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The Premise of Amy Schumer’s New Movie is the Opposite of Body Positive

Why I Feel Pretty Promotes a Dangerous Rhetoric

Amy Schumer has made a name for herself in Hollywood as the “funny” girl that isn’t considered conventionally attractive.

She’s based her entire career off of that image, and it’s being translated into her upcoming movie, I Feel Pretty. The film follows the story of Renee, a young woman who struggles with insecurity. One day, she falls, hits her head and wakes up believing that she is the world’s most beautiful woman. From there, she is able to take on the world with her new found self-confidence.

My first thought when I saw the trailer was seriously? The story basically says that if someone doesn’t have the “ideal beauty standards,” but still have self-confidence, the person is sort of deluded. Most people seemed pretty excited about the movie, claiming the message was “inspiring.” I, on the contrary, was quick to find others who had an issue with the concept, especially on Twitter.

Within this trailer, before the character hit her head, she was seen talking to a woman who would be considered conventionally attractive. That woman was venting about her problem with insecurity. Schumer looked at her and said she wanted to slap her, implying that someone who is considered attractive should not have any reason to struggle with insecurity.

Schumer is voluntarily and unapologetically spreading this dangerous narrative about women. The idea that women who do not meet society’s expectations on beauty need “brain damage” to find themselves beautiful. What makes the message even more problematic is that it’s coming from someone like Amy Schumer, who actually is not far from what the society values as beauty. She is a cis, white, wealthy and famous Hollywood actress. There are people who are much less privileged, yet Schumer is the one telling the story of not living up to “beauty standards.”

It is even more upsetting that the argument is coming from someone who calls herself a feminist. Feminism is supposed to make room for all women to feel empowered and confident, and this movie completely contradicts that idea. I Feel Pretty is only made for one type of woman- the women just like Amy Schumer. I know I shouldn’t really be shocked, as Schumer is no stranger to being a little problematic and tone deaf, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.

Women should feel good about themselves no matter what “society expects.” Just because they do not fit the ridiculously, unrealistic beauty standard doesn’t mean the only option is to feel negative about themselves. Feeling good about yourself should also not be considered a delusion or vain.

The only “message” in Schumer’s I Feel Pretty is that I need to hit my head in order to feel good about myself. I’ll make sure to thank her for the advice.

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Written by Deanna Whitlow

An internet enthusiast and book hoarder, Deanna is a passionate intersectional feminist who's always either writing or watching a movie. You'll find her with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other.

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