Girls Learn to be The Hero

The recently released movie called Moana is showing young girls a new kind of girlhood. In this movie, Moana is a young girl who sets out on a long difficult journey. She ends up saving the day and becomes the hero of the story. This movie is different from many children’s movies because the majority of children’s movies have a male hero. In other children’s movies, girls learn that males are always the ones to save the damsel in distress. However, the movie Moana is teaching girls to be independent and instilling the idea into young girls minds that they too can be the hero. This is showing children that women are fully capable of achieving a difficult task and that the males do not always have to be the heros.

Many people think that being adventurous and heroic is a manly trait. In other words, these people would be considered tomboys. The Keywords essay Tomboy, by Michelle Ann Abate, describes how young women who exert certain characteristics are considered tomboys. Some of the characteristics that go with the idea of being a tomboy is being adventurous, strong, independent, and brave. In the Keywords essay Tomboy, it talks about how having these traits as a girl would lead to being successful mothers because they were strong women. These were all characteristics that Moana showed throughout her journey. This means that she would be seen as a tomboy. However, even though it may sound like an odd term, many people attribute being a tomboy to having the characteristics that will make them grow up to be a strong and successful adult.

This movie reminds me of Jo from the book Little Women by Louisa Alcott. She did not like being a woman. She wanted to go fight in the war and do “manly” things. Therefore, she was considered a tomboy. Jo, was like Moana in the sense that she exerted many similar characteristics. For example, like Moana, Jo was very independent and wanted to do things herself. Jo wanted to make a life for herself and was not worried about needing a man to support her.




8 thoughts on “Girls Learn to be The Hero”

  1. Your idea that heroines would be considered tomboys is interesting to me, and I agree with your opinion. I also have thought that why the heroes of the majority of children’s movies are always male. I like to share my thought. I think the reason is gender stereotype: women are weak and women cannot lift heavy things. Women have been relatively underestimated from the past compared with men in terms of handling difficult matters. In addition to that, we also have an image that in the past, women always stayed at home to care of their babies and do daily domestic chores whereas men always did heavy tasks. Thus, due to the stereotypical thought, almost heroes in the majority of children’s movies and even in adult films are male. However, as you said in your posting, I think it is good opportunity for children to produce the character, Moana in the children’s movie to give them a different view that female characters also can be heroes.

  2. Your comparison to Jo and Moana is spot on! Both girls are very strong willed and independent, and I think your blog post does a great job of demonstrating this. Additionally, I think your relation to Moana and the Tomboy keywords essay supports your case of demonstrating Moana’s relation to our discussions of girlhood.

  3. Julia, I love the topic of your article. This movie, along with many others today, are truly inspiring young women that we do not a man to feel worthy. Relating this to the keyword tomboy and Jo in Little Women was genius because they all connect wonderfully. Anyone can be successful and strong as long as they have determination not because they have manly characteristics.

  4. Moana is by far my favorite Disney movie and all for this reason. We have seen all of these other Disney princess movies of the typical “female” role and now finally we get Moana. A girl who embodies these ideas and characteristics we see in the keywords article “tomboy” and behaviors that have been associated with Male gender. Instead of learning to let all of her problems and bumps in the road she runs into, Moana Waialiki, a teenage girl, learns to never accept limits in how far she can go. She is a fierce, noble, confident, and fearless 16-year-old girl. I think this portrayal is important to young girls today because it will show them that they are capable of anything they put their mind to, and that they are limited to nothing because of their gender.

  5. Although I think the princess movies are cute, I really love that Disney is changing their approach to movies for girls. Even the picture you decided to include in your post shows their new approach to girls in movies. The way Moana is pictured makes her look strong, ambitious, and independent. Young girls who are watching this movie are so prone to influence. Having more and more outlets tell these girls that they are more than just a girl who gets saved by a prince and lives happily ever after and they are the ones who can save the day and create their happily ever after is an important message to send to these girls.

  6. It is so great that girls are starting to see girl characters in a more active, heroic role instead of passive characters that wait for a man to save them. I also think Laura in Little House on the Prairie is a lot like Jo and Moana. She always wanted to help out and be the hero. For example, she ran into her home when the Native Americans were taking food from her mother. She wanted to save her. Also, she always wanted to help out with her dad with building the house and the well. As movies and books represent strong and brave roles of women, girls will start to feel more self worth and will emulate these characters.

  7. Great read! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I think it is inspiring that this movie portrays that girls too, can be a hero. Often in children’s movies, we find the boy saving the lives of the princesses or the villages. But it is really exciting to know that things are becoming more neutral, where it is perfectly acceptable for a girl to be a hero too.

  8. I have not seen this movie and didn’t really know what it was about before reading this. However, now that I know what it is about I really want to go see it! I really like how it is giving children, especially girls, an image of a strong girl who doesn’t need the man to save her. This seems to be a recent trend in movies for children. For example, in Frozen Elsa doesn’t marry Hans because he is a hoax and she ends up saving herself. I think it is good to have princess movies, but this type of more heroic female character is also very important!

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