One of Netflix’s latest releases based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 adult novel, Dumplin’, breaks through highly prevalent social and beauty norms that women are facing and fighting now more than ever. Willowdean Dickson, beautiful and full-bodied teenager, is beautifully confident in her own skin thanks to her recently deceased Aunt Lucy and her idol Dolly Parton. So confident that she’s willing to take on the institution of highly superficial beauty pageants, in a fight she calls 'The Revolution'. The Miss Teen Blue Bonnet pageant in Will’s hometown of Clover City, Texas is run by none other than Will’s mom (Miss Teen Bluebonnet 1991) who not-so-lovingly nicknames Will as Dumplin’. Will expects this revolution to empower her and others like her but ends up feeling more lost and less confident than before. It isn’t until she finds out her Aunt Lucy had plans of signing up years ago and meets some fabulous drag queens that she embraces all of the fabulous things she has to offer.
So, why is this movie so wonderfully relevant today? 2018 has been the year of the woman. With the ‘Me Too’ movement, calls for equality, and outcries against typical beauty norms, women aren’t willing to fit in the tight little box we’ve historically been forced into. Going into 2019, inclusivity is the name of the game and body positivity is the trend that’s here to stay. Everybody is beautiful, and everyone should feel confident in that; therefore, no one should be forced into a size range, skin tone, orientation, or style. With brands like Third Love, Aerie, and now Peachy Keen Swim fighting the typical stigma around women’s body types, women are allowed to speak up and feel empowered in a space where they may have felt excluded and insecure in the past.There's something about swimsuits that make you think you've got to earn the right to wear them. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it." -Dumplin', Julie Murphy
The female body is powerful, beautiful, and important no matter what it looks like. We must embrace what we, as women, are capable of. A message that Peachy Keen and Dumplin' are bringing to the forefront.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Let your confidence in yourself and your body be the greatest gift you give yourself! Viva La Revolución, baby!
Check out an in-depth movie review for Dumplin here: New York Times.