Margery Daw is a popular Mother Goose nursery rhyme meant to poke fun at a woman who sold her belongings to lay upon straw; “For wasn’t she a dirty slut / To sell her bed and lie in the dirt?” But when Honoré Sharrer approached her own depiction of Margery Daw, she thought quite the opposite: “Margery Daw is the liberated woman.”
When our group saw Honoré Sharrer’s painting of Margery Daw for the very first time, I specifically remember Caeleigh saying “this is my fear” under her breath. She vocalized exactly what most of us were thinking (except for Lainey, who actually sold most of her belongings to travel—pretty cool, right?). We thought to ourselves, “Isn’t it funny how we all feel the need to control and perfect every aspect of our lives?” The thought of letting any of that go is truly a nightmare to many. Yet the look on Margery Daw’s face in the painting is that of sheer contentment. How incredible! We knew we wanted to capture that very emotion when we created this short film.
So that’s what we did. Each of us chose something we felt was a universal theme for most women: the persistent balancing act of the everyday, the perception of the perfect body image, the sometimes neurotic way we perform in front of our peers, and the way we express our individuality. Dropping a stack of plates signifies being able to say “no” to certain obligations; the body paint signifies how we disguise ourselves out of self-consciousness; the costume change remind us of how we don’t need to put on an act every second of the day; and lastly, taking off the mask signifies how important it is to express ourselves based on what we love (without negative outside influence).
The music was produced by all of us (all in my living room with a mic hanging from my ceiling), but Caeleigh was the mastermind who strung the noises together to make some sort of atmospheric, under-water kind of feel. Everything you hear is us, and everything you hear is supposed to be highly disconcerting and uncomfortable. Those smirks at the end of each vignette? Much creepier with the music, right?
The reality is that we’re imperfect. And that’s just perfect! It’s exhausting trying to be something we’re not. Because who the fuck cares?
We’re allowed to say no.
Your body is beautiful the way it is.
It feels incredible to let loose, no matter who’s looking.
And it’s liberating to express ourselves the way WE choose.
Sure, it’s uncomfortable at first…but isn’t it worth it all worth it in the end?