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The new Netflix film Dumplin' is a delightful and inspirational dramedy about a plus-size teen Willowdean Dickson (Danielle Macdonald) who goes against cultural norms when she signs up for the small-town beauty pageant that is being managed by her mother and former beauty queen, Rosie, played by Jennifer Aniston. Directed by Anne Fletcher, Dumplin' is based on the popular young adult novel by Julie Murphy, that takes place in Clover City, Texas. The film takes its name from the term of endearment her mother still calls her from childhood, which the high-schooler finds cringe-worthy and embarrassing.

Having recently lost her beloved Aunt Lucy whom she shared a lot of things in common, magnifies her mother’s beauty queen ideals and Will’s insecurity of not being “pageant material”, and tests their already brittle mother-daughter relationship. After spending years of feeling unwanted by her mother who dotes on her beautiful

pageant girls, along with fending off school bullies because of her weight and appearance, Will decides she has had enough. An old pageant form filled out but never entered by her Aunt Lucy sparks the idea for a revolution. The feisty teen decides to start a “protest in heels” by signing up to compete for the Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant to the initial objection of her mortified mother. Will goes on a journey of self-discovery alongside her best friend Ellen (Odeya Rush) and two other non-stereotypical teens who were inspired by Will’s bravado. Together and with the help of fierce Drag Queens, they honour the memory of her late aunt as they embrace all the eye-opening new experiences filled with glitters, big hair and high stilettos.

A fun coming-of-age story that's as sassy and full of determination as Dolly Parton and her music embodies. Although it could have been done without a few moments and characters and the story would still progress the way it did and still serve the same lessons. Overall, Dumplin' offers an uplifting story, that has already been done but offers a message of self-love and body positivity better than we have seen before.

Published in Spesch by Mosaic Entertainment
Dumplin: Text
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