In honor of Pride Month, the theme for this week’s Monday Movie Meme revolves around what it means to be proud of who you are. June 28th marked the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots -- a violent, six-day standoff between members (and allies) of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities and the New York City Police Department. What is “acceptable” in terms of ones social scene hasn't changed much in America regardless of whatever sexual orientation (or race, class, gender, age, religion or political affiliation) or sub-cultures you belong to.
So, I have a lot of respect for people who are unabashedly themselves in a world that tells them their “self” is not worthy of basic civil liberties that are bestowed upon others, such as being free of harassment and prejudice, and treats them as such. Share on your blog or in the comments section, movie characters that embody what “Pride” means to you. The term itself encompasses different meanings for me including the importance of two things:
Taking Pride in your Appearance
There is a scene in the action film Bad Boys II when Miami police detective Marcus Burnett and his partner Mike Lowry are on their way to retrieve an inmate who has information that would help them bust a drug operation.
After noticing Mike wearing a nice suit, Marcus sarcastically asks “are you a cop, or a model?” to which Mike rebuffs “I threw something on, I like looking good.” I believe that Mike embodies what it means to take pride in your appearance because he practices a form of self-care that makes him feel good about himself. In addition to being prompt, articulate and well-educated, Las Vegas teacher Eugene Simonet in the drama Pay It Forward is also an example of what it means to take pride in one’s appearance – his clothes and hair are always clean and neat.
Although Mr. Simonet wears sneakers with his dress pants most of the time and might not hold a candle to Mike Lowry’s fancy wardrobe selections, this strict teacher still keeps himself well put together and I believe that makes a huge difference in whether you’re able to face the outside world with confidence or not.
Hiding away in unkempt frocks may feel comfortable but showing yourself that you are worth the effort helps in being proud of who you are; it’s nice when you like what you see when you look in the mirror!
Taking Pride in your Work
One of the film festivals that I submitted my military homecoming drama Abyss: The Greatest Proposal Ever to for consideration has a rule stating that filmmakers must only submit a movie they are proud to screen and promote. Since reading this idea it has sat with me for a long time and I am coming to understand more and more how important it is to do work that you can be proud of, especially you’re putting it out into the world. Elderly librarian Brooks Hatlen in the drama Shawshank Redemption comes to mind when I think of some of the movie characters who are proud of the work they do. Although Brooks was in prison, he found purpose in delivering books to other inmates, caring for a stray bird and making it possible for prisoners to transport goods throughout the cell blocks.
Where pride is concerned, however, this isn't exclusive to film. It’s about being proud of your work and standing behind it, whether that be artwork, literature, music, cooking a delicious meal, planning (or hosting) a party, raising kids well, keeping a healthy and physically fit body (whatever that entails for each individual), or having a stellar job performance in the workplace.
What movies or film characters embody YOUR definition of Pride?