Girl Power Children Movies

Growing up as a kid, we were exposed to a lot of Disney movies, that looking back at now, I’m surprised I haven’t been scarred for life! There’s a lot of hallucinating scenes that I hated as a kid, and looking at as an adult, I don’t want my kids watching. Then there’s the evil step mom, the wicked witch, the jealous queen  …sensing a theme. While we have the fathers either dead, aloof or super protective of their glass like daughters.  And I haven’t even gotten to the damsel in distress, waiting for a zillion years, waiting for her prince part. 

As a mother of two daughters and prominent feminist 2 year old son, I have to screen the dated Disney films, and pretty much all of them go out the window. 

However, I must say the newer breeds coming out from Disney and Pixar have been pleasantly surprising and don’t have me throwing the remote at the tv.

See my selection below and let me know if you agree. 

Brave 

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Brave is something I recently discovered and I’m so glad I did. It’s about a princess, but hang on, she’s not your average sitting pretty, dressing in gowns, swirling in a ball room, princess. She’s your feisty, running wild, not caring about social norms, girls can rule the world, who needs a man, kinda princess.  This princess, cliche granted, has her neck on the guillotine, to choose a suitor, and get married, but there’s  a twist. Princess Merida isn’t satisfied by becoming a wife to some guy, she fights back at tradition and fate and seeks to change it. The story is about trying to change generations of tradition and destiny, contrary to the uptight queen’s wishes. This movie explores the relationship of mother and daughter, social pressures, and having open communication  between kids and parents. Many kids can relate to Merida and the Queen’s relationship, where one is told what to do and does the total opposite, whilst the other is a head strong authority figure trying to refine her daughter into marriage material. 

Suitable for 7 years + some scenes may scare sensitive children.

Mulan 

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Mulan is a childhood favorite and whenever it comes on now I force my girls to watch it. My girls are all about pink and fluffy things to my dismay, even though I’ve tried my best to teach them that girls can do anything they want, they still have gender roles in their heads. Mulan shows them that they can do and be anything a man can be. Mulan, a warrior is an inspiration as a young girl growing up. The story tells us that girls may be physically weaker than men but they are not mentally weaker which can lose the war. The movie address gender stereotypes, issues such as honor and ego. 

Age range 5+ years, has some scenes that may disturb younger viewers.

Frozen

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Frozen another film I watched as an adult and mother of young daughters and I’m glad that there are movies like these coming up. Although there are elements of romance and falling madly in love at first sight bleurgh! That isn’t the central message and this is falling in love thing is made fun of in the movie. Nothing wrong with falling in love, but getting married after just the first meeting that’s just in Disney right? . This movie is about Ana and Elsa which has birthed many Anna and Elsa’s around the world which celebrates the bond of sisters. Elsa the protective older sister and the heir to the throne has a secret which she can not share with anyone. She is made to feel guilty and ashamed of herself and leads a life of seclusion even from her kids sister. Anna the complete opposite is a young naive klutzy living in fantasy type if girl you might say the typical Disney princess. However, when it comes to sticking by to family bonds, and not giving up on someone even if they’ve given up themselves, she is a force to be reckoned with

Age range: suitable for whole family. 

Moana

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Moana a chiefs daughter knows her destiny but she is constantly battling her personal legend of wanting to sail beyond the barrier reef. Her dad fearful of her lustful wondering of what is beyond the reef tries his best to commit her to her people as she is the heir. No gender stereotypes here, no one even questions how will a woman lead.  No romantic storylines to divert her focus and waste her time with. Moana’s island is in danger and she has to save it, no time to wait for Prince Charming.  She has a protective father who reminds her of her responsibilities, however she also has empowering women surrounding her that believe in her and what she is capable of. A movie about personal identity, social responsibility, and being your own hero.

Age range: 5+ years, some scenes may scare younger viewers. 

Girl Power Movies with Badass Women not wanting ‘The Guy’

If you scroll through my previous posts you may guess… I am a Girl Power advocate, (see Girl Power Book Wish List , Books: People I Want to Hang Out With). Yes, I am a woman and Yes, I am also a mother of young, impressionable children.

So no surprise, that I am tired of seeing, the same cliche filled, pink, fluffy, ‘like omg’ movies, that are centered around attracting ‘the guy’- or even worse ‘any guy’ – with the girl’s primary talent, her looks.

These are your bog standard ‘chick flick’ movies, your average Rom Coms. Don’t even get me started on the guy movies, my head might just explode, along with the male ego. Dude movies might as well not have any women in them, since the lines they have are so minuscule, might as well be in a foreign language, as it has no relevance to the movie. ‘The girl’s’ sole purpose is to be saved from the bad guys/ sleaze ball/ psychopath  and be the trophy at the end of the ‘good guy’ who she, of course, is madly in love with.

I abhor these type of one dimensional movies, pumping the stereotype, of women cannot be anything without a man, assumedly they’re half of a person, and the man completes their sole existence –  bleurgh!

So I thought I’d compile a list of movies, that star female protagonists, who are not interested in being the love interest, and are all about being badass in their own right. Most of my films you may notice are bio pics, which goes to show, that real women are not really like the pink fluff that these brain dead movies portray.

Erin Brockivich (2000)

Bio pic about a legal clerk turned environmental activist. I truly believe women are born activists, this is where us women thrive. In her element Julia Roberts owns this movie, depicting a single mother with no formal law education going head to head with huge corporation.

Kill Bill (2003)

A pregnant bride left for dead at her wedding venue along side her wedding party. After 4 years in a coma said bride comes to and seeks revenge from bill and all of his squad of assassins, her previous colleagues. Doesn’t get any more badassy than this movie.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Movie about a women wanting to get into professional boxing. She convinces a veteran coach, who doesn’t think much of women boxing, to train her. The movie deals with how women are not taken seriously in sports and how they have to be twice as good just to get a look in.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Ok admittedly this movie isn’t about saving yourself from any assassins, or inner demons, but it does deal with women on women hate in the work place. Women in high positions are notoriously ‘married’ to their work. Climbing up the career ladder requires sacrificing friends and family, which are part and parcel of corporate life. No one bats an eyelid if you’re a man, as it’s totally acceptable. But as women you are lacking and failing at being your true soft and nurturing self. This movie shows how taking your job to the nth level you can be seen as a crazy woman as apposed to a successful career driven man.

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Huge fangirl of the book and have become a life long stalker of the big G, Elizabeth Gilbert. A bio pic based on Gilberts travel memoir of self discovery through all the senses, lifting the mind body and soul. A movie that rejects wanting a man to complete is when we are feeling lost. It instead inspires us to look within ourselves, emboldening the most homely of us to travel and live to our fullest. Absolutely love this and can’t recommend it enough.

The Blind Side (2009)

Truly heart warming and inspiring bio pic, of how a young boy was given a chance in life and became a professional football player. Story is about a black teen who becomes homeless because his mom has to many kids to care for that often leaves him behind. A white well off family see that the young boy is homeless and take him in to their home. Formally becoming his legal guardians they transform his life and theirs in the process. Not a dry eye in the house this story is so touching and heart warming to see reminding us that what unites us is our humanness.

Neerja (2016)

Hindi Movie with english subtitles available: This Indian Bio pic, is about an air hostess, who risks her life, to save whole plane full of passengers, from a hostage terror attack. Awe inspiring true story, the heroism and bravery of this young lady who didn’t think about her own life, trying to save her crew and passengers, will leave you with a lump in your throat.

Hidden Figures (2017)

I haven’t seen this movie yet but from its trailer alone I can tell this is a must see. Full to the brim with powerful women wanting to make a difference to history. Not only representing themselves but representing black and whole of womenkind.

 

My list is not in the least extensive, as these movies are hard to come by. If you  have any more recommendations, please do suggest them in the comments, I will only be too ecstatic, to check them out!

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Girl Power Book Wish List

Now that I’ve gotten the reading bug, after a decade of exile from Bookdom, I have been creeping on a few books, that I can’t wait to get my hands on. It’s no coincidence that my reading list is dominated by books written by strong badass women. I tend to be drawn to non-fiction, this is partly because I want to be in the company of these fierce women, as explained in my previous post Books: People I Want to Hang Out With. Although I don’t completely shy away from fiction, I only choose books that I know have a underlying message, that I can take away from the book. I love productive books, that have a self help element to it and a life lesson attached, so these are the kind of books you will see feature heavily in my list.

So, here are my Girl Power books wish list for 2017. I hope to write up follow up posts as and when I read them, so watch out for them.

 

The Gutsy Girls by Caroline Paul

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I first heard about Caroline Paul on the Tim Ferris show where she was being interviewed, she was so inspiring in her adventurous and somewhat fearless life, that I just had to get my hands on this book. I have two girls who of no fault of their own, are very cautious, maybe because both my husband and I are very hesitant in letting our kids venture off on their own without shouting ‘careful!’ behind them. They are very timid at taking risks because we don’t allow them to. We live in very different times where gadgets are the corner stone to boredom breakers in a kids eyes. Hopefully this book will give me a few pointers on how to loosen up and remember how being a kid was, as its a necessary step. How to judge on your own, the risks, assessing and exploring without always being ‘careful’.

 

We Should All Be Feminists

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Why I want this book, is pretty self explanatory. We should all be feminist, I already believe this. I am not a man hater far from it, but I am a human lover. For centuries women have been short changed. Its a question of, are we not the same? If it were not for women we wouldn’t be here, and vice versa we can not function without the other. Both sexes are reliant of the other for the survival of our species yet only one is given the upper hand. I was initially recommended the Ted Talks by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche were she delivers a powerful speech that has been viewed over 3 million times.  I can’t wait to have this in my collection and hand it down to my young girls.

 

Lean in By Sheryl Sandberg

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I am an aspiring entrepreneur, so naturally I gravitated towards this book. Written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, she is an inspiration to women, who want that work and life balance. Working moms who juggle both realms  are superhuman. Can it really be possible, to have it all, without having one side slip up?

Quiet by Susan Cain

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As a person who is naturally introverted, preferring quiet to noise, I’m interested at what this book has to say. I believe we all have each our own qualities, as extroverts and introverts alike. Its refreshing to finally see a book that puts the spotlight on introverts, when extroverts have managed to blow the self promoting trumpet for so long.

 

Have you read any of these books on my wish list? Let me know in the comments below which you recommend and any other girl power or self help books you think are worth a read.