Prior to its release, Amy Schumer’s I Feel Pretty, received major backlash from Twitter for the film’s premise which focuses on an average-sized, straight, cis-white woman and how she needed a hit on the head to feel confident with her body. When the official movie trailer dropped, Danish Comedian, Sofie Hagen, called the film a “Let me remove her glasses and VIOLA, underneath she’s actually NOT a monster” type of movie.
This film is a classic "Let me remove her glasses and VIOLA, underneath she's actually NOT a monster". When will Hollywood realise that all women, at some point, will just not be wearing make-up or pulling a warm smile? We are all, always, ugly and beautiful.
— Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) February 9, 2018
Because of the backlash, I didn’t think much about seeing I Feel Pretty. To me, it seemed cliche with how it treats the “bigger” woman, who learns to love her body, as the film’s source of humor. The concept reminded me of the 2001, blockbuster flop, Shallow Hal. A romantic comedy about a shallow guy who is hypnotized into falling in love with an overweight woman as a lesson in humility.
You see, the reason why I chose to see this film was because I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to be more than just a film about a woman fighting against societal beauty standards with a can-do attitude.
Obviously, it wasn’t as deep and meaningful as I hoped for it to be.
While the film was less problematic as it was assumed, it didn’t hit the mark. It was predictable and cheesy, and it can be likened to any B-rated rom-com about a girl learning to love herself. While those traits aren’t necessarily bad, I believe in this day and age, a movie on body positivity or any movie, in general, should have an element of innovation. It should transcend the stereotypical narratives that Hollywood has placed on women’s’ bodies, the narrative of women competing against other women.
It’s a lot to ask, I know.
But as an average-sized woman, I would like to see something more from the movies catered to us. I don’t need Amy Schumer to tell me I can be pretty if I just believe. I don’t need to see Amy Schumer give a corny monologue about all women being beautiful to a room full of super fit models. I need a movie with women of all sizes living through the good and the ugly; a movie that doesn’t need magic from a wishing well or a hit on the head to make a woman see how beautiful she really is.
I Feel Pretty isn’t a bad movie. It’s just not the movie for me.