Thumbelina

Mother: Now, here is the story of the noble dog, who saved the king from the wicked wizard. Once upon a time…
Thumbelina: Oh, mother, please. Are there any stories about… about little people?

thumbsize

Ever get the feeling you just don’t belong? Like you just want a story to be written about someone like you – similar background, similar experiences, similar behavior? Life is hard on the unique. We’re told to act in certain ways and become like everyone else, so much so we feel slightly exiled when we stand out in any way. Truth is, the remarkably great people that go down in history are the ones who thought differently – and didn’t keep it to themselves. It’s time to be proud of our differences! Speak courageously and don’t allow others negativity to get in your way. As the wise Dr. Seuss once questioned: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” In your bravery, you just might discover a life you’ve always dreamed of…just like Thumbelina. ©

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Marie

Ladies don’t start fights, but they can finish them!

Being an Aristo’cat’, Marie certainly knows what makes a ‘lady.’ With her floofy pink bows and smooth white fur, she certainly has the beauty part down! But what makes a girl an absolute lady? Manners. Marie tries to teach her brothers that they should allow her through the door first and the concept is lost on them…well, at least with her (“Oh you’re not a lady”. / “You’re nothing but a sister.”). Women so often complain about how ‘chivalry is dead’ and how ‘no guy treats them with any respect.’ While I agree that gentlemanly behaviors have certainly decreased over the years, the blame doesn’t lie solely on them. Chivalry still exists, when young women act like ladies. If you behave like one of the guys, you’re probably going to be treated like one. If you don’t have much respect for yourself, how can you expect them to respect you? In order to become a young lady, this doesn’t require skirts and heels and fancy hair ribbons. Instead, it’s a matter of conduct. Be kind to others, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ dress modestly, and be intelligent about the world around you. It’s really quite easy…and worth every effort. ©

Jane

It can’t get any worse, can it?
[it starts to rain] Obviously, it can.

Life is just that way, isn’t it? When you feel that your situation really cannot get any worse, it almost certainly will. But from this dreary perspective, something positive remains: at the lowest of lows, it forces you to start looking up. Reconnect with old friends, challenge yourself to make a difficult recipe, sit down with a classic novel and learn what the hype is about – start working towards something that will make your life better. When you take a step away from the stress, you can realize all the things in life that you are truly thankful for. With Thanksgiving in a matter of days, whether you’re feeling down or at the top of your game, take a moment and write down everything you can think of that you’re grateful for. And I mean everything; large or small, meaningful or superficial, everything counts. Once you’ve completed your list, read it over once more and then hang it somewhere you can see it often: a bathroom mirror, the fridge, etc. Having this as a constant reminder of all the good things in your life will revolutionize how you see the world. It will give you that boost you need to get out of the rain and instead feel the warmth of the sunshine. ©

White Queen

You cannot live your life to please others. The choice must be yours.

I’ve learned over the years that no matter how you choose to live your life, whether you stick with the rules, rebel, or just go with the flow, someone out there is destined to disapprove. But you, my friend, are a unique individual and I encourage you to be proud of that fact. In middle school that can be hard and high school can be even worse because so many people are entirely too judgmental. And you know why that is? Because they’re insecure and plan on making your insecurities even stronger so theirs will be diminished. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really get better as you get older because those people who were ‘haters’ when they were younger will still judge you because they never learned how to survive without severely criticizing others. But don’t get discouraged. There is a bright side:  you learn how to deal with it and allow it to make you stronger. Cliché as it is, it’s true. The more you learn that what others think truly does not matter, the more you can love yourself and everything you enjoy, without giving a second thought to what others’ opinions will be. Be true to yourself; life is so much better when you are. ©

Captain Hook

Captain Hook: [about to lower a bomb into Peter Pan’s hideout]
And now, Smee, to take care of master Peter Pan.
Smee: But, Captain, wouldn’t it be more humane-like to slit his throat?
Captain Hook: Aye, that it would, Mr. Smee. But I have given me word not to lay a finger, or a hook, on Peter Pan. And Captain Hook never breaks a promise.

While the Captain may have been planning a dastardly thing, he does have one redeeming characteristic – he never breaks a promise. Even the most evil of villains sticks to his word. And this is something I think a lot of people are missing these days. Certainly, actions speak louder than words alone, but ‘giving your word’ to someone used to mean a whole lot more. Now people break promises, commitments, and agreements without giving it a second thought. People seem to no longer be held accountable for these actions either, even though it does do a lot of harm: trust is threatened, relationships are damaged, and their character is polluted. So when you promise something to someone, whomever they may be, make sure you mean what you say. While society may not place high value on spoken words, individuals do. Be that person whom people can respect; it really does make a huge difference in how they see you…and how you see yourself. ©

Belle

Townspeople:
Look there she goes, that girl is so peculiar. I wonder if she’s feeling well.
With a dreamy far off look. And her nose stuck in a book.
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle…

Sometimes people just don’t understand us. They judge us by the way we look, act or choose to live our lives. And when it’s not in correspondence with their expectations, they tend to think negative thoughts. Belle is smart and independent and even though she wonders if there’s “more than this provincial life,” she stays true to herself and what brings her happiness – in particular, reading storybooks. She nurtures the ‘child at heart’ with these fables of “far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise.” She’s very much a young woman who perhaps dreams of finding her own prince someday, but is enjoying where she is in life at every moment. This is what I want to encourage you to do. Continue to find joy in what the world deems ‘childish’ for these are the innocent pleasures people try to rob from us with their judgements. Just because they see it as ‘weird’ or ‘uncool’, who cares? If you love it and it brings you happiness, that’s all that really matters. ©

Cinderella

“Am I beautiful because you love me? Or do you love me because I am beautiful?”

Hair dye and highlights, perfecting brow stencils, false eyelashes, multiple shades of eyeshadow, thick eyeliner, ultimate coverage foundation and concealer, contouring and blush and highlighting, lip plumpers, pore minimizing moisturizer, facial masks, acne treatments, fake tanner, fake nails, fake boobs, and we can’t forget about the weight loss obsession…no wonder women are so insecure!
Look at this list – there are so many expectations held by young men, and other young women, that we must look a certain way. Clearly, this takes a loooot of time and effort. And in the end, we don’t even resemble our true selves; we are merely a reflection of ‘accepted’ beauty. We’ve become so enslaved to this idea that we’re ashamed of the way we look without makeup on and put ourselves down for the size of our thighs or the shape of our eyes. This insecurity is not only crushing our confidence, but it’s damaging our relationships with others, especially in romantic situations. We start to question, after morphing ourselves to fit the mold, whether or not the guy actually likes ‘us’ or just the facade he sees. Girls, it’s time to wipe off the makeup, eat a cookie, and celebrate life. Let’s start a beauty revolution where we take back the power society has stripped from us and declare ourselves beautiful looking just the way we are!
Are you in? I know I am. ©

Mulan

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.”

We live in a world full of hardships. War, poverty, illness, death…it constantly surrounds us. No wonder so many suffer with depression and feel so desperately alone. But the ultimate challenge that faces us is this: to rise above it all. To take charge of our own lives and seize the determination that is so necessary to life on this planet. We must face the disaster around us. As the quote reminds us, we must ‘bloom’ despite of it all. We need to think of the negatives as fertilizer to our soil, the tears as the water needed to survive, and the hope that still lives within us as our ray of sunlight. We can learn to grow. This isn’t easy, but this is what makes these flowers so ‘rare’; not everyone is up to the challenge. I want to draw your attention to the last part of the sentence – that these are the most ‘beautiful of them all’. If you can muster up all the strength within you to go on, to fight for what you deserve, and to reclaim your life, you will become the beautiful being you were always meant to be. ©

Merida

“I am Merida and I’ll be shooting for my own hand!”

This princess knew exactly what she wanted, and this did not include a marriage any time in the near future. Her suitors were pathetic and her mom was pressuring her, so she decided to change her fate. She knew that the only way to make this happen was to take matters into her own hands. And that’s exactly what she did. When people try to make decisions for you, especially the ones you don’t agree with, there is nothing wrong with taking a stand. Speaking up for yourself is courageous and noble and people respect you more for it. Sometimes you have to demand you deserve better by getting away from the situation completely – dump faux friends, break up with a toxic boyfriend, or just be by yourself for an hour or two. Rid your life of the things that make you unhappy; life is too short to spend your time with someone who makes you miserable. Be confident in who ‘you’ are and don’t let anyone steal your joy. Think like brave Merida and ask yourself,
“If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?” ©

Esmeralda

Phoebus: You fight almost as well as a man.
Esmeralda: Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you.

Esmeralda to me has always been the definition of ‘moxie’: someone with “energy, spunk, and spirit”. She was courageous in her actions and stood up for what she believed was right. When someone gave her a backhanded compliment, she spun it with a playful twist and handed it right back to them. This confidence is what I believe many girls are lacking nowadays. We take so much negativity from people and accept it as though it was complete truth. All my life I’ve always said that I didn’t care what people thought of me, but until recently, I realized I never really meant it. People’s careless thoughts and rude opinions always cut deep. But in the past year or so, I have finally embraced the fact that my life is indeed ‘my’ life. If others don’t like something about me, it doesn’t bother me anymore because if it is a part of my life that I truly love, then that’s what’s important. If something makes you happy, continue it. If it brings positivity to your life, nurture it. If it is something you have always dreamed of, chase it. Don’t let the jealous words of others bring you down. Channel Esmeralda’s confidence and courage and love the life you live. ©