Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ is a Frighteningly Stunning Look at the Human Psyche

Am I in control? Do I have any power in a seemingly powerless situation? How can¬†I possibly “move on”? Is it possible to mentally survive¬†a cycle of abuse? Most victims of physical and/or psychological abuse continuously ask these questions long after the actual acts of abuse have ceased; the lasting effects¬†can and often do continue […]

Chris Pratt and Male Body Image in Hollywood

Originally Posted August 4th, 2014; Updated June 26th, 2015 Chris Pratt is Hollywood’s latest TV funny man-turned viable Hollywood leading man; everybody seems to want a piece of the Pratt.¬†Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy may have been last¬†summers most surprising smash hit, raking in an estimated 94 million in its opening weekend (and breaking August […]

On Lena Dunham: Asking “Was It Molestation?” Is Like Asking “Was It Racist?” The Answer Is Probably “Yes.”

Originally posted on Punk Mum:
I’m going to engage in a full boycott of Lena Dunham’s work until she takes personal responsibility for her actions and admits that what she did was wrong. I don’t mean she needs to reveal that she’s a pedophile (she’s not), that she traumatized her sister (she didn’t), or that…

Is Feminism the New Black?: ‘Gone Girl,’ Laverne Cox, and the Intersection of Feminism and Pop Culture

Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher¬†and starring Ben Affleck and breakout star Rosamund Pike, is a smart, intense crash course on public perception and the twist-of-the-knife, cutthroat media circus that surrounds the national exposure of often small town tragedies. Based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the story revolves around “fictional” […]

The Problem With Sookie Stackhouse: Thoughts on ‘True Blood’ Post-Series Finale

There’s a problem in Hollywood with the portrayal of female characters. They’re either so “strong” (objective word) that they come off as emasculating “bitches,” or they’re weak, perpetual¬†damsels-in-distress, who want to be strong and want to get ahead, but can’t seem to figure out the proper balance, which leads to them falling back on finding […]

“Skinny Bitch”: Why Skinny-Bashing is a Problematic Rising Trend

On August 4th, 2014, Nicki Minaj dropped her latest single, the immediately catchy “Anaconda,” which samples Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 classic “Baby Got Back.” In the song, Minaj raps proudly about her¬†large derri√®re and all of her male suitors due to her, um, assets. The cover art (below), which shows Minaj squatting with her back to […]

“No Offense, But”: Reactions to the Possibility of The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon (Maybe) Being Gay

Whenever somebody begins with the phrase, “No offense, but…,” rest assured that it’s probably going to be somewhat offensive, especially where gay issues are concerned. No matter how progressive our culture seems to be on the surface, beneath that glossy, shiny exterior plastered with photos from Pride Parades, individual state marriage equality victories, and cover […]

Mary Lambert Hits Hard with #BodyLove

No words. Just listen. Mary Lambert is the¬†profound¬†singer who was¬†largely responsible for the success of “Same Love” last year post-SCOTUS and the fight for marriage equality. She continues to fight for equality, this time on the body image-front. Once you get over the surprise of the spoken-word “Body Love Parts 1 & 2,” it’s not […]

The Beauty Sickness Epidemic: the Gay Male Body Archetype Discussion, Part II

When HyperReality‘s “Sam Smith and the Gay Male Body Archetype” went viral at the beginning of July, attracting nearly 150,000 views in just six days, I quickly realized that the reaction was split in two.¬†On¬†one side of the spectrum, there was an outpouring of support for Sam Smith and an understanding that media has effected […]

Dancing in the Dark: 17 Thought-Provoking Songs By Women About Female Perception, Identity, & Body Image

Mainstream pop music isn’t always about sex, love, and booze. More often than not, if you listen closer, it’s about so much more, especially where female pop singers are concerned. This is a problem. 5 Stereotypes of Women in Pop Music: They’re shallow. Their music is shallow. And fluffy. And shallowly fluffy. All they sing […]

Mary Poppins Quits, Demands Minimum Wage Increase, Wins the Internet!

Kristen Bell teamed up with Funny or Die for a Mary Poppins “Spoonful of Sugar” parody that demands minimum wage pay increases. Bell’s Julie Andrews-circa-Disney’s-Poppins is SPOT-ON, sometimes uncanny, and all-around a Jolly Holiday way to raise awareness about life below the poverty line (it’s not lost on us here at HyperReality that Mary Poppins […]

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” Is A Bouncy, Body-Positive Summer Jam That Brings The Booty Back

Some of you might have heard about Meghan Trainor, the 20 year old musician from Nantucket who has written songs for Rascal Flatts and Sabrina Carpenter (the girl who plays spunky best friend Riley on Girl Meets World), among others. If you haven’t heard of Trainor, well, you’re about to because her debut single, “All […]

Female Thor, Wonder Woman, and a Call for More Kick-Ass Heroines!

On Wednesday, July 15th, 2014, Marvel announced that a new Thor comic book series would star — wait for it — a woman in the title role as the new God(fess) of Thunder.¬†Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir, has rarely been wielded¬†by a woman, and for the first time in the 52 years since Thor’s first comic […]

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Is An Exploration In the Dark Side of Humanity

When I bought my ticket for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I certainly wasn’t expecting a startling commentary on human nature and the great “Nature Vs. Nurture” debate; though I shouldn’t have been surprised that that was exactly what I got, especially given the nature of the first film, 2011’s Rise of the […]

‘Stop The Beauty Madness’ Is A Call to Action: “Enough With the Impossible Standards!”

Many refuse to believe that we have an issue with body image, and many refuse to acknowledge the impact that mass media, including advertisements, television, film, music, etc., have on our perception of beauty; they claim “freewill!” and say that we have control over our own self-perceptions. To an extent, I agree, but for the […]

Tyra Banks’ Future Beauty Predictions Look A Lot Like ‘The Hunger Games’

Tyra Banks wrote an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal¬†(“Tyra Banks Says Beauty in the Future Will Mean Looking Different“) about her predictions for the future. With the tagline, “Plastic Surgery and Other Aids Will Be Widely Available, Putting a Premium on Distinct Looks,” it’s clear that Ms. Banks is dreaming of a plastic […]

Big, Bold, and Body Positive: Praising ESPN’s Body Issue Cover-boy Prince Fielder

ESPN’s 2014 The Body Issue won’t hit newsstands until July 11th, but leaked images of Texas Ranger’s first baseman Prince Fielder are surely making the rounds online, and for good reason! These images show a different side to the usual “Fitness Model Magazine Cover-boy,” and the result is not only inspiring, but it’s a step […]

Instant Gratification, Insta-lebrities, Instigation: Why Nash Grier Shouldn’t Have a Platform

Not everybody deserves — or should have — a platform. Eight years ago, ¬†internet-based celebrities were non-existent; the thought of achieving fame solely through the internet¬†was a concept that I don’t think anyone¬†anticipated, let alone expected to ever come to fruition. At the start of the 2000s, social networking was a relatively “new” concept, with […]

Zac Efron Should Just Take Off His Shirt and Shut Up: The Hyperreality of Efron’s Body

Zac Efron and Seth Rogen’s latest comedy Neighbors slayed the box office this past Spring; it racked up an impressive $147 million at the box office and beating The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the #1 spot during release weekend. Most of the buzz around the film was due to the films word-of-mouth, BuzzFeed-esque viral media […]

#AskThicke Proves That Glorifying Rape Really Isn’t Cool, Score 1 For Human Decency

2013’s Song of the Summer was the mostly unexpected, hugely inappropriate “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, a song that both raced to the top of the charts, despite Thicke not having a hit since 2006’s “Lost Without You,” and glorified rape and promoted rape culture at the same time. Don’t believe me? Check out the […]

Men, Objectified: From Michelangelo to J.Lo, a Study of the Effect of Mainstream Masculinity on Male Identity

On March 13th, 2004, Jennifer Lopez released a music video for her new single “I Luh Ya Papi,” a bouncy new hip-hop infused jam to twerk to in front of the bedroom mirror. It was immediately promoted on social media and reigned down on the blogosphere as a refreshing twist on the usual “Let’s Objectify […]

Why Pop Culture Desperately Needs the Spice Girls

Originally Published on April 10th, 2014; Updated June 24th, 2014. The brightest spots in my days each week¬†happen during class periods when thought-provoking, deep discussions sprout from whatever material is being taught that particular day. Since I teach a wide array of classes, from core required Composition and Literature courses to upper-level English courses like […]

Leave Ellen Alone: A Lesson in Misplaced Transphobia

Originally Published: March 5th, 2014; Updated: June 25th, 2014 Comedienne, actress, host extraordinaire, and overall amazing human Ellen DeGeneres recently came under fire for a comment during her opening monologue at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, which aired Sunday, March 2nd. During her witty opening, which employed her signature wry-delivery and the pop culture-laden humor […]

Beware the Frozen Heart: Is Disney’s ‘Frozen’ An Allegory for Coming Out?

Originally Published: December 2nd, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Is Disney’s Frozen An Allegory for Coming Out? **WARNING: Mild Spoilers Ahead** Walt Disney Animation Studios, the brilliant tour de force¬†behind¬†animations greatest cinematic achievements like the use of a multiplane camera to¬†help create the illusion of depth in animation, among others —¬†ahem, Snow White and the […]

Sex in YA: Everybody Does “It,” Nobody Talks About It

Originally Published: December 9th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 In¬†Young Adult Literature, How¬†Should¬†Sex Exist? Sex is a basic human need.¬†When we’re young, we’re curious about it; as we mature, we want it and once we have it, we crave it. If we aren’t having it, we’re daydreaming about it, reflecting on past experiences, looking ahead […]

Zombies, Vampires, and Katniss Everdeen, Oh My!

Originally Published: October 28th, 2013; Updated June 24th, 2014 The end is nigh. The apocalypse is upon us. . The sparkly vampire, zombie, post-apocalyptic, dystopian craze is coming to an end.¬†According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Sue Corbett, “New Trends in YA: The Agent’s Perspective,” agents are now looking beyond paranormal and sic-fi/fantasy; […]