‘I Feel Pretty’ now too

I have struggled with body confidence for as long as I can remember. Lucky for me, comedy saved me. It provided me an escape to my daily struggles.

I vividly remember watching “Real Women have Curves,” the comedy-drama starring America Ferrera when I was in middle school. It was the first time I had ever seen a movie address body positivity and sadly, I hadn’t seen another one until now.

When I heard about Amy Schumer’s new comedy, “I Feel Pretty,” I was anxiously awaiting to see it.

I was not disappointed.

Renee is a mid-30s New Yorker working for the online division of Lily LeClair, a cosmetics company with the aspiration of working at the headquarters on 5th Avenue and to gain body confidence.

After suffering a head injury at a SoulCycle class that leaves her unconscious, she wakes up only to discover the magic that has transformed her body. Her new-found, hair-flipping confidence gives her the courage to apply for the job position, and even meet a new guy.  

Only there is no magic, just a change in perspective.

Amy Schumer’s stand-up is known for having lots of jokes about her struggles with body image, and comparing herself to other women, so this film felt like the right fit. While Schumer’s stand-up is more assertive, the film offered a more intimate perspective at a woman who does not like what she sees in the mirror.

One of the first scenes, when Schumer’s character Renee undresses in front of the mirror, she tears up from being unhappy with her body, sets the tone for the film.

Even though Renee looked good to me, she was seeing everything she didn’t like about herself. Renee thought she needed a complete physical transformation, but in the end it had to be a mental transformation.

I understand that some people might not understand why I am praising this movie because the main character is a blonde, blue-eyed, average-sized woman who is seeking to be a more beautiful, blonde woman. Many may not make sense of how a woman that is meeting the epitome of America’s standard of beauty is breaking barriers but she is.

The movie doesn’t seek to challenge the standards of what is and isn’t beautiful, per say, but rather the self-confidence that many individuals such as myself struggle to have. Renee feels pretty. That’s the major change.   

It breaks the predictable pattern of a girl who ditches her glasses for contacts and gets a full makeover so her crush will finally notice her. The change is internal.

The combination of Schumer’s comedy chops and the movie’s fresh approach to body confidence was entertaining. It left me leaving the theatre with a breath of confidence and an extra pep in my step. I recommend you go watch it if you want to feel that way too.