The movie Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire about a 16 year old girl named Claireece “Precious” Jones who was raised in an abusive household with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, where she deals with verbal, physical and sexual abuse from both her mother, and father who lives in a different home. Precious has one child with Down’s Syndrome, but her mother doesn’t let the baby stay in the house with them so she lives with her grandmother and the only time Precious gets to see the baby is when the social worker visits to evaluate the child care.
Things ertainly are bleak, and when they get bleak, Precious escapes in to a fantasy world in her mind where she’s a famous, glamorous actress walking the red carpet, or being adored by a perfect June Cleaver-type mom. In reality, as long as Precious can make it through the day invisible – at school, on the streets or at home – she can breathe a sigh of relief. Precious is a victim of various psychological traumas and anxieties she faces constant child abuse, rape, domestic violence, incest, physical and mental abuse. She suffers from low self esteem.
Her father constantly molests her and her mother orces her to have sex with her step father which results in her getting pregnant twice. She suffers from eating disorders and often escapes from her real life trauma. Her mother suffers from anxiety and Precious is forced to run the house as well. She has no friends and is mocked by people due to her over weight. It would be difficult to conceive of a child in worse circumstances than Precious, who, in addition to all her other problems, has trouble explaining her situation to the few adults who could potentially help her.
Precious suffers from sever Depression Precious suffers from Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety disorder, Post Traumatic Stress, eating disorders specifically bulimia nervosa, relational problems, problems related to abuse and neglect, and bipolar disorder. Precious suffers from Paranoia, anti social disorder and borderline personality disorder Precious’ overall performance shows signs of anxiety; she struggles at school and hardly interacts with people Precious’ excessive weight and eating plays a central role in the movie.
Aspects of the story help illuminate many of the reasons emotional, physical, and particularly sexual abuse, are risk factors for eating disorders. Abuse isn’t a “cause. ” Instead, it puts someone at a higher likelihood of having eating issues (there are many binge eating disorder as well as emotional eating, obesity and body image dissatisfaction. Thus, it is no surprise that Precious, who was sexually abused by her father, struggles with her weight, body and eating. Any person who loses the will to live and considers themselves as useless suffer from severe depression as well.
Precious faces immense difficulties in life, she has no family relations, her mother hardly shows any sympathy and she goes on in life feeling unloved. Precious has no friends people ignore her like she is nonexistent. Her mother lets her father rape her, nothing could be more traumatic then being raped. Rape usually leaves people losing their faith and trust in people, incest victim’s struggle a lot more since the perpetrator is someone they loved and trusted. Sexual abuse violates a person’s body and personal boundaries.
Physical sensations, including sexual feelings and hunger, become severely disrupted. At times, Precious turns to food for soothing and comfort. For example, when hungry one morning, she seeks comfort food. She steals a 10 piece bucket of fried chicken, ats it all and then vomits it back up. Precious has lost of control over her body, particularly how to appropriately feed her physical hunger. She admits, ashamed, at various points, that she overeats. She is painfully aware of her problematic eating.
Many abuse survivors deal with sexual abuse through dissociation, which was clearly depicted in the movie. During episodes of her father’s sexual abuse or emotional abuse by her mother, she slips into “dissociation” or a fantasy world in which she is lavished dressed and admired by a boy. While these Journeys to her dream world are protective in the moment of abuse, it can exacerbate problems ating. When you disconnect from your body, you no longer feel your hunger. Also, food is something you often can feel when all other sensations are turned off.
When feeling numb and invisible, abuse survivors use food to try to fill the emotional void. Precious’ mother, who did not protect her from her father’s abuse, perpetuated the abuse in many ways. One way is through food. She bullies Precious into cooking greasy, fatty foods for her. She violently demands that Precious eat even when she isn’t hungry. Making her daughter “fat” helps to ensure that others will reject her. It lso gives her further ammunition to hate her daughter, who she is Jealous of for many reasons.
Preventing Precious from modulating her own hunger is another way of abusing Precious’ body and violating her personal boundaries. constant stream of violent and demeaning put downs. Her weight does not help. Being overweight leaves her vulnerable to taunts by classmates, boys on the street and her mother. Comments about her weight ignite embarrassment and unlock anger at herself and at others that she typically keeps at bay. Eating is often one way to stuff down and numb out painful emotions like anger.