There’s a lot to be said about the powerful messages found in Amy Schumer’s latest film, I Feel Pretty, and whether you had the opportunity to see it or not, I wanted to share the positives and the negatives of what this movie has to offer. A little bit of background: the film features Schumer as Renee Bennett: a young woman who struggles with extreme body image, confidence and self-esteem issues. Her one wish is to look and feel beautiful. (Sound familiar?) After she wakes up from falling and hitting her head during a Soulcycle class, she starts to view herself as the most beautiful girl in the world and starts living her life without fear, gaining a boyfriend and landing her dream job along the way. (You can view the official trailer here.)
Here are the five life lessons I pulled away from the film:
- Even the most beautiful women struggle with body image
I appreciate how the film included extremely thin, beautiful women in the body image struggle because we tend to get wrapped up in the mindset of, “if I were thin, my life would be so much better.” Seeing incredibly thin women express how insecure they were about their bodies made me aware of how beauty standards impact all women, regardless of their shape or size, and it helped me grasp the concept of how being a different size will not make us more confident or feel better about ourselves! At the end of the day, positive self-talk, lots of self-care and a positive attitude about who we are will help us feel better about what we see when we look in the mirror!
2. It’s okay to struggle with body image, but it’s not okay to let it define you
At the very beginning of the movie, we see Renee allowing her thoughts about her body control her life, and because these thoughts are negative, she misses out on a lot of opportunities, including applying for her dream job and having a boyfriend. (Again, sound familiar?) When she woke up from her nasty fall at Soulcycle with a brand new attitude about herself and her body, a whole world of possibilities presented itself. Because she felt like the most beautiful woman on the planet, she applied for and landed her dream job, picked up a man at the dry cleaners and started walking down the street with her head held high. While it is completely normal to struggle with body image in our society, it is not okay to let it define you or stop you from chasing after your dreams. Just like Renee changed her attitude about her body and found happiness, you can start to define yourself by all of the amazing things you bring to the world rather than by your dress size.
3. An instant cure for negative body image doesn’t exist
As awesome as it would be, an instant fix for negative body image is non-existent. One of the things the movie did not portray well is how much time and effort actually goes into retraining one’s mind to think positively about his/her body: it was all instantaneous for Renee. We only get to see what life is like when we do accomplish a healthy body image, and I think the film could have done a much better job of demonstrating what it’s like to develop a healthy body image in our society.
4. Every(body) is beautiful
This one goes without saying! Regardless of size, shape or weight, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! One of my favorite parts of this film is that it does not encourage women and girls to lose weight to conform to societal beauty norms, but rather to embrace the skin they’re in because they’re worth it<3
5. Hollywood has a long way to go
While I think Amy Schumer is an incredible actress and played the role of Renee very well, I did a little digging to find Schumer is only a size 6, sometimes an 8. While I understand in Hollywood those sizes are considered plus, I believe Renee’s role could have been even more powerful had someone who’s a 14 or a 16 played the part. A majority of American women are a size 16, and if a film truly wants to accomplish helping young women achieve a healthy body image, they should appeal to the average size 16 rather than to a size 6 or 8 to illustrate beauty at all sizes. Hollywood is certainly trying to move in the right direction, but it must consider representing and speaking to all women in order to send the right message!
Well, there you have it! My complete and unbiased thoughts and opinions on I Feel Pretty! Have you seen the film yet? What do you think? Do you think Hollywood is moving in the right direction?
Leave me some comments down below, and let’s talk about it!
I love you all,