It's rare to see empowering chick flicks (even that genre name is a little annoying), but Whip It, starring Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, and the terrifyingly awesome Juliette Lewis, was fun and inspirational.
The film is about teenager Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), who would rather skate on a roller derby team than don an evening gown and compete in beauty pageants as her mother wants her to. The following is what I learned about that outmoded term "girl power" from watching it:
1. Your mom may not realize she's keeping you down with the same things that kept her down. Communicate with her — it may help you both.
2. Being true to yourself may not just make you happier, it may make everyone around you happier. A lot of unnecessary tension ensues in Bliss's life because she hides her true self from her family.
3. Boys can be fun, but they aren't everything. Wait for the right one (if that's your thing), and in the meantime, find yourself. To find out what else I learned,
4. It's OK to be competitive with other women if you aren't hurting or undermining anyone. Competition between women abounds in both of Bliss's worlds, the pageant world and the roller derby world, some good and some bad. It may not be as culturally acceptable for women to be competitive with each other, but a healthy dose of it keeps you in top form.
5. It's important to find an activity that not only challenges you but brings out your signature strengths. Bliss is certainly challenged by beauty pageantry — but not in a good way. Roller derby brings out her best traits.
6. Friends really can be the family you wish your family was. (Although you should give your family a chance!)
7. Taking risks in your life can pay off. It would have been just as hard for Bliss to continue with the pageant world, but by going out of her comfort zone and reaching for something that scares and excites her, she comes out on top.