(WARNING: This contains movie spoilers)
I have the attention span of a 3-year-old. I will be the first to admit that. I don’t think that it has to do with the fact that I don’t like TV or movies because I really do, I just don’t seem to have the time! Case in point, my favourite show is Adventure Time and I think that has to do with the fact that an episode of Adventure Time is only 11 minutes long. PERFECT! Because most days 11 minutes is all I have. You can imagine my surprise then when a few weeks back I found myself glued to my TV, tears streaming down my face watching Moana. I could not look away! Everything about it seemed to really resonate with me and for a few days I couldn’t work out why? Was it the catchy songs? The amazing animation? Or was it simply the fact that something had managed to make me sit in one place for 90-ish minutes? Then it hit me: I am Moana……and Maui…..and Te Ka…..and Tamatoa…..and even Hei Hei the chicken some days. In fact I am pretty much every character in that movie…in a very metaphorical kind of way.
Moana lives on the island of Motunui which as the song suggests is paradise. They are a self-sufficient island community and everything they could need is on the island but Moana is drawn to the ocean, it calls to her, however going beyond the reef is forbidden. Moana can’t put her whole heart into her island life (as much as she loves it) because deep down she seeks more. Early in the movie you learn the old tale of Maui, a demi god that sole the heart of Te Fiti (Te Fiti is the mother island) and in doing so has unleashed a darkness that threatens to consume the world. However when Maui stole the heart he was struck from the sky, never to be seen again, and the heart was lost in the ocean. The ocean choses Moana to journey across the sea to find Maui and restore the heart. So how is that at all like me? Well, I look at Moana and see the perception people would have of my life. I own a house, have a job that pays me well, a family that loves me and nothing I could complain about (my island) but every week I jump out with my heart in my hand and search for more. My makeup and YouTube channel is my canoe and most weeks I feel like I just can’t get past the reef, mainly because I can’t sail but sometimes because I feel like people are telling me I’m not allowed to go beyond the reef.
As mentioned before Maui is the demi god of the wind and see. He is a shape shifter and a trickster. I also feel like a bit of a shape shift as my makeup skills allow me to change my appearance whenever I want. Everything Maui does, he does for the approval of humans. He presents himself as strong and confident but he really just wants to be accepted. This one really isn’t much of a reach….I think we all can relate to Maui’s struggle of acceptance not only with people but Maui also has to accept that he is still great even without his magical powers. We all have to accept ourselves.
The giant crab obsessed with shiny stuff…..Do I really have to say more?
The fire demon that is blocking Moana and Maui from returning the heart. If you have seen the movie you know that Te Ka is not actually bad. Te Ka is in fact Te Fiti (the mother island) who when her heart was stolen became angry and defensive and really just wanted her heart back. I feel Te Ka’s pain. Some days I feel like I am failing at life. I feel like I could be achieving so much more but I feel like something is missing. I become defensive and fiery and become consumed by anxiety but unlike Te Ka this is not something that someone else can fix for me, it is something I have to find within myself.
I could go on and on about the facets of all of the different characters that I identify with but at the end of the day I think the reason I loved the movie was because you see so much of humanity in it. Moana’s journey to find herself. Maui’s realisation that he needs to believe in himself. Moana’s fathers acceptance of his daughter’s choices. These are things that most people struggle with daily. Disney movies have a way of turning unreal situations into emotionally relatable stories and Moana really stole my heart and encouraged me to keep trying to get beyond the metaphorical reef that I feel is holding me back.
Kimi is a Makeup Artist of 13 years and started a beauty YouTube channel 18 months ago because she was passionate about helping people with their makeup struggles. In her blog series "That's What She Said", Kimi will be exploring the world of beauty and talking to people about all aspects of the beauty community in order to remove stigma and dispel myths about the industry in a 100 per cent positive way.