I love musicals. The first one I ever saw live was The Lion King. I was eight or nine, and I didn’t appreciate it back then, but now I definitely value every one that I see. The best ones are the ones you can see live in the theatre, but they’re also extremely expensive, so I don’t get to go to those as often as I would like to. That’s why TV and movie musicals are so amazing. I still get to experience the tear-inducing singing and the mesmerizing choreography, but I don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to watch it. So whenever one of these comes out, I’m the first person to check it out.
Around Christmas time, I started hearing and seeing promos for a movie called The Greatest Showman. From the first moment that I heard clips from the film’s score I knew that it was going to be something spectacular. It’s loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum, the man who was responsible for creating the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Even though the film romanticized his life and failed to mention any of the despicable things that he did in order to gain fame in his life time, it did showcase the importance of loving yourself and not allowing the negative voices of others to make you fear being who you are.
Everyone who watched the movie has their favorite song, but mine happens to be entitled, “This is me.” I listen to it constantly. In fact, I was just listening to it before I started writing this post. And I love it not just because it’s catchy and because Keala Settle totally rocked it, but also because of the message of self-love that the lyrics endorse.
In the movie, right before the bearded lady (played by Keala Settle) starts to sing the movie’s anthem, she gets turned away from attending a fancy party. Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer, and P.T. Barnum recruited her to come back to America and perform on tour. Her opening night was such a big success, and Barnum celebrated after by having a gathering with all of the aristocrats who came to watch the show. When the bearded lady and the rest of the circus acts try to get into the party, Barnum, who has become embarrassed by them, turns them away from the celebration. When we first met the bearded lady at the beginning of the film, she was ashamed of the way she looked. She worked a job where she could stay inside and avoid being seen because she didn’t want anyone to have to see her face, but by the time that Barnum kicks her out of the party, she has learned to love herself and to not be embarrassed by her looks. By putting herself out there every night in front of a packed room, she gained the confidence that she needed to stop being humiliated by her excess facial hair. So when Barnum shuns her, she refuses to let his jab at her make her feel worthless. It’s at this moment that she busts into the bash with the rest of her outcast companions and lets everyone in attendance know that they accept who they are and that they’re not going to let anyone take that away from them.
And this message is so important. In a world where people are constantly trying to change us, we have to be strong and tell them that we’re happy the way we are. You might not be the smartest, prettiest, most athletic, or funniest person out there, but you’re who you’re supposed to be and that’s all that matters. There’s always going to be somebody who’s better than you in some way shape or form, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t still an amazing person.
Positive thinker, you can’t allow other people’s opinions of you to get you down. You have to know that you are enough the way you are. And if you don’t have anyone to tell you that then let me be the one to do that for you. You are enough. I don’t know you all, but if you’re out there living the best life that you can live and trying hard to be the version of yourself that you’re happy with then you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing!