5 Survivors Of The Pulse Massacre Return To The Club Together For The First Time

It?s been nearly a year since the deadly mass shooting at Orlando?s LGTBQ Pulse Nightclub that killed 49 people, and for several of the tragedy?s survivors, Pulse is still too painful a place to revisit. But on Saturday?s season finale of ?Iyanla: Fix My Life,? Iyanla Vanzant encouraged six brave survivors she was working with to consider returning to the scene so that they might this time ?leave on their own terms.? Five of them agreed.

These survivors included 21-year-old Tiara Parker, who was shot in the abdomen and whose younger cousin Akyra Murray died from her gunshot wounds; 20-year-old Patience Carter, who was shot in the legs while hiding with Tiara and Akyra in a bathroom stall; 25-year-old Chris Littlestar, who was shot five times during the siege; 32-year-old Christopher Hansen, who escaped physical injury but remained near the club to help fellow clubgoers; and Orlando Torres, who was one of the club?s promoters.

?It is my intention to provide all of these survivors with a new, positive experience at the scene of this shared trauma so they can begin to heal,? Iyanla explained, as the survivors arrived.

However, pulling up to Pulse was particularly overwhelming for Tiara, who broke down in tears shortly after getting out of the vehicle. The survivors rallied around her, and continued to support each other throughout the visit.

In the months since the massacre, each of these individuals has struggled with survivors? guilt, and they all opened up to Iyanla earlier in the episode about how they have been coping.

Tiara, joined by her mother, told Iyanla that their family has been torn apart since losing Akyra. Because Akyra and Patience initially made it out of Pulse but returned when they realized Tiara was still inside, Akyra?s parents have blamed Tiara for the death of their daughter. It?s a notion Iyanla challenges, in the video below. 

As Patience has been recovering from her gunshot wounds, she?s struggled with the added burden of trying to move through her pain without the support of her mother, who Patience says has abandoned the family. ?Nobody knows where my mom is,? Patience says in the below clip. ?I just really thought, like, that this would be the situation that she would just pop up, and she didn?t. So, I don?t know if she?s dead or alive, but if she is alive, like, I thought that this would be it.? 

Iyanla?s concern for all of the survivors, however, has been that they haven?t taken the time to focus on themselves: Tiara has been focused on her late cousin and family; Patience has remained silent about her absent mom because people like Tiara experienced ?worse;? Chris hasn?t sought counseling for any of his emotional struggles; and both Christopher and Orlando have dedicated themselves to being a voice for the dead whenever and however possible.

As Iyanla supports the survivors in their efforts to tend to others during the healing process, she also encourages them to honor and speak to their own thoughts, feelings and emotions as they experience them. 

?Give yourself permission to be where you are,? she says. ?And [have] more conversations, not around what happened, but around where you are with what happened. That?s the conversation.?

You can find more from these survivors and watch their full ?Fix My Life? episode on WatchOWN.tv/Iyanla.

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‘Wonder Woman’ Is Historic, But Some Male Critics Couldn’t Help Being Condescending

The latest iteration of ?Wonder Woman? has fans raving and a few male critics complaining.

The Wonder Woman movie ? the first female-led superhero film and the first to be directed by a woman ? had an amazing opening weekend. It took home $100.5 million in the US/Canada box office, shooting it into the top 16 domestic openings for superhero films and becoming the biggest ever opening weekend for a woman director. 

The film was by no means perfect, but among the more condescending and negative reviews, a pattern emerged: They were nearly all written by male critics. Of course, many male critics praised the film, and a few women who reviewed the movie were not enamored by it. However, a handful of male critics wrote reviews that reeked of sexism, implying that a woman-led superhero movie must be ?cooler? and better than the entire genre it belongs to as opposed to being a part of it. Apparently, even women superheroes are held to a different standard. 

On Vulture, critic David Edelstein wrote a review of the film that largely focused on Gal Gadot?s various stages of hotness. It literally opens with the following sentence:

The only grace note in the generally clunky Wonder Woman is its star, the five-foot-ten-inch Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot, who is somehow the perfect blend of superbabe-in-the-woods innocence and mouthiness.

Yes, Gadot is beautiful, but is a review of the film the place where that observation should take the forefront? This first sentence is especially grating when you consider the rest of the review, from Edelstein?s comment that Gadot ?looks fabulous in her suffragette outfit with little specs? to this eye-roll inducing Beckett reference: ?I didn?t miss Lynda Carter?s buxom, apple-cheeked pinup, though. It was worth waiting for Gadot.? 

Edelstein only continues to gush about Gadot from there. But his most condescending assessment is his statement that positive reviews of the film must be ?grading on a big curve? ? a comment made even more bizarre when you consider that ?Wonder Woman? beat out ?Thor,? ?Guardians of the Galaxy,? ?Iron Man? and ?Man Of Steel? at the box office. 

While other male reviewers managed to comment on more than just Gadot?s good looks, The Guardian?s Steve Rose and National Review?s Armond White, both seemed to insist that ?Wonder Woman? could be a good movie if it was held to a higher standard than other superhero fare. 

Rose wrote that Wonder Woman had been ?reduced to [a] weaponised Smurfette.? He takes issue with the film?s campiness and Gadot?s not-full-of-enough emotion ?brow-furrowing,? ultimately admitting that he is upset that the film didn?t surpass its male-dominated counterparts:

I know: ?It?s only a comic-book movie.? And on the level of big-budget trash, Wonder Woman is great fun. But there were hopes for something more.

Rose has taken issue with DC?s other films, but his glowing review of ?Captain America,? another superhero film that was wildly loved by fans, only critique of star Chris Evans was calling his coiffure a ?90s-boyband hairstyle.?

Another review that was exceptionally cringeworthy came from National Review. White criticizes Gadot?s Diana for her flirtation with one of the male characters in the film, alleging that the interactions ?reduces Diana?s personal, historical, mythological complexity.? This is a particularly strange assessment to make when Superman had Lois Lane, Spider-Man had Mary-Jane, Iron Man had Pepper Pots, and Batman had Rachel and no one seemed to criticize those relationships impact on the male character?s ?historical, mythological complexity.?

In no part of White?s review does he talk of the film?s ability to touch on sacrifice, forgiveness, love and strength. In fact, he blatantly ignores her character?s agency. (Though White did write one of the only negative reviews of ?Get Out,? so perhaps he just has poor taste.)

White also calls director Patty Jenkins a ?politically correct token? in his review, writing that the film was ?made under cultural pressure? and comparing her with ?Justice League? director Zack Snyder ?  a man.

On Twitter user sums up the frustration of reading a comment like the aforementioned one:

Also notable is the fact that these reviews ignored the power of representation, something that many women who have seen the film have commented on. ?Wonder Woman? is certainly not perfect, but it is historic. It?s a huge oversight to ignore that for women, watching another woman save the world and take out the bad guys is a new and monumental experience. Men can treat ?Wonder Woman? with condescension all they want, but the fact remains that the film is a landmark in the superhero film canon. 

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The Wildest Outfits From The 2017 Governors Ball

When it comes to wild festival style, Coachella has set a glittery standard that?s hard to live up to. 

But Governors Ball, a newer three-day jaunt held annually on Randall?s Island in New York City, has emerged as a major player in the game of wild, wacky and sometimes questionable festival style. 

Guests arrived June 2-4 wearing all the makings of what we have learned are the hallmarks of festival dressing. There were big belts, sheer tops, cropped everything and even one out-of-this-world space suit. 

Check out the most festival-ly festival looks from Gov Ball 2017 below. 

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Ariana Grande Leads Emotional Performances At Manchester Benefit Concert

Less than two weeks following the tragic attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the ?Into You? singer triumphantly returned to the stage to perform at the One Love Manchester benefit concert. 

Originally organized to mark the May 22 suicide bombing that claimed the lives of 22 people in the Manchester Arena, Sunday?s concert took on added meaning after three assailants killed seven people and injured nearly 50 on Saturday night in London, England.  

Grande?s manager, Scooter Braun, said in a statement on Sunday that the singer?s show would go on with ?greater purpose? following Saturday?s attack.  

When the 23-year-old singer, dressed in a One Love Manchester sweatshirt, finally walked onstage, the crowd erupted into cheers. She kicked off her performance with the upbeat ?Be Alright,? and followed up with ?Break Free.? The songs seemed to take on more powerful meanings during the Sunday night performance. 

Grande was visibly emotional, and appeared to tear up as she finished the songs. The singer thanked the crowd multiple times during the concert, at one point telling them, ?The kind of love and unity that you?re displaying is the medicine the world really needs right now.? 

Stars such as Robbie Williams, Niall Horan, Pharrell Williams, Take That and Katy Perry also performed at the concert, infusing messages of strength and positivity throughout the night. Grande performed with various artists, including The Black Eyed Peas and Victoria Monet.

A particularly sweet moment came when Grande joined members of the choir of Parrs Wood High School, located in a Manchester suburb, to sing ?You Are My Everything.? The group had many in the crowd in tears. 

After that performance, Grande introduced her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, to the stage to sing ?The Way,? which they collaborated on in 2013. 

?Tonight?s all about love,? she said before he came out to join her. As the two performed together, their love for each other clearly radiated through. 

Then, Grande was joined my Miley Cyrus, who had performed earlier in the night. The singers performed their cover of Crowded House?s ?Don?t Dream It?s Over,? which they first sang as part of Cyrus? Backyard Sessions

Proceeds from the benefit concert will go toward the Red Cross? We Love Manchester emergency fund, in support of the victims and families of the May attack.

 

Doha Madani contributed to this report.

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