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Courtesy of @bryann_zilla , @tjhunt_ , @blackwidowsupra
“The Dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins - but in the heart of its strength lies weakness; one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.”
thank you for always making me laugh and for being my healing when life gets difficult. with you fantastic 13 balls of sunshine, these past two years have been much more than just very nice. i’m so proud that i’ve been able to see all of you grow, and just thinking about it causes tears to well up. but, i’ll try to hold these tears in because i don’t wanna cry.
seventeen, i’m glad we’ve made it this far, and i’ll continue to adore u for years to come. let’s keep on walking on this flower path.
I’m asking for your help. I know there is a clever caption hiding in this picture somewhere, I just can’t wrap my brain around it. Put your caption in the comments or send me a message. If there is a lot of interest and a lot of good entries, I’ll pick a top 5, give you all a shout out, and have my followers (11k+) vote on a winner. If I only get a few entries I will pick the winner. For the grand prize, this picture with the winning caption will get a reblog on @mostlycatsmostly (75k+) Lets see what you can come up with!
(Fine print: I love all my followers, but this is an all-ages blog, so I only be giving shout outs to blogs that are SFW.)
P.S.- Probably too late since this is out in the tumblr world now, but submissions will be accepted until midnight Aug. 9 (North American eastern standard time)
I need more girls in my life, I need a squad, so we can all look fly and do fly things together and post squad pictures captioned 'get with the winning team hoe' and go to parties and libraries recruiting other girls to join our squad
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Because I had another reawakening on how much I fucking love Helga G. Pataki from Hey Arnold. Let me explain why.
She is one of the best developed and most complex child characters I’ve ever seen on television and no one can convince me otherwise. Helga’s behavior is definitely portrayed as a joke for the majority of the show, but we get so many glimpses of why she acts the way she does. Her abrasive, bullying, and angry attitude leads many viewers to believe that she is an antagonistic force almost for how terribly she can treat people. If you think about it, though, can you truly recall a time when she beat someone up who didn’t warrant it? This doesn’t say it’s right, but the only times she’s ever laid a hand on other students are the ones that said something mean; granted Brainy is the exception here since the only crime he committed against her was invasion of personal space and stalking, but the person she beats up the most is Harold. This is a fact and yet the only times she does hurt him is when he says something mean and taunting to her and she beats it down to show everyone who witnessed it that these are the consequences to treating her poorly. Has she ever laid a hand on anyone who didn’t provoke her though? No.
For Helga fans, I think it’s safe to say the three of the most iconic episodes showing her true persona are “Helga on the Couch,” “Arnold’s Christmas” and “Arnold’s Thanksgiving.” This is a generally subjective selection as there are other episodes such as “Big Sis” and such that convey further into the point of why Helga is the target of a barragement of shit, but we’ll start with these.
“Helga on the Couch” came out after the Christmas special, but this episode dedicated purely to our home girl was our first blatant insight to why Helga is the way she is. For those who don’t know, the episode starts out with a child psychologist dropping in to survey the class and notices Helga right away. When she discovers that Helga has once again punched Brainy in the face, Helga actually gets pulled into the principal’s office for it. Instead of suspension, Dr. Bliss suggests Helga be required to come in and talk to her in her office for a therapy session, thus getting the ball rolling for Helga to begin to open up about her life in a very straight-forward way. We see her flash back to her parents loving their eldest daughter, Olga, but then the moment Helga walks in to remind her mother of something she forgot to do it’s as if the pleasant family atmosphere has completely dissolved and her family is brushing her off again. The final and most important flash back she has was when she was three. She begs her parents to take her to preschool as they fawn over Olga playing the piano like the protege she is, fucking brushing off their toddler who is fighting for their attention. Helga then proceeds to repeatedly announce she’s leaving for school to get them to realize what she’s doing, but to no avail. Helga, a tiny three year old, sets out in the pouring rain by herself in a New York type city, and walks herself to school because she has no other choice. People on the streets stare at her, this small girl with no jacket or rain gear of any sort, is sopping wet and walking to school. The fact that she knows the way is an even deeper sting because if a toddler can remember where to go on complicated city streets, this suggests this isn’t the first time this has happened. The shrink is now appalled at the story, realizing that Helga has never had anyone truly notice her, to which she responds “there was one person…” So by the time she gets to the school, she’s freezing and covered in mud and miserable, but who steps up to her and offers his umbrella? ARNOLD DOES. He compliments her bow as Phil leads him inside, and instantly she’s enamoured with the first person to ever show her kindness. Flash forward to inside during snack time. Helga didn’t have a lunch or anything like the other kids did, so during snack time, she was getting ready to FEAST on her measly snack of two saltine crackers when fucking Harold eats her goddamn crackers and laughs in her face while he does so. Helga is on the verge of tears, no doubt that being the only food she’d get that day, when Arnold gives her his crackers with a big warm smile. Helga oggles after him in gratitude and admiration, earning her a barrage of teasing from Harold and causing the other kids to laugh at her too. This moment…this right here:
This was the turning point. This was the moment when Helga snapped.
Her scowl becomes enraged and violent as she beats the everloving shit out of Harold, stomping off and knocking over the other kids whom had teased her only moments ago, announcing this was “her school now.” The other kids are shocked at the change and now fear her wrath, thus beginning the era of Top Bitch Helga. For years, the viewers just thought it was a comedic relief thing to see such an angry, confrontational character, but after seeing this episode, it’s not funny anymore: it’s real. Helga is the girl who is terrified of showing any sort of emotion that isn’t anger because, that first moment she showed her vulnerability, she was taunted for doing so. She walls herself off from others because she fears being made small. For years, and even following her into elementary school, she had zero control over her life and her only outlet was to reject the world as it had rejected her. This mentality followed her for the rest of her life on the show, making it so painful to see others interact with her. She had Phoebe, but she even kept her at a distance, never showing the sensitive, emotional side of herself even to her best friend. Everyone else she treats coldly and with sarcasm or hostility, not giving them the opportunity to reject her before she makes it clear that she rejects them first. This look into her childhood shows why she’s so abrasive and mean: it’s her coping mechanism to being treated like absolute horse shit her entire life.
Next is the Thanksgiving episode. Helga hates when Olga is home, so she slips out because she wants to get away. She and Arnold both sort of pout together, but eventually head to their respective homes. Arnold comes home to his loving grandparents and boarders waiting for him with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the roof, whereas Helga comes home to her parents actually worried about her. Here’s the kicker though: Olga had panicked and made missing posters already, but here’s what they looked like:
Now it was brushed off and taken as a joke, but this is actually incredibly disgusting. Olga is worried that her little nine-year-old sister is missing, and what does she do? Make fliers, but fliers that don’t even say her sister’s name. The picture she uses is one that has the attention centered on her, posing like a model while her sister is in the background scowling at her. Then the caption: Award Winning Olga Pataki’s sister. Not one mention of her sister’s name, nope it simply highlights how highly she thinks of herself and the fact that she always has to be in the center of attention with the words Award Winning. Even when a family catastrophe strikes at the potential of their youngest going missing, that child is still placed on the back burner in comparison to her. I know Olga has had her moments of trying to have a nice relationship with her sister, but it doesn’t make up for this or anything else she’s done to her sister. Olga never hurt her, no, but she played into her little sister’s neglect by even doing it herself in the episode “Big Sis,” but I’ll touch on that later.
The last major episode that never ceases to make me cry nineteen years after airing is the Christmas special. According to the wiki synopsis for the episode, “When Arnold draws Mr. Hyunh’s name in the boarding house’s Secret Santa, he decides to make it the most special Christmas ever for the lonely boarder and tries to reunite Mr. Hyunh with his long-lost daughter. Meanwhile, Helga agonises over what would make the perfect present for Arnold.” Now, Helga follows Arnold and Gerald around all day, clamoring to figure out what Arnold wants, but catches wind of what he’s trying to do for Mr. Hyunh. Arnold and Gerald are one step away from being able to get the city archivist guy working for the offices who have the information on Mr. Hyunh’s daughter, whom been given up because Hyunh wanted to spare her from growing up in Vietnam with the war raging on and he had to wait 20 years to get out of Vietnam and come to America (YOU SEE ACTUAL WAR IN THE FLASH BACK I MIGHT ADD,) but the deal they made with the man is void because the boys couldn’t find the final item on the list: a pair of Nancy Spumoni snow boots. The entire city was sold out thus dooming Arnold and Gerald in their endeavors to disappointment. They head home, Helga feeling genuine sorrow for him and heads home herself. To cheer her up, her mom lets her open a present although it’s Christmas Eve and it’s the boots. Helga had wanted them so badly she burst outside to try them out but was met with instant conflict about what to do. She doesn’t toil long, though, as she rushes back to the archivist offices and throws the boots at Mr. Bailey, telling him they have work to do. At first, he says they’re closed and there’s nothing he could do now, but Helga gets real with him and says. “For pity’s sake, are you that cold? Look into your heart. We’ve got a choice here: either you and I work all night to find a certain lost daughter, or you can leave now. But if you leave now, that little football-headed kid will never believe in miracles again.” Before I continue on, let’s sit on that phrase for a moment. She is concerned with him believing in miracles, but why? Why did she say it like this? It’s because this is what she truly admires about Arnold that she feels she doesn’t have: his sense of wonder and innocence, not to mention his heart of gold and willingness to go out of his way for other people. When Helga sees him absolutely deflate from his failure at finding Mai, it hurts her, too, even though it doesn’t affect her. She feels so strongly for him that his sadness and the loss of his spark fuels her to finish what he started to bring it back.
Now we’re at the boarding house and everyone is opening their secret santa gifts, but there’s nothing for Mr. Hyunh. He is still brooding in the corner, the holidays being a season that made him forlorn and distant, but says he doesn’t need a present when the boarders realize there is nothing under the tree for him. A knock on the door interrupts the conversation, but Grandpa returns with a young woman, who calls out to Mr. Hyunh in Vietnamese with “dad.” Suddenly he is filled with joy and they run to each other and talk in their native tongue. Arnold is confused, but wondering how such a miracle could happen. Gerald suggests he’s got a Christmas angel looking out for him, to which the shot pans to Helga silently standing outside with an adoring smile on her face as she whispers, “Merry Christmas, Arnold.” This is SOOOOOOOO important because it shows, despite her harsh exterior and foul treatment by her family and peers, she is such a caring and warm-hearted person despite what she and everyone else believes. She gives up these boots, boots that are expensive and rare and her mother had to wait eight hours in line to get, to held Arnold help someone else. Sure, it could be interpreted as her only doing it to make him like her, but where’s the proof? When she brought Mai to the boarding house, she stayed outside, silent and letting Arnold and his family have their moment without crediting herself. She cares so deeply about this boy that she gives up the only thing she wanted for Christmas to make his. This episode aside, this isn’t the first time she’s put herself aside for him.
The episode where Lila rejects Arnold and he becomes sad and disappointed, who’s there to comfort him in her own weird way? HELGA. She knows he likes this other girl and, when she rejects him, rather than rub it in his face in victory she comforts him and even asks if he’s okay. She could be celebrating, but she worries about him and his hurt instead.
Helga deals with her society as a whole, too, as she’s made to feel ugly for not being conventionally pretty. She buys magazines for preteens, even staring at them sadly as she feels she can’t compare to the models, and begins to hack away at herself, plucking the shit out of her eyebrow, plastering makeup on, putting a bra on and stuffing it to give the appearance of boobs, shaving her legs and putting on a skin tight dress to get into Rhonda’s party, her being the only girl in the class not invited. It’s so sad to see just how hard she tried to be accepted despite all of her plights at pushing everyone away and how as a damn fourth grader she clamors to look like a mature woman just to be liked. It’s the saddest thing to watch this girl who should only be worrying about being a kid have to worry about, not only her incredibly neglectful family and critical peers, but about beauty as well. At this point it’s safe to say that no one has ever called Helga pretty, and that’s the saddest part.
She is used as comedic relief so much, but as the series progresses and we see what Helga is truly like, it becomes less like satire and more heartbreaking to see someone have to be so strong for herself when no one else will be. She’s the one who is the bigger person in certain quarrels with her family members even though they are the adults, and she makes an honest effort to own up to mistakes that she’s made. She’s nine years old, is canonically proven to have the IQ of a genius, grew up and lives with a neglectful family, tries to shield herself from any negative shitstorms from her peers, all the while still being incredibly loving and caring and just wanting to be validated as a human being. The magician episode was enough to show how she even suffers from severe depression because of her upbringing although it’s incredibly suppressed, as she sees in her mind that she’s gone but everyone’s glad she’s gone.
Neglectful family aside, I related to Helga so much as a child and even now because of her behavior. When I was a kid I acted the same exact way as her: abrasive and angry because I was terrified of rejection. It was my way of coping and faking it to show the world I didn’t actually care when I did. I related even more on her treatment of Arnold because when I like a boy that much, I would be mean, too. I don’t know why, but I was afraid of the thought that if I showed my interest or admiration, it would be a sign of weakness, so I walled myself off.
Helga G. Pataki is such a wonderfully written character and, even as a child, I loved her so much because she had such a realistic growth arc due to her childhood, but despite the odds, still didn’t let the world that had been nothing but cold and cruel to her change who she truly was inside as she always remained true to her heart and her passions. She didn’t deserve the way people treated her, but I’m so proud of how strong she stayed despite it all.
I’m glad Helga was a part of my childhood and if I could give her a hug and tell her I love her I would.