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Love Your Body: Movie Night Suggestions

Here's a short list of thought-provoking films that should spark an interesting dialogue at your next movie night. These flicks feature positive female role models who are struggling with body image issues or other challenges that women and girls face every day in our society. Suggestions submitted by NOW staff and interns.

This independent drama tells the story of Lydia and Darcy. The women meet when Darcy, a recovering anoerxic, tries to join the fat acceptance group to which Lydia belongs. When the two become friends it sheds light on the unexpected similarities between them and the often complicated way women view their bodies. 2008.
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The Secret Life of Bees
To escape her cruel, angry father and discover the truth about her late mother's past 14-year-old Lily flees with her caregiver and friend Rosaleen to a South Carolina town where she's taken in by the bee-keeping Boatwright sisters. Surrounded by the unexpected love, grace and spirituality she encounters there, Lily forms a bond with each of these uniquely gifted women. 2008.
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Mama Mia!
Set to the songs of ABBA, this story about a young woman who wants to get to know her father before she weds might inspire more singing than disucssion, but what's wrong with that?! And it stars Meryl Streep, so what more do we need to say? 2008.
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Akeelah and the Bee
Akeelah is an 11-year-old girl livign in south L.A. Spelling words was a way for her to connect to her father, who was killed when she was six. A bright student, Akeelah has been skipping class and is barely passing when her principal persuades her to enter the school's spelling bee. 2006.
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North Country
Based on a true story about the woman who endured a hostile work environment and went on to become the lead plaintiff in the first successful sexual harassment class action lawsuit in the U.S., brought against the Eveleth Mines in northern Minnesota in 1988. 2005.
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A beautiful native Mexican woman becomes the housekeeper for the affluent, yet troubled, Clasky family. The result is a wittily perceptive collision of cultures and values, and a refreshingly honest look at such life-altering commitments as marriage, parenting and devotion to family. 2004.
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Real Women Have Curves
This movie introduced America Ferrera to audiences before her popular television show, Ugly Betty. Ferrera stars as Ana, a first generation Mexican-American teenager torn between her mainstream ambitions and her cultural heritage. Ana's old-world parents feel that she should help provide for the family after graduating high school, rather than attend college. 2002.
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Tortilla Soup
Three adult daughters, who share a home with their old-fashioned, Mexican-American father, search for personal fulfillment outside the family circle. 2001.
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How Stella Got Her Groove Back
While vacationing in Jamaica, successful stock broker Stella falls for a dashing, and much younger, islander. Their romance forces her to reevaluate her concepts of love and sex, as well as work and motherhood. Based on the best-selling novel by Terry McMillan. 1998.
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G.I. Jane
Demi Moore stars as the first female candidate for the U.S. Navy SEALS commando force in a brutal movie that illustrates just how unwelcome women often are in male-dominated domains. 1997.
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Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.
17-year old Chantel Mitchell has dreams of graduating early from high school, going to college and becoming a doctor. And she wants to escape the poor Brooklyn neighborhood where she's grown up. She knows she won't make the same mistakes that have sidelined so many of her friends. Then Chantel discovers she's pregnant. And for the first time in her life she doesn't know what to do. 1992.
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Fried Green Tomatoes
The story of a transcendent friendship between two young women living in Georgia in the 1930s, who manage to survive the hardships of life, despite racism, prejudice and the pressures of trying to live their lives as individuals in a closed-minded society. The story is framed through the eyes of two contemporary women who are forming their own special bond. 1991.
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Even more woman-positive movie suggestions:

Stories about family and friends:
A League of Their Own*
Anotnia's Line
The First Wives Club
Gas Food Lodging*
How to Make an American Quilt*
The Joy Luck Club
Now and Then*
Steel Magnolias
Waiting to Exhale

Iron Jawed Angels*
Vera Drake
Mona Lisa Smile*
The Contender
9 to 5
Boys on the Side*
The Burning Bed
If These Walls Could Talk (1 or 2)
Norma Rae

Disturbing but honest:
The Accused
Boys Don't Cry
Thelma and Louise
The Color Purple
Desert Bloom*
Eve's Bayou*
The Piano

Women in action:
Run Lola Run
Courage Under Fire

Enlightened romance:
Under the Tuscan Sun
Chutney Popcorn
A Walk on the Moon
Desert Hearts
Muriel's Wedding*
Shakespeare in Love
Shirley Valentine
The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love*

Appropriate for girls:
Whale Rider*
Ever After*
Harriet the Spy
Little Women*

* - these movies may be of particular interest to teens/young women.

Send us your movie suggestions to add to the list.

Buy these videos and other Love Your Body products from NOW Foundation

Hollywood Smoke & Mirrors (video) : Some women and girls are literally dying to fit the images they see on television and in movies. Featuring interviews with actress Tyne Daly, former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, activist Dolores Huerta, author Urvashi Vaid and others, including several teens.

Redefining Liberation (video): Advertising—particularly from the tobacco, fashion and alcohol industries—affects women's body image, health and self esteem. Featuring appearances by former NOW President Patricia Ireland, author Gloria Steinem and others, including former top models, community activists and young feminists.

Belly Dance for Girls of All Ages: This DVD is fun, safe and provides hours of enjoyment, inspiring movement with creative expression. This form of dance is proven to build confidence, gives girls (and women) a strong self body image and is a fun way to exercise. So grab your friends, pop in the DVD and get started! Special Feature: choice of English, Spanish, French, German or Italian.

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