“Don’t go changing to try to please me, you never let me down before -- I would not leave you in times of trouble, we never could have come this far. I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times. I’ll take you just the way you are...”
I‘ve played “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel on repeat on a few occasions and it’s among the older songs that I rarely get enough of listening to. The song reminds me of how greater life can be when unconditional love is present, whether it comes from a parent, friend, romantic partner or even a stranger -- it is something that no one should ever take for granted. Families are often expected to have unconditional love for one another, so when anyone lacks even that much, it is very hard to find that elsewhere, out in the world. I find “Just the Way You Are” to be a wonderful tune, however, because it also illustrates the joy that comes from giving it, not just receiving it.
Expressing love or compassion toward another human being can be powerful with regards to changing one's perspective on what is considered normal and abnormal, as well as possibly even helping people see themselves in a new light.
It kinda has me thinking about that jail scene in “Boys Don’t Cry” starring Hilary Swank, where Lana tells Brandon “I don’t care if you’re half monkey or half ape, I’m getting you out of here!” -- all gender bending aside, that was a key moment in the movie because Lana could have easily ended their friendship or relationship but she chose not to because the person that Brandon was meant more to her than his real gender.
In fact, if X and Y chromosomes were switched for a brief moment, would you be able to tell the difference between who is who at your job, out in public or even while watching a movie? The next time you are entertaining guests at home, play a “Truth or False” or "Name that Movie" dinner party game where players have to answer questions about gender bending movies where actresses take on roles as men and actors portray female characters onscreen.
Here is a little Just the Way You Are: Gender Bender Movie Party Game that I put together to get you started.
Gender Bending Movie Casting Trivia Questions:
What male comedian played a woman named Jill in the movie "Jack and Jill?" _______
What Actress played a man named Jude Quinn in the movie, "I'm Not There?" _______
What male actor played a transgender female in the movie "The Crying Game?" _______
Gender Bending Movie True or False Questions:
Actor Patrick Swayze played a woman named Rachel Tensions in the movie "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar." True or False? _______
Actor James Kirk played a teenage girl named Viola Hastings in the movie "She's the Man." True or False? _______
Actress Julie Andrews played a man named Count Victor Grazinski in the movie "Victor, Victoria!" True or False? _______
Gender Bending Movie Trivia Question:
In What movie did Gwyneth Paltrow play a man named Thomas Kent? _______
Play the game by answering one or all of these questions, in the comments section....
Answer this: What does the phrase “unconditional love” mean to YOU?
Extra credit - the movie poster for "Boys Don't Cry" reads "A True Story about Having the Courage to be Yourself." In YOUR opinion, how can people find the courage to be themselves no matter who they are?
*Want a Just the Way You Are: Gender Bender Movie Party Game sheet, complete with an Answer Key, to play at home with your family or friends, courtesy of The Madlab Post? Just let me know and I’ll send one your way.