So, with my husband away this past weekend, I was able to aimlessly flip through the TV channels and land on any ridiculous and self-indulgent chick flick I felt absolutely necessary to watch. And while this included my first-ever viewing of Bridget Jones' Diary (This was the movie Renee Zwellweger supposedly gained a whole bunch of weight for??? Really?), it also included a cheeky movie entitled, "Queen-Sized".
Now, I started watching this movie a little more than half-way into it, but it immediately got my attention. It stars Nikki Blonsky - the Hairspray Star - as an overweight teen named Maggie trying to fit in with her classmates by becoming Homecoming Queen. Things I loved about this movie:
1.) Nikki's character, Maggie, is not Bridget Jones' version of fat. She is not slightly plump or the tabloid's version of curvy. She is overweight, plus-sized, fat. Finally a realistic portrayal of an overweight teen who is, in fact, overweight.
2.) In one part of the show, Maggie takes off her shirt and examines herself in the mirror. It reminds me of the movie "Real Women Have Curves" with America Ferrera. Brave, brave girls for showing off their bodies boldly and allowing the audience to really relate - instead of having to sigh along with Bridget and her non-existent weight woes.
3.) Maggie contends with her own version of Edie - a person she personifies as her mother. This character shows up when others are around, but it's clearly only in Maggie's head. Dressed glamorously, she waltzes around pretending to have sympathy for Maggie about those that just don't understand her struggles with weight. At other times, she is demeaning and rude. Mostly, she is as annoying as my own Edie.
4.) The movie shows how Maggie uses food to comfort herself. Her mother finds empty pizza boxes in Niki's room, and the embarrassment Maggie feels is akin to the embarrassment I feel when anyone even wonders about the amount of food I've eaten. During one scene, Maggie's character is being interviewed for a newspaper article, and as she talks, she eats from a plate of cookie. Niki stops talking and points out that the interviewer is probably thinking that she shouldn't be eating these cookies - that she doesn't deserve them. And the interviewer admits she's right.
5.) A pivotal point in the movie is when Niki is fighting with her own Edie, and smashes a mirror, leaving a part of the mirror that show only herself - metaphorically showing that Niki is the host to her own worst enemy and it's up to her to change it.
6.) Even though she still is Homecoming Queen at the end of the movie, she is not fully accepted by her peers and she is not fully accepting of herself. But she's working on it.
This movie is campy and cheeky and even a little cheesy. But it's the first movie I've seen in a long time that doesn't sugarcoat the story - that knowing why we eat the way we do, why we let others determine what we "deserve" to eat, how we view ourselves in a mirror compared to how others really look at us - these are all complex issues. . . and it's not something that can be changed by becoming Homecoming Queen.