|Just a sidekick? I don't think so.|
Instead of putting the spotlight on Peter, the movie focused on Tink, as this strong modern woman. Apparently, she forayed a new series of leading ladies, from curious Ariel and intelligent Belle. Living in Never-never Land, a realm without rules or social norms on how to be a woman, allowed Tink to flourish into a feminist symbol. She, herself, might just be a feminist. Despite her tiny figure and harmless exterior, Tink is an independent and outspoken character. Following the success of Peter Pan, she went on to become the "gatekeeper" of Disney's legacy and consequently, a mascot for all things magical.
As someone who has been classified as a feminist by her nearest and dearest, but has yet to officially taken on such identity, I wonder why I have never warmed up to Tink. Whilst watching the making of Pixar's Brave, I instantly fell in love with its protagonist, Merida. Unlike Tink, Merida struggled to express her feminism. She fought with her mother and even had to win her own hand in marriage. Tink, on the other hand, lived in a world where, perhaps, many feminists would dream of, a world without societal structures on gender performativity.
|If Merida won't oblige, Maleficent might do, as well|
Maybe, everything has to do with the one emotion that Tink has never been able to hide: jealousy. I have been envious of Tink for her home is one that contrasts mine. Although, my surrounding isn't as bad as Merida's, it's still pretty constrictive. I have to fight for my rights, debate almost every lad I meet and bear with the conflicting label of "feminism", which my friends have taken the liberty to plaster me with. In the movie and the play, Tink was not prosecuted for her tendency to break social expectations of femininity. She is, in actuality, feminine in nature. Furthermore, her "mighty pretty" looks seems to conceal her feistiness.
In contrast, Merida was compelled to change her looks and play the part of a woman. In Brave, she was caged in and forced to follow social rules. The wit that got her out of these social catastrophes might not help her find a husband or build a family that support her brazen nature. Thankfully, she does not seem to want a husband or children, at least not within the time frame of the film.
As I end this article, one that was supposed to commemorate one year of KisahJika.com, I feel rather morally puzzled. What makes a woman? Why am I so turned off by the word "feminism"? How has Disney and other parts of Pop culture shaped our ideas of gender? And how do we play a role in molding future characters and symbols? Your comment has never been more important than ever, please scroll down and leave a comment or two.
P.S. Thank you for the support that you have provided for KisahJika.com. Without it this would just be a less meaningful scratch on the surface of the Internet. Terima kasih.
*All photos were supplied by the writer