Shealea reacts to: Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018) – 101 thoughts while watching

After reading about the negative criticism and social media backlash against the movie recently released in Netflix, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018), I had absolutely no intention of watching it. I mean, I have seen glowing remarks from a few blogger friends, but my reservations about supporting a film with allegedly offensive material regarding the LGBTQ+ community and allegedly problematic plus-size representation outweighed my curiosity.

However, in the long weekend that I spent back in the province (and miles away from the dreadful noise and abundant pollution of Metro Manila – thank the universe), my little sister invited me to watch Sierra Burgess Is a Loser with her. It turned out that the little pirate had illegally downloaded* a copy, which made me feel less horrible about indirectly supporting the film.

* I’m staunchly against pirating entertainment material, but I am also honest enough to admit that I have very little qualms about unpaid downloads of harmful and/or problematic material. Consider it a small act of rebellion and protest.

I’ve decided against writing a full review of this film because (1) I think there are enough critical, profound commentaries on Sierra Burgess Is a Loser that can more eloquently discuss the issues in the film than I ever could; (2) I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands; and (3) I’m too lazy to write a detailed review.

Instead, I’ve decided to share 101 of my thoughts as I watched Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, which, I believe, nicely and sufficiently represent my opinion on its content. I tried my best not to delve too much into the big spoilers of the film, but proceed with caution* anyway! Things are about to get really angry and occasionally yell-y.



How to read more books legally and for free – a list of alternatives to book pirating

Hello there! The ongoing discourse regarding e-book piracy has repeatedly resurfaced over the past few months, and today, another Twitter exchange has sparked a full-blown debate filled with justified outrage from authors and understandable hurt from readers who, like me, are based outside the U.S. and live in marginalized communities.

The piracy of any media content is a topic that’s personally close to my heart as a media and communication major. Just last semester, I worked on a quantitative research paper on the digital film piracy intentions among Filipino young adults. But the piracy of books is a whole lot closer to my heart than any other type of pirating simply because I am a reader from – as the Western superpowers like to label us – a third-world country.

Hence, it disappoints and, at times, hurts me to see that the discourse surrounding such an important issue lacks important nuances and a fundamental understanding of privileges. In fact, I’d argue that more than occasionally, these online debates are considerably dismissive, as evidenced by the staggering number of (white, middle and upper-middle class) people yelling at readers like me to go to the goddamn library that, as many of us have tirelessly pointed out, does not exist in our area. (Sorry, not sorry if that spilled tea scalded you.)

While I, as an international book blogger and reader, have more than 2 cents to pitch in regarding the issue of e-book piracy, I’m not here to argue. Instead, I’m shifting my focus from self-entitled Twitter strangers (who want well-documented receipts of how poor I am) to other struggling readers like me. I’ve decided to write this post as a subtly raised middle finger aimed at the classist, Western-centric conversation on e-book piracy. With all that said, here are a number of resources you can use to legally access books for free or at a discounted price!


Things in books that should be left behind in 2016

Hi there, everyone! A little over a week ago, I publicly released my first ‘Shealea says’ post that talked about what it’s like to be a woman in 2016. In that particular piece, I discussed the problematic culture of victim blaming and internalized misogyny.

Today, however, I want to bring something else into light. With the year quickly coming to an end in a day, I feel the need to call out a number of unhealthy themes, tropes, concepts and messages in stories and in fiction that we definitely should not bring with us as we welcome 2017. These toxic things, in my opinion, should be left behind in 2016. These things should be stopped altogether, really.

Before I continue, I was actually inspired to write this post after reading Liam’s admirably honest ARC review for Mad Miss Mimic. In his critique, he cited two things — to be more specific, a couple of harmful messages — found in the novel that infuriated him, and adamantly wrote, “Surely I don’t need to tell you that this is a terrible thing for books to do.”


What it’s like to be a woman in 2016

Frankly, 2016 is an incredibly frightening time to be a woman. On some days, I find myself lying wide awake, not wanting to sleep but not quite having the motivation to get out of bed either. On some days, I struggle with deciding what outfit to put on not because I have plenty of clothes to go through, but because I am partially paralyzed by a lurking fear that what I wear might elicit reactions I am not comfortable with. On some days, I walk outside with my eyes deliberately downcast and my shoulders constantly hunched in the hopes of not drawing unwanted attention to myself. On some days, I still ponder over my self-worth, wondering if my value as an individual correlates to the amount of skin I have on display. On some days, I still have to bite my tongue in order to keep my temper in check as another person tries to dictate what I can or cannot do (mainly the latter, really) as a female. Every day, however, I am painfully, utterly aware that my personal experiences do not even scratch the surface of what most women go through on a daily basis.

And 2016 has taken the plight of all women, myself included, even further downhill.