Living and working in America means, among other things, traveling. Traveling for the pleasure of discovering and getting to know new places—New York is not representative of America—and traveling frequently for work: meetings, conferences, and so on. When I travel, I almost always fly, and I do that with the same lightness with which, where I come from, I go near my hometown from Moie to Jesi (11 km—around 6 miles), or with the desire for escape that spurred me to travel from Milan to Liguria (150 km—less than 100 miles).
Over here in the US, having a business meeting means waking up at 5 am, getting on a plane bound for California—almost 2,500 miles (4,600 km) from New York—and after travelling six hours on a plane and one hour by car being ready to start the day. While the trip there is usually dedicated to a review of presentations and emails, the return often smells of reward. It is during the return trip that I am able to relax, which for me means a good book or more often a movie.
Even if movie lovers will turn their noses up a bit given the sacrifices in screen size and audio quality that films are subjected to on a plane, I consider air travel a good way to discover films that I missed at the theater or to re-watch something that I loved (I’ll save you the information on how many times I’ve seen “The Greatest Showman”). The experience is certainly not the same as at the movie theater, but to balance that there is an important factor: the low level of risk. You have the absolute freedom to explore, to risk with an unexpected movie and to be inspired by the moment.
Forrest Gump’s famous phrase, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” applies perfectly here. My viewing choices on the plane are like Forrest’s box of chocolates: I never know what is waiting for me.
The spectrum of emotions from my choices is vast. I can go from the emotional detachment of a serious movie to the tears of a romantic film. When you travel alone and you’re suddenly crying on the plane, you have all the attention from the flight attendants, whispering, “Is everything ok, ma’am?” I can also experience a big laugh from a funny movie, barely suppressed to try to avoid waking up everyone who is sleeping peacefully around me.
It was during the last trip back from Los Angeles that I discovered “I Feel Pretty” the new film starring Amy Schumer. It was released in April and is already available on-demand (I recommend you watch it of course; see the link for the trailer below).
I’m a fan of Amy, of her direct, light-hearted and positive style. I’ve been a fan since she posed nude for photographer Annie Leibovitz for the 2016 edition of the Pirelli Calendar. Schumer shared one of the photos on social media with the caption, “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, disgusting, flawless, woman.”
I’m a fan of the way she shakes things up. Yes, Schumer shakes things up when she questions traditional beauty standards, when she discusses the role of women in society, when she deals with pop culture issues, and when she questions political choices also coming to be arrested.
The movie “I Feel Pretty” is a simple comedy and can be enjoyed that way, but it also contains an important message. Schumer is the perfect spokesperson, even considering her approach when it is far from the spotlight.
The film is an invitation to reflect on the traditional ideals of beauty and, in particular, to reflect on the value of self-esteem.
Although the movie focuses on an obsession with typically feminine beauty, the reflection that it leads us to extends well beyond the feminine boundaries and concerns all of us and our confidence in ourselves. It is a message about the value of our self-esteem.
Self-esteem is self-respect and confidence is one’s own abilities and worth. So far I am not telling you anything new. What I would like to add is that self-esteem is the perfect companion of individuality, one of the two founding concepts of Comfort Zone Shake-Up.
Self-esteem is in us when we are children, and it evolves with us when we grow up, but sometimes in this process, unfortunately, it abandons us.
The film closes with a beautiful reflection.
“When we’re little girls, we have all the confidence in the world. We let our bellies hang out, and… we just dance and play and pick our wedgies.
And then these things happen that just…make us question ourselves. Somebody says something mean to you on the playground, and then we grow up, and you doubt yourself over and over again until you lose all that confidence. All that self-esteem, all that faith you started with is gone.
But what if we didn’t let those moments get to us? What if we were stronger than that? Right? What if we didn’t care about how we looked? Or how we sounded?
What if we never lost that little-girl confidence? What if when someone tells us that we aren’t good or thin or pretty enough, we have strength and the wisdom to say what I am is better than all of that? Because what I am, is me! I’m me! And I’m proud to be me!
The Comfort Zone represents who we are: our identity, our education, our culture. The Comfort Zone represents our family, friends, work, leisure time, our values, what we believe in, our habits, our rituals, our certainties.
Our self-esteem plays a fundamental role in the very personal dialogue we have with ourselves and with others. And that must accompany the expansion of our Comfort Zone.
The value of self-esteem.
Our path takes shape.
Enjoy the vision.