Something that you may not know about me is that I’m basically obsessed with Disney. My house has tons of Disney pictures and wall stickers and so many random things. I have three incredible art pieces of Disney that I absolutely love and I drink out of a Disney mug pretty much every day. When I’m feeling kind of down, I watch Disney movies: animated, Pixar, DCOMs, or live action. Doesn’t matter, I love it all. Disney just makes me happy. Disney allowed me to keep a part of my childhood alive. It allows me to tap into the fun, free spirited kid who had no worries. I can just stop whatever is going on in my life for an hour or so and just disappear into this magical world where dreams come true and I don’t have anxiety and depression. I don’t have to think and I love that. It is the best feeling in the world. I very much a big child so whenever I get to go to the parks, I’m literally the happiest person in the world. I’m not a huge ride person but I just love the feel of the parks and leaving this world behind. You would think that the crowds and craziness would give me incredible anxiety but it actually isn’t that bad. I’m just too much in awe of where I am. I don’t care terribly about the rides but more about the experiences and reliving my childhood. I could go on and on about the parks but that’s probably another blog post in itself.
I know that Disney is not always the best in role models for girls, especially in their earliest days. Girl is a mess. Girl meets a boy. Once boy accepts girl, life is magically better and girl is happy. Yeah, not exactly what we want to teach young girls but I really believe that there are lessons to be learned from Disney, especially in the past few years. So here are some of my favorite movies and lessons from them.
- My favorite Disney movie of all time is Hercules. I think it is absolutely hilarious and has some of the best music in my opinion. I always cry laughing when Hades gets his face punched in. Not only did it start my love for Greek mythology, but I learned a few things to. Hercules was a bit different than other kids but that’s of course because he wasn’t living his true destiny and whatever. People didn’t really believe in him but he didn’t give up. He worked to be the guy who saved the city and all. Meg is one of my favorite Disney girls because she is sassy as hell. She still has a huge heart but she still has this attitude of taking care of herself. I love that she has this independence while still having love for the people around her. Hercules becomes a little shit for a bit but then goes back to the caring person he was in the beginning before he knew who he was.
- Princess and the Frog. Again, underrated movie with incredible music. Tiana is a fantastic role model for girls because she works. She has this big dream of owning a restaurant to follow her father’s dream. She works two jobs to save up money. TWO. Like most of the people I know. How relatable right? Now, when she turns into a frog with Naveen and sings “When We’re Human”, she basically just lays out a life philosophy of being a good person and trying your hardest. She keeps working towards her goals for her parents and to make them proud. That is a lesson I think young girls need to learn. I mean she of course falls for the prince and lives happily ever after in the Bayou but you know, Tiana is a good role model for young girls trying to accomplish their dreams. Just know, you don’t need a man to make your dreams come true.
- Moana. Beside the fact that Moana is a badass Polynesian woman who I have been waiting to see as an official Disney princess, I think this movie has a lot of elements that can be admired. First, there is no “romance” for Moana. She doesn’t marry the prince in the end, because she is a strong princess in her own right. Moana also did something that people are scared to do. She followed her heart and dreams when people told her not to. It can be hard to truly be yourself and do what is going to make you happy when people are telling you that you can’t do it. Moana shows that kids can go out and work for their dreams. I have always been an advocate of following your heart and trusting your direction so I was so proud to see that shown in a princess movie. Now, Moana faces a lot in this movie but she always gets back up stronger than she seems. It may take some time but she had all the strength inside of her, with her family and ancestors by her side to walk with her. Honestly, just that is enough for people to realize that you can get up too. Be a strong woman. One who doesn’t let things push her down for good. You can get back up, even if takes you a little bit of time. Now, family is a very strong element of Pacific Islander culture and I loved that being shown in the movie. That is just a personal connection I have to the movie that always makes me homesick but inspired.
I could go on and on about Disney movies that I love and why I hope to show them all to my kids one day. Yeah of course there are things that I don’t love about Disney, but Disney has allowed me to keep the spirit of a child alive and keep me inspired and smiling. Don’t stop that spirit, because it could be the thing that saves you from the harsh realities of the real world.