Everything I need to know I learned from “Thelma & Louise”
If you put Susan Sarandon or Geena Davis in just about anything, chances are I’m going to see it. Thelma & Louise was released 25 years ago, not before my lifetime began, but before I could truly appreciate female friendships in film — something that I basically demand in my movies and television shows these days. Thelma & Louise was not necessarily the first movie to display the bond between women being greater than the bond between a woman and her male partner (not always, but oftentimes!), but it is one of the most well-known examples of female friendships on film. I am so, so grateful for it and all the lessons it taught me, like:
Never, ever settle.
In short, Thelma & Louise is the story of two women who are basically sick of their partner’s bull. Thelma is married to a super-controlling dude, and Louise is dating some musician jerk who doesn’t realize how lucky he is to be with her. After a traumatizing sexual assault event resulting in a murder, Thelma and Louise decide to go on the run. Though they are escaping to avoid Louise getting in trouble for killing a man, they are also very symbolically escaping the oppression of their lives and relationships.
You don’t necessarily have to go on the run to find your happiness, but if you know you’re unhappy, it is probably best to take the necessary steps to change that. Don’t settle for a jerk.
Find what makes you feel alive.
I’d imagine that we are all guilty of going through slump times in life — those periods where we’re generally bummed about the state of affairs. For me, last year was a huge waste of time. I was always in a bad mood, I wasn’t happy about work, or my relationships, my body, or really anything in my life. It happens to all of us at some point, but it is important to push ourselves and our boundaries toward happiness.
And if you have never felt that rush, I challenge you to go out and find what you’re living for. I am not 100% there yet, but I am 60% there, which is a huge increase from last year. Find what makes you live and follow it.
How to take a selfie.
I had to mention it, you know? These lovely women took one of the most iconic selfies of all time before front facing camera phones were a thing. Kudos.
Embrace the adventure.
When Thelma finally embraces the excitement of being on the run (with her best friend, no less), she truly gets into the adventure. As she so perfectly puts it, “You said you and me was gonna get out-of-town and for once just really let our hair down. Well darlin, look out cause my hair is coming down!”
Express yourself. As Louise says, “you’ve always been crazy, this is just the first chance you’ve had to express yourself!” Get out into the universe!
Women are the best.
More and more as I get older, I realize how important my female friendships are. I have never taken my friendships for granted, but when I was younger, I felt like I got along with men more — largely because I have three brothers and zero sisters — it was simply comfortable for me to hang out with dudes. Though I still love my male friends, there is absolutely nothing like the women in my life. I am blessed with countless super strong and very close lady friends. I would gladly go on the run with any of them.
Bless you, Thelma & Louise. Thanks for holding up even 25 years later.