By: Inso Park
Dumplin’, a Netflix original movie, touches on issues that many teenage girls struggle with. The story follows Willowdean Dickson, nicknamed Dumplin, and her journey in performing in a pageant in order to prove to her mother that her size does not dictate her beauty. Willowdean’s mom, a former pageant queen, is so focused on running the pageant that she fails to fulfill her duties as a mother.
The movie is set in a small town in Texas called Clover City. The film begins by showing clips of Willowdean with her aunt who similarly to Willowdean is plus-sized. Willowdean’s aunt served as her inspiration and a mother figure. The two of them go on countless adventures together and when Willowdean’s aunt passes, she feels alone and lonely. She feels as if she can’t turn to her mom because her mom is the one who came up with the nickname “dumplin’” because of her plus size figure. To add on to her problems, Willowdean begins to develop a crush on the popular guy at school and when he begins to like her back, her insecurities start to show. After losing herself a little and a cameo from Dolly Parton, Willowdean regains her confidence.
The movie preaches the overarching theme of appreciating all body sizes and places an emphasis on helping developing girls love their bodies. It also sheds light on the underrepresentation of the plus-size community in the pageant world.
This PG-13 rated movie addresses the issues that many teenage girls face with the insecurities of their body in a lighthearted way. Although the script of the movie is cheesy and predictable, I would recommend watching it if you are looking for a fun rom-com movie that sheds light on some serious issues. Overall, I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.