Guest Author - Cassandra George Sturges
If negative body images are constructed by overexposure to popular culture’s unrealistic, idealized, airbrushed super skinny models, actresses, and entertainers in the media-- positive body images can be created by watching movies that promote high self-esteem, show a variety of body sizes, shapes and ages and /or celebrate women achieving their goals and dreams despite their age, gender, or physical appearance.
I have my own private collection of positive body image movies that I keep in my office drawer that I watch frequently because they make me laugh --but ultimately these movies help me to feel good about myself because I can identify with inner struggles of the characters. If you are looking for a few movies that address body image issues in the media consider viewing some of the following movies:
Phat Girlz is a movie about a plus-size woman, who is played by one of my all time favorite gorgeous, funny actresses, Mo’Nique, who tries hard to lose weight and make her dreams come true as a fashion designer. Somehow her inability to love and accept herself makes it difficult for her to accept love and assertively pursue her dream. One of things that I don’t like about this movie is that indirectly this movie is taking a psychological jab at women who are smaller or women who are health conscious. As a society we don’t need to put-down another body size in order to feel good about ourselves. I think this movie should be for mature audiences only due to the love scenes, even though there is absolutely no nudity. With this point in mind, overall, I think this movie is an excellent movie that promotes size acceptance for full-figured women.
It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep, whom I absolutely adore, and Alec Baldwin is a move about a middle-aged , divorced mother of 3 young adult children who finds herself having an affair with her ex-husband. Meryl Streep is fabulously beautiful and confident in this movie as she is wooed by her ex-husband, played by Alec Baldwin, and by her building contractor, Adam, played by Steve Martin. Some critics believe that this movie is saying that a woman cannot be a whole person without a man in her life. I think that this is a movie that celebrates the beauty of women as they age and it’s refreshing to see actresses as feminine and desirable mates beyond their twenties. Again this is a movie for mature audiences due to scenes of marijuana usage.
Love & Basketball
Love & Basketball is a movie that forces viewers to question society’s expectations for stereotypical, female gender role behaviors. This movie beckons the questions: Is a woman defined by what she looks like; her role in relations to others; or by her choice of career… Is it possible for women to have it all? I love this movie because it breaks the rules about femininity and gender roles; yet still satisfies that part of me that believes in love. There is no nudity in this movie, but there is a love scene that may not be appropriate for children under 17.
Something’s Gotta Give
Something’s Gotta Give starring Diane Keaton, who is simply gorgeous, and Jack Nicholson who is one of my all-time favorite actors, is a movie similar to It’s Complicated in that it deals with body image, youth, beauty, and aging in the media. Diane Keaton has a scene where there is full-frontal nudity that could be inappropriate for younger viewers. The scene is not sexual in nature, but tries to debunk the views that we have about women who do not have perfect or young bodies. What gives in this movie is the ultimate peace that we find within ourselves when we truly accept who we are.
I was not paid to review or purchase any of the movies listed in this article. All movies tickets or DVDs were purchased with my own money.