‘Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.’ Nora Ephron
Recently, I was reading an article in Grazia magazine about sexism in film and TV.
It turns out there are various tests you can put a movie through to determine whether it’s sexist or not.
The Sexy Lamp Test is if you can remove a woman from a story and replace her with a sexy lamp and the story still works.
Women in Refrigerators Syndrome is a plot device used in comic books where a female character is injured or killed – or locked in a refrigerator – purely to give the male heroes something to do or talk about.
The Bechdel Test is where at least two of the women in the story (who are preferably named characters) talk to each other about something other than a man. Many, many Hollywood movies fail this test.
When it comes to our life stories I think we can all – men and women – fail these tests.
So, as we approach a brand new year take a moment to reflect.
In the movie of your life story titled ‘2015’, could you have been replaced with a sexy lamp?
Were you more of a bit-player in someone else’s story – trapped in a figurative refrigerator while they got all of the exciting plotlines?
Did you spend hours, days, weeks, months, talking, stressing and pining over someone else?
When you look back now do you feel that your time and energy in 2015 could have been better spent?
If so, don’t beat yourself up – becoming a bit-player in someone else’s life story can be scarily easy.
It can happen for many different reasons but there’s usually one key underlying factor…
… low self esteem.
Deep, deep down a part of you believes that you’re not worthy of an exciting lead role in your movie called Life.
Maybe you allowed your parents, or a critical teacher, or a school bully to become your casting director.
Maybe when they told you that you were only worthy of playing a victim or a secondary role you believed them.
And so began a series of life instalments featuring the same basic plotline:
The critical parent became the critical boss.
A revolving cast of partners all played the lead while you languished in a ‘refrigerator’ – a victim to their hero – or in some cases maybe, villain.
If any of this is striking a chord with you, don’t worry.
Now is the perfect time to make a real change.
As 2016 looms into a view, see it as a blank page, ready for you to begin creating a new script.
One where you can’t be replaced by a sexy lamp.
The fact is: you are the screen-writer of your movie called Life.
And you are the casting director.
So, which role are you going to choose for yourself this year?
Hero? Or victim?
And who do you want in your supporting cast?
You get to decide.
Grab a notebook and pen and start free-writing some ideas using the questions below as prompts…
What could you do this year to make you feel excited and empowered?
How could you make yourself completely irreplaceable by a sexy lamp?
How could you free yourself from that pesky refrigerator?
Who could you help?
What quest could you go on?
How could you become the kind of hero or heroine you love to watch or read about?
How could you step into the lead role?
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