Is It Me?
Documentary, 9 min
Can we really control how the world sees us?
A grotesque version of beauty can be just the thing you need to feel right
Body Dysmorphia affects around 5 out of every 1000 people within the UK (2018, OCD.uk). It is a horrific mental disorder than renders the sufferer with no clear image of what they actually look like. Directed by Chris McGill , Is It Me? is a hard hitting documentary that explores the story of Emma Russer and her journey to self acceptance through her love of design and drag.
When we’re first introduced to Emma we can’t help but be bewitched by her quirky and bubbly personality. Her whole aura is welcoming, making us want to listen and learn about her story. One thing that really stuck with me from the film was her own approach to her illness. The idea that her drag is so eccentric and strange that she is freed of any social expectations. If she is purposely going out in this weird, yet wonderful, outfit then those around cannot hurt her with any snide comments or looks. We want to and strive to be what is beautiful to society, even if this is to the detriment of our true selves. Drag is what frees her for those precious few hours of her compulsive thoughts – she is what she wants to be and we see what she wants us to see.
One thing I wanted from this film, however, was for it to be longer! I feel like we as an audience could benefit from a longer film to fully discuss the affect Emma’s body dismorphia had on her – and to see some more of her amazing outfits! I was left wanting more from the film, I felt that I could have sat for another hour or even half an hour just to hear Emma’s story in full. I was enjoying it so much I didnt want it to end! Otherwise, this film is an amazingly insightful dicussion about the control we have over others opinions of us and how that can affect us mentally. It’s an important reminder that despite someone coming across as confident and assured in themselves does not necessarily mean that that is the case. We truly don’t know what is going on inside someone else’s head and therefore, we should all be kinder to those around us.
This article was written by:
Lauren Conlon Harper
Lauren's a media production student based in LJMU. Originally from Belfast, she first got into film at Queens Film Theatre's Takeover Festival where she planned and programed the annual event. She is an aspiring filmmaker / producer and aims to give those rarely heard a platform to tell their stories