Why I Loved "Moana"

Why I Loved "Moana"

A movie with cultural influence, strength, and discovery.

Over Thanksgiving Break I not only had the chance to stuff myself with my mother's lovely home cooking, but I also was able to take a break from college life and release my inner child. I made time to go to the movie theater and experience the new Disney heroine Moana in all her glory. Hearing about the inventive genius Lin-Manuel Miranda producing all of the music for "Moana," along with my favorite actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson being one the leads sealed the deal for me. It was mandatory that I go to see this movie.

With those two, the movie would be nothing more than wonderful. However, this movie exceeded all my expectations for a Disney movie. This movie promoted diversity in such an advanced and inventive way that for two hours my eyes remained glued to the screen, waiting to see what would happen next. This movie had such a lasting impression on me. I felt influenced to write on why this movie was truly impactful.

Many Disney movies do their best to promote diversity through different princesses. Whether it is learning about Louisiana and the rich influence of Creole from Tiana or the Asian culture of dynasties from Mulan, Disney manages to enlighten their audiences with new influences worldwide. However, "Moana" defied boundaries with the infusion of Polynesian culture in the movie. The two leads, Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho, both being of Polynesian descent, along with some of the songs being in the language native to the Pacific, added on to the importance of the culture. The movie was filled with anecdotes of their ancestors as well as their lifestyle. This movie went above and beyond to shed light on Polynesian culture, that before was not truly recognized and acknowledged as it should be.

Such infusion of culture also allowed for Moana to be the fifth Disney "princess" of color. In a changing world in which diversity is much more accepted than it was before, it has become imperative for large, influential platforms such as Disney to spearhead female characters of all races and ethnicities.

The introduction of another Disney female lead of color definitely got me excited. Growing up, there were not many characters who looked the same as me. However, Disney further expanding the representation of their female leads made me ecstatic. It is finally allowing younger girls of color to look up and the screens and see characters who look like them, making them further relatable. "Moana" further represents the diverse population we live in.

The incorporation of Polynesian culture also led to an unforgettable story line. For me, Moana strays away from the typical character, and instead becomes independent and chooses to go out and fight, not only for herself, but for her village. She was selfless in her quest and understood the importance completing it had on her village. Moana found the courage to defy her parents and understand she is capable of doing what she loves while helping those she loves.

"Moana" was a movie which got me a bit teary-eyed. Although it takes much for me to cry, this movie got to me. I love learning more about culture of any kind. It allows me to expand my viewpoint on people and have a richer understanding of the world. The movie had its sentimental moments, but they wouldn't have had such significance without the culture behind it.

I truly encourage anyone who has not seen this movie to take the time once our hectic next couple of weeks are over to go and watch this movie. If you love Disney movies, "Moana" is definitely another one you can add to your list of favorites.

Cover Image Credit: Princess Moana Disney

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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