“Crood” Lessons

Yesterday Sarah and I went to see The Croods.

Image found at IMDb

When I first saw a preview of this movie, I had no desire to go. The figure of the daughter (named Eep), the rebel teen who initiates the journey this family goes on (aided and abetted by a natural disaster as the earth moved) disturbed me. Not her character, so much, as the fact that she was drawn as a completely sexy, and possibly unrealistic, body type–thus supporting stereotypes of women that need to be confronted in our culture. When I begin worrying that an animated character is about to bust out of her clothing (pun intended) then there’s a problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the people who believes that if a woman dresses to feel sexy she’s asking to become a victim. My concern lies more with the contrast between how this character was presented and how the others were presented. I have no problem with her being a little aggressive as she discovers her attraction to the first unrelated male she sees. I have no problem with her desire to be more independent and break free of the unrealistic and controlling restrictions laid on her by an overprotective father. I have no problem with her trying to express herself as an individual separate from her family.

The only thing I have a problem with is the fact that her animators created her as an ideal sexualized woman, with large breasts and a dress that just barely covered her lady bits. I have a problem with the message this sends to my 10-year-old daughter–a message about appearance and dress that she doesn’t need to see.

The mother in this movie is–in my opinion–sexy because she exhibits strength, caring, power, and intelligence. That to me is true sexiness.  I agree that women should be able to dress in whatever makes them feel comfortable, confident and happy. To me there is a big difference between being sexy and being sexualized. Sexy comes from feeling confident in who we are  as women, in believing that we have many things to offer including brains, beauty, ideas, words, and kindness.

Sexualized is the type of sexy laid onto us by society. It is the picture of a woman who has little more to offer than the physical beauty  of her body.

I agree that women’s bodies are beautiful, and we should not have  fear of sharing that beauty. However, we all know that true beauty comes from other things as well. Eep’s journey had nothing to do with her appearance. It had to do with learning to love and respect her father despite their differences in perceiving the world. Actually, this movie wasn’t about Eep’s journey. It was about her father, Grug, who  had to learn the message “Never be afraid. Follow the light.” Grug’s journey was of discovering that he could learn, change, grow and have ideas. He learned that life is truly about taking chances, not hiding  in the darkness and safety of a cave.

Perhaps Eep’s appearance represents the wildness of taking chances. However, that message could have come across if she appeared more like your average, every day cave-teen, without all the sexualized curves.

I hope Sarah knows that beauty and true sexiness comes from the inside. But for now, I just want her to enjoy being a 10-year-old girl.

Sarah's eyes

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