I went to see the movie Lucy on opening weekend. This is one of the first movies in a very long time that I’ve supported in the theatre because I really like the premise — unlocking the full potential of your brain.
But even moreso I loved the fact that this is the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in a while where the woman is the main character and isn’t a) oversexualized or b) desperately looking for love. She’s highlighted solely for using her brain.
Now Scarlett Johansson’s character may have been the classic girl “looking for love in all the wrong places” at the very beginning, but as soon as she became more knowledgeable she realized that there were more important things to think about besides finding a man. She used her sexuality to get what she wanted in a couple of cases, but suggestively and not gratuitously.
I try to avoid movies, shows and music where women are objectified and used for their bodies, because I believe women are capable of SO much more. We’ve been told by society that our best assets are on the outside, which is why so many women settle on careers and goals that require them to use their bodies for profit. We grow up with that message — that our bodies and looks are all that matters. (Men learn that as well, which is why they are so focused on looks when choosing a mate.)
Meanwhile men are free and open to any pursuit they can dream of, whether it’s working as a high paid computer programmer, a top salesperson or traveling the world making business partnerships. The social media site Twitter recently released their diversity report and found that their workforce (most techies) is 90% men!
This isn’t a coincidence, this is socialization. Women and girls are being told that they aren’t smart enough to pursue brain-bending jobs like IT or programming.
Sexual Liberation or Exploitation?
Everywhere you turn in our modern society you can find a woman’s body parts on display, whether it’s a music video or a magazine cover. Some call it sexual liberation or empowerment, but for something to be truly liberating or empowering don’t we have to look at the motivation behind it?
When we see a woman half-naked on the cover of magazine, what is the motivation behind it?
– to attract attention of men
– to make another woman jealous of that woman and insecure about her own body so that she’ll try to change herself
– most of all, to make money for the magazine
Are those aims empowering and liberating and if so, to WHOM?
Certainly not women.
The Movie Lucy Has Empowering Themes
In one scene of the movie Lucy, she is underestimated by a large group of men who assume they will get rid of her without a problem. She’s just a “mere” woman after all. Boy were they wrong, and she didn’t even have to break a nail.
It makes me think of how much we women could change this world for the better if more of us chose to unlock our potential, not by using our bodies but by utilizing more of our brain power.
So this is why I really appreciate a movie like Lucy and was happy to support it opening weekend. One complaint: it was too short! I wanted it to delve deeper into the secrets of our brains. I just may see it again to catch a few things I may have missed.
And I can only hope that it’s successful enough to prompt more writers and producers to create empowering films like Lucy for young girls and women to consume.
Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular dating advice book for women entitled Let Him Chase YOU.