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"The scene from the Netflix movie Dumplin' that brought me to tears because I've been there."

A quick word of warning, this post contains some small spoilers for the Netflix movie Dumplin’. If you haven’t watched yet, save this post and come back once you have.

If you haven’t watched Netflix’s new movie Dumplin’ yet… why the bloody hell not?

I understand weekends are for living and we’ve all got a lot of stuff going on coming up to Christmas, but I urge you to set aside one hour and 50 minutes of your life to consume this feel-good film.

Based on Julia Murphy’s best-selling novel of the same name, Dumplin’ tells the story of a Dolly Parton-loving, plus size teenager (played by Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald) living in a small Texan town full of beauty queen wannabees.

Her real name is Willowdeen Dixon – Dumplin’ is the ‘affectionate’ nickname given to her by her mum, Jennifer Aniston’s former Miss Teen Bluebonnet mum Rosie.

After the death of her Aunt Lucy, who practically raised her while Rosie was busy polishing her tiaras, Willowdeen feels a bit lost. Lucy had always taught her to love the things that made her different from everyone else, but suddenly, being different doesn’t feel all that loveable.

In protest of the effed up beauty standards perpetuated in her home town – and to piss off her mum – Willowdean decides to sign up for Rosie’s pageant, inspiring other misfits to do the same.

What follows is a drama/romantic comedy/musical/coming-of-age mashup with a big heart and incredible southern accents.

The soundtrack, which features re-records of Parton’s biggest hits including Jolene and Two Doors Down, is magic. Whether you’re a Dolly Parton fan or not, you can’t help but be sucked into this country world.

From female friendship and the complications of mother daughter relationships to whether beauty pageants in 2018 are appropriate and what beauty looks like, this movie touches it all while still being a thoroughly entertaining watch.

It’s kind of the southern version of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before combined with an episode of Glee. (You can watch the Dumplin’ trailer below, post continues after video.)

Video via Netflix

The movie also nails diversity, including characters with diverse ethnic backgrounds, sexualities and body shapes. The Dolly Parton drag bar Willowdean and her friends stumble upon is also amazing and I need to find my local one immediately.

But amongst the one-liners and songs, one scene really resonated with me. It was around the one hour and two minute mark.

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Remember how I said there were going to be spoilers? This is them coming up.

After falling out with her best friend and her mum, Willowdean drives to Harpy’s Handburgers where she works with Bo Larson (played by Luke Benward), the boy she likes but feels is way out of her league.

Watching Bekah (the blonde, beautiful girl tipped to win Miss Teen Bluebonnet) talking to Bo makes her feel like crap so she goes out the back by the rubbish bins to have a cry.

This is when Bo comes out and tells Willowdean he likes her, and delivers the lines that punched me right in the heart. With knuckledusters.

“Willowdean Dixon, I think you’re beautiful. To hell with anyone else who’s ever made you feel less than that… But it doesn’t really matter what I think, does it?”

Yep. That’s the sound of my heart going through a shredder because those few words conveyed a universal truth I’ve experienced before. We’ve all been there at a point in our lives, looking in the mirror and feeling disgusted by what we see looking back.

No matter how many times your partner, your parents, friends or even strangers on Instagram tell you you’re beautiful, if you don’t believe it within yourself, it really doesn’t mean anything.

As a teenager, I so deeply harboured those feelings, like Willowdeen, of being unloveable. Funny and charming, yes. But not loveable or desirable because of my appearance.

Watching Willowdean grappling with the idea that anyone could love her took me back to that time when I felt the same. I still do every now and again, because above all else, it’s human nature to want to love and be loved.

Out of all the themes the film explores, this was the message that struck me the most.

Yes, Dumlpin’ is fiction. It’s not real life, and for many of us, those dramatic moments don’t exist outside of movies. But in my opinion, Dumplin’ is the best kind of fiction.

The kind that makes you laugh and feel things, but also reflect on yourself.

You can watch Dumplin’ on Netflix right now.

Have you watched Dumplin’ yet? Did you love it as much as I did?

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