By: Nicole King
On November 30, 2017, a series of emotions penetrated the audience at the Billboard Awards Ceremony where singer and actress, Selena Gomez, earned the honorable award of Woman of the Year. This twenty five year old singer was at a loss of words as she gave a heartwarming benediction and dedicated the award to her best friend, Francia Raisa. These best friends started to get close in 2008 when they congregated at a Disney Channel and ABC Family event. The two teenagers were paired together to visit kids in a children's hospital where Raisa stated “We just clicked.” Though the two might be four years apart in age, it has done nothing aside from fortifying their bond.
Many fans noticed Gomez laying low over this past summer and not producing any new hits. After the few months where she remained unheard of, Gomez posted a picture of her and Raisa in a hospital bed holding hands. In the caption, Gomez explained that she was informed in the early summer about the severity of her kidney Lupus, an inflammatory disease where a person's immune system attacks it’s own organs. After receiving this poignant news, she returned to her home she shares with Raisa. She grasped a water bottle which she soon came to realize she was too frail to open and launched it across the room. Frightened, Raisa sprinted over to the singer to comfort and soon discover what had the celebrity so feeble. Without contemplation, Raisa immediately shouted “Of course I’ll get tested!”.
After many weeks of testing her physical and mental stability, Raisa received the call that she was a perfect match to donate her kidney to Gomez. They then proceeded by going into a lengthy two hour surgery to complete the transplant. Once they safely completed the surgeries, the two best friends got to reunite and see each other before regressing to their rooms. Once Gomez reached her room, she began to drift to sleep in peace. This feeling became very breif as the celebrity started to hyperventilate and was rushed back into surgery. Next up was a six hour procedure due to one of her arteries flipping in her body, causing a great deal of misery. Thankfully, her fresh kidney settled in precisely and she was on the road to recovery.
Today, Gomez stands with high blood pressure, energy, and a three to five percent chance her Lupus will ever return. Though this news flattered Gomez, what she really wanted was to spread awareness. Everyone looks at her as if she has it all, but she wants her fans to get a glimpse of the struggles she has encountered. When receiving the Woman of the Year Award, Gomez told the audience “I respect the platform that I have been given so deeply.” Gomez will continue to use this platform to grow as a person and apprise those who look up to her that no matter how good people seem to have life, everyone has their own drawbacks.
By Sofia Weddle
It was a cool Sunday evening when Masterpiece Classic took the world by storm. The seemingly dull subject of manor servants in the early 1900s became a full-blown drama entitled Downton Abbey, reminiscent of heavily followed soap operas. Then, five years later, the beloved series ended with a flourishing finale. And that was it. No more 9 pm Sunday nights glued to the television screen. Until Victoria came.
After Masterpiece discontinued Downton Abbey, a replacement was needed for the avid fanbase to watch. And truly, what do people love more than highly theatrical, exciting royalty? So in came another British series, Victoria, set in the mid-1800s and based on the famous life of Queen Victoria of England. She was a queen, that according to The Guardian journalist Julia Baird, represented “the model of a modern woman: candid, stroppy and stubborn” and “the 19th century's most powerful and prominent working mother”, but has been unfairly “dubbed a ‘domestic tyrant’”. Victoria works to expose this false mirage of the Queen’s persona and ruling style and develop her as a benevolent, powerful monarch through reenacting the many hardships she endured at the helm of the throne.
The opening scenes of the first episode set the dramatic, regal tone of the series. Victoria’s uncle has just died and she must claim the throne at just 18 years old. The show prominently explores Queen Victoria’s trials and setbacks, especially as a petite female whom many party leaders doubt. Her future husband, Prince Albert, is introduced early on and develops arguably the most interesting feature of Victoria’s story. Their love truthfully starts as frustration from each other’s polar opposite personalities, but soon flourishes into an authentic, passionate devotion. The first season left off at a critical point in their relationship, as Victoria had just given birth-- a feat that most political leaders at the time believed would bring the Queen’s untimely death. Unfortunately, avid fans have had to endure a year long wait to continue Queen Victoria’s tremulous tale until the arrival of season two in the U.S. in January 2018. If the next season is anything like the first, viewers will not be disappointed.
Throughout the show Jenna Coleman, a Doctor Who alumna, artfully portrays Queen Victoria in her varied emotional states as a new and controversial ruler. Victoria was known for her spunk and fierceness as a ruler, and Coleman becomes just that when her character is faced with doubts from Parliament, her mother, the Prime Minister, and even her own husband. Similarly, Tom Hughes transforms Prince Albert from a shy, overtly-precise aristocrat into a doting, selfless husband who stands confidently by Victoria’s side. However, it takes Albert a few episodes to conform to the English royal rules and etiquette as a Prince Consort, allowing for Hughes to further explore Albert’s insecurities and anxieties about simply becoming a figurehead solely dependent on his wife.
Even if the extraordinary acting, dramatic plotline, or emotional investment wasn’t enough, Victoria features an exquisite array of costumes and set designs. Think Kate Middleton’s gowns times 100. Victoria’s dresses feature jaw-dropping details of lace, beading, or jewels that are sure to make the fashion community swoon. According to an anonymous Glenelg High School Junior, the costume designers of royal-based shows such as Victoria, The Crown, and Reign “not only want it [the clothing] to be historically accurate, but beautiful.The intricate designs and gowns in these shows are so thoughtfully put together because it is the only representation of that era we have left. Viewers are attracted to theses time periods as we are always curious what living in a different time would be like”. Likewise, the sets accurately replicate the English royal homes of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in all their ornate, crystalline glory. Truly, this show is a feast for the eyes.
Victoria has all the makings of a hit: drama, romance, suspense, historical accuracy, intrigue, beautiful clothing, excessive jewels. While it will never be the beloved Downton Abbey, PBS Masterpiece Classic has hit the television jackpot yet again with a royal tale that captures seemingly outlandish but realistic events.
It was a cool Sunday evening when an enthralling monarch captured the hearts of millions…
By Jackie Lyons
Chad Michael Murray. Actor. Spokesperson. Former fashion model. Author? Yes, that’s right, one of America’s favorite early 2000s actor has written a book. Written alongside praised author, Heather Graham, American Drifter, tells the story of River Roulet, a young war veteran who struggles with PTSD. River decides to escape his past and flee to his favorite country: Brazil. As the Carnaval nears, River finally feels like he’s at peace with his life. He then meets a mysterious journalist named Natal. The two of them end up in a whirlwind adventure with a drug lord hot on their trail.
Many fans were very excited to read this book because Chad Michael Murray, THE Lucas Scott, wrote it. Senior Easha Qasba says, “I would not have picked him as someone to write this kind of book.” Murray doesn’t really seem like the type of person to write a romantic novel. There was so much advertising and promotion leading up to the book’s release all over his Instagram page, it was impossible to not read it.
Unfortunately, the novel did not live up to the hype. Not one of the characters left some sort of impression. They all were easily forgotten and just not memorable. The entire plot was incredibly stereotypical. He made the entire story, that takes place in Brazil, centered around what the country is best known for, the Carnaval. Senior Trey Hensing says, “Has he even ever been to Brazil? Is he qualified to write stuff on this?” Murray also threw around words in Portuguese randomly throughout the entire book. There was no need for it due to the fact that the entire book was written in third person if he was throwing around Portuguese vocabulary.
American Drifter’s co-author, Heather Graham is a well known romance and horror author who has written over 150 novels. Even though Heather Graham’s name was on the cover as a co-author, not one part of the book sounded like her style of writing. It almost sounded like something Lucas Scott from One Tree Hill would write… because it was.
Overall, American Drifter wasn’t that great of a book. However, if you’re looking for something good to read in a doctor’s office waiting room, this would be the book for you.
By Sofia Weddle
November brings with it turkey, family, freshly chopped Christmas trees, turning leaves, and, most importantly, the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This event, marked by a following of 6 million viewers, showcases the brand’s new lingerie and its infamous and outrageously bejewelled Fantasy Bra. However, even with the great popularity of Victoria’s Secret across the world, the 2017 show has garnered great controversy and immense negative publicity. Is this the end of a 22-year old fashion era? Only time will tell.
The first problem the brand approached was their location: Shanghai, China. From an outside perspective, the city may seem the perfect place for a worldwide televised event, but you would be wrong. Evidently, China is not a fan of Victoria’s Secret or its models. According to Forbes journalist Pamela Ambler, although the country initially gave permission for the VS Fashion Show to take place in Shanghai, Gigi “Hadid along with a handful of Russian and Ukrainian models were denied visas without explanation”. Hadid may have expected this censorship, as she was recently blasted on social media for racistly imitating Buddha.
But the overlying question remains: Why the Russian and Ukrainian models? Is China publicly defying their long-held communist ally because of capitalist differences? Journalists, politicians, and ordinary people around the globe have stark and controversial opinions on the matter, and so do the students of Glenelg High School. Junior Anna Haney says that “it wasn’t fair for the Chinese government [to take away models’ visas]. But, it was a little pushy to go there [Shanghai] in the first place because [of China’s harsh censorship]”. However, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’s problems didn’t end with China’s censorship of certain models.
Even without the substantial bumps in its road to Shanghai, Victoria’s Secret has experienced more troubling criticism throughout social media because of the chosen models. 2017 has become the year of diversity and acceptance of all appearances-- except when it comes to Victoria’s Secret. After plus-size model Ashley Graham tweeted a statement against Victoria’s Secret’s lack of plus-size models, it seemed the whole Twitterverse agreed as teens and adults alike simultaneously slammed the brand. According to an anonymous Glenelg student, the size exclusive show and lingerie “are downsizing their [Victoria Secret’s] brand. Plus-size women won’t relate to the brand because they only see skinny, fit people”. Haney agrees and raises an important question: “Why would you buy from a brand that makes you feel bad about yourself?” For a person like myself who rarely buys expensive bras, hardly pays attention to which models are chosen to walk, and watches the VS Fashion solely for the purpose of staring bright-eyed at shiny jewels and fluffy white wings, the plus-size debate originally seemed inconsequential. But now, the answer seems all too obvious and all too necessary. While the likes of Elle, Vogue, and Vanity Fair have been posing plus-size models on their glossy covers, Victoria’s Secret has yet to include such models in their shows or campaigns. Simply put, VS needs to implement plus size lines and relatable models into their brand now.
After the landfall of Chinese censorship and plus-size disputes, Victoria’s Secret has a limited chance to save itself and its marketable reputation. This show could be a great turning point for VS, regarding both the body inclusion of its future lingerie lines and fashion shows and its location choices for such shows. However, if the brand remains stubborn to change while the present social climate continues, there may not be a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to watch. Your move, VS.