Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Latest News News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World
Wait, What's Turning Red?

Recently released, Turning Red has the attention of parents, kids, and teenagers alike as the film is surprising audiences across the world. Following the story of a thirteen-year-old girl of Asain descent in Toronto, Canada, the wonders of family magic combine with the difficulties of puberty. Family, friends, and independence are questioned as Meilin Lee discovers ways to become more herself. Although it sounds like most Disney movies, this storyline seems to teach more than anything we have seen before and its shocking audiences. But not in a good way.

An extreme amount of backlash arose with the film and the moments of adolescence it describes. Why? Because puberty, rebellion, and the realities of being a teenager are terrifying to almost everyone. It has become an aspect of life that many choose to ignore or forget, despite the evolution it allows. Let me clarify that the leading cause for backlash isn't the aspects of adolescence but the film's connection to periods.

Representation of menstruation has always been limited, if not nonexistent, in media. With tampon and pad commercials that ignore the reality of the menstrual cycle and films that highlight simple phrases to poke fun at periods, the stigmatization of periods is pursued on all accounts. This stigmatization and lack of representation create a barrier of shame for those who menstruate. Thus, fear is an unnecessary but expected response when the mention of a period is in a children's movie.

Throughout Turning Red, I was confused as to what the red panda represented. Could it be the beginning and continuation of Meilin's period? The uncontrollable feelings could have been a metaphor for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). At the same time, her family's choice to control their panda could relate to the options a person who menstruates has when deciding how they want to maintain their flow. The connections and similarities are highly apparent, but I don't believe this was the comparison the film was making. I think it highlighted the uncontrollable emotions of being a teenager and how one can choose who they want to be, whether that be similar or different from the traditions of before.

That leads to the next piece of backlash: the rebelliousness of teenagers. Through defiant acts of sneaking out and lying, many were outraged at the examples of rebellion that were portrayed. Many felt that Turning Red was moving away from family values and supported the choice of revolution. As Meilin and her mom decipher the importance of deciding between freedom and control, the significance of communication and community are emphasized.

Confused by the illustrations of what looked like anti-family, I believe that the outrage was misplaced. Turning Red illustrates the complex family dynamic that arises during adolescence as the parent and child relationship is changing. By showing a reaction of defiance to the control Meilin no longer wanted, the movie allows the audience to understand how dynamics can constructively and positively change. This simultaneously depicts how far from perfect this change can be as fighting and distance can form, but balance is achievable in the end.

Thus, Turning Red is a captivating portrayal of teenagers today and allows anyone, no matter their age, to understand something that they might have ignored previously. Ignoring the conflicts and evolution that occur during adolescence can prevent someone from genuinely learning from their experiences. As well as the lesson that perfect is not possible, and rebelling is a natural, almost necessary, aspect of growing up. Turning Red can inspire children to find a balance between respecting family, friends, and most importantly, oneself.

Share This Post On

Tags: #Disney #TurningRed #adolescence #parenting #destigmatizingperiods


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in
TheSocialTalks was founded in 2020 as an alternative to mainstream media which is fraught with misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. We have a strong dedication to publishing authentic news that abides by the principles and ethics of journalism. We are a not-for-profit organisation driven by a passion for truth and justice in society.

Our team of journalists and editors from all over the world work relentlessly to deliver real stories affecting our society. To keep our operations running, we depend on support in the form of donations. Kindly spare a minute to donate to support our writers and our cause. Your financial support goes a long way in running our operations and publishing real news and stories about issues affecting us. It also helps us to expand our organisation, making our news accessible to more everyone and deepening our impact on the media.

Support fearless and fair journalism today.