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THE DRESS by Tadeusz Łysiak

The story is centered on a woman of short stature named Julia. She is a woman who wants to find love and be treated as a normal human being. Julia has never experienced physical desire or love. The films portray the woman's struggle to create believably human characters that struggle with the same issues and insecurities as any other character in films. This is a well crafted film that provides a unique insight into the minds of the disabled while portraying their struggles and desire to be treated as regular people.

The Dress is undeniably a masterpiece. It's a film that, in less than 30 minutes, creates a complete world with complex characters and an intricate narrative. And it all feels natural, as if director Tadeusz Lysiak had just recorded real life. On the surface, it's about the fact that our main character, Julia, a small woman, wants to experience being loved, being in love, and being beloved like a normal lady. Unfortunately, reality being reality, Julia had a hard time dealing with being placed on the margins of society with her current precedent.

Julia (Anna Dzieduszycka) is a cleaning lady at a motel somewhere in Poland. She seems to be friendless and very lonely. Whereas, the protagonist is an outsider, and she doesn’t fit into the so called norms of our society. It’s not her fault that she was born this way, so why does this make her less worthy of love? Is it possible to teach our children (and ourselves) about the importance of accepting others for who they are?

The film "The Dress" touches on the subjects of rejection, loneliness, and the desire for love. The protagonist is a conduit of very universal emotions that anyone can identify with. Julia is physically different from the rest of society, but she is guided by the same needs and desires we all have. The world is full of lonely people who are fated to be alone. The Dress is a very quiet story, but it has a strong visual style. The characters are not talkative at all; they silently go on with their daily routines until something happens that makes them realize it is time to take action.

What is beauty? It’s an idea, an illusion. You can’t see it or touch it. But you can feel it, and feel it deeply. Yet, it’s the most fragile idea in the world. One scratch and the glass of beauty will shatter into a million pieces. The question is: who is to blame for breaking this glass? We live in a world where the standards of beauty are set by the covers of magazines or pictures of Instagram models. We are getting accustomed to a certain cult of strength, and the canons of beauty are ruthless. How can we find ourselves in a world that points out every flaw and imperfection?

It’s important to note that these standards don’t come from anywhere. They have been created by those who rule us without our even noticing. The media, corporations, and politicians, they all take advantage of our insecurity and paint a picture of what we should try to achieve at any cost. Of course, not all people follow these rules blindly, but they still exist.

Young girls want to be slim and sexy like models from Vogue; boys want six packs like actors from Hollywood blockbusters; everyone wants to look good on social media and get thousands of likes.

The truth is that we should stop looking at ourselves through the eyes of other people. We should learn to love and accept our bodies because that is what we have now. They are ours, and only ours, and we must be grateful for everything they do for us. And if it is still hard to find inner peace and love your body, then try to forget about external approval.

You have to remember that you are beautiful and elegant, no matter what they say! You have to know your worth! And it is not about the reflection in the mirror or approval from society—it is about how you feel inside! You need to understand that there will always be people who will try to put you down, but those who really matter won’t mind, and those whose mind don’t matter.

It might seem that it is impossible to be happy and satisfied with yourself when you have to face these artificial standards all the time. But I would argue that it is quite possible.

First, we should not be afraid to push back on trends. You are not a pet or a living doll who should look exactly like the owner wants, whether they want you to wear long dresses or short dresses. Everyone has their own taste, and you should not go after it. It is only important to feel comfortable in your body. Wearing clothes that make your skin crawl will only worsen your mood.

Second, it is important to remember that it is impossible to please everyone. Someone will always find something wrong with you, even if you have achieved the ideal weight and you look like a magazine cover. But does it really matter what someone else thinks about you? If you feel confident, then those people cannot hurt you because they will not affect your life in any way.

Finally, we should not forget that beauty fades away with time. We must remember that there are things more important than what our body looks like and how much we weigh. It is self esteem, health, and happiness. 

Tadeusz Ysiak's short film, THE DRESS, was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 94th Academy Awards. Not to mention that it has been nominated for an award at the 2021 Atlanta Film Festival.

This film raises a plethora of questions about society's ideal of beauty and how we see our self-worth based on physical properties. While at times, the film is quite puzzling in its complex analysis, it will not leave you disappointed. On the contrary, it may even open certain discussions around why certain beauty standards are more widely accepted than others in today's society.

It is important to remember that you are more than your appearance. You are a person, an individual with feelings, wants, and needs. Do not let yourself be defined by assumptions others may make about you based on your outer appearance. You can change perceptions by being confident in yourself and standing up for your own self worth. But most importantly, remember to never limit yourself because the world has done so first. It is definitely a movie worth watching!