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Life > Experiences

Three Lessons Greta Gerwig’s Movies Have Taught Me

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

This past summer, the Barbie movie ingrained itself into pop culture, and became a worldwide phenomenon. Greta Gerwig, the director behind this hit, became the first female director to have a movie bring in a revenue of over one billion dollars in global box office sales. This is an incredible feat, especially so in an industry that has typically been male dominated. This was not Greta’s directorial debut however, as she was also behind the movies “Lady-Bird” and “Little Women.” Each of these three movies have made a large impact on me and how I view the world, as they all carry important messages. With that being said, I would like to share three of the lessons I have taken away from these films!

Lady-Bird is largely focused on the main character, Christine “Lady-Bird,” and her relationship with family, as well as her struggle to fit in, and discover who she is. Just about anyone who has attended high school can attest to the feeling of not fitting in at one point or another. It can be tempting to adapt to other’s personalities or change yourself to better blend in with a certain group. I struggled with this a lot in high school, and had very low self-esteem, which pushed me to change to whatever group I was in at the time, no matter how happy that made me or not. This movie illustrated that fitting in with a certain group doesn’t always guarantee happiness. I have learned that quality of friends over quantity is a good rule of thumb, and that it is ok to move on or grow out of friendships that aren’t working anymore.

Little Women is the film adaptation of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, and follows the lives of the March family, specifically the four March sisters, Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth. Jo is a very independent character, and has a strong passion for writing, leading her to live in New York City and attempt to make it as a writer. What I really appreciated about this story was the emphasis on Jo as her own person, and not just her romantic life. Sometimes it can feel as though society promotes the idea that a woman cannot be whole if she is not in a relationship, and that being desirable for romantic relationships should be a main priority. I can’t even count how many times relatives have asked me whether I am in a relationship or not, oftentimes before questions regarding college or how I am doing in general. It can be challenging not to fall into the narrative that I need a boyfriend to be happy with myself and be valuable. Similar to friendship, romantic relationships aren’t something that should be forced, and I remind myself that it will happen when it happens. I also have had to work a lot on feeling confident without the validation of others, especially male validation. I know it is cliche, but learning to love yourself, or even just be accepting of yourself, is such a valuable thing.

Barbie, like Little Women, revolves around Barbie, the main character, embarking on a journey focused on self-discovery and personal growth and ambition, rather than her romantic relationships. The Barbie movie also was a reminder how impossible it can feel to be a woman at times, with such unattainable standards being set by society. The idea that women can do anything is an important one, but also can be so overwhelming to live up to. I struggle at times with feeling like I am not living up to my potential, or that I should be doing so much more with my life. I think this is especially relevant in college, where it is hard not to compare yourself to other girls your age who seem like they all have it figured out. Your idea of success is not always going to be the same as someone else’s, and that is ok! As graduation looms around the corner, the pressure of finding a job is looming, but I have learned to accept that I don’t need to know exactly what I am going to do, but I will continue trying to find things that I am passionate about!

In conclusion, I HIGHLY recommend all of these movies, and think there are so many different lessons that one can learn or interpret from each of them! And always remember that you are kenough <3

Hi! I'm Caroline Chaney and I attend the Catholic University of America, located in Washington, D.C. I am a Sociology major with a minor in Politics and I love reading, listening to 70's music, and spending time with family and friends :)