Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I’m a Cross Between Skeeter and Celia Foote

On this I 8 Wednesday, I’m exploring how I am like two characters from The Help. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, here’s one more reason why you should! (I’ll try not to include any spoilers.)

My Skeeter Side:

  • Like Skeeter, I want my stories to have impact. And with every story I listen to (I mean really listen to) or read, I feel mentally charged, emotionally engaged, and spiritually motivated. Stories light me up.

  • Skeeter and I are risk takers.

  • I smiled while watching Skeeter’s refusal to go along with the crowd. I’m also unafraid to stand on my own when necessary.

  • I’m all about driving a truck, having messy hair, standing up for a cause, calling a spade a spade, and persevering beyond what others might deem normal. I push past limits.

My Celia Foote Side:

  • I’ve been blatantly rejected from groups. I’ve been caught in the seeking approval net more than once.

  • I’ve experienced similar heart wrenching losses.

  • I’m full of energy and it doesn’t take a lot to excite me. Counting Crows sing lyrics that I’m sure Celia and I could both easily identify with: “She has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous.” And “She knows she’s more than just a little misunderstood.”

  • I love to give back. Once someone climbs in my heart, they stay. If you’ve ever taught me, poured into me, or loved me, I thrive on finding ways to return all that’s been given.

Have you read the book? Seen the movie? The casting for the movie was exceptional and an enormous success because of how relatable the characters were. Do you identify closely with any one character? (If you write Hilly, I’ll quote Tom Petty, “Don’t come around here no more.”)

*photo by flickr


  1. I made a little note on FB the night i saw the movie...i'll share it with you (sorry if it's a long note):

    I had mixed feelings because my first thought was "awesome, another story highlighting the black/white issue, just what I want to read being a minority in a majority town :) " and then I thought to myself "when people keep making movies/writing books about how black people were treated by the majority population would we ever get over the 'im better than you' syndrome'". Shoving all those feelings/thoughts aside, I proceeded with popcorn and soda (bite me lol) to The Help.
    Awesome movie.
    I must admit that I don't usually feel weird going to the movies by myself, but for this particular movie, it was more obvious to me tonight that I was the only minority person in a theatre with the majority population: awkward strike #1. Before the movie started, there were a group of middle aged ladies seated behind me who were making comments like "I should ask my husband for a help"...another said "my husband told me not to come home asking for a help to be hired" They chuckled several times while making their funny comments: awkward strike #2. During the movie I had alot of anxiety, and I got really angry at some parts, reinforcing my previously mentioned feelings about the movie, to be honest, I wanted to just get up and leave: awkward strike #3.
    I survived the movie, and many emotions after, I was happy that I went to see it. I found it to be a very moving and inspirational movie. Reminded me to not take anyone for granted, but most importantly, it reminded me that although I live as a minority in a majority town: not to take myself for granted.

  2. Powerful perspective, KC. I'm glad you shared that!

  3. Fun post, Wendy!

    I read it. Thinking I may take my mom to see it sometime this next week.

    Hugs, friend!

  4. I loved The Help. I haven't seen the movie yet. I can see bits of myself in all of the characters...yes, even Hilly only in the respect that Hilly really loved her children. Her other traits made my jaw ache from all the teeth grinding I did.

    I identified a lot with Abilileen in the love she had caring for other people's children. I do that for a living and there's so much heartache when they outgrow me and head off to school. Each one has left a footprint on my heart.

    I understand Minny's fiestiness because I have that at times.

    I could feel Celia's need for belonging because I've dealt with that all my life.

    Of course I want to write stories that will change lives like Skeeter.

    The one I identified with the least was Elizabeth. She was a horrible person in my mind. She knew how much it hurt not to have parental approval, yet she was so heartless toward her own daughter.

  5. Haven't seen the movie yet cause I want to read the book first, which is somewhere in my TBR pile. Maybe I'd better move it up a few spots.

  6. This book will remain with me for a long time. I can still feel the characters speaking into my spirit.

    And that is the kind of story that I want in my hands not on my Kindle:)

  7. Haven't seen it or read it but I want to! I keep hearing about it everywhere. I really relate to KC's perspective. I appreciate her sharing it.
    I personally love movies where characters move past cultural boundaries, like The Secret Lives of Bees.

  8. We saw it last week and loved it. It made me want to stand up and fight for someone:)

  9. I saw ads for this and wanted to go see it, but haven't yet. Now I must!!

    You liking your hair messed and trucks surprised me for some reason. I think because of how pretty and dainty you look in your pics up there. I can't wait to meet you in person, Wendy, at conference. Getting those excited butterflies inside just thinking about all the great bloggers I get to see in September!!!

  10. Great post! I identify with quite a few of the characters. Definitely Skeeter because she goes against the grain, does what makes her happy, and isn't super into appearances. I'm like Aibileen in the fact that eventhough she was in a "low" position as a maid, she still called the shots. When she was ready to leave a family when the kids were older, she knew she would find another job, because she was just that good. She goes above and beyond and she's good at what she does. I'm also like Minny in that I don't take mess from anyone, which is why I probably wouldn't have lived in the South back then. I won't even give you a chance to utter your mouth and think you are going to tell me that I have some disease and you don't want me to use your restroom, but you want me to cook your food and deal with you kids, as if the disease won't affect those areas! Ok, I'm going off on a tangent now. I also identify with Yule Mae because she was educated, and she wanted to pass that on to her kids. I wrote a review on the movie on my blog. To any ladies who haven't read the book or seen the movie. The book is 10X better, as they always are.

  11. I haven't read the book or watched the movie...yet! Planning on seeing it this week with some gal pals!

  12. I loved "The Help." My internal editor didn't turn on once.
    But I didn't find myself identifying with the characters ... and I don't mean this in a bad way. I was just so caught up in each of the character's stories.
    I would like to think I would be as brave as Abilene in the face of heartache. That I would make wise choices like Skeeter (and, like Skeeter, embrace who I am rather than trying to iron and press myself into somebody else).
    I hurt for Celia--how badly she wanted to belong ... Haven't we all felt that way?

  13. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but I REALLY liked the movie. I thought it was a great adapation of the book. I wondered if the actresses were close to what Kathryn Stockett pictured when she wrote the book and thinking how cool to see your story come alive on screen.

  14. I haven't read the book or seen the movie yet, but taking in the movie is on my Wanna Do list. I've been seeing rave reviews throughout cyberspace.

  15. I've stayed away from The Help because I'm suspicious of it being one of those cozy, feel-good racism books. I may be completely wrong about that, but it's my natural inclination to be wary. I can, however, give my analysis of you, based on what you wrote. You sound like a creative individualist sort with a streak of perfectionism. Those are probably good traits for the writing life. :)

  16. My wife really liked the book and movie, she's trying to get me into it. Neat and introspective blog:)

  17. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I plan on doing both. My reading list is just so long. Maybe I should move it up to the top.

  18. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I plan on doing both. My reading list is just so long. Maybe I should move it up to the top.

  19. KC, Again, thanks!

    Hugs back at ya, Jana and I went with my mom. We had a blast!

    Lisa, I neglected to write it, but I also identified with Minnie. Her fight. Her impulsiveness. Long after I read the book I wondered about her--hoped she hadn't returned to her abusive situation. Isn't that odd? She became so real for me--maybe the most real of all the characters. And I hesitated to joke about Hilly. I know we are all ugly in certain ways. She was just such a great stinkin' antagonist!

    Lacie, The book is one of my favorites. Yes, move it on up.

    Tamika, I clapped at your comment. Yes, I'm easily excited, but it isn't often I clap at a comment! Yes, a book to hold!

    Jessica, I understand where you are coming from. It is a rich character study though. And I'm one who believes in order not to repeat history, we must be truthful and open about it.

    Terri, I can relate with that feeling. Maybe God will soon show you who.

    Eileen, I'm getting excited too and when you meet me you'll see dainty is not a word to describe me. Although I can see where maybe my photo conveyed that. Intriguing. But I like to burp.

    TiAnna, I wanted to keep watching at the credits to see where Aibileen would go...I wanted to know her future. And you bring up an excellent point about Yule Mae. That deep deep love for her children. I get that.

    Jessica, Enjoy the conversation that follows!

    Beth, I certainly have felt that way. I've learned a lot and I don't feel it near as much anymore. I loved the scene at the church. My mom and I both cried at that part.

    Stacy, What a great point. I also wonder what KS felt about the movie adaptation. Wonder if she'll ever share in an article?

    Keli, Let us know what you think when you do either.

    Jill, Where do I send the money for the analysis? ;) Creative, check. Perfectionist, not so much. Sort of wish I were more of one, then maybe my house would be cleaner and I would have remembered to take the chicken out so we weren't stuck eating popcorn and eggs for dinner.
    (Thanks for the nice words.)

    Mark, Thanks. That was a cool thing to write. Yeah, I wonder about that, about what guys would think of this film. I'd love to read more about that. Thanks for visiting.

    Susan (I need to let you know I can't comment on your blog and I want to.) And here you are twice on mine! Move it on up.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The comments really triggered lots of thoughts!

    ~ Wendy

  20. I read the book and saw the movie. What I love about the book is the voices of all the characters. I love the way Millie and Abileen banter back and forth and the loving relationship that they have for each other. Society has unseen pressures to push us one direction or the other and I love how Kathryn Stockett illustrated this in her book.
    The movie was also wonderful and I understand about parts being left out or the movie could have been four hours long. With that said I still miss those parts! The actresses were superb! I especially enjoyed Millie, Skeeter, and Hilly. Yep, Hilly!! She really captured her character ~ love it or hate it. I truly felt the honesty in the characters and believed that's just how it all happened, even if it didn't.
    What I am taking with me from the book and movie is a deeper feeling of appreciation of equal rights. I have never felt people should be judged based on the color of their skin but more over people should never be treated like less than a human being. Behavior is a measure of judgment on one's self!
    Be kind, be smart, and be important in someone's life besides your own!

  21. Hi Wendy -

    I've never heard of either the movie or the book. It sounds like it's character driven.

    I'll have to jot down the name of this one and check it out.

    Susan :)


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