Analysis on “ma vie en rose”

Zeynep Aydın
5 min readMay 14, 2019

Introduction

Current article will discuss the main points and themes from the movie while giving references to the related topics that we have covered in the class so far. In order to discuss main topics, first the theme and the summary of the movie will be given. The movie ‘Ma vie en Rose’ is about a story of a transsexual individual, main character Ludovic likes to dress up in feminine clothes and thinks that he is a girl even since when he was little. It is a movie that discusses the topic beyond the transsexuals while focusing on the developmental part where specifically how he perceives himself as a girl. Particularly I will discuss gender role identity Behaviorism, Social Learning Theory, Parenting Style Theory and Piaget’s cognitive development theory.

Development

First of all, for the adult world maybe dressing up in female clothes and for a male to think that he is a female is an absurd theme but at the childhood it is very possible since the schemas about gender roles, gender role identities and societal norms are not developed and fully understood in that age (Martin & Ruble, 2010). From his perspective the clear cut between a male and female might be not developed yet and that’s why researchers believe that children most of the time can think outside of the box which is due to their lack of ability to understand or not getting enough exposure to rules of society that creates this stereotypic gender stigmas.

From the perspective of Social Learning Theory, which is a theory developed by Bandura in 1977 in the movie Ludovic likes to dress up in his mothers clothes, according to this theory which adds up some points to earlier theories such as classical and operant conditioning it states that our behavior is not only learned by conditioning but also comes from the environment that he have been exposed to, modelling is an important term that needs to be discussed in this paper, for case of Ludovic when he sees his mother as dressing up and seeing females around him, he is immediately modeling and showing copy cat behaviors, since he thinks that he is girl it is not unpredictable that why he did not model his father’s behavior. Moreover since social learning also suggests that this modeling behavior will help individuals to shape their gender roles and their gender identities so overall we can claim that Ludovic took his mother as a model and his gender identities such as clothing whatsoever was influenced by her.

According to the parenting style dimensions by Baumrind which is a theory developed in 1966, we can claim that parents of Ludovic has a authoritative parenting style which is a parenting style that is high in control dimension and high in warmth connection, in the movie we can clearly see that his parents does not have a neglectic style towards their children, they still have control over him and while also caring and loving their girl-like-boy. Even after the scene where his parents tried to talk with their son in order to understand his sexual identity they still show that they cared about him and love him unconditionally.

Piaget’s Cognitive development theory suggested that at the preoperational stage that occurs between the ages of 2–7, thinking is still egocentric which means that a child does not have the ability and capacity to see other’s perspective and thinks that the he is the center of the world, this egocentric kind of thinking will lead behaviors where a child can not understand other’s ideas and thinks that everyone around them in their environment thinks same as he does (Gromova & Alimbekov, 2015). Due to Ludovic’s egocentric thinking while for his case, wearing female clothes and thinking that he is a girl can make sense from his perspective, he can not understand that that he is different than others, also he can not understand that how others think, so this will lead to an idea where he thinks others sees him as a girl as well due to his lack of ability to see situations from others point of view, suggested by the Piaget as well where he assumes that children thinks what other people see, hear and feel is exactly the same with themselves.

In addition, at the concrete operational stage where it occurs between the ages 7–11 at this stage children starts to gain to ability to think logically even though they still struggle with concrete and abstract concepts they begin to use logic and make reasoning. At the movie there is scene where Ludovic have a conversation with Jerome, they discuss about Ludovic being a ‘boygirl’ and he explains this to Jerome with giving references of how two people make babies and explains situation with referring to chromosomes, this scenes gives an example of how Ludovic starts to think logically and tries to explain and search for his identity, even though his explanation of himself being a ‘boygirl’ is not that clear and logical enough he begins to realize and give logical reasons to interpret it.

Conclusion

This movie reflects such an amazing and complex dilemma in a very different way. When even being in the place that you don’t like or wearing something that you don’t like makes you feel uncomfortable, living in a body and feeling trap in it without feeling any belonginess must be a really though and a complex think to understand and deal with. It reflects how a young children explore his gender his identity and overall his sexual identity. His family being from a different class and his problems with fitting in to the new environment and being different than the other, really made me question about gender and societal norms. Beyond the biology what does being femimine and masculine means any way? If we divide individuals into categories such as male and female than we making another sub category about their femininity and masculinity as well, whereas it does not change the fact that one being a male and other being a female. It is harsh statement to claim that when you are not masculine enough you are not man enough and the roles that comes with it makes it even harder. Overall this movie gave me a whole another perspective about individuals because it shows the naked truth from the eyes of an innocent ‘boygirl’.

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