I went to see The Help this past weekend as a Girls Day Out. I had only read half of the book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than an uplifting and heartfelt movie.
Funny thing, I enjoyed the movie, but my many emotions (anger, sadness, disbelief, joy) did not include warm and fuzzy.
Of course there is the racial tension, but that wasn’t a big eye-opener for me. I was captivated by the relationships between the women.
The so-called bonds of friendship, the mother-daughter dynamics, the alienation because of misunderstandings, the decisions made in order to be a part of the “in” crowd.
Skeeter was a recent college graduate that moved back home as she pursued a journalism career. As I watched her mother and friends go on and on about her singlehood, with little joy for her future career, I couldn’t help but think of the intelligent, beautiful women today that get funny looks and inappropriate comments from friends, family and strangers because they are not married with kids.
Then there were the times the help was treated poorly in front of guests, not because the employers wanted to treat them wrong, but because their social circle told them they had to behave that way. I thought about how many times women today do things because they want to be a part of a group that is not even worthy of their time.
It also made me think of the times women mistreat each other, talk about each other and alienate each other because of superficial reasons (look at her hair, why would she wear those shoes, she’s not from our side of town, etc.).
Not everything was bad. I loved seeing the power of women relationships when they were done right. Take Celia Foote and Minny. Minny was the help, but Celia treated her as a valued confidante and part of the family.
And look at the friendship of Minny and Abilene. They didn’t have much, but they made sure that the other was okay.
All types of chaos happened around them, but these women had each other. In the end they were in the best position, and certainly the happiest.
My takeaway from the movie was two-fold. First, it gave me a deeper appreciation for the things my family endured so that I can have the lifestyle I have. And two, it reminded me that my choices have consequences and it is best to choose love and goodness over popularity any day.