Spoilers for Unicorn Store on Netflix – proceed with glitter and caution.
You know who you are.
Of course you do.
The ones who never fit in.
The artistic ones. WEIRD. Different. Unique. Non-conformists. They have different names for us, but they damn sure can’t fit us in a box, (with or without a stick) and they HATE that.
Ok, maybe you did. Literally. But this movie isn’t about sex.
Self-love. Self-acceptance. Self-understanding.
Ah-ha! Self understanding.
*pats self on back*
Because who else is gonna do it?
Who else matters?
A few people.
BUT YOURSELF – yourself matters most.
More than conforming to anyone else’s definition of adulting.
More than losing your identity to fit into a world you feel you don’t belong in.
Lemme tell you something . . .
YOU FUCKING BELONG.
It’s a world.
You’re one of those people.
TA-DA! Congrats. You belong.
You don’t have to put on a suit and try and hammer your square peg into a round hole.
Side note, did you notice the holes in multiple things in Kit’s life? The checkerboard – which she told the unicorn Steve did when he was angry he lost.
And the window in her playhouse – it too had a unicorn-sized hole in the window. I’m going to guess there are more holes, I might watch a third time just for hole counting.
Also, Kit wears these fabulous beaded necklaces when she’s in true childhood Kit mode and I made one with pink and red beads in Kindergarten and tons of bracelets with my name and other words on them when I was a teenager and I bought some at an art school fundraiser not too long ago and wear them proudly . . . where was I?
When my husband came home, I sat him down to watch this movie.
This man is the only human being in my life who actually understands me. I think he might understand me more than I understand myself.
I told him I cried through the whole movie and he first didn’t want to watch it, thinking it was sad. When I told him I saw myself on the screen, he goes, “Oh! So you self-identified. Cool.” (My husband is a therapist. I have a masters in Media Psychology. We analyze each other. Sometimes we’re right. It’s a fun side dynamic to our relationship.)
I told him I saw myself in so many aspects of Kit it was frightening. He kept pausing the movie to look at me, sometimes in humor, sometimes in disbelief, at the behaviors and emotions and life choices this character had made on screen that he recognized in the woman sitting next to him in purple llama houseshoes and holding her teddy bear.
I needed Bernard through the first watching (did I mention I was crying through the whole thing?) and he loved the movie so much he wanted to watch it again.
I also collect Care Bears.
Might have drunk a bottle of wine with them.
On more than one occasion.
Most people drink with their demons.
Care Bears help ward those off, you know.
I started crying from the moment those three pairs of eyes stared at Kit over clipboards. Before they even marked “Poor” down the whole page, I knew what that look meant. I’d seen it before.
In so many jobs.
In so many artistic endeavors.
In my parents’ eyes.
In teachers’ eyes.
Friends . . . lovers . . . strangers . . .
In I’d say 70% of anyone’s eyes I sought approval in.
I kept crying when Kit moved in her parent’s basement. They’d painted over the beautiful murals on her walls . . . just like the new owners of my old house probably painted over my walls.
I continued crying as the image of Kit came onscreen – depressed, in pajamas, sprawled on the couch eating Pop Tarts and watching random tv.
Because I was currently in the same position. Literally the same position on the couch. Watching a random movie on Netflix.
Can I just praise Brie Larson for her directing skills for a second? The color in these scenes is awesome – her whole house is brown. Her parents are bathed in brown. She’s the only source of color – and her cartoons. But the cartoons . . .
. . . are literally watching her parents, and confused by all the brown and their sentiment on life.
Later, when Kit is closer to settling into her skin as an adult and realizing it’s up to her to define what that means, the house has color.
As much color as Kit? No. Normal, everyday color. It’s in this scene she notices her parents have hung up her artwork in the kitchen – incorporating her identity into theirs.
My parents HATED me playing in bar bands on weekends, but you know who was at every gig I played in that tiny little bar in that tiny little town?
My mother even went to the dive bar 45 minutes down the road one afternoon with me to help load equipment because the other band members were too hung-over to help me.
My parents didn’t – don’t – understand me . . .
but they love me.
And they recognize –
that I like different things than they do.
They will never understand why I love “childish” things.
As the rest of the world (and the haters of this movie) will always ask, but Kit herself answers:
And that magic
I hate to cook, but it’s a chef’s greatest dream to create food people love.
Some people garden.
Some people collect antiques.
Some people collect Care Bears and stuffed animals. (That would be me)
Some people write music and books and poems and blogs. (Also me)
Some people bury who they really are in a sea of conformity and universal acceptance.
Or drugs. Or alcohol. Don’t get me started on the real reason substance abuse is so prevalent right now.
We are all here.
We are all alive.
We are all universally accepted.
Fuck the disapproving looks.
The world will conform.
You do not need a magical unicorn –
real or metaphorical –
to determine your self-worth.
It took the second watching of Unicorn Store and my husband mashing the pause button on the remote and declaring, “I’VE GOT IT!” for me to see the true metaphor of this movie.
A unicorn is a designation of the goal in your life that’s so unattainable (for whatever reason) it doesn’t exist.
Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist, (two word that could be improved with some glitter) designated the metaphor “unicorn” as a startup company with a value of a billion dollars or more. The name stuck. The word unicorn coupled with any goal, means that goal is imaginary. A myth. A perfect boyfriend is a unicorn. An affordable house is a unicorn. A job where you can be creative and profitable is a unicorn.
You get the idea.
Kit wanted a unicorn as a little girl. Kit grew up and thought she couldn’t have one. Kit decided to believe the impossible – that unicorns were real and she could actually have one. She changed her life for that goal, then realized the journey was the point. Simply knowing unicorns were real and magic was real and something validated her exactly as she was – was enough. She didn’t need a unicorn in her life everyday, because she had found self-worth and self-acceptance on her journey to own the animal. She didn’t need the animal to have that feeling. And she knew someone else out there needed to understand that as well. And the unicorn would help that person with that.
Does Kit have a clue where she’s going after she leaves the Unicorn Store?
Which honestly, left me a little let down the first time I watched it.
I wanted answers.
I don’t fit in the creative world, and I don’t fit in the corporate world, so where do I fit?
I’ve spent my whole life looking for the answer to this question.
that’s the point
of life itself.
Kits of the world . . . keep going.
Maybe our goal and our purpose is to remind people that magic exists.
And that magic is different for everyone.
And what a glorious