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Pixar Captures What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Man’s World

Gender roles: how society expects us to act and stereotypically portray our gender whether it be via how we dress, act or even speak. Gender roles are continually evolving, but society is struggling to adjust.

The media is constantly covering stories of sexual misconduct, the #MeToo movement, Women’s Right Marches, and so many more pressing issues. What we haven’t seen in the media are these issues presented by a large scale animation company, that is until now.

Pixar’s new short film titled Purl follows a pink spunky ball of yarn named Purl as she ventures into the business of B.R.O Capital. The short created by female director Kristen Lester perfectly captivates the essence of what it is like to work in a man’s world.

Throughout the span of the 9 minute film, Lester manages to showcase what it is like for a women to work in a hostile work environment dominated by men. The men in the short film stare at Purl as if she is a foreign creature. They question her ability to perform at her job and quickly shoot down her ideas. Rather than running a business, the men in suits seem as though they are fraternity brothers throwing a party with a select invite list that Purl happens not to be on.

In order to be accepted, Purl changes her appearance and manner of which she presents herself. She becomes “one of the guys” but in the process, loses the essence of who she is. As a woman in a field dominated by men, Purl felt as though she had two options: either be left out, or change completely.

The film showcases the reality and struggles of being a woman in an industry comprised of men. Purl is relatable, fierce, and feisty. Whether you are a woman, transgender, or a person of color, Purl is the perfect symbol for diversity in the workplace. Of course, with the film being Pixar, there is a happy ending, but the moral of the film forever lingers on.

After the film’s release, people began taking over Twitter with their thoughts. #PURL is all of us girls trying to fit in a man’s world. Pixar has done a lot but nothing hits me as close as this short” someone tweeted. Hopefully Pixar plans on creating more short films with a powerful message such as the one ingrained in Purl.

You can watch the movie here!

Peri Coskey

Wisconsin '21

Meet Peri! She's a senior majoring in Communication Arts and Sociology with minors in Digital Studies, Gender and Women's Studies and Entrepreneurship. Her favorite things to do are watch Veronica Mars, thrift shop and chill with friends. When Peri is not taking naps, she can be found hanging out with her friends, most likely talking their ears off. Interested in seeing more of Peri's work? Check out pericoskey.com!
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