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Monday Movie Meme – What Does PRIDE Mean to You?

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:

Detective Mike Lowry (played by Will Smith) in 'Bad Boys II.'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.

Brooks Hatlen (played by James Whitmore) in 'The Shawshank Redemption.'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?

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Reader Comments (5)

To me there are only two kinds of pride. The good kind of pride is pride in ones workmanship, to do whatever you do to the best of your ability. That includes appearance to a point, as in to be decent and clean. It includes being proud for and of others, their accomplishments, etc. The other pride is arrogant, boastful and sinful. Full of oneself and puffed up.

June 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara In Caneyhead

Nice choices and descriptions.

June 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMary Aalgaard

To Wong Foo comes to mind. I know. An odd choice. But I think on the way Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes' characters carried themselves with a certaiin amount of pride, though they were both different in their approaches. Patrick's character bore a more sophisticated, classic style. And with some encouragement from both mentors, John Leguisamo's character was able to blossom from an adorable, quirky, scared little thing to someone proud to hold her head up and be counted.

June 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Brown

Probably movies and series showing how somebody earned and got everything they have themselves... nothing inherited, nothing stolen, just earned through their sweat and pain and blood... because that is my own story too.... never had real family, always had to fight on my own and so I can be proud of whatever I got even if it is not much

July 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDEZZY

Being proud of others' workmanship and accomplishments is a good kind of pride, indeed. Also yes taking pride in one's appearance does fall in the category of doing things to the best of your ability. Most people are full of themselves at one time or another in their lifetime. The trick is to not let that take over the good aspects of having pride. Thank you for visiting and your comment.

Thanks. I just watched "Pay it Forward" for the first time recently so the teacher played by Kevin Spacey came to mind quickly.

The oddities are where some of the magic lies! :) Your mention of To Wong Foo put a smile on my face....that movie is a great example of different ways people show their sense of Pride. You could tell that Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes characters were very sure of themselves while it took a while for John Leguizamo's character to really come into his own. It's cool you put a spotlight on how the movie embodies what it means to be proud of who you are. Thanks a lot for commenting on this post. You rock!

Some of the best movies (and tv series) ever made are ones involving people getting far on their own blood, sweat and tears. Most times I think people in situations like these have more appreciation for what they've earned than those who just inheritied the world at their doorstep or those who stole and/or manipulated their way into the things that they get. You sir deserve to be proud of what you have and how far you've come after putting in the work and fighting for the things that bring your life happiness and comfort. Cheers to you and keep on fighting the good fight, Dezzy. You're a true champion! :)

July 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterNicole

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