Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Heroes for our daughters

I've been thinking a lot about the different heros my daughter might have as she grows older.  It started when EG was sick with Hand-Foot-Mouth and we realized we didn't have any movies that she could really watch.  Our kid friendly films were limited to the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and an Ewok movie from the 80's.  All good movies, but not quite what our 20 month old might actually be interested in.

And, generally speaking, I'm not to concerned that she hasn't had exposure to much television, etc.  When she gets home from school we generally play outdoors, or in the kitchen while I make dinner.  But since she was sick, she really wanted to cuddle and was quite fussy.  Cue the moment when having something for the television might have been nice.

When we were buying movies we bought the new Disney Frozen (which neither Working Dad nor I have seen), Brave (which was technically EG's first movie in theatres at like 1 month old), Aladdin, Peter Pan and the Jungle Book.  I guess we ended up doing okay, since two of the three feature strong female characters for EG, but it got me thinking.

Recently we've had a string of highly successful movies featuring female leads.  Katniss from Hunger Games, and the upcoming Tris from Divergent to name a few.  But are these ladies really something to be modeling?

On the one hand, they do amazing things.  They are powerful and intriguing and generally self-sufficient.  On the other hand, they are written as being skinny, small, or otherwise undersized.   They aren't strong girls to start out with, they sort of come at it from an ultra-feminist perspective.

It leads me back to the Barbie conversation we had a while back.  How much does this really influence our kids?  I'm trying to think back to when I was little, and how I perceived Barbie and how I saw the role models in movies, etc.  Some of my favorite songs are from Mulan...she passes for a boy!  I just don't remember thinking to myself that I had to be skinny, or look like barbie or anyone else for that matter.  Maybe my 'hero's' were more the soccer stars and athletes than anything else.

What movies do you remember as a child?  How did they play into your thinking about heros or your role, or possibilities to do something awesome?

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