Little Miss Sunshine Analysis

1203 Words 5 Pages
Madeline Barbier
Video Essay
PSY 340- Adolescences Adolescences Through the Eyes of Little Miss Sunshine In the years of adolescences, adolescents often times are experiencing a crisis of identity. They are trying to understand what roles they fall into and a lot of times their families and their self-esteem influences this “self-understanding”. In Little Miss Sunshine, many key concepts to adolescence are seen in the 7-year old character, Olive Hoover. She is going through the fifth developmental stage Identity versus Identity Confusion; she is struggling with her self-understanding as she is going through role experimentation which is influenced heavily by her family and her level of self-esteem. In Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory, the
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In Little Miss Sunshine specifically her family was very influential on her self-esteem, for good and bad. Her father was a self-help personality that kept telling his family that “if you aren’t a winner, then you are a loser”. He told Olive, there was no reason to go to the “Little Miss Sunshine” competition unless she thought that she would win. This philosophy could be both healthy and unhealthy. While it taught Olive to be positive and believe that she could do anything that she put her mind to, it also instilled the fear that she would lose and be a dreaded “loser”. In one specific scene, Olive is in the hotel talking to her grandfather and she is crying because she is afraid that she will “lose and be a loser”. Her father also messes with her self-esteem by making a comment about the ice cream she wanted to eat for breakfast. Instead of saying, ice cream isn’t good for you this early in the morning; he instead says, “do you think ‘skinny’ beauty pageant winners eat ice cream?” He says that in order for Olive to be a winner, she has to eat so that she doesn’t get fat. This obviously affects her self-esteem, because later on in the movie she asks her grandfather is he thinks she is beautiful and she asks Miss California if she eats ice cream. Besides the low self-esteem her father gives her, her family also helps her with her identity and self-esteem, by …show more content…
While I would I no way say that the Hoover parents were the best parents, but they show how influential parents can be on how their children’s identity formed. The father lowered Olive’s self-esteem a little bit, but he also allowed her to believe that she could do anything if she put her mind to it. This idea allowed Olive to experiment with any role she wanted to and would eventually allow her to find her self-understanding and eventually her

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