Simply Ari: Simply Me
The Inspired Thoughts of a Ready Writer
"My tongue is the pen of the Ready Writer"
I Feel Pretty is a charming film that will resonate in the hearts of those who can appreciate the quirks that help shape who they are.
Amy Schumer owns her role as Renee Bennett, a plus sized woman in her early 30s living in New York who works for LeClaire Cosmetics, and struggles silently with her self-esteem. Renee brings real-life insecurities to light and throughout the film learns how to face them head on. Through a series of attempts to try to conform to modern-day beauty standards and keep up with its ever-changing trends like: recreating hairstyles and makeup looks from YouTube vloggers, shopping at boutiques, online dating, and participating in a posh workout classes, it becomes difficult for Renee to find herself in the mix. There is a scene in the movie where Renee has to travel to the downtown office of LeClaire Cosmetics to personally deliver some reports that she had gotten printed. When she arrived at the headquarters, she was rudely spoken to by the receptionist at the front desk (whom we find out is an intern). She then sees the CEO of the company walk past her and finds out shortly thereafter that the main office is looking to hire a permanent receptionist. Renee (Schumer) immediately begins to picture herself in the role. Though career wise the receptionist position would be considered beneath her current one, she sees it as a stepping stone to be more accessible to the movers and shakers of the company and a place where she can be surrounded by beauty. Later on that day, Renee goes to Target and runs into a tall, model-like woman she met at her first cycling class. In the middle of their conversation, they get interrupted by a man who asks for the model's phone number. When the model turns down his attempt to flirt, Renee is left in shock at how that situation played out. The model and Renee resume their conversation and she says, "I've always wondered what it would be like to be unmistakably beautiful, like you." That night Renee goes home, curls up on her couch and watches a movie. We see that it is a scene where the main character desires more for his life. This of course resonated with Renee. Consumed by her own thoughts and disheartened by her circumstances, she throws a coin into a fountain and makes a wish to "be beautiful." To her dismay, no instantaneous miracle transpired that night.
However, all of her ideologies about what is beautiful begin to change when she falls off of her stationary bike (for the second time) and renders herself unconscious. When she comes to, she looks in the mirror and to her amazement, she sees the idealized version of herself looking back at her perhaps for the first time (though to everyone else she looks exactly the same). There was an internal change that began to impact her in a beautiful way. Her new found confidence begins to shine through which leads to her landing a new job, trying new things, and even finding love. Along the way we see Schumer's character grapple with how to balance her "new life" and for a moment watchers of the film are left thinking that maybe her confidence will dwindle yet again when see feels that the "magic" has worn off. We see her two best friends, her new love interest and even her boss speak life into her spirit and from there, she makes a concerted effort to be the change that she desired to see.
Watchers of this film will come away with the understanding that confidence is a choice and though commonalities may make life easier, it is our differences that make us special and unique. Perhaps I Feel Pretty's greatest message is that demanding the world to take the pressure off of us to fit its mold, begins with a decision to love ourselves enough to stop trying to fit in, in the first place. We as contributors to society should seek not to conform but to change, from the inside out.
Knowing what you know now about life, what would you most want to tell your younger self? This increasingly popular writing exercise can be a very insightful. So I thought I'd try my hand at it. If I were to address a letter to my adolescent self, it may be penned something like this:
You are a dreamer. There will be so many instances in your life where the world will try to change you, but inside of you there is a greater desire for you to change the world. You hope for better in the midst of bleakness. You may not always get things right, and that's ok. Learn to grow through the process. This journey is yours. Embrace it. It is paved with Grace and Purpose. Learn to do more of what you enjoy like writing! Your writing is important. Trust your intuition. Never let the ink from your pen run dry. The stories and ideas in your heart are part of a greater story that God desires to tell through you. Allow the Holy Spirit to anoint your hands and give you the pen of the ready writer. Your voice is unique. Never allow it to be silenced.
In moments of frustration, uncertainty, or when life disappoints you, know that you have an inner strength that comes from your Heavenly Father that you can tap into. The enemy will try to distort your self-image and destroy your self-esteem. Don't let him win. Remember, he is already a defeated foe. Confess in faith what the Word of God says about you until it becomes heart knowledge. Push past those fears that you've never voiced aloud and walk in the authority that God has given you.
Ari, learn to forgive. Don't get comfortable holding on to past hurts. LET THEM GO. Pay heed to this: unforgiveness bears a bitter fruit. Don't allow it to take root in your spirit. Don't be a blocker of your own blessings.
Continue to love Jesus with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Be kind, be unapologetically you (quirks and all), be gentle, continue to deepen your personal relationship with the Lord. Seek Him ALWAYS. Incline your ear to His voice, spend time in His presence (you'll find that it is the safest and sweetest place), be a conduit of God's glory and allow Him to pour into you so that you can pour into others.
Lastly, know that you are worthy: worthy of extended kindness toward you, worthy of respect, worthy of good opportunities and worthy of love. Never forget that you are loved by Love Himself. Your optimistic view of life inspires more people than you know. Your life is the greatest message you will ever preach. Make sure it's one to remember.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.