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Blockbuster "Black Panther" Gives Young Girls New Princesses to Emulate
These women are NOT the Disney princesses my generation held in high regard. Princess Shuri, queen-to-be Nakia and General Okoye are women not to be trifled with.
Black Panther is on pace to surpass the Avengers and later Star Wars movies on box office numbers. For a woman in the "Harvey Weinstein" generation, I can see why this movie is such a success. Other than the beautiful imagery and solid storyline, the women in this movie make it a movie about equality in more respects than the obvious race angle. T'Challa is a strong king that we glimpse in an earlier Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War, when his father is killed in a bombing. Wakanda is a secretive nation with untold power and wealth. It is both ancient and futuristic in both its cities and its people.
There seems to be no gender divide in Wakanda. Princess Shuri, T'Challa's younger sister, oversees all the new technological developments in the country and does an amazing job of it. She is strong, intelligent and a tad mouthy. Only one person questions having the younger sister in charge of this important task and that is the villain of the movie, Killmonger.
Nakia is probably my favorite of the women only because she is portrayed by the incomparable Lupita Nyong'o, who steals many scenes. She is first shown as a spy helping take down what appears to be human traffickers in one of the first scenes of the movie. She quickly shows why she is the main driving force behind most of the plot and T'Challa's choice for his queen, if only she will accept. Being the strong opinionated women she is, she will not give up what she believes is her calling even to be the queen to the man she truly loves. That is a strength of character that few Disney princesses have ever possessed. We were taught, as women, our happily ever after came after being rescued or found by our Prince Charming. Guess what? Not in Black Panther.
General Okoye, leader of the royal army, shows exactly how not in need of rescuing she is by kicking butt and taking name throughout the entire movie. She has such a strong moral fiber that even the love of her life cannot cause her to waiver from her duties and her loyalty to her country. Okoye's lover helps begin an uprising and she is faced with the choice of killing him to protect her king and her country while turning her back on everything she has sworn. She makes it very clear to him that no man will make her abandon her beliefs.
Would there even be a #MeToo campaign had we been raised with women like these as our templates for what being a woman means? I most definitely think not. I am proud to be the woman I am. I am even more proud of being a woman in this day and age where our girls can look up to women like Shuri, Nakia and Okoye!
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