Sierra Burgess is a Loser Embraces Body Positivity

Netflix film Sierra Burgess is a Loser released September 7, 2018 (Courtesy of Facebook).

Netflix film Sierra Burgess is a Loser released September 7, 2018 (Courtesy of Facebook).

By Anna Kuyat

Netflix originals are notoriously inconsistent with their themes. Netflix has released films and TV shows that have progressive themes and bring up significant issues relating to our current political climate. These films and shows encourage uncomfortable conversations about topics that are difficult to bring up. Other times, Netflix has created films and shows that are controversial, yet their execution leaves much to be desired. The real question is, does Sierra Burgess is a Loser fall under one of these categories, or is it just a cute romantic comedy with few underlying issues? The film does bring up key issues about developing a positive self-image. It was refreshing, particularly after watching shows like “Insatiable”, which portrays the lead actress needing a makeover to gain self-confidence.

Sierra Burgess is a Loser raised a very important question: what will people genuinely remember about you? Sierra Burgess is a Loser answers this question through a thought-provoking plot and the development of individual character arcs. The magnificent Shannon Purser, who is famous from her debut in the TV series “Stranger Things”, takes the role of an “outcast” teenage girl who receives a text from a high school quarterback, Jamey (Noah Centineo). Although it is clear that these text messages are meant for another girl, Sierra grows close to Jamey under the guise of Veronica (Kr


istine Froseth), a popular cheerleader. Sierra is intelligent, witty, but most of all, confident in herself despite other students bullying her about her appearance. After comparing herself to Veronica, Sierra begins to feel insecurity and asks Veronica to help her catfish James.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Noah Centineo states “Sierra is such an empowered young woman until she starts to compare herself to Veronica”. Sierra does not begin to doubt herself until she compares herself to Veronica. After spending a little time with Sierra, Veronica begins to admire and respect Sierra rather than bullying her like she used to about her “dorkiness” and her appearance.

Towards the end of the movie, Sierra sees Veronica kissing James and then posts an embarrassing photo of Veronica on her Instagram. Veronica approaches her and yells, “You think I’m mean? Well, you should check the mirror because your looks are the least ugly thing about you.” The question then comes back up: What will people genuinely remember about you? Will it be appearance, popularity, or the way you treat people? The film shows that people remember others by their personality and how they treat those around them. Veronica would bully Sierra for her unconditional beauty, but after she grew closer with her she recognized that she had been prioritizing physical beauty over inner beauty. However, when the roles were switched, Veronica viewed her as ugly due to her behavior.

The film was excellent in portraying the struggles of building a positive self-image and understanding the multifaceted nature of those around us. Sierra became more attractive throughout the film to others not because of some ridiculous physical makeover, but because people began to admire her on a deeper level beyond their previous surface-level perception. She was confident in her skin. It was refreshing to watch a movie that stretched beyond the trope of a woman winning a man’s affection through unnecessary physical modifications. Instead, being an authentic person and a supportive companion are significant in sparking strong and fulfilling connections.

Netflix film Sierra Burgess is a Loser released September 7, 2018 (Courtesy of Facebook).