By Nakshatra Shah
Image source: Vogue.com
“I took it off.
I did not want to carry it with me anymore”
I know that your heart incinerates, you hide behind the crevices of those scars, but your insecurities- they are pretty much visible. You believe you’re not a masterpiece when you gaze at the umpteen flaws on confronting the mirror each morning. Trying to fix yourself with contours and foundations, is what’s been on a roll lately. You have a perfect life, in an imperfect body. That’s been pressed and embedded on your very existence for quite a while. You patch those flaws with skin mousse, subtly do away with ideas of your imperfections with a sun-kissed bronzer, and shimmer up your self-confidence with a buildable and bendable metallic finish blush. But if that’s not what you love to do, it is almost like defying your presence. And remember, the more you care, the more you have to lose.
Well, this is pretty much the gist of what I penned down, after watching Amy Schumer starrer- “I Feel Pretty”. Eclectic and revolutionary, this film directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein- is available on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and you might have your own sources to hunt it down. The film is about Renee Bennett, a woman in her thirties, who doesn’t believe she is beautiful. And let me not even get into the usual story, that she later ends up resolving the issue of body negativity, because that’s how most of the films end- on a happy note! This is dedicated to Renee in the film, and real-life Renee’s, we meet each day, have as a part of our friend circle or we ourselves are. We live in a world that is obsessed with appearances, that has set standards of what is beautiful, perfect and flawless. We’ve been long taught and tamed to conform to idealistic standards of beauty. And the crux of this entire issue can be resolved only by normalising it. Promoting positive body image does not have to be a hush-hush issue, neither does it require celebratory standards. Just being what you are and embracing your inner beauty, is what’s normal.
Renee accidentally hits her head, and god knows what medically follows after the accident- but Renee starts loving herself. She imagines herself to be model-like, perfect figured and beautiful faced woman. And to an extent, she musters up enough courage to go and apply for the post of the receptionist at Lily Le Claire’s fancy-schmancy cosmetics head office. She wears all those outfits, she’s been hesitant to pull off confidently in the past. Little does Renee know that, she looks the same and she hasn’t changed in reality. It’s all in her head. It’s all imaginative. Getting conked on the head changes Renee’s perspective about herself. But the film screams out a beautiful message. Renee Bennett earns the affection of Avery and her grandmother. Avery’s brother, Grant Le Claire falls for Renee. Ethan falls in love with Renee and everyone around her simply adores her aura. It is Renee Bennett that all these people love and appreciate, not the Renee she imaginatively assumes herself to be. The film takes us through the hard reality that Renee is not the only one, others also have their part and parcel in the insecurity business. Ethan believes he isn’t muscular, Avery thinks she has a squeaky voice, Grant assumes that girls will love him only for his wealth.
And come on, not everybody needs to be a glamazon, being a wallflower is equally pretty. Well, who even defines what a glamazon is. To some intelligence is attractive, while some find humour charming, whereas others might like several other little things. The list of human likes and dislikes is an endless one, and each day it gets a new addition. Why do we even have preconceived notions of – what constitutes the word ‘ideal’, in the first place- an ideal body, an ideal marriage, an ideal student, an ideal job, an ideal date, and what not! While you may love the concept of romantic dinner dates at high-end restaurants, pancakes and coffee on a nice breezy morning, is what I’d call a perfect date! So evidently what’s your ideal, might not be idealistic for me, and the same follows for all of us.
And as in the words of Renee Bennett- “What if we never cared about how we looked? Or how we sounded? What if when someone tells us that we aren’t good, smart or thin, or pretty enough- we have the strength and the wisdom to say, What I am is better than all that. Because what I am is me!”
Renee feels pretty and so should everyone!
To read more movie reviews, check out The World.