Things We Saw Today: This Shazam! Deleted Scene Teases the Arrival of a New Foe

SPOILER ALERT: This deleted scene and article feature spoilers for Shazam!

After years of rumors and speculation, will Dwayne Johnson finally be joining the DCEU as famed villain Black Adam? Thanks to a newly released deleted scene from Shazam!, it looks like Johnson may be taking on the role in the sequel. The scene, “Family on Thrones”, takes place at the very end of the film, after Billy Batson extends his Shazam powers to his foster siblings.

As the heroes all take a seat in the Rock of Eternity, they notice that one throne is conspicuously empty. Darla (Meagan Good) says of the empty chair, “Whoever it is, I’m going to love them no matter what. Because they’re an automatic part of the family.” Now, we’re thinking that this empty chair may be for Black Adam himself.

This would be an exciting development, as fans have been longing to see Johnson in the role since he was attached in the early 2000s. The Black Adam film has bounced around between different studios and directors, but never found a landing. With the success of Shazam! however, the long gestating character may finally hit the big screen.

If the sequel does include Black Adam, he won’t be alone. The mid-credits scene of Shazam! see Dr. Sivana in prison, where he is approached by Mister Mind. The alien worm super villain is clearly looking for a team-up, which may bring Black Adam into the fold. Either way, here’s hoping that Johnson finally gets a crack at the character. Given how enjoyable Shazam! was, it looks like his appearance may be worth the wait.

(via /Film, image: DC/Warner Bros.)

  • Disney+ is sparing no expense on their Star Wars series The Mandalorian, spending $15 million on each episode. (via Daily Dot)
  • Christoph Waltz may be reprising his role as Blofeld in the upcoming Bond 25. (via Kotaku)
  • Check out the trailer for Extra Ordinary, a supernatural romantic comedy starring Will Forte. (via /Film)
  • Famed horror director John Carpenter is authoring a one-shot about the Joker for DC comics. (via Blastr)
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau doesn’t want to hear your complaints about the final season of Game of Thrones. (via
  • Sophie Turner is here to shut down the bottle cap challenge. (via Twitter)

What are you watching this Sunday, Mary Suevians?

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Scarlett Johansson Walks Back Her Awkward Casting Claims After Internet Backlash

scarlett johansson walk of fame cement hands

How do you solve a problem like Scarlett Johansson? The erstwhile Natasha Romanoff has landed herself in hot water yet again thanks to a new interview in As If Magazine. The interview, conducted by visual artist David Salle, touches on a number of topics regarding art and artists, but takes a cringe-worthy turn when Johansson claims that she should “be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal”.

The full exchange is below:

Are we seeing an acting trend today?

Hmm… We live in such a weird time that is sort of identity-less in a lot of ways. I don’t know if there’s a trend in performance, but there’s certainly trends in casting right now. Today there’s a lot of emphasis and conversation about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on screen. The question now is, what is acting anyway?

Right. Who gets to play what roles…

You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.

Yes. Must you only represent yourself, your gender, your ethnicity, or can you, in fact, play beyond these categories?

There are a lot of social lines being drawn now, and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art.

Does that bore you? Annoy you? Buck you up? Cheer you on? I know it’s complicated, there’s probably not one answer.

You know, I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions. What do you think about it David? You’re literally creating art all the time.

It’s a frustrating but unsurprising take from the actor, who has repeatedly shown an entitlement to play characters of different races and gender identities. We all remember the backlash she received as Major Motoko Kusanagi in 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, where the famed Japanese character’s whitewashing resulted in poor box office performance and reviews.

Johansson came under fire again when she was cast to play Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man in Rub & Tug. The backlash was so strong that Johansson eventually left the project.

It’s all part of a disappointing pattern for a talented actor who has the privilege of a massive platform. The Avengers star is arguably one of the highest paid, most famous faces in Hollywood, thanks to her role as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Johansson has no shortage of offers and opportunities to play any role she wants. The world is her oyster. So why is she repeatedly defending her right to play other races/ethnicities/genders? It comes across as painfully tone-deaf and out of step with the real world.

Social media was quick to come for Johansson’s nonsense, so she issued a clarifying statement regarding her interview. Johansson told Entertainment Weekly that her comments were “widely taken out of context.” She continued, saying:

“The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art … I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness. That is the point I was making, albeit didn’t come across that way. I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”

Still, many have taken to social media to criticize the actor’s comments and offer plenty of “Scarlett as a tree” memes.

(via As If Magazine, image: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Trump Tweets Racist Tirade Against Progressive Democratic Congresswomen Because He Is and Always Has Been a Racist

Trump yells nonsense at no one.

President Donald Trump has come under fire for a series of racist tweets aimed at the quartet of progressive Democratic congresswomen of color. The tweets, sent at 5:30AM this morning, show Trump telling these women (who are American citizens) to go back to their own countries.

Though he doesn’t name them in the tweets, it’s clear that he’s referring to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley. All four freshman congresswomen are women of color and all four have repeatedly called out Trump’s administration for its hideous human rights violations at the border. Of the four, three of the congresswomen were born in America, while Rep. Omar fled Somalia as a child with her family to seek asylum. She attained US citizenship in 2000.

Trump’s racist, gross attacks should be no surprise: we’ve known the president was racist since before he entered the 2016 presidential race. We’ve seen through his actions, policies, and rhetoric, yet the media still ask the disingenuous question “is Trump racist?”. And this isn’t just conservative outlets.

In January, Anderson Cooper interviewed Ocasio-Cortez for 60 Minutes and asked her the same question. When she replied yes, he reponded “how can you say that?”. AOC replied, “When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s— it’s night and day.”

Cooper was promptly roasted on Twitter, because Trump’s racism isn’t a matter of debate. It’s clearly evident to anyone paying attention to his behavior. The congresswomen quickly shot back at Trump, calling him out on his hideous tweets.

Several politicians took to Twitter to condemn the president’s racist tirade and lift up the congresswomen:

This tirade is not only further proof of Trump’s racism, but of his cowardice in the face of these women standing up to him. Women who have shown more conviction, passion, and commitment to this country than Trump and his ghoulish cabinet will ever be capable of. 2020 can’t come soon enough.

(via CNN, image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Things We Saw Today: Paper Girls Is Being Adapted for Amazon!

Cover of Paper Girls comic book.

If you haven’t already read Paper Girls, now’s the time! The comic book series from Brian K. Vaughan and artist Cliff Chiang is being adapted at Amazon with a series commitment. The show will be scripted by Toy Story 4 co-writer Stephany Folsom, who will also serve as executive producer along with Vaughan.

Paper Girls first dropped in 2015, but I was a little late to find it. The first time I heard of it was in one of our The Mary Sue editor live chats right after Stranger Things came out and I heard my colleagues describe it as basically Stranger Things but if all the protagonists were girls. Obviously, I ordered a copy as soon as we logged off and they had not lied.

The book follows a group of pre-teen newspaper delivery girls in 1988 Ohio. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say they don’t stay in 1988 for long, as the girls get swept up in a sort of war amongst time-travellers. But like the Netflix show, it’s as much about interpersonal relationships and adolescent awakenings as it is paranormal activity.

From Deadline,

As they travel between our present, the past, and the future — they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate. An emotional adventure in which the girls and the women they eventually become are tough, their friendships are authentic, and their journey through time is epic.

  • I cannot wait to be able to watch the Gina Rodriguez-produced Diary of a Female President. This show sounds amazing. (via Oh My Disney)
  • Jason Reitman shared a photo from the set of Ghostbusters 2020 and I am officially intrigued. (via i09)
  • A very happy 77th birthday to Harrison Ford.

  • Let’s not forget the other birthday boy!

  • Fat-positive podcasts are a rare thing, but here are 5 to check out. (via Bitch)
  • Why are the Russo brothers teasing Community content for Comic-con??? (via AV Club)

What did you all see out there today?

(image: Image Comics)

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A Con Survival Guide for San Diego Comic-Con and Beyond

San Diego Comic-Con logo.

It’s summertime and the con-ing is … the exact opposite of easy. Conventions are a lot of fun, but they can be a lot of stress, as well—especially the huge ones. With the big mama of all conventions, San Diego Comic-Con, looming next week, the con angst is rising! For those of you who won’t be at SDCC in person, The Mary Sue will be on the ground at the con keeping you updated!

But if you’re planning to join the crowds in San Diego, or at another con soon, we’re here to share some important con tips that everyone, from first timers to veterans, can use!

Make a Plan

Though it’s fun to just throw yourself into the madness, there’s often so much going on at a con that, if you don’t plan ahead, you might end up missing out on a lot. Go over the schedule in the days and weeks before the con and highlight the events and panels you want to see. Many cons, including San Diego Comic-Con, use online services like Sched that allow you to create your own schedule online ahead of the convention. Lots of cons also have apps that you can load with your schedule and set to give you updates.

Be warned, though: Reception and wifi at many convention centers is spotty and slow, so if you really want to be safe, make sure you have your schedule in hard copy, and don’t forget to make a note of where your events are and study the convention map! In San Diego, you can’t expect to get from a signing in the exhibit hall to a panel in the Indigo Ballroom in five minutes.

At a huge convention, the odds are that there will be multiple panels and signings and parties happening at the same time, so you’ll have to pick an prioritize what you want to see and do. When making these choices, factor in things like how long you’ll need to wait to get into something, or if it will be rebroadcast, streamed, or recorded so you can view it later. It could be easier to a pick a small panel that you know you’ll make it into over a panel with a big line that you’ll be able to see as a DVD extra in a few months.

Make room in your schedule for everything, including snack time and rest, as well as picking up souvenirs and con exclusives. Weigh (literally) how much you want to be carrying around by the end of the day when considering your shopping. I always try to get merch at the end of the day or con, so I don’t end up hauling stuff around all day, as it can accumulate quickly and get heavy. If you don’t want to miss out on something you want to buy, ask if you can pay now and pick it up from the vendor later. Most booths are staffed by helpful, kind people who want your business, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Pack Smart

All the stuff you’ll want to buy and bring to a con can get heavy. You’ll need a good bag with lots of room. At a lot of cons, you can snag a promotional bag, but that’s never for sure, and they can get be flimsy and break. I’d highly recommend a backpack or your biggest purse (though a backpack will be more comfortable). But don’t overload at the start of the day, or you’ll end up like me a few years ago with some serious back pain by nightfall. Leave room for all the things you’ll pick up throughout the day, and if you don’t think you’ll need something, leave it at the hotel. That said, here’s a few things you should pack:

  • A portable phone charger. Cons are hell on phone batteries, so pack your best and charge it up the night before.
  •  Sunblock. I’ve endured many terrible sunburns waiting in line outside at cons, so heed this warning and be spared the same fate.
  • Hand sanitizer. Con crud is real, friends. Get on the defensive with all those germs.
  • Snacks. Convention center food is expensive and not terribly good, and you never know when your next real meal might be, so snacks are essential. I recommend high protein, filling, well-balanced snacks that won’t melt in your bags. Granola bars are great, as is trail mix, dried fruit, or jerky. Candy, cheese, and fresh fruit are not recommended, because they will be gross within an hour.
  • Mini first aid kit with bandaids and pain killers. You will walk a lot at a big con like SDCC, which means you’ll have blisters and sore feet/legs. Be ready with some ibuprofen and bandages for those blisters. It’s also worth reminding people who menstruate to bring extra period supplies. If you don’t need them, some other poor soul might. Always pack extra medication, as well, just in case.
  • Hygiene supplies. This can be in your bag or back at the hotel, but I recommend having some extra deodorant and maybe even dry shampoo on hand. Things get sweaty and stinky very fast at cons, and it will benefit you and those around you to freshen up. Maybe pack some breath mints, too.
  • Layers. I know I just said it gets hot and sweaty, but all that heat can mean AC at full, freezing blast inside a convention center or panel room. I bring a light overshirt or jacket in case it gets too chilly.
  • More than one pair of shoes. No matter how comfy, wearing the same pair of shoes for three or four days in a row while you’re constantly walking leads to pain and sadness. Believe me, I wore the same pair of boots for four days at SDCC my first year, and I was limping by day four. Insoles are a great idea, heels are not.
  • Water. Always be hydrating.


It’s amazing how fast money can go flying out of your pockets at cons. There’s so much great art and merchandise to buy, photo ops to get, and autographs to collect, and it adds up fast. My best tip for not sending yourself into financial ruin is to pick an amount you are okay spending on everything (food included) and bring that money with you in cash. It’s easier to keep track of how much you have left, and once you’re done with that, you’re done. This way, you can avoid getting a really scary credit card bill a month later.

If you’re on a budget, prioritize. Can you buy that Funko Pop for cheaper at hot topic? Do you really need the limited edition DVD? For me personally, if I’m trying to save money and have to chose between photo ops and autographs, I always go for autographs because you get a bit more of a meaningful interaction, and they’re generally cheaper (and the lines are sometimes shorter).

Make Friends and Be Kind

In general, people I’ve met in lines, at street crossings, and in panels at cons have been incredibly nice, interesting people, many of whom I’m still friends with. Especially when you’re waiting in a long line, making a buddy can be a great way to pass the time.

Don’t be shy! You’re already there because you love the same things, so strike up a conversation! These are the people who might give you the best tips or know about some under-the-radar event that you would otherwise never know about. Especially if you’re a lone con-goer, it’s a great way to make the most of the experience.

Finally, be kind and be patient. We all get tired and frustrated in stressful, crowded places, but everyone at a con is there to nerd out and have fun, just like you. We can all make it a great experience if we treat everyone else with the same respect and compassion we’d all like to be treated with.

Jessica Mason is a writer and lawyer living in Portland, Oregon passionate about corgis, fandom, and awesome girls. Follow her on Twitter at @FangirlingJess.

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Donald Trump Filled the White House With Trolls and Conspiracy Theorists for a Far-Right Social Media Summit

Trump speaks during his weird far-right social media summit.

Donald Trump hosted a “social media summit” at the White House yesterday and the event was … well, it was something. Rather than host a single person from Twitter, Facebook, or anyone actually involved in the business of social media, Trump filled the invite list with far-right personalities, bloggers, and conspiracy theorists.

Vocal QAnon proponent Bill Mitchell was there. So was Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe, who recently tried to trick the Washington Post into running false sexual abuse accusations against Senate candidate Roy Moore (presumably as a way to discredit not just the paper but the other, seemingly legitimate accusations against Moore). Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk was there, although after the Washington Post decided to legitimize his ramblings with an op-ed byline this week, I’m surprised he was allowed into this anti-mainstream media event.

Other attendees include Ali Alexander, who spurred the Kamala Harris birtherism conspiracy on Twitter during the Democratic debates, Benny Johnson, who was fired from BuzzFeed for massive plagiarism and now works for Kirk’s Turning Point USA, and, according to Slate, the people behind sycophantically pro-Trump Twitter accounts like @mad_liberals and @CarpeDonktum.

There was some drama leading up to yesterday’s event as not every D-list far-right troll was invited.  And one (cartoonist Bill Garrison) was disinvited for being too bigoted, even for Trump. Conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer wasn’t invited and she was pissed about being snubbed. But it made sense that she wasn’t there, because for an event designed to rage against a perceived liberal bias in silencing conservative voices, there didn’t seem to be anyone invited who had actually been banned from a platform, as Loomer has.

As for what happened at the summit, a lot of weird stuff! Some highlights:

Kellyanne Conway interviewed Diamond and Silk, who Trump then hugged and called “beautiful women, African American women.”

Trump praised the conspiracy theorists in the audience, saying in a tone that seems to indicate it’s meant as praise, “the crap you think of is unbelievable.”

There were some actual journalists there, covering the event from the sidelines. At one point former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka called a one a “punk” and stormed away while Joy Villa, that woman that shows up to events wearing Trump and QAnon-inspired gowns, heckled the crowd.

Trump talked about being shadowbanned, a thing he definitely isn’t, but helps him explain why his tweets don’t always go as viral as he would hope.

(Actually, Twitter went down right as the event was starting, and while I’m sure this was just a coincidence, how incredible would it be if that had been meant to troll this crowd?)

This really gets me: Trump had his tweets printed out and blown up to use as props.

But the other props are even worse. So much worse.

So there were a bunch of giant cards with dictionary-style definitions of conservative social media buzzwords on them. And while I don’t want to be a spelling/grammar/phonetics snob, this is a White House event. You would think someone could have proofread them to make sure there wasn’t a mistake on every. single. one.

Trump’s social media summit is my actual hell.

(image: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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Review: The Lion King Doesn’t Need to Exist, but If It Must at Least It’s Pretty Good

Simba and Mufasa in The Lion King

When I sat down to watch The Lion King, I was determined to not let my nostalgia and feelings for the original trap me, because from the opening shots of “The Circle of Life” I could feel the eyes of Mickey Mouse looking at me, waiting for me to cry. As someone who constantly rails against the need for these movies, I didn’t want to enjoy The Lion King and I certainly didn’t want to allow myself to be manipulated by it. But as that scene happened all the feels I felt about Mufasa and Simba came flooding back and I realized that I could accept that this movie gave me feels while also fully recognizing that this movie’s strengths are mainly that it is The Lion King.

On the off-chance that you’re unfamiliar with the story, The Lion King is about a young lion named Simba who, after the traumatic death of his father, finds himself exiled until he is forced to return home to save his pride from the evil machinations of his uncle, Scar. Basically, it’s a better version of Hamlet where the lead is actually a nice guy who doesn’t tell his girlfriend to go to a nunnery.

The Lion King 2019 is not a movie that can stand on its own as a near shot for shot remake of the original animated film. It hits emotional beats that exist mainly because of the solid storytelling and excellent voice acting done by the main cast, especially JD McCrary as young Simba and Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, and John Oliver as Timon, Pumbaa, and Zazu. I’d argue that they are the only ones who do better than the original voice actors in most of the scenes, making the roles feel like their own.

Still, the limitations of the way they have adapted the beloved animated film are evident. While the CGI is terrific, there is very little emotion in the expressions. It really is the voice acting that carry the emotion. Also, as a musical, it is trying to translate moments that are not just songs, but entire visual set-pieces, which often don’t work because of these limitations. They try, but only “Hakuna Matata” really sticks the landing. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” just looks like a really nice NatGeo crane shot and “Be Prepared” is neutered, as half the song is visuals which just don’t translate into “live-action”. There are no goose-stepping hyenas in this production.

What The Lion King 2019 will do is make you realize how amazing the original film is. I heard there is a hot take going around about how the original wasn’t that great. You can be the person who thinks The Lion King original animated film is trash, but you’d be wrong. At its core, what makes the movie so powerful is the story: a child loses their parent in a super traumatic way and spends years running away from that pain until he’s forced to deal with it. The death of Mufasa is so powerful because of the universal human pain of losing a loved one suddenly. The Lion King is an amazing story so I’m going to be moved by it.

That doesn’t make this adaptation necessary, but I will say that having a majority Black voice cast in the movie was really awesome to hear. Yes, even Beyoncé.

(image: Disney)

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Here Is Everything We Hope to See at Marvel’s Hall H Panel at San Diego Comic-Con

marvel avengers infinity war poster

Marvel, the ruler of San Diego Comic-Con, is back in the San Diego Convention Center’s storied Hall H this year with a presentation that is sure to knock everyone’s socks off. Details of the panel are being kept tightly under wraps, but we can hope and dream of what we want to see this year, from movie announcements to surprise cast reveals.

In the past, we’ve seen the announcement of major casting like Brie Larson being revealed as Captain Marvel, and Twitter-breaking surprises like Tom Hiddleston appearing in full Loki gear to silence the hall.

Here are a few wishes we have for this year’s Hall H panel as we head into the unknown territory that is Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Firstly, I’d love a confirmation of the Black Widow movie being an official go, and to know exactly when in the timeline it will take place. The film is in production now but hasn’t been officially confirmed by Marvel. Getting that information would help clarify why the Black Widow film is being made now, and what’s the point of doing a prequel after we know her Endgame fate. Hopefully, there’ll be something interesting going on there, rather than it being a last-ditch attempt to appeal to fans who wanted her to get a solo movie years before.

We’ll probably get an official announcement of The Eternals‘ cast, as well, with maybe a look at some concept art. That has been one of Marvel’s most hyped projects in the works, and it would be great to get the entire cast on stage and to hear from Marvel that the project is officially a go. We probably will get confirmation of a Shang-Chi film, as well, and maybe get a casting announcement for that.

I would love to hear an announcement about both Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 release dates. Both of those films were massive successes for Marvel, so it makes sense that they would want to speed up those sequels. We’ll probably get a Doctor Strange 2 announcement, too.

In terms of surprises, I wonder if they won’t have a video announcement filmed specifically for SDCC, maybe something that ties into the post credits scene from Spider-Man: Far From Home, or a surprise from the set of one of the Disney+ shows like Loki or Falcon and Winter Soldier. It could very well be a video from the Black Widow set, as well, officially announcing the project.

I’m really hoping for one complete surprise project, though—something that no one has theorized is coming. I would love to be wildly surprised in the audience of Hall H as something no one expected is revealed. What project could this be? I don’t know, and I don’t want to! I want to be thoroughly surprised during the panel.

At Disney’s 2017 D23 Expo presentation and Hall H presentation, they unveiled top secret looks at Avengers: Infinity War. Hopefully, we’ll get something shocking to match this time, because the Marvel fandom deserves a social media-shattering reveal that sends all of us shrieking and running to Twitter.

(image: Marvel)

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World Cup Golden Boot Winner Megan Rapinoe Just Keeps Giving Us Reasons to Love Her at USWNT’s Ticker Tape Parade

United States' forward Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring a goal

Let me start by saying that I’m the kind of person who says, “I don’t like sports balls,” whenever someone starts talking about sports, but there is something about the United States women’s national soccer team that has me screaming, and for a good reason: They’re incredible. The Golden Boot winner of this year’s World Cup, Megan Rapinoe instantly became an icon to many for her skill and her willingness to talk about the sport over whatever politics people want to throw at her.

Time and time again, the team is asked about visiting the White House and with each new question comes a new sound bite that I will play on a loop for the rest of time as each member of the World Cup winning team has said they’re not going to the White House. I can hear Donald Trump seething from here.

I will say, my mom had a beautiful thing to say about the team’s refusal to go: Just because Trump is in a position of power doesn’t mean that he instantly deserves respect.

It’s like when an adult is being rude and derogatory towards a kid. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you automatically get their respect, even if you’re an ass. So, outside of Rapinoe continually calling out her problems with the president (and in a polite and amazing way, too), she has continued to make us proud.

Today, at the Ticker Tape Parade in New York City in honor of their victory, Rapinoe was a beacon of swag and dignity, and just represented what we all love about her and more. So, of course, we all shared our love of the Golden Boot winner on Twitter.

Is Megan Rapinoe perfect? No, because we’re all human beings, and I feel like she’d yell at me if I called her perfect, and that’s what makes her so amazing. Nothing but respect for MY Golden Boot winner!

(image: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Don’t Body Shame Jason Momoa, You Heathens

at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures'

Jason Momoa had the audacity to breathe while on vacation, and there are people complaining about his “dad bod” because a picture of him doesn’t show an unnaturally chiseled set of abs like the ones on display in Aquaman. We live in a world where, often, our superheroes are shirtless and showing off their muscles, and like … no one is complaining about it, but that doesn’t mean that we get to body shame them when we think their bodies have changed from what we saw on our screens.

Trying to maintain a 6-pack every day of your life is unrealistic. The problem that is now surfacing with Jason Momoa not being as ripped as he was in Aquaman shows that the way we portray “attractive bodies” in our media is a problem. Sure, a 6-pack is nice, but not dying to maintain an unrealistic body image is also pretty nice, too.

I will fully admit to looking at a man and appreciating his abs. I’m a human being, after all, but there’s a difference between that and acting like anything less than perfection is to be shamed. Also, I don’t like this “dad bod” thing, mainly because women aren’t afforded the courtesy of such a term of endearment for bodies deemed imperfect. If we’re not tall and thin, we’re apparently nothing in the eyes of cultural beauty standards. Not only that, but even a relatively friendly term like “dad bod” is still looking at someone’s weight and commenting on it just because it doesn’t match Hollywood movie standards.

The image in question that has people shaming Momoa? A picture where Jason Momoa still looks like a beacon of fitness and one of the coolest dudes alive.

So yeah, don’t do this! Jason Momoa isn’t yours to look at and criticize just because he doesn’t look like Khal Drogo at every moment of every day.

What this does, though, is open up a conversation about how we address sexualizing people and praising their bodies. I know I’m guilty of looking at a picture of a dude with defined abs and thirst tweeting about him, but I also appreciate other body types and don’t shame people into having abs in order to find them attractive.

Sitting and saying that he has a “dad bod” or asking what happened to the photoshop of his abs is rude and terrible. Momoa doesn’t deserve that. Plus, praising a “dad bod,” in general, isn’t okay because, when looking at the beauty standards that women have to live up to, praising a man for being healthy and not having super defined abs when we, as women, are often guilted into not eating and falling to unhealthy weights to be “desirable” isn’t fair.

Let Jason Momoa live his life, and if his body isn’t up to your standards, then that’s on you, not on Aquaman himself.

(via Men’s Health, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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