SHE-LOGY: Tribute to J.K.Rowling
I just finished watching Magic Beyond Words (on Netflix). It’s a short film about the life of author J.K. Rowling centered on the making of the legendary Harry Potter series. I couldn’t sleep (2am here!) until I write a post about it.
I lost count of the number of times the movie made me cry. It was a story of the first struggles of a first-time author. But it was also a story about a mom, a single parent, and someone who felt like she failed at possibly everything in her life and struggling to still chase after her life-long dream. If you can’t find anything in the movie that touches you, where’s your heart, Dementor?? Kidding. 🙂
Repeated several times in the movie was a warning from her agent, “Don’t get your hopes up. Children’s books do not sell.” Ms Rowling ended up being one of the richest women in the world from her best-selling (+450 million copies!) children’s books.
Although she is commonly called by her first name -Joanne. She was advised by her agent to change her name to something that does not give away her gender. Because young boys might not be interested to read a book written by a woman. I hope that changed since HP.
The most inspiring line, to me, came from her mother (who passed away before her success) — “The words will come.” For those of us who aspire to be writers, her story is an inspiration. For those of us with kids, this is a reminder to nurture the young ones’ imaginations and to encourage them to pursue their dreams.
Because I already featured Joanne, I thought I’ll give tribute to her in the form of her characters.
HERMIONE GRANGER. Behind every successful wizard is an insanely smart and kick-ass witch. If it were my choice, I would have loved to have instead a Hermione Granger series. To me, she is front and center to the many successes of Harry. I love her in so many ways (she is a larger-than-life, exaggerated version of me, that sometimes my friends would call me Hermione), but I’ll stick with my top 3 reasons:
- She is not afraid to be smart. She embraces it, and doesn’t mind always raising the first hand even when it’s not recitations.
- She is fiercely loyal to her friends. She gave so much for the sake of Harry and their friends, and didn’t end up being resentful for just being constantly on supporting roles.
- She is played by Emma Watson, staunch supporter of women equality and ambassador of He for She.
MINERVA MCGONAGALL. I wish I can just say Maggie Smith, period. Professor McGonagall is Maggie Smith. J.K. Rowling admitted that she always pictured Smith portraying this character. I also would have preferred her to be the female Dumbledore. She is my favorite character because:
- She is in her 70s, but her strength and will defy her age.
- She is a strict disciplinarian, but shows she also has a soft spot for Harry. She shows two sides of a woman’s strength –tough and affectionate.
- She is very powerful, but rarely uses her powers. The power she exudes does not come from magic wands. But from her wisdom and experience. When she does use her power though…
LUNA LOVEGOOD. Rowling was said to have chosen Luna as her favorite character. Luna represents what Hermione is not, which makes her as strong but in a very unique and endearing way.
- She is not afraid to be quirky and eccentric. She doesn’t change herself just to fit to “normal” and be part of the “cool” crowd. Being perceived as odd was something she just takes as a reality, and she moves on continuing to be just herself. I think it does not come from a place of excessive self-confidence. It feels like she’s genuinely just OK with who she is, that she’s not bothered by how others think of her so much as to change her character.
- She is fun. She inspires originality, imagination, and positivity.
- “The key to Luna is that she actually has that unbelievably rare quality where she doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks about her.” – Rowling
SHE-LOGY is a blog project open to everyone who is interested to celebrate women this whole month of March. If you’re reading this, I extend that invitation to you to contribute post/s about the women you’d like to honor. You can email me at email@example.com. Thank you for reading this.