For this week’s Femme Fatale Friday, I have decided to take a look at the film Jennifer’s Body and how it works with the idea of the Monstrous Feminine and Shadow Integration! I think this is a great topic to help explain how to better work through your own shadow and integrate it with your primary consciousness.
The character of Jennifer Check is an example of a Dark Goddess figure. The character of Anita “Needy” Lesnicki is an example of a Light Goddess figure. Even before becoming a succubus, Jennifer had no problem expressing her opinions and giving in to urges. Needy, on the other hand, had a lot of trouble admitting to her darker urges. When united they become one single fully fledged Divine Feminine figure, who is fully empowered in her womanhood. This is what occurred when Jennifer was killed by Needy after she had killed and devoured Needy’s boyfriend Chip. When the two are fighting and levitating above Jennifer’s bed, Jennifer bites Needy above her collarbone. This bite served to infuse Needy with some of Jennifer’s demonic abilities, like levitation. This ability to levitate allowed Needy to escape from the asylum where she was placed after being arrested.
This is also where the story comes full circle with Needy finding the knife that was used in the sacrifice ritual that would have killed Jennifer, had she been a virgin, and instead turned her into the succubus. Needy then goes on to kill the band Low Shoulder, thus avenging the deaths of both her best friend Jennifer, and her boyfriend Chip. After all, if they had not tried to unsuccessfully sacrifice Jennifer, then she would not have become a demon and Chip would not have been killed.
Jennifer’s aspect of the Dark Goddess is shown by her willingness to embrace her own desires. She does not feel any sort of guilt for taking what she wants when she wants. Needy’s aspect of the Light Goddess is shown by her fear of her own desires. She feels a lot of guilt for what she wants. This is why she is so willing to follow Jennifer’s plans without much thought. This is also why she seems so accommodating to Chip, only beginning to stand up for her own beliefs once Jennifer and her share their kisses, after Jennifer is already a demon. Jennifer at that point had already become the Monstrous Feminine in being a demon. Her kiss allows Needy to finally begin to give into her own desires, give into the demon. Jennifer is a shadow that Needy has to look at and accept as a part of herself. She literally confronts her shadow in her final fight with Jennifer. It is this fight that proves she can overcome her shadow by integrating it with her lighter side. It is at this moment that she becomes a fully formed woman, rather than the young and inexperienced girl who feared losing her loved ones. She is able to overcome her fears by literally confronting them.
Needy had become the avenging Goddess by the end of the film. We each can do what Needy had done, but since most of us do not do this by literally fighting and killing our best friend that we have a psychic link to, it will look a bit different. We can look at our own fears and desires that we feel guilt attached to those feelings, journalling our thoughts on taboo subjects and our own guilt is a good way to start. Once we have a better idea of where our own shadow aspects lay, we can confront them, and begin the process of integrating them. We can determine which shadow aspects can be utilized in our lives to our benefit (in Needy’s case that would be her confidence and levitation abilities). The other aspects of our shadow we can acknowledge and choose not to act on, but by acknowledging them we gain control over the shadow, not letting our unconscious desires control our actions! This would be seen in Needy only killing in self-defense or to avenge the deaths of loved ones, unlike Jennifer who killed to sate her desire and without any fear of getting caught (also with no guilt). Jennifer in this way is also the id made manifest, pure desire and lust without the superego to temper it. At the end of the day, only one of the girls could become a fully empowered Goddess, and it had to be Needy as she was the one who had rejected the shadow and needed to integrate it!
I hope you have enjoyed this post examining the Goddess, Monstrous Feminine, and Shadow Work aspects of the film Jennifer’s Body. I know that it was a bit of a different Femme Fatale Friday topic, but I thought it fit nicely with my content on magic and Shadow work, this time with a pop-culture twist. What do you think of this interpretation of the film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is of Jennifer and Needy. I found the image on https://jennifersbody.fandom.com/wiki/Jennifer_%26_Needy.
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- Jennifer’s Body (2009)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1p2t0Jfddo&list=LL&index=10 (This is a great video by a YouTuber that goes over an analysis that similarly discusses this film and the divine feminine but in a slightly different way. Definitely worth a watch if you think my analysis is interesting!)