Why Dumplin' Is The Movie You Need To Kickoff Your 2019

Ladies, 'Dumplin'' Is The Netflix Movie You Never Knew You Needed To Start Your New Year

Self-acceptance through the words of Dolly Parton.

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I was at first hesitant to watch Dumplin' when my sister recommended it to me. The plotline seemed overdone- the girl that doesn't conform to body type standards finds herself, gets the guy, repairs relationship with her mother, etc. But what I came to find was a message of confidence and self-acceptance I wish I would have watched as early as fifth grade and will definitely take with me into the new year.

The Netflix hit released on December 7th follows plus-size teen Willowdean Dixon as she enters a beauty pageant run by her mother (played by Jennifer Aniston aka Rachel Green) in an effort to honor her late Aunt Lucy and revolt against the beauty standards for which she feels her mom has always been ashamed that she doesn't match.

The best part? The film is backdropped with Willowdean's love for Dolly Parton and features all of the Queen of Country's most inspirational lyrics- Who knew 9 to 5 could be so motivational? Through Dolly's words, Willowdean finds herself and her confidence.

If I'm being honest, I didn't watch Dumplin's predecessor Sierra Burgess is a Loser released earlier this year, but when I compare the film to earlier messages of body positivity like Hairspray and the story of Pitch Perfect's beloved Fat Amy, Willowdean's tale stands in a league all on its own because of it highlights the insecurities of nearly everyone on cast and serves to advocate for an acceptance of all people's issues with themselves. It's not just about Willowdean's weight, it's about her Aunt Lucy's confidence, her mother's realized selfishness, and even in subtle facial expressions the star, soon-to-be-pageant queen's self-perception. In a heart-lifting moment toward the end of the film, Willowdean accepts herself not as a now pseudo-conforming pageant queen but as an imperfect collage of all the things that make her beautiful. She said it best to her mother backstage, "I'm fat. I'm happy. I'm insecure. I'm bold."

Someone somewhere will probably find Dumplin' problematic in a multitude of ways I don't, but it's messages like Willowdean's that I plan on taking with me into 2019. I've always had issues with my weight, but it's about more than that; I've always been insecure about who I am as a person- how I look, the way I talk, the clothes I wear, the friends I keep, the things I like- I've had issues with everything. But what Dumplin' teaches me and hopefully all who watch it is that, per the words of the film's original novel by Julie Murphy, "Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we're all chasing."

Willowdean refuses to conform to the effortless beauty of the pageant girls- she crafts her own lane and in the process learns to accept herself in all of her flaws. What's most important is that she doesn't do it in a comedic fashion in the way other plus-sized actors have been portrayed to do, she does it in a way that feels authentic to her and who she's built to be throughout the movie. It's Willowdean's sentiments that I'll echo throughout my new year- my authentic imperfections do not impede my beauty, they define it.

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7 Things Every Real Taylor Swift Fan Knows Will 100 Percent Happen On TS7

4.26

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On April 13th, Taylor Swift posted on her Instagram a picture with the caption "4.26"... since then, every post since has had the same caption, and fans have been theorizing ever since.

1. It's going to be very different from "Reputation"

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvAdohMF7b9/

Looking at her current pastel Instagram theme, it is very, very different than dark, mysterious vibe from her "Reputation" days.

2. This will be one of Taylor's happiest albums yet

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtuMOFmlDm5/

Taylor has stayed out of the media for the most part since the release of "Reputation", and I believe that she's enjoyed her time, focusing on her music, friends, family, and relationships during this downtime.

3. This album will reflect on her childhood

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwPvbUWjsgR/

In 2016, in an interview with Glamour magazine, Taylor revealed that she was bullied in school, and her mom would often take her to T.J.Maxx after school to look at the opal jewelry in order to cheer her up. On April 14th, she posted a picture of jewelry, including opal. Also, one could say that her current Instagram profile picture has an opal tone to it. These could be hints to Taylor tapping into her childhood for her newest album. Oh, and she dressed up as a "childhood hero" for a New Year's Eve party...

4. ...But also focus on moving forward

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuUrV5hl-5B/

From her fresh, pastel Instagram theme to the flowers, butterflies, and overall springy vibes, Taylor has an airy, happy vibe that yells fresh, new life. Perhaps the album will also focus on her rising above everything from "Reputation" and all of the new things in her life.

5. It's going to have hidden eggs placed within the lyrics

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuRqXqqlshV/

All Swift fans know that Taylor loves to play games and create puzzles for us to figure out leading up to album releases. Why does the album itself have to be any different? Hopefully TS7 will have hidden gems in it as well...

6. Jack Antonoff and Max Martin will be back

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwTItkEDh9d/

Jack and Max have been with Taylor since "1989," and I don't think they're going anywhere. If they made it through the sound shift between Swift's 5th and 6th albums, they can work with whatever new ideas Taylor comes up with.

7. If the old Taylor is dead, I think TS7 will be when the new Taylor fully emerges

https://www.instagram.com/p/BumUfpXFKaL/

There's been some butterfly emojis and imagery flying around on Taylor's Instagram, and in a way, I think TS7 will be Taylor emerging from her cocoon of sorts into a butterfly. "Reputation" showed that she was capable of change, and this new album will show a more mature version of Taylor.

Chances are all of these are 100% wrong... but hey, it's fun to theorize while we wait for her new single/album to drop on April 26th.

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