What Joy Means

No. I don’t mean the noun.

Joy is a film directed by David O. Russell starring Jennifer Lawrence that tells the inspiring true story of Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop.

But the film is about much more than a self-wringing mop.

Behind every successful woman is a story. And Joy tells it as if you were watching your own. Joy’s struggles and ambitions accurately embodied the same of women everywhere. She held that power of representation. And hope.

The film covers across four generations of women. A main theme was family. Joy’s was dysfunctional to say the least (as many of ours are), but she never let them get in the way of her dream. Even when no one believed in her.

If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that the only person you can control is yourself. You can’t change people. You can only learn to love them for who they are. Joy understood that. She did not want to live the same life as her family. And she used that to push herself to strive for a better life.

We all have someone in our lives to guide us. Joy’s was her grandmother, who narrated her story. She knew she would grow up to invent things and become a matriarch. To have someone believe and encourage you is so incredibly important. Especially as a child. I’m very thankful for my own grandmother. Just like Joy.

People come see movies for many different reasons. Sometimes you just know that a movie could change your life. And if you’re lucky enough, you’re able to walk out feeling almost cathartic. Because the movie you watched was actually your life. You saw all of the struggles and the hard times, but you also saw the ending.

So I walked out feeling like I can do and be anything I wanted. That the path to success isn’t a straight line. A lot of shit will happen and how you deal with it means everything.

I believe Joy is an important film for women of all ages to see. She’s serves as a great role model for women. Maybe it can change lives for the better. Who knows. I’m glad I experienced it my first time by myself, but I’d really love to take my mom and grandmother, too.

And remember, find your special power. Because you don’t need a prince.


  1. I haven’t seen Joy yet, but I read your post about it and think you might enjoy Mildred Pierce, a similar topic – it’s about how Mildred broke free of her unhappy marriage and started with a fried chicken & waffle shop, and quckly started one of the very first franchise restaurants. Alone with her business there obviously is family drama, it’s excellently cast with Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood. Maybe you’ll like it http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1492030/

    Liked by 1 person

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