Being debated and talked about SO many times, across SO many platforms, body image has become a hot topic amongst authors, moviemakers, designers, advertisers alike. It would not be fair to all these efforts to say that sometimes these attempts at encouraging positive body image can fall flat, but they do and often they end up looking condescending, or hating on skinny people.
But once in a while, there comes a campaign, a story or a movie that just touches the right cords and put forth body positivity in a way that spans across media, ages and sex and just becomes impossible to forget.
Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ is one such beautiful attempt and it wins. Big time.
Dumplin’ is a story about Willowdean, a teenage girl who is fat and owns it. She’s a huge Dolly Parton fan and lives in a small Southern town with her former beauty queen mom and has grown up with her best friend Ellen (they bonded over Dolly Parton, who else?!) She decides to participates in the town’s pride and joy, it’s annual pageant because why not?
Willowdean, the main character, is so real. She is confident, slightly insecure, she knows she doesn’t look like what her mother wants her to look like, ie. skinny, she falls in love like a normal teenager, she has insecurities about her body and how she looks, at the same time she doesn’t worry about it. The best part about her is that while she is just a teenager, she resonates with anyone who has ever felt even slightly insecure about the way they looked, and that brings her beyond the boundaries of just a YA novel character.
Here are 12 brilliant quotes from Dumplin’ that are beyond awesome:
1. “There’s something about swimsuits that make you think you’ve got to earn the right to wear them. And that’s wrong. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it.”
2. “Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we’re all chasing”
3. “I don’t get why we call it a crush when it feels more like a curse.”
5. “There’s some kind of peace that comes with knowing that for every person who is waiting to be found, there’s someone out there searching.”
6. “I wish there were some kind of magic words that could bridge the cap between the person I am and the one I wish I could be. Because the whole fake it till you make it thing? It’s not working for me.”
7. “I hate that there’s never anything good on TV on Saturday afternoons. It’s like even the networks are trying to get you off your ass and have a life.”
9. “I get called a freak everyday. I might as well make a show of it.”
10. “Sometimes half of doing something is pretending that you can.”
11. “Y’all girls are different versions of the same story,”
(Quotes courtesy Goodreads)