We watched Turning Red a little while ago.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings on it.
It was cute, there were funny parts, and the Disney-required happy ending.
I recognize the underlying message was to be yourself even if it goes against your parents’ plan.
But, I’m afraid it way oversimplified that possibility.
There are too many instances where that isn’t safely possible and it is pretty unlikely that (if you are in that type of relationship) that the other person will immediately see the error of their ways and be happy for you and supportive. It’s much more likely you’d be kicked out of the house.
I have noticed this trend in “family” movies becoming increasingly after-school-special-like over the years. Again, I’m divided on my own feelings about this. Yes, the representation and possibility for improvement is important, but it is over simplified and wrapped up in a neat bow – which has the potential for greater harm than good.
I’m thinking about this trend after watching (and loving Encanto). There are countless TikTok videos, Instagram stories/posts, and articles written about the psychology embodied by the characters of the Madrigal family and the generational trauma. When I first saw some of these I was like, “Yes! Exactly!” I found myself identifying with Luisa and Julieta. After a few months, a friend of mine put it succinctly, “TikTok needs to calm down [on psychoanalyzing everything].” I agreed.
Then I watched Turning Red. Maybe TikTok has it a little more right than wrong.
There are parallels between Abuela and Ming (Mei’s mom) in their feeling that “I’m doing this because I know what’s best for you” AND “How dare you cross me after all I’ve done for you?!?”
Experiencing any and all of the scenarios throughout either movie would have been hard for anyone. Often the person feeling vulnerable or attacked or ostracized and tries to hide their pain, emotions, and response. There is usually a deep sense of injustice, but there is also the response, as parents and grandparents to just declare, “This is how it’s done. My mom/dad/parent did this to me and I turned out fine.”
As a parent, myself, I know that our generation tries to handle these feelings better than our parents did, who did better than their parents did, but are any of us really doing it well?
That’s just the way it is.
That’s just how it is.
Should it be?
I feel like we each recognize when we are being like our parent (for good or for ill), but it is really hard to stop those trends before we pass them on.
Where can YOU break the cycle?
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