With Brave being released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, I’ve been pondering why I’ve become somewhat obsessed with a children’s movie. Perhaps it is because Brave isn’t “just” a children’s movie.
In 2012, it’s hard raising a little princess. Princesses, the media (and the sanctimommies) tell us, are flighty things whose knowledge extends no further than how to catch a man. If it were true, I’d be running my daughter in the other direction. I have no interest in raising a girl to womanhood simply so she can get her Mrs. and be done with it.
But the first Pixar film to have a female at the center has put in film form the fight I’ve been trying to wage on behalf of a little girl whose sugarplum dreams are populated by tiaras. Brave is a princess movie. But it’s the right kind of princess movie.
I sat down to watch the film again on Blu-ray with my daughter this weekend, and with the advantage of being able to hit pause for bathroom breaks and rewind when a certain 7-year-old started talking, I was able to pull out what has made this film speak to mothers of daughters who are the right kind of princesses:
|My Merida and one of her best friends|
1. Princesses can still control their own fates. Merida’s mother tries to force her to marry a boy she doesn’t love, and it rips mother and daughter in two (literally). Moms, take heed. We can decide what we want for our daughters. But we have to listen to what they want too, or risk losing them entirely. I came into motherhood loathing pink and poofy, but I’ve learned to embrace that this is my daughter’s way. And through it, I’ve come to see that she puts her own mark on everything she touches, even if it’s one that’s a shade of cotton candy. She makes her decisions; the world doesn’t make them for her.
2. Princesses can do a little bit of everything . Merida wears pretty dresses and has gorgeous hair and still shoots a mean arrow. Our daughters are not one-dimensional either. They are that tutu and that mind for numbers both.
3. Princess is just a word. Yes, Merida is a princess by nature of being the daughter of a Scottish king. But it isn’t until she takes seriously her place in the kingdom that the term begins to fit. She has to be more than the daughter of a king to be a true princess.
Are you still fighting the good fight for good princesses? Is Brave on your list of must-see movies? Get it on DVD/Blu-Ray this week!
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Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Brave to facilitate this review. I was not otherwise cocompensated, and all opinions are my own.