Dumplin’ Promotes Self-confidence

Lauren Brinegar, Photo Editor

“It’s hard being a diamond in a rhinestone world.” – Dolly Parton

Dumplin’ is a wholesome, self-accepting movie that will make you laugh and warm your heart. Rising above some predictability, stereotyping, and dispensable profanity. Dumplin’ delivers bright performances, sparkling musical numbers, a solid story, and a resolution that, while not surprising, is more than satisfying.

Small-town Texas teen Willowdean Dickson, (Danielle Macdonald,) the daughter of former beauty queen Rosie, (Jennifer Aniston,) was taught by her aunt to love Dolly Parton and herself, even though her plus-sized frame doesn’t align with the typical pageant beauty standards. After Willowdean’s aunt passing, she decides to enter the local pageant, which her mother now directs; as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

The movie embraces Willowdean’s love of Dolly Parton. Her music is key to Willowdean’s character and is a part of her journey. It helps, that Parton provided the music for Dumplin, re-recording some of her classic songs or writing new tracks for the film’s soundtrack. This music helps to ground Dumplin in the film’s Texas setting, and adds the perfect twang for the movie. Though Dumplin may not be a musical or even a movie technically about music, it uses Parton’s songs to develop Willowdean’s character and further her story in an incredibly fun way.

Willowdean struggles to not be defined by her weight in a world where she feels constantly ridiculed for her physical attributes. The insecurities that arise from that struggle tell much of her story and the actions she takes. As a resultDumplin is one of the best coming of age films about a teenage girl struggling to accept herself.