Merida is quickly becoming one of my favourite princesses – not only because of her amazing hair and cool accent, but because she’s independent and feisty. And I can relate to her as the older sister to three brothers, particularly her comment, “They get away with murder; I get away with nothing.” Perhaps that was why I never really rebelled – I knew there was no point.
Brave, unlike the traditional princess stories, is a mother-daughter love story. There are three suitors for Merida’s hand, but she’s not at all interested. I can’t say I blame her. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand why.) Merida defies tradition and makes it very clear she wants to choose her own path.
Queen Elinor wants to raise the perfect princess; Merida has other ideas. They love each other but don’t understand each other, and when Merida asks a witch for a spell to change her mother, she doesn’t exactly get what she asked for but the result is a richer mother-daughter relationship.
One of the lessons here is: be careful what you wish for. Teenagers are a short-sighted species and often don’t consider the implications of their actions. I want my daughters to follow their dreams, but not blindly or foolishly, or selfishly. I hope that I am raising them to be people with consideration for others, and who will weigh the consequences before making decisions.
I found myself taking to heart another of Brave‘s lessons. My daughters are people – crazy, wonderful, amazing people – who have their own lives to live. I refuse to be a mother who tries to shape my children into my idea of who they should be. As they get older, they will choose their own interests and their own friends. I will do my best to guide them and teach them, but I can’t mould them into who they are not.
Watching them grow, watching them become who they were created to be, watching them blossom is a privilege.
What did you think of Brave?