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Country music has always been my favorite genre, there’s a song and artist for every mood and feeling you might be having. I have a lot of family in the South and have spent a lot of time on farms during my equestrian career, so I pretty much grew up on country. Just this last summer I went on a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee, a place very close to my heart. It was an eye-opening experience that made me love and appreciate country music that much more.
On the cover of the most recent issue of Pointe Magazine are Ashley Murphy, Ebony Williams and Misty Copeland. But what stands out the most about this magazine cover is that these three women are the most well-known black ballet dancers. The year 2014 was a controversial one in the world of ballet, especially in terms of the lack of racial diversity in elite ballet companies. In April, there was a staging of "Swan Lake" at Washington, D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This show featured Misty Copeland and Brooklyn Mack, another black dancer. "Swan Lake" is known as one of the most “white ballets,” making their accomplishment all the more important. Black dancers are often cast in pieces that require athleticism as opposed to classical lines. Although dance is a pretty standard outlet for many little girls, it is not often thought of as a “money sport.” The high-ticket prices often limit accessibility for disadvantaged audiences, which sometimes singles out racial minorities.
Playboy Magazine is a household name and publication that focuses on nude women, particularly those with very large breasts and butts. Hugh Hefner is the ringleader, and the Playboy bunnies — the girls who are always by his side — are technically his followers. Playboy’s art director reportedly designed the Playboy logo in about 10 minutes, and today it is one of the most recognized trademarks in the world. The first ever Playboy issue was published in December 1953, Marilyn Monroe was on the cover and it sold 5,000 copies. Anyone who knows about or has looked at an edition of Playboy would never have guessed that getting rid of nudity is the latest marketing change. How does a magazine that was so well-known for their nudes, now sell a magazine without nudes? Who is the new demographic, and why?
Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot lately, but what exactly is going on? While most of the talk surrounds funding, something else is going on. It has been said that there is a video including footage circulating of a “fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” The group who supposedly released this video is called the Center for Medical Progress.
Taylor Swift is the sweetheart of pop music — either you love her or you hate her. Famous for her make-ups and break-ups, where would young adolescent girls be without Taylor Swift? What music would we be listening to as we cry into a bucket of ice cream while curled up in bed, upset over a recent break up? How would we convey our emotions about our first dates, first day of high school or first day being 22? Truth is we probably would have found some good music, but certainly none that fits the bill like Swift’s tunes do. We’ve watched her grow from the innocent, curly-haired blonde girl singing, “Tear Drops on My Guitar” to the sophisticated young woman organizing her own sold-out world tour.
Over the past few years, the Duggar family has been prominent in the media. They had a TV show on TLC called “19 Kids and Counting.” The Duggars may think the show was so popular because people were interested in their lives and how they manage to raise 19 kids in one house at the same time, but in reality it is because of the bizarre lifestyle they lead. The most bizarre thing about the Duggars is their religion. However, they are not very upfront about what they actually call their religion. In their book, "A Love That Multiplies," Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar write, “Even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God's word and apply it to our lives. God says children are a gift and a blessing, and we believe it.” They identity themselves as “Independent Baptists.” This may sound pretty innocent, just like a good Christian family teaching values, but this is not the case. The Duggar family’s religion is very new, even more so than Scientology. According to The Huffington Post, the religion started and spread through families who use homeschooling and has a cult-like following. I think the whole religion is crap. The Duggars may not say they are followers of QuiverFull, but all the values they display match with that religion. Although the religion may sound innocent, it is very controversial. Followers of the QuiverFull religion have a history of incidents such as rape and female submission. According to The Huffington Post, the QuiverFull leader Doug Phillips found himself in his own controversy in 2013 when he admitted to a lengthy and inappropriate relationship with a woman who was not his wife. Recently, Joshua Duggar, the eldest son in the family, came forward and admitted to acting inappropriately with his younger sisters who were asleep at the time of the incidents. His exact statement said, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”
Now more than ever, the transgender community is more visible on television and in social media, and yet more trans women are being murdered than ever before. Popular culture and media have opened a portal to a community that has not received enough attention in the past. There are currently five on-air TV shows bringing attention to the transgender community, “Pretty Little Liars,” “I Am Cait,” “I Am Jazz,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Becoming Us.”