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Have you ever felt fat? Maybe a bit pudgy? Have you ever felt the slightest bit guilty about what you ate for dinner? Have you ever poked at the cellulite on your thighs or pinched the fat at your waist? Of course you have. So have Lydia (Deidra Edwards) and Darcy (Staci Lawrence)—two very different women with surprisingly similar issues.

Lydia is fat. She knows that she eats too much, and she’s tried absolutely everything to make herself stop, but nothing seems to work. She regularly attends a Fat Acceptance Group, where the leaders tell her that she (and everyone else) should just get used to the way she is—and get over it. But she still feels a desperate need to change.

One day, at a group meeting, Lydia meets rail-thin Darcy, a recovering anorexic who tries to join the group to deal with her own image problems. Though she’s thrown out of the group for being too skinny, Lydia stands up for her. And after Darcy tries to help Lydia promote her Fat Acceptance walking group, the two gradually begin to build a friendship, realizing that they have a lot more in common than they once thought. Specifically, both women struggle with their body image.

Disfigured is a daring and honest—and sometimes even uncomfortably bold—look at women’s love-hate relationship with their bodies. Through these two very different main characters, the film discusses the ever-present pressure to be thinner—and it shows the low self-esteem that so many women struggle with as a result.

Of course, since Disfigured is an independent film, it does have its flaws. It sometimes comes in and out of focus. The sound is occasionally fuzzy. And the actors aren’t exactly pros. But the two main actresses fit right into their roles. They have wonderful chemistry together, too. They’ll pull you into their characters’ stories, and they’ll often have you nodding along in agreement, no matter what your size.

Unfortunately, another flaw is the film’s storytelling. Writer/director Glenn Gers’s story sometimes gets a bit muddled—and it’s hard to understand the film’s intended point. At times, it seems to say that everyone should accept fat people for who they are. At others, it seems to be encouraging fat people to get out and do something about their weight. The message isn’t always consistent—and the story tends to meander a bit. But, in the end, the overall message still comes through loud and clear—and that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Disfigured isn’t a thrilling movie—there’s a whole lot more talk than there is action—but this bold and meaningful film is sure to hold your attention anyway. While it won’t help you lose weight (or gain weight…whatever your case may be)—and it won’t necessarily make you feel better about the size of your thighs—it’ll definitely make you stop and think the next time you take a long, hard look in the mirror.

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