Bend it Like Beckham Finds the Solution

In order to obtain a definition of self, this concept indicates, we must first determine a definition of what is not self, what is Other. In creating this definition, we inadvertently end up viewing the Other as being somehow less than or less valued in some fundamental way. Additionally, this concept indicates that without a definition of the Other, a definition of the self is not possible. Therefore, it is through an individual’s perception of what is ‘normal’ versus what is ‘particular’ that one defines the Other and, by extension, themselves. In addition, individuals who differ greatly from the majority of the society in which they live, who are ‘peculiar’, will frequently identify themselves with the Other without consciously thinking about it and place themselves into submissive roles as a result. Rather than identifying themselves by their achievements, goals and aspirations as those who see themselves as opposed to the Other might, individuals who identify with the Other tend to think of themselves only as they exist in their private lives. However, the idea that the Other must always be considered something less than does not necessarily follow as a natural conclusion of this process once it is examined in closer detail. Contemporary films, such as Bend it Like Beckham, demonstrate that while the Other is used to help define oneself, a close look at these peculiarities can help us engage with the Other to reveal that the Other and the self are not necessarily as different or as negative as was assumed at first glance.As might be imagined, determinations regarding what constitutes the Other are wide-ranging and varied depending upon the accepted norms within a society. These definitions are selectively applied in a variety of areas including gender and religious differences, societal roles, sexuality, ability, physicality and ethnicity.