My return flight from Columbus to Newark is delayed 4 hours. Lucky for me I have my laptop & the Columbus airport has free wireless. MacBook + Wireless + Netflix on Demand = a very happy Dena. 😉

I decided to watch Penelope because I’ve been meaning to watch it for awhile & I am so glad that I did.

Cristina Ricci is one of my favourite actresses. I didn’t quite know what to expect—was it a children’s movie? But after watching it, I can say that I was most pleasantly surprised. While it was admittedly somewhat corny, the cinematography was beautiful & the film’s message was priceless. I highly recommend the film, especially to young people with self-esteem issues & to souls like me who simply love romantic fairytales.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead.]

Penelope is the story of a young woman plagued by an ancient family curse. Her wealthy great, great grandfather did wrong by a servant girl. The servant girl’s mother was a witch & so cursed the man’s family. The first girl-child born into the family would have the face of a pig. Generation after generation passed and no girl-child was born… Until Penelope that is.

The only way that Penelope can reverse the curse & ditch the pig-face is to be loved by one of her own kind (old money). Penelope’s mother keeps her locked away from the rest of the world & forces her to spend her life in search of a suitor to undo the spell. The tale unravels with gorgeous, fairytale-esque scenery & the heartwarming development of the heroine, Penelope. In the end, she undoes the curse herself by loving herself—pig-face & all.

[/End spoilers.]

While the movie may not be to everyone’s liking, the message is universal. Before we can live the life that we dream of living, we must first truly love ourselves. Self-love is the foundation of real happiness. Without self-love, we will spend our lives chasing a dream, like a dog chasing his tail.

Here are 3 simple ways to build your confidence & begin loving yourself:

1. Practice gratitude. Much of your self-loathing stems from the fact that you are not satisfied with yourself—your body, your career, your strengths, and so on. By practicing gratitude, you will shift the focus from being unsatisfied to being grateful. The more grateful that you are, the more you will realize how many blessings you really have & how wonderful you are. For example, rather than complaining about the fact that you’ve recently gained some weight, be grateful for your strong legs that allow you to walk, and your good eyes that allow you to see, and so on. Before you know it, you will be so grateful for the amazing body that you inhabit.

2. Stop the blame game & practice acceptance. Attributing blame—whether to yourself or to others—accomplishes nothing. For example, blaming your mother for your wide hips is useless. Likewise, blaming & beating yourself up for your recent layoff is useless. Rather than assigning blame, accept what is. Accept that your genetics are what they are and that layoffs can happen to anyone. Then, begin to focus on the positive. Be happy that you are only born with wide hips and not missing a limb. Seize the layoff as an opportunity to score your dream job.

3. Always do your best. Live your life in such a way that you give your all to everything that you do. Understand that your best will be different from day to day. Your best will be one way after you’ve had a good night of rest & a healthy breakfast. Your best will be another way when you are sick with the flu & bedridden for a week. Regardless of your condition, make an effort to give everything your best shot. Knowing that you always do your best, will build your confidence immensely. Accept your best for what it is & believe that it really is good enough, because it is.

7 thoughts on “Review: Penelope & 3 Tips to Build Confidence”

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  7. No matter how far I fly into the world of story, I make many returns to the basic seven arcs–most of which are fairy tales. Beauty and the Beast taught me that something must first be loved to become beautiful; Cinderella–the humble will be exalted; Penelope? Perhaps we forget that–in the world history’s most individualistic society–that we are born into a system of pain and triumph, to which we are inheritors. It is not up to us to rewrite history, but to practice a life of grace as part of an ancient family system. 

    Thanks for the review Dena. 

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