I went to see Book of Mormon on Broadway and during the performance I realised something: We’ve been sold a lie. Not the lie you’re thinking (although I’m not sure the musical did great things for the Mormon faith) but a different lie, one not present in musical theatre. The lie is a simple one: the pretty, thin girl gets the guy.
It’s a pretty easy lie to believe when it starts so early on. With fairytales, cartoons, Disney and Barbie. Then on to teen shows, shows we all watch wishing we were like those characters. Dawson’s Creek, 90210. Shows that reinforce the view being pretty and thin means you’ll get the guy.
I remember doing my hair the way they did, wearing the clothes they did, thinking if I bit my lip when I talked or stood a particular way I’d be able to win over the guy too. I was far too old when I realised that girl isn’t even getting the guy. She only gets him because that’s the way the story goes. I always knew it was scripted, but it was a long time before my subconscious admitted it.
We take it in without even realising. We absorb it. We believe it.
Yet in musicals, on Broadway, there doesn’t seem to be the same standard. The main girl in this one wasn’t a size 8. She had a bit of a belly. Another was much bigger, and it wasn’t part of her role or somehow used as comic fodder. It was never once acknowledged. She just was.
It was half way through the first act I realised how refreshing it was for the way someone looked to be completely ignored. And only a few seconds before I realised how sad it was that was refreshing.
There is so much out there telling us the same thing over and over: to be loved, to be worthy, you have to look a certain way, be a certain thing.
But you don’t. We’ve been sold a lie. And we buy it. Over and over again. We believe this construct that has been created purely to sell us things. To sell us makeup, clothes, hair dye, diet products. To make us believe if only we had that or were that, we would be worthy. We would be able to be loved.
But it’s bullshit.
You are beautiful. You are worthy. You don’t need to buy the lie.
What lies do you believe? Have you ever changed the way you did something because of a movie?