Therapists are singing praises for Turning Red and here's why parents should take note

The new Disney+ film Turning Red is starting conversations about women's health and sexaulity

The vast majority of people walking the earth today remember what it was like to be a 13-year-old child. Wrestling with the idea that you’re growing up, hormones are all over the place, and suddenly you want to be more than friends with some of your classmates. It’s a weird and complicated age, but Disney’s Turning Red takes on the challenge with a strong 13 year old female lead who grapples with cultural norms, coming of age and finding her voice. The themes of this movie don’t fall too far from the Disney tradition of displaying coming of age stories in anything from the Little Mermaid to Finding Nemo.

Mei is a 2nd generation Chinese Canadian girl who struggles with regulating her emotions, which is something we can all relate to when it comes to navigating becoming a teenager. The cultural piece is something that really resonated with 2nd generation Chinese Canadian therapists. I took the time to speak with a few therapists to get their thoughts on Disney’s Turning Red.


Jocelyn Lam, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes working with this population said “I loved Turning Red because of the nuanced approach to the mother-daughter relationships across generations in the Lee Family. Mei-Lin grapples with saving face and being a ‘loyal’ daughter to her family, versus embracing a more messy side to her personality and broader range of emotions, which is a common struggle that 2nd generation Chinese teens experience.” Lam went on to express how much she “loved that the story spotlighted how interdependence within Chinese families can result in strength and vulnerability.”

With Turning Red, Disney has sparked an important cultural conversation

It’s clear that Disney struck an important chord by capturing how culture and mental health intertwine. Lisa Ibekwe, a licensed clinical social worker and first generation American viewed the movie and said “Turning Red was a phenomenal depiction of the thin line between culture and intergenerational trauma. It represents how culture heavily influences what we pass down to our children. Many children in general struggle to express their wants and desires to adults, and it’s even harder when there is a cultural gap between their desires and the expectations.”

While the cultural stuff stood out to many who rarely see their culture played out on the big screen, that wasn’t the only reason therapists have been singing the praises of the movie. There are some therapeutic things in there that parents might have missed, but kids could truly learn from. Jocelyn pointed out “the movie showed active coping tools and redirection of thought, open discussion of menstruation, accepting that different emotions can co-exist, a holistic view of psychological happiness and addressing intergenerational trauma.”

Turning Red helps show the importance of talking about sex education with kids 

Jenny Moore Greunke, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker expressed that Turning Red was “such a great example of not feeling the need to change yourself to make others comfortable. Showing that being who you are without shame is healing, even when there may be generations before you who haven’t evolved to your level of emotional intelligence yet. Radical Self love!” Kathleen Hearne, Licensed Professional Counselor said “through openly talking about the traumas and it’s affects can help individuals and generations grow and thrive from those experiences verses it causing continued trauma within the family through hurtful behavior patterns.” Hearne went further to say that “it’s helpful in normalizing that we all have experiences in life that have shaped us and that we can use them to thrive and grow towards our authentic self by being open and compassionate with ourselves and others.”

The themes that Turning Red touches on are so deep and important that it is amazing to see how seamlessly Disney pulled this movie off. Preteens and teens can see themselves in Mei-Lin and learn to embrace their “messy side” while also learning how to regulate their strong emotions through the coping mechanisms so carefully placed within this movie. Hats off to Disney for not shying away from the hard stuff while also giving us tools and healing to move forward when we relate to the film.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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