Friday, September 16, 2011

Rethinking the Little Mermaid

Dear Brenna,

I watched The Little Mermaid a few weeks ago. I understand Ariel's curiosity. I get the sense of sacrifice that goes with love. I know that the infatuation looked a lot like love. But it wasn't. She sacrificed everything for someone she didn't know and he sacrificed nothing in the process.

When you get older and watch the movie, I want to know the original story, where the little mermaid evaporates into foam.  There are powerful people out there who will woo you with the promise that you'll be part of their world; be it a handsome prince or a high-paying job or the accolades of a top-tier college.

I don't want you to lose yourself. I don't want you to evaporate.

 You should never have to change your identity to meet the dreams of a man. No relationship, no promise, no plot line in a fairy tale story is ever worth giving up your voice. Be curious. Be bold. But cling to your voice with your whole being, Brenna.

Love, Dad


  1. Dude, it's just a cartoon. Let it go.

  2. It's not just a cartoon. It's a pervasive storyline in our culture.

  3. Spot on John. I cringe at how often these cartoons teach my daughter terrible lessons about the role of females. Though they may be "only" cartoons, it is a primary source of entertainment for young 'ens and it influences who they long to be.