Healthy Mind, Healthy Reviews

The Joys of Being a Girl at LUNAFEST

March 2, 2014

I absolutely love my boyfriend to death. We have this crazy relationship where we actually enjoy spending time with each other. He’s one of the most energetic people I know, and it never ceases to amaze me how he can take an unplanned Sunday afternoon and turn it into a crazy adventure. On top of that, his endless knowledge of current events, and my passion for deep conversation, could keep us talking for hours. We spend A LOT of time together. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because of this wonderful man in my life, I often forget the importance of girl time. You know, chit-chatty, dream sharing, clothes obsessing, emotionally charged, GIRL TIME.

Take that as a warning that I’m about to get pretty mushy on you.

ENTER: LUNAFEST

The film festival put on by women, for women, and about women. It is, of course, sponsored by that delicious nutrition bar, we all know and love that is specifically formulated for women (LUNA Bars).

This past week I got the honor of attending LUNAFEST as a health food blogger. Besides attending the event itself, I was also provided with LUNA gift packs to giveaway to you guys (see MAKE IT UP MEAL CONTEST!).

I’d like to play it cool and act like this happens all the time for HealthyStacey.com. But it totally doesn’t. So can I just say, in all seriousness…YAY!!!

LUNAFEST was established in 2000 by LUNA to simultaneously promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support women’s nonprofit organizations. Best of all, 100% of the net proceeds go to charity.

I felt good vibes from the moment I stepped through the door. The room was absolutely packed with women and healthy food and drink and laughter. After an hour or so of mingling and eating (including food from LYFE Kitchen – a place I’ve been dying to blog about; it is so nutritiously good), we sat down for the film festival portion.

There were 9 films total. From a team of women in their 70’s playing competitive basketball, to an adorable story of unrequited love with the mailman, each story made an impression on me. But my favorite one would have to be Flying Anne.

Flying Anne is a story about beautiful 11-year-old Anne, who is lanky and awkward just like we all were at that age. But her discomfort with her body is triggered by more than just puberty; Anne suffers from Tourettes Syndrome. Throughout her day, she twists and twirls and even licks nearby objects because of an uncontrollable function of her brain.

Her favorite thing to do is “fly.” Flying could mean riding her bike, climbing the monkey bars or shimmying up fences. It’s only when she’s up high or gliding through the air that she feels free because nobody is around to judge her.

Ever since I saw this film, I can’t help but think about the long and hard road to self-confidence. I am 28 years old, and I am JUST NOW feeling comfortable in my own skin. I love the way I look, I love the way I feel, and I know how to treat my body to keep it that way. But holy shit did that take a lot of work (and I still continue to work on it). If I had to add an uncontrollable twitch or twirl in to the mix, or any physical or neurological disorder, I’m not sure I would have made it.

As the film progresses, you see how this little girl copes. You see her pain and embarrassment, but you also see her happy moments (including an adorable little boy with a big crush on her). At the very end, she is asked if she could get rid of her Tourettes, would she? And she oh-so-maturely says, “No, because then I wouldn’t be Anne anymore.”

Wow. I’m impressed. This 11-year-old just schooled me. It’s taken me a lot of years to figure that out for myself. But I know now, with all of my flaws, anxiety and weird idiosyncrasies, that I wouldn’t want to be anybody else.

MUSH ALERT, I know.

But this is what I’m talking about. Every once in a while, we need to get emotional and mushy and be girly. So if you’d like to join me in this girl time, I’ve compiled the websites of the films here so you can see them for yourself. Not all of them had a website, so a few are just links to articles or website mentions. My top recos would be Sidewalk (animated story of a woman's changing body), First Match (heart-wrenching story of a young girl determined to wrestle with the boys and impress her father), and Tiny Tiny Magic (sweet story of an unexpected love connection with the mailman). 

Last but not least, thank you so much to LUNA Bar for hosting my MAKE-IT-UP MEAL recipe contest. Congratulations to the winners…

  • Maggie Bronny for her Bowl of Randomness
  • Margaret Hutson for her Mega Sandwich
  • Michelle Fairbrother for her Vegetarian Roasted Mediterranean Salad

So go watch a rom-com, make a healthy lunch and eat a chocolate brownie LUNA Bar. In the words of a wise group of scantily-dressed British women:

GIRL POWER!

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