This was originally published on my old website on 28/12/2019

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If you were born between 1996 and 2001, High School Musical (also known as HSM) was most definitely a topic of conversation growing up. Whether it be arguments over Sharapay vs Gabriella, the annoyingly catchy songs or melodramatic teen storylines, HSM cemented itself at the centre of the musical zeitgeist of the mid to late 2000s. Distributed by Disney under their Disney Channel banner, the trilogy is most probably seen as mindless yet enjoyable entertainment to many my age and above but I’d like to put forward an argument that there’s more beneath the surface.


This was originally posted on the 24/03/2020

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Quick Disclaimer: I originally wrote this as a University essay so there are quoted parts I’ve moved around and they no longer have their citations but below there will be an entire list of my bibliography!

When I think of notable directors of the past 20 years, one comes to mind repeatedly; David Fincher. And much like other well-regarded filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón, Fincher is regarded as a modern-day auteur, a title that Fincher himself tends to reject as he detests the concept of auteurism. When speaking to Little White Lies Fincher stated, “The problem with auteurism is that it presupposes that one person can impress upon 95 people, so clearly, that the manifestation of whatever it is going on in your head can be clearly attributed to them.”


This was originally posted on my old website on 28/06/2020

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For many of us, 2020 is not the year we expected it to be, I, for one, came into this new decade (that apparently isn’t really the start of a new decade) hoping for a change not only in my own life but also the world around us. In my own context, the UK had once again voted in an austerity supporting party, and things were starting to look even grimmer for minority groups within the country. …


This was originally posted on my old website on 10/09/2020

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Cuties is a film that would’ve always been seen as divisive by audiences, but it didn’t help that weeks prior to its release it became the target of a campaign to take it down due to the promotional material Netflix used. The film was quickly branded as pedophilic and that the director herself is a danger to children for filming this.

Cut to September and the film is out on Netflix. I feel as if it would be very easy to dismiss the film but there is nuance needed to be had with this conversation. …


A short essay about adolescence

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I think it’s expected to felt left behind at times.

Like when you’re walking in a group of threes, the path begins to narrow, and one of you must choose at that moment to stand behind, breaking the three into a duo. And for a slight second, you feel as if you’ve been cast aside, but the feeling quickly fizzles out as reason and logic take over.

Or when you haven’t been through the typical coming of age experiences people your age have. …


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Are you a somewhat well-known celebrity? Are you scared of being cancelled? Confused on what to say about politics? Well, look no further because this is the perfect social media quiz for you and it’s right from the mouth of a Gen Z’er who’s exhausted of celebrity scandals.

1. Politic or no Politic?

It’s 2020, and so politics is the central discourse for obvious reasons. With the election so close many famous people are deciding to speak up for once. But how do you know exactly what you say without ending up placed into a guillotine?

A. Follow white supremacy accounts.

B. Tell people you were a little bit Republican before Trump and imply you voted for Bush & McCain.


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It’s Summer 2018 and I have my first ever therapy appointment.

I’m sitting in a waiting room, posters for beauty treatments all around me. They say they can freeze fat, remove cellulite and make me attractive. On the table in front of me are magazines piled with pictures of women that taunt me. I feel inadequate just looking at their bodies plastered on every page.

“Haaniyah Angus?” a voice asks.

I look upwards and I see her, the hypnotherapist my parents paid for. I head into her office and she introduces herself, telling me of her woes with food. I listen intently, hoping that this can fix me for once. She asks me about my history with food, and as I explain, she takes notes and devours every factoid about my life like a five-course meal. …


Avengers Endgame Spoilers Below!

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In her 1996 essay, ‘Feminist Perspectives on the Media’ Van Zoonen asks her readers a simple question; ‘What part does media play in the ongoing social construction of gender?’ For many, this answer may vary, but in the eyes of Van Zoonen there are five main roles, these include economic structures (e.g. commercial versus public media), specific characteristics (e.g. print versus broadcast), particular genres (e.g. news versus soap opera), the audiences they appeal to and the place they occupy in those audiences’ daily lives.

Within the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU for short has grown into one of the most significant film properties in existence. In 2018 alone, two of their three releasesBlack Pantherand Avengers: Infinity Wargrossed up to two billion dollars each, and their 2019 release ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has topped them by an extraordinary amount. One may be able to see how this franchise fits into Van Zoonen’s categories. Not only does the MCU have a sizeable economic structure as the conglomerate brand Disney currently owns Marvel, but the franchise is also film and television based and so it is easily accessible in this day and age. The genre of comic book based action films has always been a significant attraction within Hollywood, and the MCU appeals to mass audiences through its gradual build-up of cinematic storytelling that takes places yearly. However, even with the MCU being able to take over the cinematic landscape, it has still run into issues in regards to gender representation. …


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When the cancellation of One Day At A Time came about many were shocked as the show was a much-loved favourite among those online and heavily celebrated for its depiction of underrepresented groups. The cancellation caused an immediate backlash for Netflix, and the company attempted to explain (in PR talk) that the show simply wasn’t worth the money due to the low viewership. While that sounds like a typical response from a media network as usually low viewership doesn’t generate revenue, it seems that many didn’t view Netflix as a media network. Fans of the show were hurt by the idea that Netflix placed costs over their representation and to save the face the company released a statement that attempted to quell the anger of the fans. …


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As we head into the 2020s it’s becoming clearer by the day that a shift has occurred in the way we deal with celebrity and scandal. No longer is it only movie stars who must face the music of their previous indiscretions but online figures and even non-famous people at times. Within the past 5 years, we have been seeing more and more people ‘cancelled’. A phrase that was born out of the phenomenon known as ‘cancel culture’, where someone is ‘cancelled’ because of a problematic action.

In layman’s terms cancel culture involves 4 things:

  1. A well-known figure (or viral…

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Haaniyah Angus

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