Imagine you are participating in a speed-dating program. During your remaining ten minutes of the event, you meet two last suitors. The first suitor is short, overweight, hairy except on his head, slight acne marks, crooked teeth, dresses up as Austin Powers, etc. However, the first suitor is remarkably sweet. Within the five-minute frame you learn he volunteers to help the elderly and handicap civilians, he donates clothes to the less fortunate, he works extra side jobs to pay for his parents’ bills and his siblings’ college intuition, he welcomed his unemployed friend to live in his apartment, etc. After you hear the whistle, you move on to the second suitor. The second suitor is the complete opposite of the first suitor. The second suitor looks like a 21 Jump Street version of Johnny Depp, he is tall, physically fit, smells and dresses decent, etc.
On the other hand, he is an arrogant individual. He brags about how handsome and wealthy he is, he only values his inheritance than his folks, he ridicules people who do not meet his standards, does not want to be in a monogamous relationship, etc. If you were in this situation, who would you most likely be in a relationship with? Both have their pros and cons, whether it is appearances or personality. In today’s society, many people would choose the Johnny Depp looking guy because they are blinded by exterior characteristics and do not acknowledge inner beauty. In the film Shallow Hal, the protagonist Hal, discovers that inner beauty does exist and this special quality overcomes appearances.
During the exposition of Shallow Hal, young Hal is saying his final goodbyes to his father. Moments before his father’s demise, he informs Hal to find himself a “ classic beauty and never settle for average”. Hal wanting to make his father proud kept his promise. As time progresses to the future, we witness adult Hal dancing in a club attempting to mingle with the ladies. Disappointing in Hal’s case and of his friend Mauricio, they are both getting rejected.
Hal claims to have high standards for women and keeps pursuing ladies who are out of his league. Hal envisions his ideal “ perfect” women to possess physical qualities of: a young Paulina face, Brittney Spears’ knockers and buttocks, Michelle Pfeiffer’s grill, Rebecca Romijn- Stamos’ smile, and Heidi Klum’s body. From this list we can distinguish that Hal has a shallow persona and this is because he is following his father’s last wishes. Hal is only interested in exterior characteristics but that changes when he meets Tony Robbins.
Hal encounters Tony Robbins (a motivational guru) when they are both stuck in an elevator. Hal confides in Tony Robbins about his troubles with approaching women. Tony Robbins detects Hal’s shallow behavior after hearing his picky outlook on women’s appearances and not answering his question, “Which do you prefer, a girlfriend missing one breast or half a brain?” In that instant, Tony Robbins decides to do Hal a favor and give Hal the ability to see the true side of beauty: inner beauty.
After Hal’s conversation with Tony Robbins, Hal began to have better luck with women. They were not rejecting him like the former ladies Hal tried to score with nights before. Instead, they were interested in interacting with Hal. Hal believes that his chat with Tony Robbins built his confidence; therefore, women are attracted to him. In reality, Hal’s trance was succeeding according to Tony Robbins’ strategy. Tony Robbins broke Hal’s pattern for judging women solely on their physical traits. Tony Robbins wanted Hal to perceive physical manifestations of a women’s inner beauty.
Throughout the movie, Hal is head over heels for Rosemary, a three- hundred pounder but because of her sweet and generous personality, she appears to Hal as a thin knockout. As their relationship is getting romantically serious, Mauricio reverses Hal’s hypnosis out of selfishness. Mauricio cannot tolerate to see his friend date unattractive females or what he refers “ the undesirable”. Yet, Mauricio did not experience the hypnosis that Hal adapted in his life. When Hal had the courage to face Rosemary’s true image, it did not matter whether she was morbidly obese or skinny. Hal fell in love with Rosemary because her inner beauty dominated outer appearances.
The movie Shallow Hal shares a strong moral message with the audience: because of inner beauty, we can fall in love with a person for who they truly are and not for exterior characteristics. True love and beauty is within inner beauty, without this potential quality it is less likely that a relationship would survive. Unfortunately, our generation is attracted to high sex appeal because the media has misguided our vision of beauty as a model type material: height, clear skin, healthy hair, perfect smile, and a body of a God/ Goddess. Anyone basing his or her relationship on appearances is guaranteed a short- term unstable relationship because eventually they closely examine ugliness from the inside.
First of all, physical traits do not last forever. Everyone ages and as we age, we develop wrinkles, gray hair, slower metabolism, etc. On the contrary, inner beauty is eternal and does not fade away. A relationship centered on inner beauty often leads to happiness. Therefore, inner beauty is vital because it directs us to a long- lasting genuine relationship.
Although inner beauty does exist, not everyone possesses this precious feature. However, anyone can develop inner beauty. At first, we see the protagonist, Hal, a superficial guy but after his hypnosis, he transformed into an earnest compassionate gentleman. Thus, Hal developed inner beauty himself because he has fallen in love with Rosemary’s inner beauty, which shattered his shallowness.
In conclusion, Hal discovers that inner beauty is essential and does not remotely compare to outer characteristics alone. Shallow Hal has taught us a valuable lesson that we should not fall for just a beautiful face but for a beautiful heart. Perhaps one day, we as a society can change our minds about the relevance of external appearances and accept inner beauty in our relationship.
Courtney from Study Moose
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