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Pop Culture

How Marvel's 'Moon Knight' teaches us to embrace all our selves

It's also a compelling and compassionate portrayal of mental illness

moon king dissociative disorder

Sometimes the biggest battle is in loving ourselves

The great thing about Marvel is: even if you're exhausted with superhero movies (it’s okay, I am too) the franchise often sprinkles their mega fights and formulaic plots with thought provoking, empathetic character studies.

In the recent limited (or maybe not so limited) series “Moon Knight”, the hero Marc Spector has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a mental condition where a person has at least two or more distinct personalities. As with any piece of art made public, there has been criticism of the show, in particular of the accuracy of its portrayal of DID.

However, the negative feedback misses Moon Knight’s ultimate success: Marc’s story not only inspires compassion for mental illness, it also shows us that sometimes the biggest battle we face is simply loving ourselves entirely.


Warning: Spoilers for the series below!



For most of the show, Marc’s alternate personality Steven Grant is the primary protagonist. Until the penultimate episode, when we learn he was created by Marc to help escape his painful childhood.

After the tragic death of his younger brother, who drowned in a cave while the two were playing, Marc’s mother blamed him for the loss. Her resentment forced him to endure severe neglect, abuse, and cruelty while internalizing his own guilt.

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While in reality DID is much more complex, “Moon Knight” does faithfully capture the healing made possible through opening up about our trauma and mental illness. As both characters face the truth together, both Marc and Steven are able to reconcile. In the end, they are no longer at odds—they become brothers.

In the final episode’s emotional climax, we see Marc, a man bestowed with magical fighting abilities, turn to Steven, the creation forged by his own suffering, and whisper:

“You are the only real superpower I ever had.”

In this hard won victory of self-acceptance; Marc’s heart becomes whole again.

In my personal life, I'm a practitioner of EFT, a healing modality that blends aspects of both psychotherapy and acupressure. In EFT, there’s a concept of “bringing love to the pain." In a session with a coach, or by themselves, a person visualizes a traumatic memory from childhood. As they tap on their body—where trauma often gets stuck—they repeat phrases like “even though this happened, I still love and accept myself.”

The idea is that by repeating these positive phrases out loud while simultaneously releasing stored negative energy in the body, we can rewire our brains to stop repeating the same story associated with those memories. It might sound a little woo-woo, but there’s quite a bit of scientific evidence showing how effective EFT can be. Sometimes all it takes is genuine love and forgiveness for ourselves. It’s simple, but not always easy. Even Marc had to go through Egyptian Hell to achieve it.

Regardless of a mental health diagnosis, this is a universal challenge. How many of us can look into the mirror and truly love everything that we see?

For some, perhaps even for most, this is a lifelong process. But "Moon Knight" teaches is that self acceptance has profound benefits on our character.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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