You may be tempted to snicker at what inspired today’s post, but hear me out. The source may be a tad unconventional, but it is one, from my own observations, that most of us enjoy and appreciate; ‘Shrek’. More specifically, ‘Shrek the Third’ as Blaine and I watched it the other evening, and one of the film’s themes, or messages, if you will, prompted me to contemplate the validity and legitimacy of it.
The third installment in the ‘Shrek’ films depicts Shrek, Donkey and Puss in Boots as they embark on a quest to find Fiona’s cousin, Artie, to claim his right to the throne and be king of the Far, Far Away kingdom. Artie is a teenager enrolled in a medieval high school, and it is soon revealed after Shrek and his gang find him that he isn’t exactly the most popular bloke at school. He’s picked on, bullied, and is often referred to as a loser.
By the end of the movie, Artie realizes he has a lot in common with Shrek in terms of being perceived as something you’re not. Shrek, being an ogre, is often labelled as vicious, disgusting and violent, but in actuality, he is none of these things (apart from being a tad unhygienic). Shrek manages to break through Artie’s insecurities and enables Artie to come to the realization that despite being frequently called a loser, it doesn’t mean he is one. He is who he believes himself to be, and wants to be, not what others decide.
The Shrek franchise arguably targets a younger audience, but the message in all of the films, specifically this one, are applicable to everyone. We decide who we are, and we should not permit the opinions and beliefs of others to dictate how we see or identify ourselves. There is only one of all of us, and we are in control of who we want to be.