Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
I need a break from the news, we all do
While it is essential to be informed regarding the latest COVID-19 news and social distancing protocols, it can be extremely taxing on your mental state. What better time for a feel-good, inspiring, and women-centric themed movie night, right? Whether you are self-isolating alone, with family, with friends, or with your partner, setting aside time to re-ground yourself is important – it’s definitely possible to have #FunFromHome!
In light of COVID-19, people’s lives have been flipped upside down, but it is still crucial that women have access to reproductive health services, like Pandia Health. As a women-founded and women-led company, we believe that everyone must stand together, by providing resources and supporting one another as we ride out this pandemic. Now more than ever, it is vital to pay attention to campaigns like #FFFL which encourages people to choose female-founded and female-led companies.
Plus, watching badass women rule the screen is the ultimate motivator — especially when you need a “feel-good” cry sesh.
Booksmart features actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein who play Amy and Molly – the inseparable lifelong best friends who have dedicated their lives to studying for AP exams and running extracurricular clubs. As graduation nears, the duo realizes everyone in their class got accepted into top universities despite them partying every weekend and having a “whatever bro” attitude.
While somewhat exaggerated, director Olivia Wilde created a highly relatable film as these two embark on a bucket-list adventure to live it up before saying goodbye to high school. One wonderful aspect of this movie is, as Amy’s character develops throughout the movie, her queer identity is portrayed as “matter-of-fact” and realistic and doesn’t play into discriminatory stereotypes.
On top of that, Booksmart touches on female masturbation (in a positive way), which does not get enough attention in the media. Booksmart will leave you wanting to FaceTime your bestie, and, if you are like me, crying from plenty bittersweet moments.
Adapted from Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild is centered around a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to rediscover who she is after falling victim to heroin addiction, following her mother’s death and failed marriage. Between walking the entire Pacific Crest Trail alone and attempting to regain respect for herself, Cheryl Strayed, played by Reese Witherspoon, evoked a profound sense of inspiration for me.
The fact that the film is based on a true story makes every triumph that much more impactful. If Strayed can go through an unfortunate series of life events, walk the entire Pacific Crest Trail alone (with a gruesomely heavy backpack to boot), and come out on the other side a better person, we can all get through anything.
During these hard times, Pandia Health has your back – we are all in this together. We want to help you continue to be the bad-ass you are without the added stress of going to the pharmacy to pick up your birth control because you have #betterthingstodo.
Famously known for her leading role in Juno, Ellen Page stars in the film Whip It, where she plays Bliss, a teen who dares to be different and discovers roller derby to escape from her mother’s dream of her participating in pageants. Bliss is inspired by her roller derby teammates to unapologetically be her authentic self and refuses to conform to societal standards regarding beauty by marching, or rather skating, to the beat of her own drum.
It is refreshing to see a heroine-centric sports movie where the women are not competing against men and the idea of sisterhood is especially dominant. Whip It is also Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, and Barrymore plays roller derby athlete “Smashley Simpson” in the film, so if anything, watch it for her because who doesn’t like Drew Barrymore?
Hidden Figures is based on the true story of three African-American women at NASA who calculated some of the most crucial and historical space achievements. Stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae amazed the audience with their impressive performances, and this inspirational film was nominated for three Oscars including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer).
Hidden Figures boldly addresses intersectional feminism especially in terms of sexism and racism. One of the many memorable scenes in Hidden Figures is when Taraji P. Henson’s character continually rushes from one end of the building to the other to use the restroom meant for women of color. If you have a child at home, this is a great film to watch with them to celebrate amazing female accomplishments and educate them on fantastic female role models.
As Illana would say, “YAASSS KWEEN!” This show is hands down a go-to watch with your best friend. The show is centered around duo Abby (played by Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (played by Ilana Glazer), whose relatable close bond is much more than anything you’ve seen on TV before.
The two attempt to make it in New York City, all while going through the trial and tribulations that come with close friendships. Abby balances Illana’s chaotic energy such as when Illana needs a high-frequency lamp in the walk-in refrigerator at her job – which is at a restaurant managed and run by RuPaul!
Whatever weird scenario Illana or Abby find themselves in, the other is always there to support. This show’s real empowerment is that both women are unapologetically themselves and remain genuine regardless of what others say about them.
Parks and Recreation
Is this list truly complete without including Leslie Knope?! The answer is NOPE. Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope, a driven political activist who helps run her local government parks department. The relationships between coworkers carry this show with their antics, such as when Li’l Sebastian, a beloved pony, dies and they plan a funeral for the town to mourn his loss.
Leslie’s “can do” attitude and willingness to get anything done she sets her heart to is inspiring. She also founded what many to this day consider a national holiday — Galentine’s Day. Each year on February 13th, since the creation of the fictional turned-actual-holiday, women celebrate one another by gathering with their fellow gal pals.
If you’re looking for a way to honor this upcoming holiday, consider giving the gift of Pandia Health and showing all your lady friends how they can be #PandiaEmpowered.
Grace and Frankie
This show portrays a unique friendship between two older women who became besties when their two husbands, who were law partners, become real-life romantic partners. Grace (played by icon Jane Fonda) and Frankie (played by another icon, Lily Tomlin) are complete opposites, yet they come together to navigate their post-marriage lives. Along the way, they find themselves learning how to embrace their libido and how to become entrepreneurs.
Grace’s uptight, refined nature is very different from Frankie’s free-flowing, hippy lifestyle and, as the audience, we see how they get on each other’s nerves early on. But, as they go through this new life together, they also learn from each other a great deal. This show is multi-generational in the way that it appeals to a wide range of audiences so gather your friends, family, and peers of all ages to view the magic that is Grace and Frankie.
Bonus: Episodes ft. Birth Control
Girl Code: “Birth Control, Showing Off, Over Thinking” (Season 4, Episode 5)
Girl Code (2013-present) is a female-driven comedy series that creates an open space for women to discuss womanhood’s wonders and woes. This episode features birth control topics ranging from the side effects of specific forms and their benefits as well as emergency contraception.
Within the first minute of the episode, a voiceover narrator says, “If you want to make love without making babies, you better take your birth control.” Truer words have never been spoken! There are so many different kinds of birth control (the pill, the patch, the shot, NuvaRing, the copper IUD), and it’s up to YOU to decide which one works best for you!
Given that every body is different, the side effects of birth control may vary per person; some characters in the show noted they experienced weight gain, mood swings, and food cravings, while others noticed clearer skin and increased confidence. Birth control also helps in other ways besides preventing pregnancy, such as decreasing cramps, regulating your period, and eliminating acne – pretty sweet, right!?
Just remember: whatever form of birth control you decide to take, be sure to take it! Many of the women on the show talked about forgetting to take the pill or being embarrassed to take it in public. With Pandia Health, you can have #PandiaPeaceOfMind and take advantage of the convenient and confidential care offered by our expert doctors.
The Hogan Family: “Bad Timing” (Season 2, Episode 14)
The Hogan Family (1986-1991), originally called Valerie, is an American sitcom about a mother trying to balance her career while raising her three sons without her pilot husband. In this episode, David, one of the sons, considers rekindling a relationship with Lori, a family friend and the girl he had his first kiss with.
They end up in bed together one night, and he asks her whether she is on the pill or any other form of birth control. Lori says no but that she is “pretty sure it’s safe.” How many times have you heard that before? Red flags everywhere! Thankfully, they agree to wait until the next day so David can pick up some condoms (this was actually the first time the word ‘condom’ was used on a prime television program).
The next day, so many things end up going wrong – Lori’s suitcase full of clothes spills out onto the floor as they move toward the bed, the curtains fall as they begin undressing, and the rest of the family comes home earlier than expected.
They never got around to having sex in this episode, but the show promotes an important message: it’s better to wait until you are ready both physically and mentally. The good news is that if you’re already on birth control, you won’t have to deal with those accidents when the right time comes!
Having #PandiaPeaceOfMind also means knowing you are protected when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy. That said, birth control does not prevent STIs, so it is essential to use a condom to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
The Mick: “The Buffer” (Season 1, Episode 3)
The Mick (2017-2018) is a sitcom about Mickey, a directionless woman who finds herself in charge of her sister’s three ill-mannered children (Sabrina, Chip, and Ben) when she goes to visit her in Greenwich, CT. This episode features Mickey fighting with Sabrina, who refuses to use birth control even though she is sexually active with her boyfriend.
Mickey tells Sabrina about how the pill revolutionized the women’s movement by giving them more freedom and time to do what they want rather than worrying about getting pregnant – amen to that! Mickey even visits the free clinic to pick up birth control items for Sabrina. Sabrina remains stubbornly unimpressed by Mickey’s attempt to encourage safe sex, remarking that the pill is too “full of chemicals.”
In reality, the pill contains hormones (estrogen and progestin) that help prevent pregnancy and can even reduce period pain. At the end of the episode, Mickey tricks Sabrina into thinking she is pregnant, a tactic that works until Kai, the boyfriend, tells Sabrina he’ll help raise the child. It’s a weird ending, so I will leave you with this exchange that happens when Mickey is showing Sabrina all of the birth control items she picked up from the clinic:
Sabrina: “It destroys your body and causes crazy mood swings.”
Mickey: “SO DO BABIES!”
Do yourself a favor and watch at least one of these movies. You will feel less stuck in the news-driven world we currently live in and have #FunFromHome. While you are at it, check out #FFFL to learn more about the campaign and what you can do to support female-founded and female-led companies.
Pandia Health continues to stand with women and provide women with affordable access to birth control. #FunFromHome includes using contraception. With many cities shut down, not having to worry about picking up your birth control at the pharmacy is a huge help. Birth control can be delivered straight to your door through Pandia Health, and it is an easy, straightforward process to get started.
For more ways to have #FunFromHome, follow us on Instagram @PandiaHealth and our other social media channels like YouTube. We host live Instagram webinars to get you inspired, active, and informed! Tag @PandiaHealth on Instagram, showing us how you are having #FunFromHome!
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.