Sierra Burgess is a Leader

Proceed with caution. There are few minor spoilers.

For those of you who don't know about the new Netflix Original Movie, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, Sierra Burgess is the name of the main character in the Netflix Original movie “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” The movie revolves around a girl that is considered to be a “loser” and her journey with catfishing this boy from a neighboring school. (Catfishing is a term used for when someone pretends to be someone else over social media or text message.) Sierra is played by Shannon Purser, or better known as Barb Holland from the Netflix Original series Stranger Things. While this movie is just another teenage rom-com, it also projects a lot of commendable messages to girls.

 

Sierra Burgess is Realistic

If you’ve watched your share of rom-coms, it usually revolves around a girl that is stick thin and looks like the image you get when you hear the word pretty. In Sierra Burgess is a Loser, the main character isn’t that. She’s more realistic and relatable to the audience. Don’t get me wrong, the character and the actress are absolutely gorgeous. I feel like a lot of the reason that this movie is so immersive to the audience is because of this reason. Shannon Purser portrays a girl that seems more real to watchers and from there, her personality is easier to connect to. It’s a positive message to girls and young women that real girls exist in this world - there’s more than just rail thin, “perfect” girls out there.

 

Sierra Burgess is Strong

Early in the movie, Sierra says that she doesn’t care about her looks. She doesn’t wear any makeup, dress to the nines (other than homecoming), or really do anything fancy with her beautiful red hair. Sierra also shows strength when she gets bullied at school about her looks. Being that she’s a heavier set girl as well, she becomes a target for the bullies. Veronica, the popular girl, states that she’s a reject and also insults her to her face whenever she gets the chance. In response, Sierra shrugs it off with a smile or says something smart back to catch her bully off guard. She doesn’t show them if it bothers her, making them lose the satisfaction. But she also isn’t indestructible either. Towards the end of the movie, she has a mental breakdown where she shows that she cares about how she looks. That’s the one time she shows her defeat and dissatisfaction with herself.

Both of these aspects are important to include in the movie. It shows how victims can stand up to bullies or haters and not let them get the satisfaction that they hurt their victim. It gives a sense of confidence and motivation for people to do that. By showing her breakdown, it both adds to the story and also shows that everyone has weak points and don't have this tough shell. It gives the audience the idea of acceptance and familiarity, that they aren’t the only one that may cry about the way they look or feels negatively about themselves.

 

Sierra Burgess Gives Hope

The big idea that really stuck out to me with this movie was the hope that the situation with Sierra and Jamey gave. The basis for Noah Centineo’s character is that he’s this extremely attractive quarterback for his high school’s football team. Since Sierra isn't this popular "pretty" girl that Jamey thinks he's talking to, she feels as though she isn't Jamey's type because of her appearance. This is the thought among many young female adolescence and even adult women. They feel that they aren’t good enough because they aren’t what society says is pretty or “dateable.” This is another aspect that makes Sierra relatable.

This movie and story gives hope to girls that aren’t this “society-approved” girl. While catfishing isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it, the underlying message is that looks ultimately don’t matter to people - it’s the person’s character and personality that makes them. This is so important because society has twisted the response to that message into “that’s what ugly people say,” which is untrue. We don’t have many examples of it in Hollywood, which forced that message to get skewed. With this movie, although fiction, it’s a flicker of hope that things like this can actually happen in reality, not just in the minds of these so-called “ugly people.”

 

I don’t really have favorite movies. I have ones that make me chortle a laugh, but I’ve never felt that magic love connection with any movies, until I found this one. It sticks in my head and I just watched it for the first time a week ago. I think the reason for that is because I can see parts of myself in Sierra, minus the whole catfishing and getting the guy. With that, it tugged at my emotions, especially with the song that’s included in the movie sung by Shannon Purser - Sunflower. That song relays what I think, what many others think of themselves. It created that personal connection, making it stick out in my head and giving it even more relatability.

If you have not watched this movie, I highly recommend doing so. This goes far beyond the hype of “OMG there’s a hot guy in it so I’m going to watch it.” It truly is a wonderful movie with a enjoyable story line. Noah Centineo is just an added bonus.