I don’t usually go by my full website name, Little Miss Lilu. I’m simply Lilu. I wanted a surname to differentiate myself a bit more, so there were no mistakes finding me, but in the end, Lilu is playful and I like how it sounds. It represents me well.

The thing is, I’m not exactly “little” (I’m not big either, I’m just average?) and sometimes people confuse “miss” with me being a mistress, so it has made quite it’s way into fun misunderstandings. Why Little Miss Lilu then? I love doing name games, and picking them based on what they mean to me. If I’m going to work with a name for a long time, I may as well love it! And me being a creature of the early 90s I identify a lot with special movies and popular culture.

So as some of you can already predict, yes, Little Miss Lilu comes from Little Miss Sunshine. This movie is about a family trip through lots of states for their little girl to participate in a children’s beauty pageant contest. Major spoilers ahead!

So the thing I loved the most about this movie is the ending. Don’t get me wrong, all this movie is fantastic. The character construction, their arches, the script, everything is original and interesting. But the ending sums up my feelings with this movie. We have followed the whole family, with their ups and downs, in a crazy road trip, and all this time we were asking ourselves what the hell was the girl going to do in the pageant contest. She didn’t look like your average participant but was extremely confident about being a winner.

And then it unveils. She’s playing a game. She’s not participating from an adult’s perception of beauty. She’s playing what her grandpa taught her. She’s playing a stripper not knowing that it’s an adults thing. She’s still being a child, pure and funny. Just for the laughs. So that pretty much made me connect a lot with it. I would do that sort of thing if I was forced to go into a beauty pageant (I’m such a troll). I believe in the diversity of beauty, I don’t define it by society’s standards, and this movie spoke to me in this way. What is beauty? Confidence, fun, and, why not, laughing off at awful adults along the way.

Those into the 90s sci-fi movies will already have a hint at another reference. Lilu itself is a form of “Leeloo” from The Fifth Element. I started working in Spain, where Leeloo would be absolutely mispronounced and “lelo” is something more like “stupid” so it was not an option to use the real name, but I still wanted it.

The Fifth Element is one of my all time favorite movies. I think it shaped my early love for fantasy space opera. Leeloo is not just “the girl”, like many other fantasy/sci-fi movies have. She’s “the supreme being”, she has a personality, she has good and bad traits, she’s well constructed. And she sometimes saves the day, instead of Bruce Willis. She can be strong and vulnerable at the same time, and that was amazing for me to connect with. I believe in strength through vulnerability, and Leeloo evolves throughout the movie thanks to this.

Let’s not forget that this movie also features a fantabulous character who looks and acts “gay” by society’s standards, but isn’t! God bless not needing to deem someone gay depending on how their mannerisms and behavior are. I always loved Ruby Rhod’s confidence and expression. He’s happy being who he is, and even in the worst situations, still has humor to conduct a show. He’s a fucking example on how to be professional!

There’s more things I love about this movie, like the diva, the overall bizarre aesthetic, Gary Oldman being the bad guy (like, could he be the bad guy of all movies please? thanks), the fact that Jean Paul Gaultier was the costume designer… It’s a classic of my childhood for me and it will always be in a prominent place in my heart.

“Izar” was the last addition to Lilu’s name. I wanted a basque element on it but I still wanted it to be special and sound good, so I was looking again at what shaped my nerdiness years later than the 90s. And I found it in a movie about a nerd from the 80s that finds more nerds and they all share a movie full of retro songs. I’m talking about my favorite Marvel movie: Guardians of the Galaxy.

I overall love Marvel’s movies. I think the Infinity saga has shaped a generation [into appreciating the quality of movies other than dramas] and the Endgame release day was the best experience I’ve ever had on a theater (plus it was my birthday, so it was more amazing). Endgame gave me chills like no other in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Guardians of the Galaxy won my heart forever.

Long story short, and spoilers ahead again, there’s a specific moment I love from this movie, apart from how stupidly nerd it was for being a superhero movie.

So, we have the bad guy, Ronan, calling the heroes “the guardians of the galaxy” with a mocking tone, meaning how they think they are “someone” in the world and in the end they amount to nothing, they can’t protect anything, they’re just a bunch of useless misfits. The useless misfits narrative has been prevalent through the movie. All of them are unique in who they are, either last of their races or just unfit into their overall societies, and we have gone over their emotional journey on how they don’t belong anywhere.

And near the ending, when the tables turn and Starlord takes the infinity stone, he is joined by the rest of the group, which makes it stable enough to use the power against Ronan. Ronan can’t believe what he’s seeing and says “You are mortal… how?” and Starlord replies “You said it yourself bitch, we are the guardians of the galaxy” and then releases the power of the stone, killing him.

I always loved the idea of taking the insults and slurs made against you and empower yourself with them. It’s a powerful move against the bullies, you leave them unarmed. If they can’t hurt you with what they think you are, what can they hurt you with?

But Lilu, what does “Izar” mean? It has nothing to do with this movie!

Izar in basque means “Star”.

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