200 Pounds Beauty movie poster
Whenever I think about my weight I think about how I am a middle girl. I'm sure a lot of you can relate. Middle girls aren't overweight. We're not going to have health issues related to our weight and it's not affecting our daily lives. However, when people tell us we're skinny all we can think about is how they are wrong. We're not skinny like movie stars or people who are extremely fit. We're right in the middle. This means that although our weight is in a healthy area we still have issues with our weight and want to be skinnier. I think this is why the movie 200 Pounds Beauty made such an impact on me. This movie is about a woman, Hanna, who is overweight, and encounters many problems with this. She has an amazing singing voice, but because of her appearance she can only sing for another woman who is thin and beautiful. The other woman gets all the credit, but Hanna really does all the work. After an embarrassing encounter where she hears the man she loves insulting her, she disappears for a year in order to get full body plastic surgery. The next time we see her she is an airbrushed beauty.
Hanna, who renames herself Jenny, then reappears and goes back to her old company to become a superstar. Long story short and cutting out all the gory details, Jenny/Hanna loses her way after the surgery. She can't remember what is important to her and damages her relationships. In the end she admits that she misses who she used to be. Her friends all accept her again and the movie ends on a happy note. After my initial reaction of surprise that she got full body plastic surgery and me wondering where this movie was going, I was pleased. She realized that looks aren't everything and that she was truly happy when she was overweight, even if she wasn't perfect. However, the movie then took a turn for the worse. We got hints throughout the movie that her manager, the one whom Hanna/Jenny loves, liked her even when she was overweight. But, in his narration at the end it mentions that he likes her even more now. I didn't know if I should take that as he likes her openly now that she looks like a supermodel or if because she realized what is important to her he likes her even more. Then, in a twist at the end, Hanna/Jenny's good friend is seen going to a plastic surgeon and asking for a full body redo also. So, does that mean the message of the movie was really that women need to look like supermodels in order to be accepted in society?
After I finished watching this I got to thinking. If the meaning of this movie is that women need to be beautiful to be accepted, what does that mean for me? As a middle girl I am not in the same position as Hanna/Jenny. My weight does not give me daily problems. I'm not insulted about how I look. But neither was Hanna/Jenny's friend and she still felt the need to get a full body redo. So then, is it supposed to be an inspirational story about how looks don't really matter? Hanna/Jenny encountered even more problems after her transformation and even felt the need to hide who she had been. Sitting here drinking my raspberry iced tea I'd like to think it was the latter, but there is a nagging feeling that it might not be. What makes it OK in our society to make movies like this, with a possible meaning that is destructive to women everywhere? I'd love to hear what you guys have to think. Am I overreacting, or is this movie something destructive to body image? Although I basically told you everything that happens I recommend watching it and seeing what you think for yourself. This movie is on Netflix and YouTube. It is in Korean, so make sure you find one with subs unless you are fluent in Korean ^_^