This article contains spoilers
Whether you have a great love for her or sincere hatred, undeniably, Amy Schumer has been the leading woman we all need to outshine ongoing beauty standards society holds for us. Her film "I Feel Pretty" came out on April 20th, 2018, almost a month ago, and I was just able to see it for myself in theaters last night. It's unfortunate that life got in the way and I couldn't see it sooner, but — all I can say about the film is wow.
Schumer tells the story of a woman named Renee living in New York City who has always dreamed of being undeniably beautiful. This may sound like the storyline would fall short or be superficial, but in actuality, it is a true ideal that resonates deep within both women and men.
Renee is seen in the very beginning of the movie as a shy woman lacking confidence in her soul cycle classes, work life, and pretty much all of the aspects of her daily life. She looks in the mirror in full Spanx armor and you can see in her eyes just how unhappy she is with herself. In that same night, during a torrential thunderstorm she wishes on a penny to be beautiful. However, the radical change does not happen until her next soul cycle class where she plummets from her bike and awakens as a "brand-new" Renee. Staring in awe in the mirror at her tummy and arms, she screams at the top of her lungs, "I'm beautiful!"
Everything begins to change at this point for Renee. Her social life, her romantic endeavors, and even her career projects on an upward spiral. Yet, in reality, the only factor that has really changed for her is the confidence in herself.
Schumer portrays a character that is so relatable for many individuals, including myself. So many truths are unraveled in just an hour and 50 minutes. Sitting in my reclining movie theater chair, I wasn't exactly prepared for just how close to home they would hit. As a viewer I was transported to my own experiences of being disappointed in the dressing room, feeling less noticeable or unable to speak up in public places because of how I view myself, and specifically self-conscious in my dating life.
Several criticized the film for casting an average-sized white woman to tell this story. Nonetheless, the average American woman wears a size 16, and as this is true, Amy breaks another barrier in this movie. This brings up the question of what categorizes a person to feel self-conscious? After all, casting a woman like Amy Schumer, who is more on the average side was the most honest choice. Nine out of ten women, AND men, of ALL shapes, colors, and sizes struggle with body image. Therefore, that is why I found it so important that Schumer chose to include her on-screen love interest's insecurities with his own self, as well as women in her industry who are seemingly perfect.
Naturally, we all have something that we dislike about ourselves. Insecurity is just in the human design. Yet, for women specifically, it seems like the media and just society, in general, tends to tear the confidence we've built up for years — right apart. Towards the end of the film, Renee is speaking at an event when she suddenly comes crashing down to the realization that the image of beauty she has constructed of herself is no different than the person she already is.
She concludes her speech by exclaiming that as little girls, our image wasn't important. We loved ourselves as is and did not care if we had tummies. As we grew older, this changed as a society put an increasing amount of pressure on us to look perfect. The point of this film wasn't to show that women need a brain injury to feel pretty, as many people on social media platforms have been portraying it as. Sure, the message doesn't scream body positivity from the beginning, but it shows the real, gritty side of one's experience with their self-image. I left that movie theater feeling better about myself and with a stronger realization of just how many other people struggle with the same issues I do and I think that's what's most important.
Thank you, Amy Schumer, for being the advocate we all need.