When I was a little girl, Disney villains, princes and princesses didn’t look like me. Heck, that was the case until I was in my twenties and maybe thirties. But, honestly I was glad. Most we reprehensible or superficial individuals who I wanted to be nothing like. Most earned nothing and aspired to very little. Yet, the characters in my sweater for day 21 of my Christmas countdown did impart some powerful lessons I carry with me to to this day.
Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” had a relentless quest for power that made her want to harm another woman and led to her demise. Queen Grimhilde from “Snow White” had a desire to be beautiful on the outside that drove her to try to kill another woman multiple times. It taught me how toxic jealousy and envy could be in ones life. And, Maleficient from “Sleeping Beauty” showed me how being held bent on revenge due to someone else’s callous, thoughtless or even malicious actions can only cause you further pain.
Thankfully,Disney has begun creating characters, including people of color that reflect the world I lived in and share positive values. This gives me hope that the next generation of kids can be proud of the skin their in and their gender. And, these kids will understand tearing someone else down isn’t the way to build yourself up. Perhaps, they’ll also discover it’s better to focus on your gifts and what you have to share with the world than what others offer.
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