FILM

Kristen Stewart's "Charlie's Angels" Character Is "Definitely Gay"—But Is That Enough?

In "Charlie's Angels," our Bella has finally become a swan. That doesn't mean the film can escape some traps.

Kristen Stewart has the Internet in a tizzy thanks to her role in Charlie's Angels, and her performance as Sabrina has a lot of people questioning their sexuality (or celebrating what they already knew).

Thanks to the omnipotence of the Internet, Sabrina's queerness isn't in question. According to Out Magazine, in an interview with PrideSource, the director Elizabeth Banks confirmed that the character is "definitely gay in the movie."

That doesn't mean that Sabrina is exactly overt about her sexuality in the film, though—there are no lines in the script about her sexual orientation. According to Banks, this was purposeful. "When I cast [Kristen Stewart], I just wanted her to be… I just felt like she's almost the way Kristen is. I don't feel there is a label that fits her," she told Digital Spy. "The only thing that was important to me was to not label it as anything. It's fine if the media wants to label it, I think that's OK, but I didn't do that. I just let her be herself in the film."

Apparently, Stewart "wanted to be gay" in the movie, though she's also not hung up on labels. "I just think we're all kind of getting to a place where—I don't know, evolution's a weird thing—we're all becoming incredibly ambiguous," she said in an interview in which she also clarified that she doesn't exactly identify as bisexual anymore. "And it's this really gorgeous thing."

This philosophy feels aligned with our current moment, where the boundaries of sexuality, gender, and other paradigms are constantly blurring and shifting. On the other hand, there's a fine line between refusing labels as an act of protest and refusing labels as a way of ultimately obscuring identities, thus winding up back where we began.

Is Charlie's Angels queer-baiting? It's definitely going too far to say that a film is queer-baiting simply for coding a character as gay without explicitly addressing their orientation, but Banks's and the film's treatment of Sabrina's queerness still raises questions. How important are labels, and is our end goal to normalize them or disintegrate them completely?

In liberal Hollywood circles, perhaps it's enough to express queerness as an implicit character trait, but in a world that still threatens LGBTQ+ people's rights, there's a dearth of characters that are out and proud. On the other hand, queerness and relationships aren't anyone's entire identity, and they shouldn't have to be, onscreen or off.

Despite Banks' insistence that her film is newly "woke," Charlie's Angels has always toed the line between regressive and revolutionary. According to Vulture, "You could chart a mini arc of corporate feminism onto the Charlie's Angels franchise." The film is about three attractive women who are empowered because they do the bidding of an invisible commander, after all, and what could be more reminiscent of the corporate world's rapid consumption of the girl-boss illusion? A capitalist enterprise hasn't improved simply because it's being run by a woman, after all, and a film isn't feminist just because it features female characters in positions of power. "What's so depressing about the new film is that the most radical thing it can think to do to update this concept is to hint that Charlie has actually, this whole time, been a lady," the article continues.

Similarly, a film isn't pro-LGBTQ just because it tacitly implies a character's queerness. It's true that queerness is becoming more widely accepted and less stigmatized overall, though. (Stewart herself just gushed about wanting to propose to her girlfriend, Dylan Meyer). That means that we should be working towards representing more radical politics and more underrepresented identities onscreen, not just erasing all identity politics now that bisexuality has been subsumed into the realm of acceptable traits, and not just calling a film feminist because it stars a couple of women.

Feminist or not, Stewart's performance (and costume choice) are so strong that her character's existence is ultimately a victory even if the rest of the film falters. She's even been branded a Hollywood Chris, after all; maybe that even means that someday, our Hollywood Chrises won't be all white.



MUSIC

Bebe Rexha Slams Male Music Executive Who Claimed She's "Too Old to Be Sexy"

The "Meant to Be" singer-songwriter shut down sexist ageism on Instagram.

Bebe Rexha is shedding light on what it means to be sexy—at any age and in any industry.

Yesterday, singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha posted on Instagram to vent about a male music executive who told the 29-year-old that she was "too old to be sexy." In the black and white photo, the artist posed in a bra and underwear, celebrating her body, which she paired with a lengthy caption.

"I recently had a MALE music executive tell me that I was getting too old and that my brand was 'confusing,'" Rexha wrote. "Because… I'm a songwriter and I post sexy pics on my Instagram and that's not what female songwriters are suppose [sic] to do, especially for my age. I'm 29."

She continued, "I'm fed up with being put in a box. I make my own rules. I'm tired of women getting labeled as 'hags' when they get old and guys get labeled as sexy with age."

While Rehxa turns 30 on August 30th, she isn't "running away from it." If anything, she's embracing every part of her age, whether that's through her music or how she presents herself.

Later on Monday, the two-time Grammy nominee took to Twitter, sharing her post about the unnamed male music executive.



Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the New York City native had to clap back at judgmental, sexist trolls. Back in June, Rexha shut down social media haters who were body-shaming her, calling her "tubby."


Bebe Rexha will probably not be the last to shed light on the never-ending ageist sexism in the entertainment industry. Other female performers use their voices to reclaim and reset the unrealistic standards applied to women, specifically when it comes to how they look. Hopefully, the time will come when men like this unnamed executive will be silenced.

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MUSIC MONDAY | Our​ favorite love songs for Valentine's Day

So maybe we're hopeless romantics after all.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ok, so maybe I was a bit cynical last week, but as much as I love celebrating being single, I do know that every now and then, a good love song is just what we need. Even if you are celebrating with a loved one or on your own this year, I feel like the romantic vibes of the holiday are contagious and you can't help but smile a little when you hear a song that reminds you of your love: past, present, or future. These are some of my favorite love songs from the sweet to the sexy to the somber. Check it out.

Ariana Grande | "The Way"

This song is perfect for new love. It feels like surrendering to an unsuspected love.

Alabama Shakes | "This Feeling"

Alabama Shakes are pros at writing visceral songs that are totally for when you're in your feelings. This is definitely one of them. Put this on your playlist to wind down with a bottle of wine with your loved one at the end of the night.

The Beach Boys | "God Only Knows"

Growing up on The Beach Boys, this is my favorite love song of all time. It says it all in the hook, "God only knows what I'd do without you." Aw.

Demi Lovato | "Yes"

I love this song because it says what is sometimes so hard to say. It's the perfect musical illustration of what it's like to say "yes" completely to someone. Beautiful + confident.

Ed Sheeran | "Hearts Don't Break Around Here"

I feel like this is the most underrated song on Sheeran's latest album especially after "Perfect" became popular. Although "Perfect" is beautiful, I love the jubilance of this song. I love the themes of trust and faith in Sheeran's lyrics. It's faith that your loved one can be their own person, but still be yours. What's more romantic than that?

Father John Misty | "Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)"

For the offbeat lovers this song is Father John Misty's version of a love making song. It sounds inherently romantic, but be sure to listen closer to the lyrics to capture all of the quirky details.

Johnnyswim | "You + I"

Johnnyswim is always on the backburner for me, but they're consistently one of my favorites. This song is a powerful anthem of unity between you and your lover.

P!nk | "You Get My Love"

P!nk is one of the best performers of our time. I love her more stripped down songs like this one that showcase the power and emotion in her vocal performance. This one is bittersweet but it hits you right in the feels.

Radiohead | "True Love Waits"

This song got a lot of buzz when Radiohead finally released a recorded version of the song. The song had been performed live over twenty years but only appeared on their most recent album A Moon Shaped Pool. This song is also a bittersweet one. "True Love Waits" is the perfect song for anyone who's had issues with timing and the stars are aligning for this valentine's day.

Sara Bareilles | "I Choose You"

Nothing feels better than when another human chooses you and you choose them. Sara Bareilles captures that feeling of readiness and confidence in this gorgeous song.

Dua Lipa | "Genesis"

This is one of my new favorites by Dua Lipa. This is a song about second chances. Maybe Valentine's Day will inspire you to give someone from your past a second chance.

Rita Ora | "Your Song"

Ever have a song that just makes you think of your person? Rita Ora captures that feeling perfectly in "Your Song" along with a million relatable details.

G-Easy x Halsey | "Him + I"

This song is totally couple goals. It's hot and sweet all at once.

Demi Lovato | "Sexy Dirty Love"

This one is super sexy and perfect to show your loved one how into them you are.

Julia Michaels | "Issues"

One of the best songs in 2017, in my opinion, "Issues" has a ton of personality. Does your lover accept your for who you are and vice versa? Julia Michaels captures that perfectly here.

Niall Horan | "Slow Hands"

This song by former One Direction member Niall Horan is super sexy. Put it on your mix tape to your loved one to show them how badly you want them this Valentine's Day.

Tennis | Matrimony

Tennis is possibly the cutest music duo since Johnny and June. This song "Matrimony" gives me all of the feels.

Eighty Ninety | "Your Favorite Song" Loote Remix

This brother duo is one of our favorites at Popdust! We can't stop listening to the new Loote remix of their song "Your Favorite Song." It's the perfect reflective jam for V-Day. Oh and Taylor Swift loves it too. She put it on her guest playlist for Spotify.

Kyan Palmer | "Can't Help It"

Kyan Palmer recently released this amazing banger that perfectly captures finally falling into something scary or dangerous with someone: risking it all for that love high. What better day than Valentine's Day to take that leap?

Beach House | "Take Care"

This song is very near and dear to my heart. It's so simple but it says something we all want to hear: "I'll take care of you."

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RELEASE RADAR | Avicii and Rita Ora team up to bring you your early fall jam

Avicii and Rita Ora collaborate on an intoxicating new single and whimsical accompanying music video.

"I can't change you and I won't change I might hate myself tomorrow but I'm on my way tonight. Let's be lonely together," coaxes Rita Ora and Avicii.

Tim Bergling aka Avicii has graced some of the world's largest stages and is even referenced in the Mike Posner song "I Took a Pill in Ibiza." Apparently, Tim is a really cool guy as Posner sings that he took a pill to convince Avicii he was cool; however, Avicii is evidently naturally shy and life on the road was a major transition for him. As he continues to ride his momentum toward stardom, Avicii paired up with Rita Ora bringing us what's bound to be this fall's anthem. Along with their new single "Lonely Together" Canon Blue, Dark0, A Boogie With Da Hoodie, SomeKindaWonderful, The Safes, Sounds of Ceres, and Sisters all released new music recently.

Avicii with Rita Ora | "Lonely Together"

Avicii and Rita Ora are not the first to comment on our generation's tendency to lean away from commitment and relationships. Artists like Lorde, Sam Tsui, and more have all commented on this sensation recently, but I find that "Lonely Together" does this from a totally new perspective that is both optimistic and cynical. While in "Lonely Together" we ultimately accept the fate of letting go of a magical relationship when the night is over, there is tension and resistance in the verses and pre-choruses claiming "I caught the edge of a knife and it hurts just a little. And I know, and I know, and I know, and I know that I can't be your friend." This perfectly captures that dull pain of trying to enjoy something when you know you'll have to let it go so soon. The music video perfectly captures that along with the blissful feeling of being the only two people in the world on nights like that. In the video, a couple frolics through various settings where the world seems to be paused making each other laugh, enjoying themselves, dancing, and more.

Watch "Lonely Together" here.

Best for: Blasting after a successful first Bumble date.

Perfect if you like: Hailee Steinfeld

Follow Avicii on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Follow Rita Ora on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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rita ora adele hello albanian

Rita Ora paid a visit to Capital FM studios with Sigma to promote her hit "Coming Home,' and ended up covering Adele's new song, Hello, with astonishing results.

After a few seconds of hesitation, Rita belts out the song in a language that one assumes is her native Albanian. Vulture called it a 'made-up language' but let's ignore that.

Adele Punk’d Adele Impersonators By Pretending To Be…Herself!

Now wait. Your first thought may be, "Please, how can Rita Ora dare to cover Adele!" And who could blame you?

But Rita demonstrates her vocal ability with casual good humor and crushes it. What an amazing voice this girl has, only to be constantly trolled on social media and given very little respect given her undeniable talent.

Adele Lets Ex Know She’s Over Breakup With Yet Another Breakup Song

Open your mind to Rita Ora (even you haters) and take a listen, below.

 

Rapper A$AP Rocky has stirred up social media with new song lyrics that sexually disparage pop singer Rita Ora.

Describing an alleged sexual encounter with Ora, he called her out by name on the track Better Things (from the album At Long.Last.A$AP, released on Tuesday:

I swear that bitch Rita Ora got a big mouth. Next time I see her might curse the bitch out. Kicked the bitch out once cause she bitched out. Spit my kids out, jizzed up all in her mouth and made the bitch bounce.

How depressing.

Speaking to NME recently, the rapper compared his work on the new album to the Beatles, saying:

It's just so inspirational to go against the grain. The Beatles were at the top of their careers and doing all that pop shit. Then they do some leftfield shit – and it worked. Those guys were geniuses.

I like to think that the Beatles are from a different galaxy that the one where A$AP's lyrics could be greeted with anything but disgust.

Whatever you think about Rita Ora, let's have her back on this one.