I have an unhealthy Disney obsession. My entire room is filled with Disney memorabilia, plushies, pins and paintings that I've made. My wardrobe consists of several Minnie Mouse ears, Disney inspired bows, Disney Shirts and even Disney purses...hell, I even have a Disney tissue box! Why do I love Disney so much? Because it makes me happy. Simple as that. Because of what was "started with a mouse" is a constant reminder to remain positive and to "just keep swimming" and take "Hakuna Matata" to heart.
There's a particular movie (and especially the heroine) that calls out to me. It also happens to be my all time favorite movie: "Mulan".
Mulan is not only a total bad-ass (who saved all of China may I add), but she's the perfect example of a true feminist. She's a person who believes in equality for all, and always stays true to her beliefs ("My Duty is to my heart").
The Movie "Mulan", since its debut in 1998, has encouraged little boys and little girls (and us adults) that nothing is impossible and that our gender should never stop us from achieving our dreams and attaining success. There is a multitude of life lessons that we can recount from "Mulan" and some of the following are my favorite:
1. Accept Others
Whether it's to a grouchy little man with a Napoleon complex (Yao), or a quirky, spunky grandmother (Grandmother Fa) Mulan displays countless acts of affection and acceptance towards everyone she encounters. She is kind yet does not allow anyone to belittle her.
2. Family is Important
Mulan literally risked her life and snuck into the army disguised as a man in order to save her father's life. She knew that the penalty for her "crime" could have been punishable by death, but she did so anyway. Her undying devotion and courage towards her father and his well being is inspiring and memorable.
3. You are stronger than what you give yourself credit for
It's corny but undeniably true: strength manages to find itself even in the darkest and toughest of times. When Mulan was just about ready to give up, she found herself saving the life of the general and becoming the most skilled warrior in her camp. She shows us that determination and perseverance is key to success.
4. Always follow your heart
Nothing is more honest and raw than following your heart. (Again, corny, but true!) Only YOU know your deepest desires and Mulan teaches us to stop and think "Hey, who/what's stopping me?" YOU are in charge of your own destiny and you owe it to yourself and your heart to be happy.
5. What are gender roles?
Who said women can't kick ass? Who said that a man can't rock a dress and lipstick? Who said that a miniature talking dragon can't make a healthy breakfast!? Whether you're a male or female, Mulan teaches us to look beyond the superficiality of what we look like or what our sexual organs are, and reminds us that gender roles are nothing but obtuse "rules" made up by society.
Mulan, besides having a fabulous soundtrack, attests to some of my deepest beliefs: the belief that we are all equal and should be treated as such. That we are capable of anything and nobody deserves to ever tell us no.
We are "a [person] worth fighting for!"