‘Dumplin’ Hits Home With Message About Body Confidence


Maci Weathers, Staff Writer

“Dumplin,” a newly released movie on Netflix, tells the tale of a Texas teen dealing with body confidence and grief over the recent death of her favorite Aunt. The story follows the main character, Willowdean Dickson (Danielle MacDonald), living in the limelight of her popular, former beauty queen mother played by Jennifer Aniston. Willowdean is highly ignored by her mother, who is still in charge of the “Miss Teen Bluebonnet” competition. When Willowdean discovers that her recently deceased aunt secretly had a desire to compete in the pageant, Willowdean makes the decision to become a contestant herself. It is a decision her mother does not encourage, due to Willowdean’s size. However, Willowdean’s participation starts a domino effect of “untraditional type” girls who decide to compete in the pageant as well. With untraditional contestants, pageant preparation takes and untraditional approach itself, including nostalgic Dolly Parton songs and drag queens.

The film follows the ups and downs of Willowdean’s journey in finding confidence. The movie sets an example of if one person starts a trend, others will follow regardless if it is good or bad. While being a movie aimed at teens, “Dumplin” hits points that are a hard hitting truth of how discriminatory the pageant industry is against heavy set women. I love how the movie focuses on body confidence of young girls and how the pageant industry plays a role on mental health, as the mental health aspect plays a part in almost every character in the movie. I was expecting a cheesy teen movie; however, I was sorely mistaken with “Dumplin.” The movie is a definite must watch for any teenage girl, or mothers and daughters looking to have a great movie date with each other.