I Feel Pretty, by Abby Kohn
It is easy to dismiss this motion picture – after all, the public has rated it at just 4.7 out of 10, the critics have not liked it either and the talented Amy Schumer has been under fire.
The outstanding comedian Bill Maher has dismissed at least a part of the criticism, which was wrong headed, focusing on political correctness, which is exaggerating these days indeed.
Amy Schumer has explained in an interview that she knows she is privileged to be white and made some other comments that show her to be a responsible, modest, intelligent, skilled, creative artist.
Nevertheless, there is something wrong with the choices made by this comedian…
If Inside Amy Schumer is brilliant and magical for the most part, Trainwreck and Snatched come close to disasters, at least in this viewer’s book.
There are some worthwhile ideas in this project, where Amy Schumer is Renee Bennett, a young woman who tries to get in shape, tries from the debut of the film to exercise at the gym, but with some cataclysmic effects.
As the protagonist enters the gym, it seems that all the subscribers at this Soul Cycling outfit are champions, their bodies are more than perfect and the rather chubby heroine appears fat when compared with the rest.
She gets on the fixed bike, as the other fifty or so club members and they all listen to the guru, the trainer who comes with her motivational speech – you look in the mirror and you can be whoever you want to be…words like that.
On a side note, some of the trainers at the club where we go here are Black Dogs, Pure Devils like the apparitions in the book by Ian McEwan, ready to beat the customers – an incident happened recently.
As the overweight heroine starts pumping, motivated by the energetic, role model professor of cycling, she destroys the support of her bike, falls with speed on the ground with a loud thud and catches her hair in the spinning wheel of the adjacent stationary bicycle.
An employee of the club comes with water, tries to comfort the injured Renee and offers from the firm a complimentary bandana, refused by the suffering protagonist, who stands up finally to face the world.
She applies for the job of receptionist, in spite of her looks which do not fit the model of the thin, gorgeous type of woman that we see – soon to be history? – on the cover and pages of fashion magazines.
The heroine can do this because she has suffered a transformation, like the ones we read about in fairy tales where Cinderella is so beautiful and the frog turns into a Charming Prince.
The knock on the head has caused a serious commotion and the new girl is sure that she looks like Naomi Campbell – who acts in the comedy – and the humor should come from this, plus the educational message.
We pay too much attention to appearances and overweight women and men can be wonderful, beautiful people – we need to look at their spiritual sides, consider their soul and not the fat accumulated on the hips or belly.
Only research demonstrates that we do not operate in this way, we can first consider Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by the genius of psychology, Malcolm Gladwell.
In this essential masterpiece, the author demonstrates that we form opinions and take decisions based on an assessment of about one minute; the high proportion of very tall CEOs in the top Fortune 500 companies demonstrates the Harding Effect.
Furthermore, apart from common sense and apocryphal evidence, studies show that good looking people benefit from lighter sentences when on trial, better jobs, higher salaries and so much more.
However, I Feel Pretty tries to make a worthwhile point, although the audience might be better advised to read The Six Pillars of Self Esteem, by another luminary of psychology, Nathaniel Branden and get from there the rules and the importance of being confident and self-assured.
When Snow White understands she has not changed – just by asking “who are you?” – and she has the same, old problem with weight, her self-esteem drops to previous levels, only to experience a new epiphany.
She talks in public about the need to believe in yourself, to disregard the weight and look inside, find the beauty within….some would dismiss this and say this is the old cliché and it is just boring.
Well, maybe it is.