This movie was well thought out and planned. The character development was extensive and thorough. The message was powerful and positive. The movie was entertaining.
At times this movie was depressing at times but was necessary to portray the overall message.
The movie "Girlfight" demonstrates adversity and achievement in a non-traditional role by following a young minority woman as she literally fights her way through her oppression to find herself.
Diana's history sets her up for a difficult fight right from the beginning. She was raised with her brother, Tiny, in a single parent home. Her mother committed suicide so her father was left alone to raise them in a low income, inner city neighborhood. Their father placed very traditional roles upon them which made them both unhappy and left them unfulfilled. Because of his age, heritage, and role in the household, Diana and Tiny's father demonstrated very strict traditional standards for his kids to abide by and used a traditional social learning theory as evidenced by his use of reinforcement and punishment regarding his kids interests (Hunt 2009). For example, Diana's father forced Tiny to train as a boxer even though he preferred to listen to quiet music and practice drawing. He ridiculed Tiny and told him that he was less of a man for wanting to focus on artwork rather than something "manly" like boxing. Even Diana called him a "joke" and a "loser" for wanting to attend art school. These are both examples of how punishment was used to deter the behaviors that Tiny's father viewed as negative for a boy to pursue. Boxing was important to Diana's father because he considered it necessary for Tiny to prepare him for the world. When it came to Diana, her father looked down upon her. He didn't witness her doing "girly" things so he didn't acknowledge her as feminine or worthy. Diana wanted to take boxing lessons but he refused to pay for the lessons and thought it was degrading that Diana just wanted to get "beat up" by men. This is another example of punishment. Her father wouldn't pay for or condone her boxing lessons and used negative language to reinforce his position on the subject.
The movie began by showcasing Diana as a really tough, masculine girl. She was always clashing with other girls and was extremely hostile. She didn't get along with many people, including her father. It was never disclosed as to when Diana lost her mother. Depending on her age, this could explain her tumultuous relationship with her father and could even have resulted in a confusing gender identity (Brannon 2008). Diana may not have had the opportunity to have a female figure to "mirror" (Hunt 2009) and learn about traditional female behavior. The first real spark of passion seen from Diana was when she decided that she wanted to train to be a boxer. Unfortunately, when she arrived at the gym and spoke with the trainers, she was faced with even more stereotypical ridicule. The trainers insinuated that the gym wasn't a "free workout" or an aerobics class. After much persistence, they agreed that she could train but she couldn't fight.
Her persistence gained her the respect of the trainers. They no longer saw her as a woman, but as a fighter. Through her positive experiences with them, she was able to find herself. She built strong relationships and support systems with them, her brother, and her boyfriend.
I'd recommend this movie to anybody. It's a positive movie with an empowering message.