Sunday, December 04, 2011

me on the big screen

i've been asked before who should play me if someone were ever to make a movie of my life. in truth, i've never answered that question, because i never looked to find a mirror of myself somewhere in hollywood. much of that industry is made of 'the beautiful ones,' and since i don't fit into that physical mold, by most people's standards, the answer has always eluded me.

but today, and only for the reverb broads, i'm asking myself this question, and i gotta's making me think some thoughts.

if i chose someone of a certain type (i.e., thin), people might wonder why i selected an actress who didn't resemble me physically. but if i tried to find someone who looked like me, i knew that, just as off the silver screen, people would tend to focus more on my character's outward appearance than on anything else. because let's be honest: if a movie features an overweight actress, most people discuss that FIRST, even more than the plot or significant themes.

perfect example in the recent past: precious, starring gabourey sidibe. now, this woman played a character who had endured severe trauma at the hands of many abusers, ranging from sexual to emotional abuse, poverty, neglect, etc. and instead of allowing this film to raise their level of consciousness as to the scars that such events leave behind on someone's heart or psyche, many people chose, instead, to comment simply on how fat this woman is. (i'm not even going to go into howard stern and his verbal antics. that man needs to be quiet more often than he speaks. but i digress....)

on a smaller scale, i faced much of this same type of assessment from some of my peers in school. to many, it didn't matter that i was involved in service activities, or that i sang, or that i was nice to others and tried to be a good friend, or that i achieved academically. i was the fat girl. plain and simple. and don't think for a moment that others let even one day go by without letting me know it. one of my crowning moments of awesomeness was during a high school honor roll assembly when a small group of guys in the audience shouted insults at me while i walked across the stage to receive my certificate. my mother was there to celebrate my accomplishments. in the eyes of those assailants—and all those who joined the chorus of laughter—it was simply an opportunity to showcase and ridicule the only thing about me that they ever noticed: my weight.

so, at the end of the day, i would rather people focus on who i really am on the inside if they were to see my story. and i wouldn't want them to be distracted by anything in the main character's physical presence, because my film would be equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. and i would need someone good, who could really pull it off. i'm thinking a kate winslet type. someone who's smart and funny yet can show her vulnerability. someone who understands pain. someone who won't shy away from a little drama. (she made titanic, so i think she could probably handle me.)

and in the end, my movie would be about hope in the face of despair. about falling down, yes, but about getting up again, and again, and again. about learning to laugh at the absurdity of life, because sometimes that's all there is. about loving who you are, despite those jerks in school. about knowing that just as the darkness is covering today, light will come to bring the truth of tomorrow. and fat or thin, pretty or plain, the main character would be beautiful. because she is.

In the movie version of your life, which actor/actress would play you and the significant players in your life? What kind of movie is it (e.g., made-for-TV, action, emo/indie, etc.)? What would be the major plot points, and how will it end?—from Emily


Salimah J. Perkins said...

simply wonderful--so honest, raw, well thought out. i love it.

Katy said...

<3 bravo. People see your beauty I side and out!

Katy said...

Ugh damn phone... inside and out...geez

Emily said...

"Someone who won't shy away from a little drama"...fantastic! Thanks for taking on this post...I hope it was worth it for folks. :)


Julia said...


Jennifer Bergey said...

Okay, tears. This is spot on.

sarah said...

thanks, y'all. it was a good exercise for me to think through this, even if it brought up some less-than-ideal feelings....:)

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