7 Movies Like 'I Feel Pretty' That Will Make You Feel Confident & Empowered
Nowadays, it can be difficult to feel confident when watching mainstream movies. Inevitably, a lot of movies that receive the most attention often portray women horribly or put characters in demoralizing situations. Call it escapist entertainment or a huge offense, but there are so few stories that promote self-empowerment. With the new comedy I Feel Pretty hitting theaters this Friday, April 20, Hollywood could soon veer back toward sweet, confidence-boosting stories that some of us were lucky to grow up watching. In the spirit of loving yourself, we've gathered seven movies like I Feel Pretty that will make you feel confident and empowered.
Coincidentally, the majority of these movie picks are from a pre-social media era, when teens in the early 2000s could wear questionable lip gloss colors or wacky hairstyles and not worry about "friends'" reactions to their Look of the Day posts on Instagram. Although I Feel Pretty directly addresses the status of your self-image in an online world, sometimes the best solution to feeling low is to just pop in one of those old-fashioned flicks about learning to be your best self away from social media.
Of course, the range of films focusing on self-confidence is endless, but the ones below are strong examples of empowerment at its finest.
1. 'The Princess Diaries' (2001)
Lesson Learned: Looks don't equate success.
Mia Thermopolis may undergo an amazing makeover when she finds out she's the princess of Genovia (I'm still jealous of her hair), but she soon learns that her new appearance is not her ticket to feeling cool. Her attempt to chill with the popular crowd fails miserably, and she discovers that she was already her best self with her true friends by her side. Finally realizing this helps her accept that she's more than ready to be a world ruler.
2. 'Freaky Friday' (2003)
Lesson Learned: Nobody has it easy.
In Freaky Friday, Anna and her mom Tess believe that the other has a simple, charmed life, but a magical body switcheroo teaches them that they judged each other's everyday routine too quickly. The same mindset applies to today's habit of seeing someone's social media posts and thinking that they were dealt an easy set of cards. Everybody has something, and we shouldn't shame others for their own things not seeming "bad" enough.
3. 'The Devil Wears Prada' (2006)
Lesson Learned: No job is worth your sanity.
Anne Hathaway's Andy represents so much of us as we leave college and try to find our big breaks in the workforce. To establish connections and gain experience, she accepts a job in the fashion magazine industry, even though her true passion lies in covering hard news. Meryl Streep's Miranda is the boss from hell, and her demands eventually force Andy to reconsider how she wants her professional life to look. The movie's ending is the ultimate example of choosing your own worth over fulfilling others'.
4. 'Real Women Have Curves' (2002)
Lesson Learned: Beauty is not exclusively thin.
You may not know about this pre-Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants America Ferrera film, but it emulates the body confidence that I Feel Pretty wants viewers to walk away understanding. Based on Josefina López's play with the same name, the movie celebrates all body types and even puts emphasis on women lovingly accepting their bodies' cellulite, stretch marks, and other physical scars. Also exploring teenage sexuality and young Latinas' perspectives, Real Women Have Curves reminds us that our sizes should not determine how beautiful we feel.
5. 'Easy A' (2010)
Lesson Learned: Others' opinions of you do not define you.
Arriving only a few years before we experienced the height of reputations affected by Instagram and Facebook, Easy A chronicled a teenager's downfall when she decided to go along with her classmates' belief that she'd willingly sleep with any guy who asked. In reality, she was lying about such dalliances to help the guys' reputations, but her own was hurt in the process. The movie teaches that, in the end, how you live your life is nobody's business but your own, so you shouldn't let strangers' perceptions of you ruin your own self-worth.
6. 'Patti Cake$' (2017)
Lesson Learned: We are more than what we look like.
Patti Cake$ follows an overweight young woman pursuing her dream of becoming a rapper and facing her fair share of both criticism and encouragement. Like Amy Schumer's character in I Feel Pretty, Patti is not this industry's typical vision of a star, but she strives to achieve her dreams regardless. Patti Cake$ also addresses finding love and confidence in where you came from, which is something we all deal with at some point in our lives.
7. 'He's Just Not That Into You' (2009)
Lesson Learned: Others can't dictate what you should have faith in.
Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, I Feel Pretty's screenwriters and directors, also co-wrote He's Just Not That Into You, a more traditional rom-com. However, if you look closely (particularly during I Feel Pretty's opening scenes), you'll pick up on some stylistic similarities between the two films. Bonus points if you analyze both movies even more and pick up on recurring dialogue patterns.
One of the movie's main characters, Gigi, also refuses to become cynical toward finding love, which is a different but just as important kind of self-confidence. Part of what makes you your best self are your values, and you shouldn't reshape them to fit a place or a person that is telling you otherwise.
I'm more than ready for I Feel Pretty to join the ranks of these films promoting self-love. What are some of your favorite movies about empowerment and confidence?