I took my 4-year-old daughter, Laila, to her first movie: Disney’s Tangled. I’m happy to report she behaved splendidly.
In this animated version of the story, the main character, a young beautiful teenage girl, Rapunzel, is holed up in her wicked mom’s tower. Why? Her hair has magical powers that, when glowing, can maintain her mother’s youthful beauty.
Her mother is actually a witch who kidnapped her as a baby princess due to her hair’s power. And during the movie the mother tries her hardest to keep Rapunzel away from the outside world lest she discovers her true identity.
The movie plays with deeper themes, like mother-daughter relationships and the loss of youth and beauty. As a mother of a young daughter, I was repelled by the mother’s manipulative behavior and her captivity of Rapunzel. Of course I will want my daughter to spread her wings.
But I kinda understood her feelings of insecurity about her diminishing beauty, especially in contrast to her daughter’s blossoming looks. While Laila is very young yet, I wonder how I’ll feel as she grows into the beauty I know she’ll be. I’m sure I’ll appreciate all the wonderful qualities that she’ll undoubtedly exhibit – humor, intellect, empathy, and, yes, beauty. Will I mourn the gradual loss of my own looks? Could I even feel a sense of jealousy? Or will I have found a way to embrace how I look?
Dr. Vivian Diller, PhD, in her post, Narrowing the Generational Gap: What Baby Boomers and Millenials Have in Common, picks up on the jealousy and feelings of inadequacy Boomer women feel when confronted with the youthful looks and health of Millenials. In the end, she advises the two generations talk to and learn from one another. Boomers can teach Millenials how to maintain and care for their health and looks for the future and Millenials can reassure Boomers that they don’t need to appear youthful to be beautiful.
I’m going to heed Diller’s counsel and speak to my mom about her feelings regarding her own looks and what she felt when my sister and I started growing into young adults. I’m positive I’ll not only get more insight into my mother but will get some great advice to boot.
Watch out mommy, you may make it into a post!