This is it. The first post of the second half of my 30 Days series. We are also in the back half of our movies week. All of our characters this week are coming from a variety of movies. One thing I wanted to do was highlight some characters that are important to my kids, or that would have a big positive impact on my kids. One thing I have always found challenging is finding great characters for my daughters. That’s why I have already highlighted Princess Leia and Rey from Star Wars. With this post, I am highlighting a great female protagonist not from Star Wars.
Mulan was not the “perfect” daughter. All she ever wanted was to bring honor to her family and not be an embarrassment to her dad and her ancestors. There was a lot of pressure there. Unfortunately for her, the only way for her to do this was by marrying well and being the perfect wife. That was the cultural norm, and Mulan was feeling the pressure. When she goes to meet with the matchmaker, it is a disaster, and it looks like she will never be able to bring her family honor. Her mom is disappointed, and so is her father. He tries to hide it behind some great advice about blooming late, but the disappointment is there.
Mulan does finally blossom when she sneaks off to join the Chinese army in her father’s place. Granted, she has to pretend to be the son no one knew her father had. In the army she finally has a chance to shine as she saves the emperor and all of China. This is a Disney movie, so it has the humor and the music, but it also deals with some interesting issues and presents them in a pretty great way. It also happens to be one of my favorite Disney movies from the 90s. Plus, Donny Osmond. He sings the “Let’s get down to business song.” For your convenience, here is a sing along version (because I know you started singing it):
Living in Utah, I have come to realize that there is the LDS religion and the LDS culture, and they are sometimes very different. There is obviously a huge focus on marriage and family in the LDS faith, but in the culture it is taken overboard. Sometimes, I think the message that is sent is that the best thing a young woman can do is grow up, marry a good man and be the perfect wife and mother. Ok, the best thing any young person can do when they grow up is get married and start a family. It’s the perfect part and what that means culturally. And, there is no cookie cutter formula to being a great woman or man or husband or wife or father or mother.
Mulan brings honor to her family in her way. She meets the love of her life her way. It was outside convention, but it was amazing and she was amazing. There are a lot of ways that people can be amazing, but mostly the best way is to be your best self. When I look at my daughters, yes, I would like them to grow and fall in love and get married in the temple, but I want them to do it being them. And, I want them to know that if it doesn’t happen by a certain age, or maybe even at all, that they are amazing. Being a wife or mother doesn’t define them. It doesn’t define my wife Erica. Who she is, the amazing, wonderful, incredible, multi-talented human being she is defines the kind of mother and wife she is. And all of this is why I love Mulan.
30 Days 30 Characters- Movies
Here are the movie characters we have covered so far this week. Be sure to follow along as we conclude movie week over the next two days, and the move into television next week.