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Growing up Disney

Growing up Disney

 Growing up Disney, by Eden Milne, August 2015

Disney’s reach doesn’t only spread physically across generations and the globe, but spans a whole new world of growing pains, that are much easier tackled through a magic medium.

Growing up with Disney is like a rite of passage, especially if you’re a little girl and want to end up a fairy princess and have your very own happily-ever-after. But it’s not just for little girls. Little dudes have Disney movies too, and parents adore them as well. As parents we want our kids, now more than ever, to enjoy childhood and embrace all the innocent fun and fantasies Disney has to offer. My daughter’s nearly four months, and my husband and I started our Disney collection long before she was born. I want her to grow up surrounded by fairytales, happily-ever-afters, sparkle, love and the positive messages Disney gives.

Now I ask myself, at what point do we become sinister, pessimists who stop believing in our own happiness?

So I ask myself, at what point do we become sinister, pessimists who stop believing in our own happiness?

Is it when we become faced with reality? Work, rent, bills, adult things or as I like to say… adulting. Some days I don’t want to adult. It can be such a drag and it certainly takes the sparkle out of stuff.

When faced with reality, why can’t we continue to pursue our happiness? Why not smile at strangers, and take the time to look around and appreciate what life has to offer?

When we indulge in Disney, it allows us to live in an alternate reality, to live vicariously through the characters. A friend told me: “I watch Disney to relax, it’s easy and fun.”

“I watch Disney to relax, it’s easy and fun”.

From the princesses who met their prince and lived happily ever after, Disney is moving with the times. We now have Queen Elsa, an independent woman raising her younger sister and teaching her not to marry a man she met hours earlier. Then we have Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog; a hard-working woman with goals in her life, experiencing fun and adventure along the way; and finally, our Scottish princess, Merida, who loves the outdoor life and doesn’t want to be defined by her husband. Disney princesses now are teaching our kids today that it’s ok to work hard, have goals, be independent, whilst making the most of life.

And now Disney have drawn attention to childhood depression through Inside Out and as a trainee therapist, this makes me ecstatic. This movie will gives kids a forum in which to understand their feelings and voice their thoughts, all the while getting some of that good ol’ Disney wisdom.

Dwelling on things that happened years ago or even yesterday, holding grudges, stressing or worrying over things we literally have no control over all takes effort and energy that would be better spent smiling, laughing and making memories with friends and family. The great Rafiki once said to Simba, “It doesn’t matter….it’s in the past!”

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