Differences in Girlhood Between Moana and Kirsten

In “Kirsten Learns a Lesson”, the idea of girlhood is represented by creativity and imagination, while in “Moana” girlhood is represented by adventure and empowerment. In “Kirsten Learns a Lesson” we find Kirsten using her imagination to draw pictures to communicate with Singing Bird, as well as building tools and dolls with each other. Kirsten also uses her imagination to play with her dolls, as well as build and use a fort. She uses an immense amount of creativity to find ways to meet with Singing Bird without anyone noticing. This creativity that Kirsten displays is a big part of what makes her youthful in the story. There isn’t this much creativity displayed by anyone else in the book, which makes it a unique characteristic to Kirsten’s girlhood. When Singing Bird asks Kirsten to travel with her and her people, Kirsten politely declines because she thinks her parents would be angry. In this story, being a girl is shown to mean they are dependent on others. For this reason, Kirsten is not strong enough to leave her family and take a trip with Singing Bird.  In “Moana”, there is a completely different answer and she takes a journey to discover the ocean and save her people. Moana is a story where girlhood is represented by the love for adventure and finding out what your destiny is. In the film, we see Moana not need anyone to take care of her as she is displayed as a strong independent girl. Girlhood is displayed as evolving into an adult in this movie rather than always being looked at as a young girl. This differs from Kirsten because she is very dependent on her family and could not survive very long without them. With these differences, there are many similarities between girlhood in these stories. In both stories imagination is an extremely large part of girlhood. Both stories emphasize the importance of dreaming big and wishing for perfect life scenarios. Another aspect of girlhood displayed by both is the ability to create meaningful relationships with others. Kirsten has an important relationship with Singing Bird, while Moana is extremely close to her grandmother and eventually Maui. In “Moana” girlhood is displayed as independent and empowering while in “Kirsten Learns a Lesson” it is represented by imagination and being dependent on family and friends.

5 thoughts on “Differences in Girlhood Between Moana and Kirsten”

  1. I love these examples of girlhood and the comparison between Moana and Kirsten because I believe that it shows how our society has been evolving and changing stereotypes. This movie makes girls, starting at a young age, feel empowered and inspires them to dream big and be independent women.

  2. It is amazing how many different ways one may take a word, as you said girlhood both describes Kirsten and Moana and their life but they are not the same in many ways. I think a large aspect of girlhood as well is the idea of imagination that you brought up, it is a great thing about being a child. Really enjoyed your post.

  3. I liked how you explained these contrasting ideas of girlhood but also connected them in way. Both Moana and Kirsten experience adventure on their own terms. While Kirsten experiences it more in terms of her family’s expectations because in the end she does not go off with Signing Bird and her family, Moana finds her girlhood adventuring in rebellion. She disobey’s her family’s orders to go off on her own and do something she knows she can handle. These are two young girls both experiencing girlhood, but in very different ways. Great blog post!

  4. I really enjoyed your comparison between Moana and Kirsten. I think that it is interesting how Disney’s idea of girlhood has changed as well. In older Disney movies, princesses are reliant on their mothers or princes to rescue them or save them, while newer Disney movies present girlhood in a different way, like how Moana is independent and how Merida is adventurous.

  5. I love that you brought up the “wishing for a better life scenario” I think it gives us a better understanding of how these girls think and how they could be connected. I also find it awesome that you made the distinction between moanas Independence and kirstens inability to be independent, i think it shows how times have made it easier to represent girls as independent figures and stray from past notions of women’s reliance on others. Really cool argument that I would have never thought of on my own.

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