Identity Crisis in Little Miss Sunshine

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In the film Little Miss Sunshine many characters have difficulty finding their true identity. Olive, a 7 year old girl wants to win the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant and is unsure of her true identity because of this. Richard, her father, is an unsuccessful motivational speaker and businessman and this effects his perception of himself. Another character, Dwayne, loses his sense of identity when he realises he is colour blind. The uncle in the film, Frank has been suicidal due to losing his love and is not happy anymore.

Olive is the youngest of the Hoover family, her aspiration to become Little Miss Sunshine’s beauty pageant winner takes her family on the journey. Olives faces many challenges on her way to compete in the pageant contest. Some of these challenges include the hassle her father gives her, and example of this is when the family stop at a diner to eat some food, and her father questions her choice on whether she should order the ice cream or not, as he explains to her that beauty queens won’t subjectify their bodies to the calories that ice cream contains. This makes Olive doubt her appearance and causes her insecurities. Olive also opens her eyes to the other girls that are entering the same pageant as her and she notices that these girls are what society calls ‘beautiful’, with their perfect hair and trim bodies. This again causes Olive insecurities and challenges her identity crisis in finding her true identity and where she feels she belongs in the world.

Richard, the father in this film is almost obsessed with the idea of winning and being successful. He too takes his family on a journey as he tries to reach his goal of becoming a successful motivational speaker. He treats people poorly due to his competitive nature and desire to be number one. He gives Frank, his brother-in-law, a hard time due to the fact he himself is quite unmotivated in his own life at the current time. “There are two kinds of people in this world, there’s...
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