Every movie I’ve seen about a young girl has always fell into the same type of category. It’s usually perhaps an awkward girl who has witty quips at the ready and confidence to spare. To why she isn’t popular is kind of a mystery because this character was always the girl you would want to hang out with. This character is always the girl I wish I had been when I was younger.

Kayla Day, on the other hand, is quiet, ridden with anxiety but constantly trying to push herself out of her comfort zone. Sometimes to success and other times to great failure. She is, yes, awkward and kind of outwardly appearing strange sometimes. Eighth Grade has been frequently talked about it’s cringe filled moments. But what part of being thirteen isn’t?

Remembering how Kayla is in fact thirteen made me think about another movie about being around that age which some of you may have guessed it… Thirteen. I 100% entirely could not relate.

I can finally say I’ve seen myself in a movie. Not the girl I aspired to be. Exactly the girl I was and maybe still kind of hold on to when I’m uncomfortable, scared, nervous or all of the above. The thing with Eighth Grade and Kayla Day is that it doesn’t shy away from how isolating and shitty it can be to feel out of place and unable to express yourself the way you want to be seen.

I felt this movie hard. Way too hard actually. It was far too much of a mirror being reflected back to me. I hated and loved it all at the same time for that. I’m just thankful for a character like Kayla Day who may not have gotten a Hollywood typical happy ending. Rather she got a happy start to the next chapter of her life…whatever that may hold.

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