1. A man can not save you. This was something that I never understood as a teen and something I struggle to not forget as an adult. Other people can not solve the problems of ourselves. Love does not cure all, is not a balm, is not the only solution.
2. But still, I love and continue to love the non-verbal components of Rae and Finn’s relationship on My Mad Fat Diary. Finn touches Rae’s body, this body that society has told her is wrong. This body that she has scarred and burned to release the feelings kept bottled up inside, deteriorating her very soul.
3. Sometimes, self-hatred can run so deep that we mistrust the people who see our beauty and light. If the darkness envelops everything you do and see and understand about yourself and the world, a lie is hearing you have worth. When I was 16, 17, 18, I used to turn down any young man that hit on me. My friends said I had high standards. But inside, I thought: There must be something wrong with him to want me.
4. Female sexuality is real. It is hidden and ridiculed and misunderstood. It exists in a myriad of different ways. It can mean a lot to some or nothing at all. We are different, complex, more than you can ever imagine.
Rae’s articulation of what she wants is a strong counter to her emotional vulnerability. A person can be “damaged” and still want. A woman can exist outside of standards of beauty and body and still want. Wanting does not disappear because of size.
And Rae wants in a way that is rare on screen. She wants openly and vocally and proudly. I love that Rae says, “I want him to go down on me for so long that he has to evolve gills,” and it’s funny, but not a joke. She wants that intimacy and she wants it now and she doesn’t want it to stop.