The day after Christmas, my mother and I went to see Joy. While my mom's interest was sparked by the fact that she's a huge Robert De Niro fan, I was drawn in the first time I saw a preview for the movie. J Law is a favorite of mine, yes. However, it was the whimsical snow flurries and the brief glimpses of girl power with a chorale cover of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in the preview that really did it for me. And, friends, the film did not disappoint.
I won’t say too much because I don’t want to give up the storyline or resolution. But the film tells the story of a woman named Joy who is trudging through a handful of life’s trials and upsets (and, oh man, you know they exist), but refuses to give up the sweet fight to fulfill her dreams. The movie is about a woman who sees the hopelessness of her situation, sits in it for a minute and then digs her fingers into the thick of the mess and rips it up. Rips it right up with all of its nasty roots and ties, and then slowly stomps forward. In spite of it all, she stomps on.
It’s rare to see a movie that leaves you fuller (and I’m not referring to the food baby that large tub of popcorn with extra butter and super sized soda left you with). It’s even more rare to see a movie that stitches lessons directly into your heart and makes you think, "This is important. I need to hold on to this.”
So, friends, these are those lessons. The things that wrapped themselves real good and tight around my heart as I sat in a plushy blue seat and fell in love with Joy Mangano and her dreams.
1.Your story doesn’t need a prince.
This point was made early on in the movie, and I could have fainted with how happy it made me. This is a love story that has nothing to do with romance. This is a love story that has everything to do with pursuing the fire that warms up your soul. This is the kind of love story some of us never get told because Cinderella is a little cuter than bloody knees, scars and getting up to try again. I get it, but you should read the other one. You really should. It’s big. It’s good. It’s bloody sometimes. It’s lonely other times. It’s real, though. It’s worth it, though.
Boys are cool, but I believe they’re an inexhaustible resource. They’re always gonna be here, dude. So, you gotta chase your dreams and be yourself and write a novel with all of the details of who you are. Then, and only then (after you’re good to go with your own story) should you attempt to share it with a guy. One that’s worthy.
I don’t believe anyone can find a partner that deserves them until they understand what it is that person is/isn’t deserving of. You have to, have to, have to understand the gold in your spirit, the magic of your presence and the beauty of your heart before you can even try to determine if someone deserves it.
WRITE YOUR LOVE STORY, then get you some lovin’ when and if you wanna.
WRITE YOUR LOVE STORY while you’re gettin’ you some lovin’, but understand that the more you write, the more some things will probably change. Either is fine . But know, honey bee, your story doesn’t need a prince.
2.“Jealous” is not a good look...on anyone.
Jealousy ain’t nothin’ cute, but is sure is funny.
The thing about jealousy is that it never ever looks like jealousy. Jealousy looks like shady comments, “stealing” boyfriends (quotes because no one can be stolen, they go willingly), “friends” who don’t clap when you win (quotes because HA…right) and “hate” without justifiable cause.
Jealousy and insecurity never look like someone walking right up to you and saying, “Hey, you did something really good, and it really showcased how not-good I think I’m doing right now and it kinda hurts.” If it did, I truly think there would be fewer broken friendships, more compassion and a ton more empathy. But, doll, it doesn’t. It’s ugly, nasty and makes an ass of itself every single time.
Let it go. As Eve said, “results could be tragic.” For you. No one else. Just you. Don’t do it.
3. You are not your hair.
Growing up, I was somewhat conditioned to believe that beautiful hair is long hair. That looking feminine and gorgeous was somehow wrapped up in long flowing hair that blows in the wind and swings back-and-forth in a ponytail. GAG. NO. Stahp.
Long, healthy hair is beautiful. Short, whimsical pixie cuts are beautiful. Natural, curly tresses are beautiful. Mid-length waves are beautiful.
Taking care of what you’ve got, suiting it to who you are and then rocking it is beautiful.
I have had long weaves, ombre, straight and wavy extensions- you name it. BUT, I have never felt more beautiful and confident than I did when my natural shoulder-length locks were returned to their peak health, and I started wearing my own hair out. I’ve been throwing it into top knots, letting it curl up with a simple wash-and-go and getting it conditioned and blow dryed for a simple straight look.
I love it. It’s me. It’s mine. When I want something else, maybe I’ll try clip-ins. I don’t know. I do know that there is no correlation between my beauty and the length of my hair. That applies to you too.
4.You are more than what you come from. You are more than your circumstances.
As far as social justice goes, there is nothing that makes me roll my eyes harder and faster than people who claim that we (people)all have equal opportunities. My response is always, “…where?”.
No. I do not buy that for one single second. I’m not going to go into a list of comparisons between different stereotypical demographic groups, but I will say that I just don’t believe that. I do, however, believe that anyone can be and do whatever they want. Some will have to work harder than others. Some will have to create a comfort and a support for themselves because there’s no one there to give it to them. It isn’t fair, and it’s sad to think about. But it’s real.
There are strong, brave, brilliant people fighting to close that gap every single day. And they will because they can. They will because every single person, though we aren’t all given the same chances, has the ability to be bigger than the box of capabilities and expectations society sets before them.
I believe that with every single part of me.
5. You are your own brand.
Skills are important, yes. You have to know something. You have to be able to do something. True true true. But there is nothing more valuable or attractive than being able to offer someone something that no one else can, and that’s you.
That’s your sense of humor, your smile, your style, your heart and your sense of being.
You are special, whether you acknowledge it or not. Why spend time hiding from it when you could take it and create your niche in the field you want to go into. Why let someone put you into a niche when you can create your own?
Whether you drop the bucks to see Joy on the big screen, stream it on some shady movie site (no shame) or wait for it to run on tv, I think you should see it. I especially think you should see it for you’re a woman….young….old…in between. I think every woman who is chasing something bigger, working in spite of disappointment or fighting any voice that whispers “you can’t” in her ear should see it.
I would love to hear your thoughts when you see it, or if you already have!
With Love & Glitter,