I’m a huge Disney person. The movies are great, the animation is amazing, the storylines are often empowering and it never ceases to amaze me how children from the ages of 4 to grown-up adults all love watching it. What I also love about Disney movies are the songs. They are often sprinkled with humor, are relatable, have very meaningful lyrics and catchy tunes. So, when asked what song relates to my life, its no surprise that I chose a song from Disney. The song that comes the closest to describing my emotions, thoughts and life is ‘Reflection’ from Mulan.
Mulan, in its entirety, is easily one of the best movies of the Disney franchise. It’s one of the first movies featuring a woman as strong, independent with well-written character development. It addresses the issues of gender discrimination in a way that is easy to spot and easier to understand. But Mulan is more than just a voice of women empowerment in society- it is, more importantly, a story of spiritual and personal empowerment. Mulan, a young woman, undergoes a reflection (pun unintended) of her desires, motivations and goals in life. She has to make a hard decision between being who she is expected to be and being who she really is. The song Reflection, is beautiful, melodious and somber, perfectly channeling the emotional distress she is undergoing. As someone who has faced this more than often (almost on a daily basis), I could relate to it on a personal level.
Who is that girl I see,
Staring straight, Back at me…
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
Somehow I cannot hide, who I am, though I’ve tried.
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
These lines are so well-written, perfectly describing the dilemma and identity crisis every teenager undergoes. Every single person has felt this way at some point in their lives and this is worded in way that resonates with each one of us. Trying to figure out who we really are, our strengths, weaknesses and who we are meant to be is a constant question that has no easy answer. It takes intense judging of our own self-worth in a fast moving world that piles on problems and distractions in the form of peer-pressure, social media and a standard “ideal” of how “perfect” people should be or what they should do.
This song is poignant and melancholic, and is a great addition to the storyline of the movie because it helps the audience relate to her and her life. Even though the movie, and therefore the song is set in China during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534), the audience of the 21st century can still relate to it. There is more to this movie than just martial arts and talking-lizard dragons. Songs like these gives the movie a more intense depth, a three-dimensional view, by seamlessly merging reality with fiction. This song, to me, is a perfect description of my life, as I battle against conformity and being just another sheep in the herd every single day, trying my hardest to express myself in a way that is solely “me” and barricading myself against peer-pressure and others’ judgements. My life, at this moment, is focused on finally showing the world “who I am inside”.
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