Fifty Shades of not too shabby

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This past weekend, my friends and I decided that there was only one respectable way to spend our post-Winter Carnival Friday night: watching “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

None of us had ever seen it, which seemed like a crime in itself, so it was essential that we checked it off our bucket list.

Since I was hosting this event, it only made sense to warn my parents of the On Demand purchase that they would later see on their credit card bill. My mom said she was worried I would find it “upsetting” or even “unbearable.” Little did she know it would inspire my latest opinions piece.

Before I jump into the magic that is this movie, I have to mention that, yes, I do see and acknowledge the major flaws. It demonstrates an incredibly unhealthy and controlling relationship, depicts women as objects for men’s pleasure, and of course, there was this really weird scene where Christian ate a bite of Anastasia’s toast without asking. How unsanitary!

However, if there is one strength that I saw in the movie, it is the way that it positively promotes consent. For example, before entering the Red Room, Christian makes a point to say that Anastasia can leave at any point, emphasizing that, “the helicopter is on standby for whenever you want to go.”

The pair also have safe words to verbally express what they are comfortable with, and Anastasia gives her signature to demonstrate her active consent beforehand.

Before signing, the two discuss their boundaries, communicating what they are and are not comfortable with. While they definitely do not have a healthy relationship, that communication sounds pretty healthy to me.

Throughout the movie, we learn that Christian had an abusive past, and therefore is sensitive to certain parts of his body because of his scars. As his way to express what he is comfortable with, he draws physical boundaries on his body, yet again another way to communicate with his partner and facilitate consent.

If we’re being honest, I can’t remember if this part is from “Fifty Shades of Grey” or “Fifty Shades Darker.” I watched them in the same night.

What I have come to realize is that this is the only movie I have ever watched that shows consent being granted and talked about. As a chick flick aficionado who has seen many cringe-worthy moments in rom-coms, this is a big deal. Take a minute and rack your brain for a movie you have seen that shows consent being verbalized. The numbers are few.

It makes sense that a movie all about sex would be one to introduce consent, but my friends and I were still shocked when we saw this positive side of the movie. We just aren’t used to hearing about consent in the movies we watch. It was a pleasant surprise.

While a movie like “Fifty Shades of Grey” may not have appealed to a group like my friends and I, we could not help but cheer and throw our fists in the air anytime we heard, “It’s important that you know you can leave at any time.” “Heck yeah,” we would scream.

If I have suddenly inspired you to go home and watch this movie, please do so at your own risk.

While I do love how it promotes consent, there are some scenes that required the fast forward button.

And of course, as the movie is rated R, do not watch it unless you are seventeen. I wouldn’t want any of you breaking that highly monitored law!

I am hoping to go see “Fifty Shades Freed” soon. Spoiler alert, I hear they get married! Maybe there will be domestic issues to discuss. I’ll have to bring a pen and paper to take notes.

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