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Brave: More than just a movie

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 11:16 -- Jess

Jess as Merida

By now you must know of the (seemingly) awesome movie coming out tomorrow called Brave. It stars Merida, the heroine who, by all accounts, goes against the norms of her traditions and society as much as her large, big, red curls would suggest. The curly hair world has been all abuzz about this movie for months now, clearly. :) The general consensus seems to be, FINALLY! One of us! The heroine, not the geek in the background getting called mushroom head or chia pet! (These are all presumptions of course, as the movie doesn’t debut until tomorrow.) I think it’s safe to say though, that Merida prevails as the hero at the end of this movie AND that she’s able to do it without straightening her lovely curls as might be done in other movies.

Ever since the trailer began airing for this film, many many MANY of you wrote on my Facebook, Twitter and email saying you see a pretty strong resemblance between me and Merida. :) Nah…REALLY?  :) SO, since that just kept coming up again and again, I thought it’d be fun to grab my awesome photographer Terrence, borrow a bow and arrow and head out in to the woods to take a Brave-esque photo of our own. :) And I was right – it WAS fun. We got a few strange looks, but I’m used to that by now. :)

But this whole Brave thing is so much more than a cool picture or a charming movie, at least to me. I talk to a lot of curlies all over the country with all different hair types and it sounds like a common theme is that to do what we’re doing – to embrace our curls, to LOVE our curls – is something that initially feels quite brave. For me, it felt brave to stop wearing my hair in a bun every single day for 4 years and finally let it loose and curly. For MANY of you the bravest thing you’ve done, hair-wise, was to stop relaxing, do the Big Chop, and allow your natural hair to grow out in all its curly glory. This is NOT just about hair, and you and I know it.

 It’s about choosing to step out into the world and make a statement for which earlier in your life you may have been ridiculed. Maybe you’ll STILL be ridiculed by someone close to you. That’s scary. But you’re doing it. And THAT is brave. You’re telling the world that your hair is just fine the way you were born, thank you very much!

I found a great quote from Katherine Sarafian, producer of Brave.  She says, “I think people will take different things away, but one important theme is the various types of bravery that we explore. There is a lot of shooting arrows, and riding horses and fighting wild animals - and that’s one kind of bravery, but that’s an outside kind of bravery. There is another, very real kind of bravery in your heart that is required to accept people as they are; for children to accept and understand their parents and for parents to accept and understand their children.”

And for us to accept and understand ourselves. That’s why I personally vibe so strongly with this movie, even though I haven’t even seen it yet!

So I pretty much can’t wait to see it, and REALLY hope it starts showing tomorrow up here in my tiny piece of the world. (Humboldt County, CA is pretty rural, in case you didn’t know. :)

Will you be seeing it opening day, fellow Brave curlies? :)