Ah, another spring break movie that fittingly bares the title: Spring Breakers. The movie is set to have a limited release on March 22, 2013 about 4 college gurls who are a little short on cash for their spring break trip and decide to rob a fast food restaurant in order to fund their spring break trip. The gurls head off to their sunny destination to unwind, only to be arrested and show up in court hung-over and wearing bikinis. The gurls get lucky and avoid jail time when a thug named Alien bales them out and has other plans for the gurls, which involves doing some dirty work for him. The gurls go on a spring break adventure that they won’t soon forget, taking them deeper into the world of sex, drugs, guns and robbery. Sounds pretty atrocious, doesn’t it? Well, this movie just keeps getting worse because it stars James Franco as Alien, along with the former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. It looks like the gurls have finally crossed over to the dark side.
Gomez and Hudgens are considered role models to young gurls all around the world, and therefore one can only question: Will this movie be empowering to women? The movie is empowering for all the wrong reasons. For example, what message is being sent to young gurls/women when they see the gurls in this movie robbing a fast food restaurant to fund their spring break trip? It says instead of working hard and saving your money for something that you want/desire, just forget all that and steal it. Forget about hard work paying off in the end and forget about setting goals. Why wait when you can get what you want now by any means necessary?
Next, let’s look at the issue about guns and the “video game” reality concept in the movie. Guns are the weapon of choice and it sends a bad message: Guns are cool and empowering, especially when a gurl uses one. No! Guns are not cool and not empowering! Guns are dangerous and should not be seen as an element of empowerment for women. In addition to this, the robbery is played off as a video game, a false reality, in which anything is possible. In reality, not everything is always possible, so this tells young gurls that if you can’t achieve what you want in life you are better off creating a false reality where everything is possible. However, life is about success and failure. Success defines a person and so does failure, but if you are empowered to think that failure doesn’t exist or that it can be altered by a simple shift in reality then how can young gurls ever find out who they truly are and be successful?
Bikinis — what is with the bikinis? I know it is a “spring break” movie, but do they really need to have the women in this movie wear bikinis like it is a second skin? What does this say to young gurls who don’t have this particular body image? If you want to get whatever you want you better look like this and if you don’t then you are in for a life of hard work with no rewards. And then we wonder why we have gurls dieting and altering their bodies through plastic surgery. On the other hand, what about the girls who do have this particular body image—what does it tell them? That your life will be easy because of the way you look and you can get off with anything? That you will never have to work hard for anything in life?
This movie is terrible; everything about it is terrible. Do not go see this movie. The trailer leaves a bad enough taste in my mouth without seeing any more. This movie is about superficial beauty, not brains and false reality vs. reality. I can’t imagine anyone going to see this movie and leaving with the feeling of empowerment. We need to get back to empowering women in a positive reality, not a false one, and encourage them that beauty comes in many facets and that inner beauty is just as important as outer beauty. Empowerment comes from within us and we should be using this empowerment to create a positive message for women, not a negative one like this movie.
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