My Issue with the Movie, I Feel Pretty

Feminism is widely spread throughout the world of cinema. Over the more recent years, women have been the lead role in many hit movies like Mamma Mia!, The Hunger Games, Star Wars, and many Marvel movies. Though all of the movies mentioned were big hits for each their own reasons, I Feel Pretty starring Amy Schumer was in my opinion, quite the opposite. I Feel Pretty was released in 2018, and is about a normal woman, Renee, who struggles with self confidence and body image issues in a world full of skinny women. At one point, Renee wakes up with new found confidence and believes that she can take over the world. With this confidence, Renee does things she never would have before until she realizes that she never looked any different with or without confidence. The incredibly misleading trailer is below:

The movie was directed by a man, Marc Silverstein, but to my surprise was also produced by Amy Schumer herself. Though the movie had good intentions by talking about body positivity and confidence, it was portrayed horribly and left a bad taste in the mouth of a young woman, myself, who is pretty similarly shaped to Schumer. The first issue I had with this movie was the fact that Schumer played the role of Renee, the woman who was a little thicker than the rest and who was picked on and looked down upon for her weight. (If you don’t know what Amy Schumer looks like, scroll to the bottom of this post.) Schumer is an incredibly beautiful and average sized woman. She is not big, not incredibly skinny, she is right in the middle. My issue is that the movie made her seem like she was not socially acceptable because of what she looked like. They took a woman who is not overweight, but who the majority of us fit in with, and make her character the one who “does not belong”. This gives the audience the interpretation that women who look like Schumer are not ideal when it comes to what a woman “should look like”.

Renee has the belief that if she was skinny and looked “beautiful” like the skinny women that she envies, that she would have everything that she ever wanted. Renee inevitably suffers a head injury that makes her have the confidence of the many women that she has always wanted to look like, and she spends the majority of the movie doing things that she never would have done before. For example, Renee interviews for a job that she thought she wasn’t pretty enough for before she hit her head, but even though her looks actually haven’t changed she goes for it. The women giving the interview immediately point out that she is not the ideal “look” for their company, seen in this clip below:

The judgmental women throughout the movie are beyond confused as to why Renee is so confident, but we see that Schumer has her character truly truly believing that she is now the ideal size when the viewers and people around her can see that she has not changed at all. Throughout the movie, Renee’s confidence grows rapidly, she is being handed opportunity after opportunity, gaining romantic relationships, portraying to the audience that this is how you get what you want, but only if you’re confident. This threw me off because in my case, it is simply not true. You can look like Schumer and have her confidence, but still not get those things. 

To me, the movie is sending the message that you’re going to have to smack your head really hard, have a miracle happen, and become a crazed person who can’t see who they really are, if you want to feel like you fit in. I believe that Schumer was trying to spread a positive message about body positivity and confidence, and for many people it was. But for some people like me, who struggle immensely with those issues, it hit all the wrong spots and actually made me feel worse about myself by the end of the movie. It caused me to question things like, “Am I Renee? Do other women look at me differently simply because I’m not built like them?”, and it shouldn’t have done that. If the producers and directors wanted to send those positive messages that they were trying to send, they needed to have done something a little more along the lines of “learning to love yourself the way you are” showing multiple women with multiple body types as to not pick one out of the line, and without a head injury and a crazed character. 

Some questions I have:

If you have seen this movie, do you agree or disagree with the message they sent?

Do you think that Amy Schumer should have played Renee? Why or why not?

What are your thoughts and ideas about how the producers could have sent their messages in a much better way for ALL women? 

(The beautiful and NOT big Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty.)

Assignment Week of 2/22

Assignment Week of 2/22

Emily Hobbs


Prof. Simpson


          In May of 2014, a sexually frustrated and deranged 22-year old named Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree to “exact his revenge” on women. His intentions were to slaughter the women who denied him as well as the men who benefited from the love and affection of those women. The day before the massacre, Rodger uploaded a 22 minute video ( explaining his sexual misfortunes along with a 137 page manifesto explaining his life, his misery and his detailed plan of revenge. Six people died, 3 of them being his male roommates, and 14 people were injured.  (YouTube link to a news video: ) This horrifying display of male entitlement, sexism, and violence speaks for itself about the discrimination against women and the fear we rightly experience. 

          Following the killings emerged a #YesAllWomen movement on twitter, where thousands of women shared their experiences of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence. A similar hashtag for the opposite sex, #NotAllMen, existed before the killings as a plea from men that not all of them are sex-crazed, violent, women-hating killers. This prompted the rise of response from women that is the #YesAllWomen movement. In Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me, she discusses the 2014 massacre and the gun violence that results from male fury and sexual entitlement. Solnit references a tweet by Jenny Chiu that sums up the argument well: “Sure #NotAllMen are misogynists and rapists. That’s not the point. The point is that #YesAllWomen live in fear of the ones who are.” (Solnit, 125) This further explains the idea that women are merely pieces of meat to some men, a wife to make them a sandwich, and a being to owe them sex. This was definitely the mentality of Elliot Rodger, who could be the picture above the definition of “male entitlement.” Most women have experienced a man like this or a situation that warranted fear. If any woman hasn’t, there’s little chance that she won’t sometime in the future. 

          In the Netflix documentary “Feminists: What were they thinking?”, women in the movement were fighting to be heard, to be more than housewives, to be seen and allowed the basic freedom to be who they are. Their argument was that all women are in this struggle together, experiencing the same oppressions, judgments and harassments for their sex alone. This rightly based fear of harassment is why we carry pepper-spray in cute heart shaped bottles on our keychains. It is why we check our backseat before we drive, walk swiftly to our cars at night, and why we are careful to always look over our shoulders in public when alone. We, as women, are targets of male entitlement, sexual violence and abuse. The feminists of the late 20th century knew it, Rebecca Solnit knew it, and the #YesAllWomen movement knew it too. It is a scary world to live in where men like Elliot Rodger exist who have a vendetta against women and a violent urge for “retribution”. That is why Solnit encourages us to speak out and be heard about our experiences. Words matter. Language is powerful. Our voices mean something. Sexual harassment and violence has become too normalized in our society. “Rape culture” describes a society where such actions are normalized because of attitudes towards gender-based violence and sexuality. Men should be held accountable with more than a slap on the wrist and a congratulations. Women are worth it. Our experiences and stories are real, true and sadly still not believed. I hope for a world where my daughters and granddaughters won’t fear walking to their cars at night, and will sleep more soundly knowing that there is a society fighting for their safety.

The United States Supreme Court and Women

Brianna Reyes

According to an article provided by the ACLU, the United States Supreme Court made two decisions last week that proved an “alarming” disinterest in protecting women. The headline itself sounded alarming if you ask me. At first, I was expecting normal Supreme Court decisions, and although a sad article to read I thought it would be a good topic to focus on with the things we have discussed in class. Violence is one of the main issues Hooks discusses and the documentary as well. Although I believe violence is never ok, the story of Lisa Montgomery raised some red flags and questions in my eyes. The Supreme Court made one decision about a drug used for abortion and another on a person’s life.

The first action the court decided on was a drug used for abortion by medication and miscarriages. The drug is called Mifepristone; this medication is proven to be safe and effective and has been approved by the FDA for 20 years. The Supreme Court reinstated a policy that makes the patients travel to a health center to pick up the pill and sign a form, but during a pandemic.

This article states the problem with this policy is patients are traveling during Covid-19 and rather than allowing patients access to abortion care without putting their lives at risk, they decided to reinstate a policy during a time where we are supposed to reduce travel and stay home. I agree because I don’t understand the logic of putting more lives at risk and exposure to the virus by forcing them to travel to obtain a medication that has been proven to be safely effective.

Not only does this article state it could be deadly, but they also continue to talk about the second action the Supreme Court decided on. Lisa Montgomery. I honestly didn’t know who she was until I researched this article. She was sentenced to death for the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett.

According to this article, the last woman that was executed by the federal government was Ethel Rosenberg, in 1953. Lisa Montgomery was abused and experienced traumatic “sexual violence and torture.” If you know Ethel Rosenberg, she was convicted of conspiring with the Soviets to give them U.S atomic secrets. Well, those two crimes are completely different, to me at least. Montgomery was abused and raped by her stepfather in her own home. Her mother “trafficked her to countless men to pay the bills.” This article continues to discuss the traumatic experiences Montgomery has gone through and I can’t express the worry and fear this article put in me.

With these experiences, she developed mental illnesses which were documented and reported over the years and she didn’t even understand why she was being executed at the time of her death. Her lawyers filed what is called a clemency petition, with Trump’s administration. The administration never responded. The petition stated to have her death sentence changed to life without parole. In my opinion, although wrong for her to kill her abuser, she was traumatized. That type of violence can take a toll on someone. Although our current president opposes the death penalty, and her execution was supposed to be put on hold to consider legal challenges; the Supreme Court decided to move forward.

This article continues to talk about how it is “unsurprising” that Trump’s administration disregarded the issue and women’s lives. The end of the article ends with the “the majority of the Court did not even bother to explain its decisions. But to women, its silence spoke volumes.”

As someone who wants to eventually work in the legal field and as a woman, this is disturbing to me. I would never tolerate or condone any violence. However, Montgomery’s lawyer’s petition and requests were not unreasonable. Executing her is. I strongly believe the court should have considered this alternative, rather than taking a woman’s life who was abused and tortured, not protected by her family. In addition, the decision made about abortion shows they would rather risk a person’s life to travel, rather than relying on scientific evidence and the FDA approval for a drug that has been deemed safe and effective. It goes to show how the court disregards important information when making decisions that impact people’s lives and have very serious consequences.

I know this was a little off-topic, but I wanted to see how you all felt about the Supreme Courts’ decisions last month and about the way the Trump administration ignored this issue but pardoned two rappers before he left office.

The issues that matter are being disregarded and although this one woman’s life, like the article, said their “silence” speaks volumes.

Here is the article!

Mar, Ria T. “ACLU News & Commentary.” American Civil Liberties Union, 19 Jan. 2021,


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