I stumbled upon this short film by accident while I was looking for another online. However, I must say that it struck a chord with me that I think many people who find that they don’t quite fit into any box can easily identify with. It starts out by showing a young girl, dressed rather tom-boyishly, practicing her skateboard tricks in the garage. She looks sad, lost, unsure of herself but she also looks like she’s searching for something. She has her mom drop her off in a random skateboard park, full of boys who feel the need to make her painfully aware that her presence is not wanted. As she lies on the ground dazed and bruised (physically and emotionally), a group of skater girls comes to her aid. They pick her up and come to her defense before skating off to do their own thing. She seems confused to see other girls on skateboards but curious as to who these girls are, she eagerly follows behind them and ends up in another skate park. However, this park there are only girls.
What she ends up stumbling on is her tribe. Finally, she finds girls who know what it’s like to walk to the beat of a different drummer but who have come together embracing their uniqueness and finding unity in their diversity. It is truly a beautiful experience to witness and one that I can identify with personally. This film touched me deeply because in it you see a heroine who is so overcome by emotion at her discovery that she can’t contain the joy. She begins to cry and in her release you, yourself, feel lighter. It brings you to remember that no matter who you are, we are all unique, and none of us need to be anything other than ourselves to be appreciated. For some of us, it might take more time than others but in the end, finding your tribe is worth the wait.
I found it also very interesting when she is embraced into the fold and the girls take her to a party, they stop and put lipstick on her before she enters. To me, this symbolizes the embracing of femininity and a reminder that it is okay to be a girl and not do the things that people expect girls to do. I found this interesting in particular because it seems that often in feminist discourse there is a tendency to disavow everything associated with being female as being indicative of oppression. I think this film is reminding us that we can choose. If we are tomboys, so what? If we wear lipstick, so what? If we skateboard, so what? We decided who we are, how we want to look, what we want to do. This point is driven home even more in the closing where all the girls are now sitting together speaking freely about their thoughts, bonding as true friends and all looking very distinct from one another. Again, driving home the point that they have found unity in their diversity. This story is short but it is powerfully beautiful.
Mercedes Diane Griffin Forbes (Diane Griffin) is the primary contributor to DG Speaks and the Founder of the Mercedes Parra Foundation for Women and Girls. She is an internationally recognized expert in marketing and micro-enterprise development with over fifteen years of experience in the US, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Working in the areas of international development, education, and public policy, her career is focused on promoting gender equity, sustainable economic growth, and positive social development.