I mentioned in yesterday's post that we watched Mary and Max last night. Mary and Max is a beautiful claymation movie for adults. It was a little quirky like Amelie but heartfelt like Up. It is a tale of two unlikely pen pals forming a friendship. Mary is a lonely 8 year old girl living in Australia with a mother who is more interested in "testing" her sherry and a father who would rather stuff dead animals. Her only friend is her pet rooster, until she starts writing to Max. Max Horowitz is a 44 year old New Yorker with severe anxiety and a love for chocolate hot dogs.
They both have a hard time relating to other people and comprehending the world around them. Mary wrote to Max, asking him where babies come from in America. Because in Australia, she was told they come from the bottom of beer glasses. They continue writing each other with creative solutions to their problems and questions. The movies goes on to tell the story of Mary growing up and Max coming to terms with his mental illness.
They are also both enthusiastic about chocolate and send each other different, and sometimes strange, versions of chocolate candy. But there is something different about how this movie deals with their love for food and being over-weight. Food is portrayed as a way for them to find pleasure during stressful times but the message isn't that they are gluttonous. They are simply human with human needs and feelings. Mary is chubby and Max gains weight after he comes to understand his disease. But he is at his healthiest mentally and happy. He just happens to be fat. I am sure you could watch the movie and get from it something different. That is the nature of movies after all. But I felt that weight was portrayed realistically without the focus being on weight and how everybody needed to be thin to be happy. It was not the butt of all the jokes or a problem that needed to be solved. The characters found a deeper happiness. It was a stark contrast to the image obsessed TV and movies that don't make me want to starve myself, but rather turn the TV off. I recently read this post from "You're Welcome" about why she is fat positive. She says:
I’m fat positive because no matter what size you are, you shouldn’t be ashamed. You shouldn’t have to turn on the TV to see therapists making anorexic women cry, or see trainers shout at and shame fat people.
No matter what size you are, you will enjoy this movie. Being able to love yourself is universal and goes deeper than loving how you look.
It's just as important to love and accept the people around you as it is to love yourself. I can learn from Mary Daisy Dinkle and her struggle. She had to learn to become a grown-up and self-confident adult before she could understand Max and be his true friend. I answered on formspring that my biggest challenge I have faced is being strong and supportive even when I feel like running away. Even when it would be easier. Mary and Max inspired me on many levels, but most of all to continue being true to myself.
(images via google images)