Parents' Guide to

Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Earnest, well-intentioned docu about female body image.

Movie NR 2018 83 minutes
Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image Poster Image

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Powerful messages and insights delivered by this well-meaning film are overshadowed throughout by a number of sexualized photos and photo sessions that contradict both the premise and the intent. Jenny McQuaile and her team battle female stereotypes, excessive emphasis on weight and appearance, and pervasive negative self-image among young people in Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image. The models and the teens really deliver the goods. They're brave, honest, and engaging, deeply personalizing the issues explored. And it's uplifting to see that the plight of "plus-sized" women is being addressed in design schools and in the fashion industry. The statistics quoted and expert voices about girls and eating disorders all work to shore up McQuaile's concept.

If only more thought had been given to what images were photographed. It's clear when photographer Anastasia Garcia directs one model -- "Still sexy. We need to see it as being very sexy" -- that a substantial element of the movie equates beauty with sexiness. A specific example shows a spirited female athlete photographed in wonderful action shots wearing sports gear. When we see her "dress up," she's in an outfit with lots of leather straps and lots of skin. The film has a lot to offer young women and girls but demands a caution about another challenge females face: that of being seen as sexual objects.

Movie Details

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