Turning Red the movie came out and my facebook feed was full of lots of big opinions on how we need to not let our children watch this movie.
Here is an example of one of the posts I saw and shared. As a mother who is of course trying to keep their children close to Jesus I instantly went all mama bear protective mode. But inevitably it was a slow spring break day and we turned it on to watch together.
Now before you call CPS, my kids are in public school and watch YouTube so can it really be that bad? On a side bar, my parenting style can typically be characterized as “intuitive parenting.” I have no idea if this even exists, but it’s the best way to describe how I look at parenting. I’m not taking suggestions from blogs, magazines, social media, mom groups, friends/family etc. I am trusting my gut and learning my kids then adjusting as we see fit. Life changes quick, as does my parenting. We are in this together and I want to the first person my kids come to when they have questions, concerns etc and I want them to trust that the information I provide them is accurate. So we have some big conversations and I am not afraid to have these conversations. Maybe one day, I’ll write about just how amazing the menstration and tampon demonstration was with my kids. I legit patted myself on the back after that conversation.
I still went into this movie a little guarded and ready to fast forward or turn off. Now keep in mind, my girls are almost 8 and 10. Since the average age of getting your period is 12, they are well versed on puberty and the things women go through. Because until this movie’s backlash came out, I had no idea people kept these types of experiences from girls (or boys for that matter). Why is this taboo?
Even though I am now basically a hundred, I was once a 13 year old girl who had crushes and probably thought they were “sexy.” I’m sure we can all look back and admit, we had a misunderstanding of what that word actually meant and has thankfully evolved over time. Todays sexy is taking out the trash. My 13 year old self looked at sexy as mushroom cut hair style. I also probably thought I was an adult at some point well before I was actually an adult. Im sure all it took was a swift reminder that adults pay bills for me to retract my sentiments.
I was also lucky enough to ask my mom to go to NKOTB concert with friends at 10 and she said yes. We all went on a mother daughter date to the concert together. It was amazing. So I won’t even pretend to understand the generational trauma illustrated in this movie but Im sure a lot of people can relate to this.
For all the people outraged, did you watch it and feel outraged? Or was your outrage manufactured by messages like the one above? I went into it feeling outraged, and ended the movie with zero rage. If you were outraged, did you also feel this way during Finding Nemo when Nemo disobeys his fearful dad and swims out to touch a boat to impress friends, Cinderella when she disobeyed her step mom to go to a ball, Little Mermaid when Ariel traded in her voice for her legs behind dads back, Mulan broke a law and pretended to be a boy to fight, because they all have messages similar to this.
Things That Stood Out to Me During Turning Red:
- “Did the red peony blume?” I’m sorry but a 13 year old girl shouldn’t be surprised about what’s happening. Maybe surprised at the timing, but as mothers we should be preparing our girls for moments like this. Mom was irresponsible to have not talked and prepared her.
- “You are a delicate red flower and you need to clean your petals properly.” Another thing that should have been discussed prior to 13, more like 5 or 6 when they starting showing independence at bath time.
- Importance of being zen and calm. By no means do I think we should be void of emotions, but teaching kids how to manage emotions and the importance of finding their calm is a skill they will use their whole life.
- Her friends stick up for her and are concerned for her well being. They come check on her and they accepted her for who she is. Those are the people I want my kids to be friends with.
- Love that her and her friends embrace their unique qualities and turn them into entrepreneurial endeavors. My kids love making bracelets and selling them to neighbors. Her and her friends give panda rides. The person above that looked at this sexually needs to be investigated.
- Her mom seems to be on a mission to embarrass her. She jumped to conclusions at the convenience store and how she went about delivering pads the absolute worst way possible. This was cringey and I wish we would stop the sterotype that all parents are on a mission to embarrass their kids.
- I love that she is smart, loves studying and seems to enjoy working at the family business.
Will we watch Turning Red again?
Probably not, but only because it wasn’t the best movie. Did I have an issue with the messaging. No. Do I have faith that Pixar and Disney have my kids best interest at heart, absolutely not. Which makes for conversations when watching things like this and reinforces my beliefs and expectations.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Turning Red.
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