wondering what life is really like for one of these ANTM models.

I got together with Chris Hernandez, one of ANTM's top male model contestants from its 20th cycle, and grilled him about the modeling/fashion industry and his opinions on reality TV.

Q: What's your take on the fashion industry?

"The fashion industry has changed with the emergence of social media. It used to be about your book, looks and modeling skills, the ability to sell whatever it is you are modeling. Now it's more about how many followers you have following you on social media."

Q: What was your experience like on America's Next Top Model?

"It was a great experience and I learned a lot and got to meet some great people. It was definitively stressful, but what competition isn't? I am very glad that I was given the opportunity to be part of ANTM."

Hernandez said the only bad part was that he learned that reality TV isn't always reality television.

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Best Badass Hair Dye Jobs in the Movies for Your Viewing Pleasure and Inspiration

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
I personally love dying my hair. Although I never go crazy with the colors. Being a brunette, I tend to go for safe chestnut colors or reds. But like a lot of chicks I've always had a secret desire to dye my hair some off-the-wall color. So when I see someone in a movie looking bad ass with bad ass hair color it sticks with me and makes me rethink trying something new. So hopefully to inspire fellow chickadees to take a chance and try something different here are some of girls and women in movies I think have rocked the best dyed dos.

6. Scarlett Johansson in Lucy... So I can say I've not really been a big fan of ScarJo... but she won me over when I saw her recently in Luc Besson's Lucy and I think part of the reason was due to her hair. I've thought about going blond in the past and Scarlett's messy blond bob with brunette roots has got me thinking about it again.

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The 6 Best Cheap and Lazy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes of 2014

Photo by Francisco Montes
Low budget, high concept = solid laughs.
And so it goes that 11 months have gone by, bringing us back to the start of October and the march toward Halloween. For many, this is the most wonderful time of year. We probably all have that one friend who has already decked out his crib with Halloween decorations and has been planning his costume for months.

We all love that friend, even while we're jealous of his costume planning abilities.

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How to Properly be a Hipster

Categories: Pop Culture

Reality Bites
Hipsters...Where did this group come from and when did they first appear? No clue...but they are everywhere. And apparently anyone from their teens until late into their 30s can be a hipster. But as I've recently learned, if someone wants to achieve success at becoming a hipster, there are certain "unwritten" rules that the hipster in training must follow...

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