In under three minutes, the character Gina (played by Rosie O’Donnell) in the 1996 movie ‘Beautiful Girls’ fully and vulgarly explains the programming of the male mind when it comes to how they view and appreciate women. The two males in the scene, played by Matt Dillon and Timothy Hutton, perfectly represent a fully programmed mind and give us all an opportunity to see a perspective that we all need to shed.
(WARNING: This scene contains mature subject matter, brief nudity and coarse language)
Prior to a recent stroll through netflix I had never heard of the film ‘Beautiful Girls’ and even upon initially seeing it, not much of the description really appealed to me. When I noticed that one of my favorite actresses Natalie Portman was in the film, my interest level grew enough to the point where I decided to watch it and I’m glad that I did. The film itself isn’t overly entertaining, but this scene on it’s own left enough of an impact to not only standout but also inspire me to share it with all of you.
The three minute rant perfectly executed by Rosie O’Donnell sheds light on the unrealistic expectations that the mass media (magazines, television, etc.) regularly thrusts upon the male psyche. Men are pushed to become not only attracted, but in many cases obsessed with both the female body and a version of it that isn’t even naturally attainable or real. The ripple effect of this can often be quite extensive for both males and females. Males can develop:
- A very harsh judgement system towards how they value women
- An obsession with being with a female like they see portrayed in the media
- A lack of appreciation and respect for the “ordinary” women they come in contact with
Females on the other hand can develop:
- A feeling of inadequacy by comparison to the standards they are being judged against
- An obsession with “perfecting” themselves in any ways possible to get themselves closer to what the media portrays
- A lack of appreciation for who they truly are, and the natural beauty that they all boast
For me, this scene served as a perfect reminder of the programming I have been actively working to try and shed. Ultimately, without the definitions of beauty, every single one of us on this planet are both unique and naturally beautiful in our own way. It’s up to us as individuals to choose to no longer judge or evaluate ourselves or those around us based on what, for so many of us, now seems intuitively normal. In my opinion we can still have preferences, but to let those preferences shape how we value or devalue each other is a whole other story… just as Rosie’s character Gina says (although being a bit overdramatic):
…and you guys as a gender, have got to get a grip. Otherwise the future of the human race is in jeopardy.
If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the film ‘Beautiful Girls’ both for this scene and to see if any other parts of it stood out for you. Speech aside, Natalie Portman’s performance as a 15-year-old -much like her incredible performance as a 13 year old in ‘Leon The Professional’ -was impressive enough to make the film watch-worthy.
Be sure to also check out another related video/write-up I shared about why we can’t let the beauty industry shape our children by clicking HERE.
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