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These are my thoughts, yo.

Claim Yourself

jasmine banks

I have so many movies that I watch and re-watch and find deep embarrassment in how much I love them. The embarrassment won't stop me from watching them ad infinitum. One movie on that shit Jasmine should be embarrassed to admit list is Beautiful Creatures. Beautiful Creatures is basically the same storyline as the rest, I guess. Ethan Wate falls for his pre-destined love Lena Duchannes. She is a Caster (witch) and she has a certain number of days until she is claimed for either Dark or Light. The whole plot of the movie is centered around Lena's struggle to reconcile her inclinations. One life event will push her toward the light and another to the Dark. There is a pivotal scene where Lena realizes her own power. It is the day of her 16th birthday and the moon is about to claim her (I can't believe I even typed that sentence). Her uncle is dying in her arms. He has been fighting for her to not be claimed by the Dark. He wants her to embrace the Light. With his last gasp he implores her, "Lena. Claim yourself." Eventually (spoiler alert) we learn that Lena doesn't claim just the Light or just the Dark. She claims both.  Lena's claim is couched as a triumphant move. She is depicted as powerful for holding both worlds in tension. I'm not sure what the fuck I am trying to say.

think I am trying to say that none of us are all one thing or another. You are not all bad or all good. To ignore this truth you have to deny part of yourself. Sure we want to believe that we are all good but that isn't true for any of us. I'm trying to say that I reject the proposition that any single one of us can be all bad or all good. Even those of us who others would call dark..bad..other..suspect.

I'm still not sure what the fuck I am trying to say. This isn't making sense.

think I am trying to say that I love that Lena could claim herself because she didn't have to fracture herself to live in a way that suited her. She found her authentic self in the space between. If she claimed only the light, the parts of her that were  Dark Caster would have been lost and vice versa. So she claimed both. She claimed ALL. So she accepted the struggle of living in the tension. I love that this act made her the heroine.

Maybe you need to claim yourself too. Maybe you need to reconcile that you don't have to be all one thing or all of another. Maybe you need to embrace your own ability for self actualization and realization. It is your story to write and to live. Maybe we can be both or all. We are brave enough.


Maybe I am taking these YA Fiction movies too seriously.