Guest Post: Sausage Party: A Wiener of a Movie

untitledI’m delighted to resume my She’s All That series with this from my very own sister-in-law. Not only is she the sister I always wanted, Madeleine is one of the most interesting, go-getting people I know, currently making her own film as part of her Masters (and it’s not her first, either) and co-founder of production company, 2213 Productions.

She also gives great advice, sends the best cards and loves pretty much the same things as me, which makes her one of my favourite ever people too. This is one busy lady so watch this space and name, I’m sure you’ll be seeing it in lights some time soon! ❤

I recently saw War Dogs. Not entirely unexpectedly it didn’t live up to its trailer – a ‘hilarious’ true-life story of how two stoners won a $300 million arms deal from the Pentagon. Directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover Trilogy I was a little trepidatious going in given that I’m not really a fan of Philips’ aforementioned work #sorrynotsorry but I was entirely prepared to be won over (as I was with Adam McKay‘s transition from the entertaining Anchorman to the excellent The Big Short).

Sadly, War Dogs is an uneasy watch, never really deciding if it wants to be a comedy or a drama, and unfortunately failing by being neither. Despite Miles Teller being spectacular in the equally spectacular Whiplash, in War Dogs, Teller is super weak as the ‘everyday Jew Joe’ who innocently falls into a multi-million dollar lifestyle on the fringe of legality.

Nonetheless, I came away from the cinema truly impressed with the performance given by Jonah Hill who, throughout the film behaves like an utter cunt, but is somehow still the best part of a movie which was thankfully ‘only’ 114 minutes long, even though I’ll confess, it felt much longer.

I’ve always been part of the Jonah Hill Appreciation Fan Club. I have a thing for schlubby actors with Jew-fros; they just look like they  they know how to have a good time (which works for me as I haven’t worked out since June and as I write this it’s 3pm and I’m still in my pyjamas). So, after watching War Dogs I spent the majority of the rest of the bank holiday in a Jonah Hill Fest state of bliss, consuming The Wolf of Wall Street where Hill is absolutely mesmerising as Danny Azoff; Superbad – which is the stuff that comedies should be made of. And I watched Moneyball for the first time and was blown away because it’s excellent; and I was so surprised and a little bit ashamed I’d never watched it before.

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I’m so glad Hill was Oscar nominated for his part, even if he did lose to Christian Bale in The Fighter (I haven’t seen The Fighter but my husband says Bale deserved it so I’ll concede as apparently it’s 1954 in our household). We wrapped up our weekend with 21 Jump Street which still makes me literally lol even though I’ve seen it more times than I’ll admit to (Hill and Tatum, c’mon), and Hail, Caesar! – and then we found this Reebok advert which made me love him even more.

And then last week I finally watched Sausage Party. I had fairly average hopes from a trailer that looked kinda predictably silly but entertaining enough; I’d  hoped it would be better than This Is the End too, given that Kristen Wiig was in it and she can always make me smile. So I watched; and sadly I just didn’t get it.

I sound like my mother (not that I’d ever want my mother to watch this film) but it was bad. It was lazy; there’s too much swearing; and it’s just…weird. There’s a literal food orgy that I just didn’t get as it was way too odd and sexual – were people meant to go home and jack off to hotdog buns and horny tacos?! I’d also read the props it’d got because it pokes fun at religion, but it’s so sloppy and in-your-face it felts super-smug and I’m bemused it’s been credited for being gag-filled as it was more gag-inducing (I’m thinking of the male anal douching).

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But my biggest issue around Sausage Party though was its treatment of women. They’re objectified and the female food characters are overtly sexualised in a way that the dude characters aren’t – even though the lead sausage Frank is as phallic as they come. Unlike This is the End where women are few and far between (but at least Rihanna whacks Michael Cera when she smacks her ass just because it’s there), Sausage Party feels like it’s unconsciously making a constant nasty joke against women. From the start, the objective of Frank the sausage, is to fill Brenda the bun. I know I knew this going into the movie so I guess I don’t know what I was expecting, but there are so many jokes about filling Brenda’s hole, and ripping her in two, that is becomes really unnecessarily graphic. Also, the fact that her mouth is literally like a vagina whereas all the men’s faces are cartoonish and look like, well, faces – Brenda is a glorified hole with eyes (don’t believe me – check out the merch).

Also, Brenda aside, the real-life women in the movie are all animated to be tits, widespread legs and ass. Told from the POV of the food on the shelves, the camera angles are always upward crotch-shots and under-boob, and as a woman, I felt uncomfortable watching. I don’t know if it was meant to be controversial, like, how you can get away with vulgar material because it’s animation – but it left me feeling uneasy, not least because I was sat in a cinema with a vast majority howling with laughter, and all I could think is ‘Why are you okay with this?!’.

As a woman I think it’s dangerous when female characters are objectified and treated as sex-objects within movies. In Sausage Party women are sluts, whores, bitches. And it’s not just what the men call them, it’s what they call each other. There are literally no nice scenes between the female characters; the buns literally engage in a bun fight because of an upset that threatens their belief their life’s objective is to be filled with any kind of filling. Even when Teresa Taco befriends Brenda and it appears the women are going to help each other, but after a few scenes we learn that nope, Teresa just wants to fuck Brenda too. It upsets me to think that this movie will reinforce movie-goers that women are nothing more than holes waiting to be filled. That their worth is only on attractiveness; there is another scene where a deformed lady-bun is the only bun nobody wants to have sex with in the food-orgy and she is bereft – until – a deformed wiener saves the day and makes her so happy by screwing her. What the hell kind of message is that? I guess one, in a world, even an animated one with singing jars of pickles and radishes, where a woman’s only worth is by having a guy want to have sex with her. And I’m just not down with that.

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In a world where Casting Call Woe regularly posts depressing audition briefs – last month I saw one that read Attractive, yet looks like she’s sadly past her prime: Aged 28-40 – women have never treated more badly. With films like The Other Woman, a movie I watched for the most part believing it had to be satire and feeling utterly despondent when I knew it actually thought it was some sort of sparky revenge empowering film for women. It wasn’t. It upsets me most that in a media where women take up only 17% of screens (despite making up more than 50% of the population) that Sausage Party is worse than most in its portrayal of its female characters.

Because if women are going to take up so little time on the screen it’s essential that when they do – they actually have something to fucking say, instead of just being there to be fucked.

Guest Post: RuPaul, Childline and Me

14063929_1773865192893670_8813665282415473580_nI really love Hannah of Ponderous Pieces and have followed her across several blogs for a number of years (where does the time go?). I’m particularly a fan of her book reviews. We’ve not met in the flesh yet but you know when you start following someone and they’re in your news feeds every day and you end up feeling like you really know them? That.

Hannah is definitely one to follow so I hope you do. Enjoy this post and then show her some love! ❤

A photo by Milada Vigerova. unsplash.com/photos/kT0tsYZ2YE0

For nearly a year now I have been volunteering for Childline, so I thought, what better subject to write about for Christa as the first anniversary approaches of something that has changed my life.

When I initially applied I was living in Aberdeen, having moved there from Glasgow for – as always – a boy.  I found being in Aberdeen very difficult; I was a three hour train journey away from my friends and it took me ages to find even a part time job. I wasn’t adjusting very well to my support network being so far away and to having nothing to do but shuffle about a flat that was a tad “in the sticks” all day.

I am not somebody who does very well having too much time on my hands. I suffer from anxiety, so give me enough space and time and I will string myself up into a quivering mess with worry and stress. I also, as the Dr put it, have” touches of depression” so endless time to stare and churn over dark thoughts is to be avoided at all costs.

So, I was feeling miserable, lonely and without having much in the way of employment, didn’t feel like I had much to contribute – to the world. At all.

I felt under my BF’s feet and didn’t know how to adapt to my new situation. While he was taking everything in his stride and striving, I felt like I was curling up at the sides. It didn’t take long for the darkness to start creeping in at the edges, chewing  up any self-esteem I had. Hours would go by and I hadn’t moved from whichever spot my BF had left me in that morning, I hadn’t washed and I’m not convinced I always remembered to blink. I couldn’t face going outside. I’d spend all day like a housebound dog waiting for him to come home, literally sat at the window from about 4pm waiting for his car to turn into the driveway. The relief everyday when I saw that black Peugeot was heavenly.

My anxiety was getting pretty bad, not the worse its been, but getting there. I would get the shakes just thinking about having to walk the 4 minutes to the Spar. I got into this vicious circle where I believed the only good thing I could bring to the relationship was the certainty of milk in the fridge, but because I was feeling so slow and meaningless, going to the Spar became something I almost couldn’t face. All I had to do was buy a pint of milk – I couldn’t even get that right.

I needed to pull myself out of my slump, I was keeping how I felt a secret from my BF, depriving him of the chance of helping me. A stupid decision, and yes, I got out of it, but with hindsight I should have said something. I decided I needed something to fill my days, having so much empty time was giving my mind too much roaming space, too many gnarly horrible logs to look under. It needs a tighter leash. So I signed up for an OU introductory course in counselling. It was all theory based – lots of reading and researching – exactly what I needed! I found it really interesting and not only did it cement in  me that counselling was an avenue I wanted to pursue, it also helped me step back from my own thoughts and view everything I was feeling more logically.

One day when I was job hunting, a cheery, engaging and very green Childline advert popped up looking for volunteer counsellors. It was the enthusiastic, daring shove I was looking for. It promised the outlet I needed, the distraction I wanted, and the vindication I craved. The interview was the hardest I have ever endured, but I was OVER THE MOON when I got a call telling me I had been accepted.

But, things then went pretty wrong again and having accepted the place I found myself having to move back to Glasgow. Out of the blue, My BF ended our relationship and it felt like I had been hit by a train. Just as I thought my life was taking the right turn it was smashed into a million pieces. So, I was back to staring, back to thinking, crying until I was sick, back to feeling nothing and like no-one.  I resisted and resisted getting my Childline application transferred to the Glasgow office – this, for me, would be finally admitting that everything was over with my BF and I really, really didn’t want to do that. Every time the woman from the Glasgow office called me about it I had another excuse, then another. If I moved my application then I was DEFINITELY going back to Glasgow, and it was definitely, definitely all over.

During that time, I spent most of my time up in bed, I stopped working and festered with my broken heart. But I was saved by a man, no, many men, in wigs. Surrounded by decimated tissues I binge watched Ru-Paul’s Drag Race – and never have I found refuge and peace in such a bizarre place before! It’s pomp and colour, its glamour and irreverence was the exact opposite of what I was feeling – I was a stinking, blotchy, sweaty sack of shit. But it turned out to be exactly what I needed! I found the whole thing so uplifting and beautiful that it managed to shake me out of my trance. I saw life again as some daft, silly romp full of chances for fun and that I could just fucking get through it on my own. I was going to get my head up, hit that runway and sissy my walk.

Before I got to the end of season 4 I was phoning the Glasgow NSPCC office to confirm a training spot and it was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made.

Whenever I have dark pukey moments now I have something to immediately counteract them- something I did all by myself, something that scares me each week  but that I still do. I  feel appreciated – when do you really feel that way at work? – and I like that I have this lovely, giving thing in my life. Hearing a young person laughing at some goofy joke you’ve made, having been in floods of tears half an hour earlier is glorious. Or just having them go “huh! I didn’t know that, that’s cool! I feel so much better” is THE BEST thing. Since last October I can honestly say that I like the person that I am now and that I deserve good things to happen to me. I never, EVER thought I would feel that way.

I have met wonderful people that make me howl with laughter, enrich my soul and make getting up at 4.30am on a Saturday morning so very worth it. It’s nearly my one year anniversary and its the charities 30th this year – I thank the world for its existence every day – it has done as much for me as it does for young people 24 hours a day.

I have recently been offered a full time job there, obviously I bit their hand off, but I was asked: “are  you going to carry on volunteering as well?”

– for the second time in my life, the decision was blissfully easy.

Guest Post: Why I love My #Selfie

13335849_10154323988412022_7277487513200349573_nI can’t remember exactly when I stumbled across Hayley and her lovely blog A Stitch to Scratch but it feels like a good couple of years ago. I’m very glad that I did too, as Hayley has an aura about her than not a lot of people do. She’s so talented as well, knocking up some really interesting pieces, from toys to secret books and more recently, her own dresses. I’m beyond jealous of her skills.

I feel like we’re also on the same page when it comes to the big stuff, such as self-image and loving ourselves, body positivity and the power of a damn good jumpsuit! Hayley also rocks one of the most impressive lipstick collections I’ve seen (something I’ve never got to grips with) and although some of our tastes differ, I feel like we can learn from each other, which is the whole point of new friends and getting yourself out there.

So please enjoy this post by this blog’s honorary Maid of Honour and then check out her blog as it will likely inspire you to knock something up, MacGyver-style (but prettier).

The wonderful Christa invited me to guest post over here on one of my favourite ever blogs, and well, I was never going to turn that down!

I started out wanting to write a witty post about a subject near and dear to both our hearts – the sacred selfie – and it became something a bit more honest.

I’m glad of that, because I don’t tend towards streams of relatively unfiltered thoughts and feelings, and it was quite cathartic to write this little peice of my brain down for you all to share in.

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Why I love my #Selfie

A month or two ago on your average Saturday morning, The Boy and I were getting ready to go out somewhere thrilling like Sainsbury’s or Wilko’s. I’d done my hair and makeup, put on something pretty and took out my phone to snap a selfie.

Then The Boy looked over at me, rolled his eyes and said

“You’re so vain.”
“I’m not!”
“You’re always taking pictures of yourself.”
“Not because I’m vain.”
“Then why?”

– and that’s the killer question isn’t it? I’ve seen a fair few blog posts on selfies, lauding and condemning, and few tapping into the why of it all. When he asked me, I knew what the answer was, but I still had to sit and think for a second before I could answer honestly and with the right words.

I’m so pro-selfie. I think that putting yourself out there for the world to see is no small thing, and it should always be received with positivity.
Sometimes I hear that looking at other people’s pretty selfies makes someone feel worse about themselves, and that makes me so sad, especially when for me, it’s such a tool for the opposite.

It just makes me want to say: we’re all on the same side, ladies. We should celebrate each other’s talents, skills, beauty and all around fabulousness. We have to stop tearing each other down to feel better, or on the flip side, seeing someone looking great and feeling worse about ourselves in response.

I’m of the steadfast opinion that no-one can shame you down by being their special self. Someone showing off their height doesn’t make you shorter. Someone being beautiful, doesn’t make you uglier. It’s so hard to try and stop judging yourself against everyone else like a standard, I know, but it’s also unfair to expect people not to shine a light on their own awesomeness for fear of someone else feeling shitty in comparison.

I’m sure many people out there have their own reasons for taking their selfies, some very different from my own, but for me, personally, it pretty much comes down to self-consciousness.

When struggling with your self-image the last thing you want to see is yourself. You actively avoid mirrors and photographs. Taking selfies takes that fear and inverts it. It says this is me and I am beautiful. I am not afraid to photograph myself, to have that lasting image out there.
In the past decade I’ve gone from a sad teenage girl who physically averts her gaze from any reflective surface for fear of having to look at herself, to the positive woman I am now, readily – nay happily – snapping photos of myself and putting them online for everyone to see what I look like. Ten years ago that would have terrified me, because even I didn’t want to see what I looked like.

Taking regular selfies combats the insecurity that sometimes still eats away at my brain. It’s regularly reminding myself that I’m good enough. It means everyday I get more comfortable with what I look like. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in the way that I look at myself, and selfies have been a big part of helping that progress along.

For me, a good portion of taking a selfie is saying, this is what I look like, and it is good. To look myself dead on and think positive thoughts. Putting that selfie online is I am proud of the way I look. See here, world, this is me, aren’t I fabulous?

Sometimes they never go online and I keep them just for me, as a memory.

To remind me that dress did not look frumpy and sack-like.

To remember that that very bold lipstick colour looked amazing, in case I ever have any doubts.

13941089_10154502260442022_523495384_nI have this one here of the first time I ever wore (or owned) a jumpsuit. Christa inspired me to get one with the way she always rocks hers, but I was so nervous to wear it I put it off for a whole month. When I plucked up the courage to don it, I snapped this selfie, to look back and remember that it did look good, for the next time I wanted to wear it but was too scared.

Bottom line: Let’s face it – who doesn’t like to see a picture of themselves looking great?

And to end relevantly, here are a million few of my recent selfies. Just because. (Though I must admit, my Instagram feed is being clogged up with pictures of kittens, rather than my face at the moment!)

Do you #selfie? Why? Why not?

Guest Post: She Just Might Be Out of Her Mind, Well She’s Got Baggage and It’s All the Emotional Kind

13697208_10153946965846026_8482657056586518980_nThis week’s Guest Post comes from one of the most beautiful writers I know. I’m not a fan solely for the stunning prose and vivid imagery conjured up by her words, I’m also a bit of a fan girl for the frank way in which Lydia speaks. She’s also incredibly inspiring when it comes to her inner strength and I hope she knows it.

Lydia and I met ‘doing nails’ at a short-lived salon in Brighton and although that never took off, I’m very grateful for the talented and interesting folk I met there, which of course includes this lady here. If you like what you read here, which you definitely will, go check her out on her own blog, Belle of the Bluegrass.

It is often said that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. I don’t believe that’s particularly true, but what I do believe is that you can start to love yourself and become more relaxed in your body when someone else loves you. Learning to love yourself through someone else’s love of you.

We all have our insecurities and body hang ups, no one is fully content but being a plus size woman my body image comes under the scrutiny of strangers every time I step out of the house. I hear sniggers and whispers, catcalls and some incredibly confronting comments upon my appearance from people I have never met before. For some unknown reason society has deemed it almost acceptable for this behaviour to occur.

Over the past few years I have tried to take ownership and be happy in the body I have, finding inspiration and courage in the body positive communities of plus size women on social media. I have finally found women with bodies that represent me; looking amazing and doing incredible things. I’ll admit there is still a long way for us to go in changing people’s perception of us, whether that’s within the clothing industry or having TV and film recognising us as something other than just the ‘funny women’ and realising our potential as the sex symbol.

Throughout my life I have rarely sought the approval of others in anything I have done. Yet, when you label someone for long enough, even the strongest of us can start to believe it eventually. The mean words that get screamed at me in the street start to penetrate the force field I have tried to build around myself. And sometimes, if the blow is hard enough and hits just the right spot, a crack can appear. A chink in my armour. These words that I have had thrown at me over and over since the age of ten have taken their toll on my self-worth. Slipping in to my anxieties and seeping into the way I conduct myself daily, these aggressive mean-spirited narrations have altered me as a person.

It took me five months to gather the courage to meet my boyfriend, terrified that he would run away screaming on sight because I am not a conventional size. Of course he knew this before we met in person and my anxiety wasn’t allowing him the benefit of being a decent human and accepting me as me.

Until my early twenties the men I often encountered were still being governed by what their friends might think, regardless of how they actually felt. That coupled with my underlying force field traumas always left me in the role of the good friend. I stopped trying around men, I wasn’t interested in playing this weird game of snakes and ladders. I didn’t want to keep seeing them slide down snakes every time they realised my appearance, even if they liked it and liked me, wouldn’t be accepted by their peers. Living in that weird limbo just cracks the force field further and I didn’t have time for that.
But then this man entered my life unexpectedly. I wasn’t looking to be rejected by someone elses insecurities so I never even tried things like Tinder. This was just a photo sharing app I downloaded as a way to distract myself after my mother passed away. I posted a selfie, always knowing my best angles, you wouldn’t even know I was plus size, but he was still sweet and interested even after I told him.

Having my fleshy curves admired and my wobbly stomach kissed can work wonders for a girls confidence. The parts of me that I was only just coming to acknowledge are entirely accepted and honoured by this man. He is not embarrassed of me as I was myself, standing by my side and telling me that I am beautiful. I think stretch marks are bewitching; mermaid scales and secret silver streaked maps written across my body. I didn’t always feel that way, embarrassed by them when getting changed for P.E. and having other girls ask what they were. Whilst I desperately wanted to be like these confident plus size women I admired, it took seeing myself through his eyes to make me believe that it is possible. I feel less need to try and make myself smaller and apologise for my appearance. He tells me I am beautiful, unprompted, even when I am convinced I am looking my absolute worst. Feeling more at peace and less aware of the looks and whispers going on around me. I have seen my friend, who had her own body confidence issues, become more accepting of herself because of the way her boyfriend loves her.

I am not saying that my self-worth is reliant upon a man, because I don’t think anyone should be reliant upon someone else to feel worthy in this life. Sometimes though, it takes standing back and viewing something from a different angle to really allow you to appreciate the beauty. And with every kiss and sleep laced declaration of love, the insecurities I have had over the years become smaller, beginning to fade away. My nonconformist body is loved by this man and now, in turn, by me.

L

Guest Post: It’s Okay to be Broken or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Flaws

UntitledFirst in my new She’s All That series is one of my dreamiest real-life friends. In fact, it would be true to say that Ms Lightle was my first real friend in Canada and one does not quickly forget that. United by our mutual love movies, amongst other things, Meghan and I used to work together then go and see as many films as we could get away with in one sitting. One Summer that’s all we did because we do what we want (and fuck the outdoors, apparently).

Meghan is a constant inspiration what with her strong writing, sharp mind and unlimited bravery. I want to be more like her when I grow up. For more from Meghan, go visit The Lightle Side of Life (for all sorts of life gems) and That’s Lightletainment! (for more entertainment based subject matter) and for now, enjoy this post. ❤

There’s something alluring about a mess, isn’t there? I mean, it’s overwhelming and sometimes you wish it would just go away, but isn’t there also some part of you that believes if you have enough time and the right tools, you’ll be able to square it all away and won’t that just be an amazing accomplishment? This is a metaphor for my life. I’m a mess. My house is a mess. My love life, such as it is, is a mess. I thought by the time I hit 30 I’d have it all sorted and be living in a clean and spacious apartment and hosting dinner parties on the weekends and curling up with my lover and our puppy at night.

So.. not quite.

But maybe that’s okay. And you know how I know? Because I’m not the only one still sorting herself out. And I know this because every once in a while someone creates a character, a grown woman, who doesn’t completely have her shit together and honestly if it’s good enough for them, what am I complaining about?

I’m speaking, of course, about the female anti-heroes.

Of course there’s already been a lot of inked spilled about your Cersei Lannisters, your Lisbeth Salanders (although I believe she’s pure hero) and your various Catwomen, but since I skew more comedy as a rule, I’ve decided to explore the female anti-hero through a different lens. One that makes me laugh.

bad-teacher-14In the beginning, there is the protagonist of Bad Teacher, Elizabeth Halsey, played with delightfully evil glee by Cameron Diaz. From the second she pulls the croutons out of her friend’s salad, uninvited, I was like YASS QUEEN this is my kind of woman. She picks the lettuce off her burgers and eats corn dogs for dinner. She smokes weed and drinks constantly. She couldn’t remember her fiance’s birthday. She’s selfish, cruel, manipulative, and conniving. Her only goal in life is to get a rich husband. To land one, she needs breast implants which she plans to pay for by stealing and cheating her way to the top. Does this sound like the kind of person you want to have over for Christmas dinner? No, of course not, but that doesn’t stop one of her student’s mothers from doing that exact same thing, which only leads to her making fun of said student’s sweatshirt. A gem, if ever there was one. Honestly, this movie made me a life-long fan of Ms. Diaz. I found her so enjoyable to watch and root for, I didn’t even care what a terrible person she was. That’s the kind of female anti-hero I’m after.

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Still somewhat in the vicinity of “evil doer” we have Mavis Gary, played by Charlize Theron in Young Adult. Mavis eats about as well as Elizabeth and I have to admit I felt a kinship with her when in her first scene she’s seen drinking Diet Coke straight out of the bottle while standing in the fridge. Take out the diet part and that’s me.

Mavis’ plan is even more simple. She’s going to save her high school boyfriend from his wife and new baby by blowing back into town and seducing him away with all the trappings of her (somewhat exaggerated) success. She is missing deadlines at her job and pulling out her own hair but all she needs is another chance with the one that got away. Instead she spends a few days getting to know the biggest loser from her high school. She teases him, drinks his limited edition “Star Wars” whiskey, and uses him to validate herself, all while being blissfully unaware of how her actions might be affecting people. I love this film because even in the end, nothing has convinced Mavis she’s doing anything wrong. She just packs up and goes home. Just like in life.

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Moving on to something even more depressing, we have Maggie Dean, one of the titular Skeleton Twins, played by Kristin Wiig. Wiig has a couple good anti-heros under her belt, if you include Bridesmaids (I do) but I especially want to talk about The Skeleton Twins because of how infidelity is portrayed in the film. Maggie has been cheating on her husband for a while when we meet her. She’s feeling lost and angry and instead of, idk, talking about her feelings, she’s pushing him away. It would have been really easy to make her husband an asshole (looking at you, This is Where I Leave You) so we would immediately sympathize with her actions, but no, Lance (Luke Wilson) is the sweetest, most laid-back, accommodating, and noblest husband that’s ever been cheated on. There’s no question that Maggie has some fucked up views on love and marriage left over from a traumatizing childhood and fraught relationship with her mother and brother. I really understood Maggie and I loved seeing the representation of an extremely broken woman up on screen.

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Bridesmaids was great for a myriad of reasons, the least of which was introducing the world to the comedy of the great Melissa McCarthy. McCarthy is a comic genius, an amazing actor and performer, and a plus size, big boned, voluptuous, fat woman. I adore her. As far as I am concerned, she has never made a bad movie. Her characters are fully realized, distinct, and compelling. Naturally I feel that Spy is her best work to date, but if we’re talking anti-heros, there ain’t no one greater than Shannon Mullins from The Heat.

Mullins should have lost her badge YEARS ago. She is unprofessional, rude, insubordinate, and terrorizes both her fellow officers and the suspects she brings in for questioning. However, she’s also a damn good cop and just as her male counterparts have known for years, you can get away with anything if you have the skills to back it up. She eats the same cheese sandwich for three days and has turned her fridge into an armoury. Her family is mad at her for doing her job but she won’t admit how much that hurts her. She is prideful and stubborn. She has no time for a serious relationship and has to constantly turn down former lovers who desperately want to be with her. She’s fiercely independent, a true lone wolf, and until she met FBI Agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) she hadn’t a friend in the world. Not much changes by the end of the movie.

So if you’re a little crazy and jealous or boisterous and difficult, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Representation matters and there’s no shortage of flawed yet sympathetic women out there to relate to.