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Sierra Burgess is a LIAR

By Kimmy Singhani
On September 20, 2018

Watching the Netflix original, “Sierra Burgess is a Loser”, I could list several reasons why this movie is the worst. The movie is a modern take on Cyrano de Bergerac, replacing love letters for text messages. Sierra Burgess, played by Shannon Purser, commonly recognized as Barb in “Stranger Things” or Ethel Muggs in “Riverdale”, is a fat teenager who cat shes Jamey, played by NoahCentineo, when he texts her under the impression that she is someone else – someone prettier – Veronica. Eventually, as most romantic comedies do, he ends up forgiving her for her misdoings and takes her to homecoming and they then live happily ever after.

Ignoring how unrealistic this is, let me tell you why this movie is problematic. Without giving the whole plot away, Netflix clearly intended for this cliché rom com to be targeted towards teenagers who are learning body positivity and self-love. However, instead of tackling this issue in a healthier manner, Sierra’s “solution” comes from seeking validation from a boy. How do they expect to sell body positivity when one dialogue calls being fat “a flaw”? Having confidence and pride are strong traits that Sierra proved to have while interacting with Veronica, yet Sierra seems to feel a sense of entitlement and her actions come across as arrogant, especially for someone who cries about having low self-esteem. Yes, it’s possible to have low self-esteem and still act confident, but her confidence translates to snarky.

This production also tries so hard to break social gender norms and be inclusive of the LGBTQ community but fails. Sierra has no history of being athletic yet thinks she’s good enough to try out for the boy’s track team. The coach indulges her for tryouts claiming not wanting to get sued, which honestly doesn’t make sense. Why would she sue when she has no right being there? The scattered mention of Sierra possibly being lesbian, despite the acceptance of her if she is, doesn’t measure to being inclusive of the LGBTQ community. It’s treated as a joke or conversation piece.

Let’s say I took a step further back. Viewing this movie at face value, it is still littered with issues. Her behavior throughout the film teaches bad values: she catfishes Jamey, she pretends to be deaf, she kisses Jamey without his knowledge or consent, she publicly humiliates her so called best friend over a misunderstanding, to name a few. Sierra’s identity as a loser with self-hatred doesn’t give her the right to be a bitch, pardon my crude language. We’re supposed to pity Sierra for her poor choices, but I’m not rooting for her. Her identity as a loser is overshadowed by identity as a liar, and this movie should be renamed to “Sierra Burgess is a Liar”.


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