+
More

At first I found myself singing along, then I realized just how messed up the lyrics were.

As a self proclaimed film and TV buff, I'm always excited for awards season. But when the nominations for the 2015 Oscar awards were revealed, I couldn't help but notice one glaringly obvious trend. At first I thought I might be seeing things, but then I heard a Taylor Swift parody that summed up exactly how I felt about the 2015 Oscars.

So what exactly did I notice? Well, let's take a look at the 2015 acting nominees.

Best actor in a leading role


From left to right, Steve Carell, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Bradley Cooper, and Benedict Cumberbatch

Best actress in a leading role

From left to right, Marion Cotillard, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, and Reese Witherspoon

Best actor in a supporting role



From left to right, Robert Duvall, Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, J.K. Simmons, and Edward Norton


Best actress in a supporting role


From left to right, Patricia Arquette, Emma Stone, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Keira Knightley

As you can see, some of Hollywood's best and brightest stars have been nominated for the year's top acting honor. And while I can't deny my love for Meryl Streep, Robert Duvall, and Marion Cotillard, the lack of diversity in the 2015 nominees is incredibly disappointing. Not ONE actor or actress of color? And then there's the Best Director nominees, which are completely male-dominated. Now don't get me wrong, we shouldn't be handing out award nominations based on gender or the color of one's skin. I'm also not suggesting that any of these stars are underqualified. There's a lot of talent in this bunch!

But the Academy Awards' lack of diversity says a lot about the state of Hollywood. And although it's "just entertainment," how marginalized people (which includes women and people of color) are portrayed in Hollywood and other forms of media has an effect on how they're perceived in the world. Studies have also shown that diverse representations in media not only promote tolerance but also can improve self esteem. Sadly, it's not just the 2015 nominees that lack diversity. Take a look at this infographic that breaks down the Academy Awards' makeup over the past 87 years. It's not pretty.

Strangely enough, I've been known to capture my feelings (both good and bad) through song, so when I stumbled upon this Taylor Swift parody on the sad state of the 2015 Oscars, I couldn't help but think, "I wish this wasn't so truthful, but damn it, it's so, so good." Take a look at the video below, which hits on a number of Hollywood's problems, including diversity and sexism on the red carpet.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Considering it's a parody of Taylor Swift's hit "Blank Space," it's obvious why "Blank Slate" is an automatic head-bopper. But it's the lyrics that really drive home why this parody is so spot on.

"Read about it in a magazine
Ain't it funny just how white
The year's lineup always ends up being
So hey, let's pretend
That racism is at an end
Grab your remote and my hand
We can be colorblind just for the weekend." — "Blank Space Oscars 2015 Commentary"





When you look at the numbers, along with firsthand accounts from women and actors of color in the entertainment industry, it's hard to deny that Hollywood still has a lot of work to do. Thankfully, creative people like Melissa Silverstein (the genius behind this Taylor Swift parody) are committed to calling out Hollywood and encouraging them to do better.

All photos courtesy of Albertsons
True

Summer is officially over, which means we’re looking for any excuse to get together and watch a game or grill outside in the cooling temperatures.

The thing about hosting though is figuring out what to feed your guests—especially with rising prices all around. And frankly, everyone is sick of pizza.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less
Firmbee/Canva

Google's 2022 Year in Search report shows what trended this year.

There's a lot you can tell about a person by their search history (unless they're a murder-mystery writer, in which case no one should jump to conclusions). And our search habits on the whole can tell us a lot about ourselves as a collective as well.

For better or for worse, what we look up on the internet is an indicator of what we care about, and Google's Year in Search report gives us some insight into what we cared about this past year.

There are reports for different countries as well as a global report. Let's start with what my fellow Americans looked up, shall we?

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Monet Garner on Unsplash

To have and to hold…

Love stories can take many twists and turns. But for one couple, one such detour lasted more than 40 years. In 1972, Jeanne Gustavson met Steve Watts at the German club at Loyola University and was instantly attracted. Their love story should've continued from this day forward, but sadly it was cut short when Gustavason abruptly broke up with the man she loved.

Gustavason explained to CBS News that her mother did not approve of her interracial relationship and wasn't shy about expressing her disdain for the couple. This disapproval of the courtship is what led to the breakup. Eventually, Gustavason and Watts married and divorced other people, but they never forgot about the love that ended too soon.

You'd think after four decades apart and all the life lived in between that the pair would have fully moved on. But it seems that true love really doesn't die because Gustavason went looking for Watts in 2021, and she found him.

Keep ReadingShow less