Moana A Disney Character My Child Can Identify With
Growing up my child has been acutely aware that she is different to most of the children around her. By different I mean, my daughter is Polynesian. Having a British and Maori Mother and a birth Father with Tongan, Samoan and Fijian ancestry, Sylvia is a real fruit cocktail of beauty. I think my child is gorgeous however at times being “different” has not been easy.
We live in a small village in Lancashire and I can honestly say I have never seen another Polynesian person in our village. I’ve never seen a Polynesian in town or in fact anywhere in Lancashire except an LDS Missionary who was visiting the UK in a religious capacity.
Sylvia has at times felt upset about her skin colour. It didn’t help that the parent of a child down the road called my daughter a **** (not so nice name) which was racist and nasty. However if you look different to the average child in your class and school and the people you interact with every day, you are going to feel to some degree unique.
I always try to tell my child how special she is. How beautiful she is and what a blessing it is to be part Tongan and Polynesian. I share with Sylvia cultural values and have taught her some words in the Tongan language. I want my child to embrace what makes her unique and special.
A few years ago Sylvia said to me, she wanted lighter skin and blonde hair. After a deep discussion it turned out Sylvia felt that way because she wanted to look like a Disney Princess.
Yes my child wanted to look like a Disney Princess
However there was not really a princess or disney character Sylvia could identify with. Sylvia dressed up as Tinkerbell as a child but Tinkerbell had blonde hair. Sylvia did not look like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, Cinderella or Repunzel. She didn’t look like Mulan or Tiana.
This little 6 year old child was telling me her mum that she was sad because there was no disney character like her. Of course there is the movie Lilo and Stitch but even this character did not really look like my child.
I told my child maybe one day there will be a Polynesian Princess
So you can imagine how excited I was a few years ago to hear about the Disney Movie Moana. Casting calls were made and clips shared online. I told Sylvia the great news and she was really pleased. In fact she was over the moon. My little girl was finally going to have a Disney character to identify with.
Of course Sylvia still dresses up as other characters, she has Disney dolls, Elsa and Ahna but we are really excited to go and watch Moana at the movies when it comes out. As a blogger I decided to make the most of the opportunity and I’m going to pitch and look for opportunities to work with Brands promoting the Disney Moana movie and Moana products.
We are going to embrace this new movie and character and I’m hoping it will in some small way help my child to grow in self esteem, to know that she is special and that the fact she looks like a beautiful Disney character may help her to better accept who she is.
Of course we are all different, with different cultures, races and backgrounds and as much as I would love the world to be accepting and wonderful of each other’s differences (and many people are). The reality is some are not.
I will embrace this new movie and use it as a tool to help my child grow in self esteem, to help her know that she is beautiful, that being different is okay. I’ll teach my daughter that she is special, she is loved and no matter what colour we are, our skin, hair or eyes, we all have great worth.
I hope we can get some fantastic opportunities as the Moana movie Hype begins. Watch this space!