Movies have often reminded us that physical beauty and ugliness are only superficial

Combining the bright kitschy colors of early Almodóvar with John Waters’ transgressive love of the forbidden, Eduardo Casanova created a series of interconnected stories about people with physical differences who find their place in the world. In situations both commonplace and slightly sinister, men and women of unconventional shapes and sizes are placed under the spotlight, their distinctive appearance magnified against a comically enhanced backdrop of prejudice, abuse, and fetishes.

Casanova’s short film Eat My Shit has an undeniable “spectacular” aspect that is likely to infuriate the most tender souls among viewers. However, building on the feistily flamboyant tone of the piece and its general positivity of energy, these outrageous gags don’t feel like exploitative mockery so much as acts of defiance against prevailing aesthetic notions or what’s considered normal.

These characters don’t exist in a wishful realm where others sympathize with their predicament or are drawn to them for their fine personality. They’re bullied, taken advantage of, either swiped to the left without a second thought or lusted after for kinks. Casanova doesn’t shy away from exposing the vanity, shame, phobia and the instincts to hide/change/conform dictated by a culture of superficiality, nor does he have any qualms about showing what one has to do to fend for their sanity under an oppressive regime of beauty. In this sense, all the nastiness portrayed fits into a narrative of survival that proves, yes, disgusting, but also unapologetically empowering.

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