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Isabela And Her Struggle With Being Perfect

Throughout Encanto, Isabela’s family chooses to call her the “perfect” one. Isabela has one of my favorite gifts in the Madrigal family. She can grow flowers, trees, plants and so much more. She’s constantly creating these beautiful, perfect flowers that she hasn’t realized that she can make so many other beautiful things.

The Madrigal family, especially the Abuela, hold Isabela to incredibly high standards and expectations because she’s so perfect. She feels like she has to be perfect all the time because that’s what her family expects of her. She chooses to put on a brave face but she’s tired of being someone she’s not.

Honestly, we’ve all been in her shoes at some point. We’ve all pushed who we really are to the back of our minds because of the expectations set by those around us. Honestly, we aren’t going to be perfect but that’s the reality of the world we live in. I mean, I can definitely admit I’ve been there.

Growing up, I used to think that because I was a girl that I had to do girly things. You know things like doing my hair, wearing makeup, stupid stereotypical girl stuff. I felt like that’s what was expected of me. Eventually, I was over it. I just wanted to be who I wanted to be. No matter how anyone else felt about it.

I didn’t want to wear makeup or do my hair all the time. Honestly, I just wanted to read, learn and express myself. Unfortunately, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do that if I continued trying to live up to everyone’s expectations of me. You can’t please everyone. In fact, the only person who’s opinion matters is yours.

At one point in the movie, Mirabel goes to apologize to her sister for ruining her special night. This apology is what she and Bruno believe will save their family’s miracle. Instead, they get into an argument because Mirabel doesn’t really know how Isabela is really feeling. She admits that she was only doing the things that she did because it would benefit the family. While expressing her feelings to her sister, Isabela creates a cactus. This is something she’s never done before. She begins to wonder what more she can do with her gift.

Isabela and Mirabel go off on an exciting, eye-opening musical montage where she creates these beautiful, multicolored cactuses and so much more. She begins to realize that she doesn’t want to be pretty and perfect, she just wants to be true to who she really wants to be. She wants to have fun and be able to express herself the way that she wants. There’s so much more to her than just beautiful flowers.

Before the end of the song, Isabela realizes who she really needs to thank. As a proud, big sister Isabela tells Mirabel that she owes all of it to her. Mirabel taught Isabela that it was okay to be imperfect as long as that’s what felt true. A truly beautiful moment that does in fact fix the cracks in their home and makes the candle’s flame burn brighter. Both Isabela and her relationship with Mirabel truly teach us an important lesson.

Isabela teaches us that being perfect comes with its own consequences. Everything Isabela was doing was not for herself but because that’s what her family was expecting of her. Eventually, she got sick of trying to fit into a box she clearly didn’t fit in anymore. There is much more authenticity in being imperfect than being perfect. Be who you want to be, not what they expect you to be.

Her relationship with her sister on the other hand, now that’s definitely a bigger picture lesson. Isabela and Mirabel do not have the best relationship as sisters. Isabela is constantly telling her sister that she’s only getting in the way and not being helpful when she does things that nobody has asked her to. Despite their rocky relationship, Mirabel still cares about her sister and wants her to be able to express herself. Mirabel was the one who reminded Isabela that it was okay not to be perfect all the time.

Sometimes, we just need someone to remind us that it’s okay not to be perfect. Or that it’s okay to not meet everyone’s expectations of you. But sometimes, that someone has to be you. Never force yourself to fit in a box, you will never have the chance to grow. You deserve to be wholeheartedly yourself and nobody should every make you feel otherwise. There is so much more to who we are than what people expect of us. We are made to grow free and blossom, we should not be let anyone or anything keep us from doing that.

What else can YOU do?

Check out Looper’s article about Why Abuela is hardest on Isabela here!

You can also read Kailey’s post Things I Wish People Knew About Mental Health here on TurningPointCT.org!

Why Mirabel Madrigal Is My New Role Model

Yes, I’m starting this week off with another post about Encanto but that’s not a bad thing. The movie is full of wonderful life lessons and characters who remind us of ourselves. One character that stuck out the most to me was the movie’s lead, Mirabel. She’s a true role model for all of us.

At one point or another, we’ve felt the exact same way as she did throughout the movie. She grew up in a home where she felt like she didn’t fit in even though she tried her best to. Mirabel was made to feel unimportant and inadequate by her Abuela because she doesn’t have a gift like the rest of her family. But this is far from the truth, she’s the most important family member of all.

The Abuela was incredibly hard on Mirabel. She constantly made her feel like she wasn’t good enough for not having a gift. She did her best do her part as a member of the Madrigal family but everyone made her feel like she was just getting in the way. Her home then becomes in trouble and she tried to warn everyone but nobody believes her. She felt that saving the miracle would make her a hero.

Eventually she realizes that no matter what she does to save her family and their home, it wasn’t going to be enough. But she knows her worth. She loves her family and everything that it embodies with or without the magic. She was what her family needed all along. Someone to remind them that they were more than the things they could do. Mirabel shows us that she has what it takes to be a hero, magic or not.

Growing up I wish I had someone like Mirabel to show me that it was okay to be imperfect. I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I felt like I tried to be someone I wasn’t. Everyone was so hard on her but that never changed the way she felt about herself and that’s something I truly strive for. To be wholeheartedly me, no matter what anyone has to say. She did what she did and fought for what she believed in because that’s what was right.

Despite our struggles, we can make it out on top. We may not have powers or special abilities but there is something unique about all of us. We have to remind ourselves that we’re enough, especially when we’re feeling low. Even when Mirabel was feeling low and inadequate, she made sure to always remind her family that they were enough. She taught Luisa that it’s okay not to be strong and Isabela that it’s okay to be imperfect. Though she has no real gift, she has the power of love and support and that is magic in itself.

Mirabel Madrigal is my new role model and I wouldn’t change a thing about that.

Here’s the song, All Of You, that Mirabel sings to and with her family at the end of the movie! In the song, Mirabel and her family sing about how they’re more than their magic. How what matters is their whole being, who they are as people. Check it out below! 🙂

Read USA Today’s article What Disney’s ‘Encanto’ teaches us about self-worth and overcoming intergenerational family trauma on their website!

Check out my post Reminding Yourself That You Are Enough here on TuringPointCT.org! 🙂

Encanto’s Luisa Pays Homage To Older Sisters

Encanto turned out to be one of the most loved and enjoyed Disney movies of 2021. It is full of many emotional and heart-wrenching family moments that really allow you to connect with the movie. I loved everything about this movie! I have so many favorite things about Encanto. But one of my favorite things was it’s depiction of older sisters and the weight that they carry for their families.

In the song, Surface Pressure, Luisa sings about the weight she’s been carrying for her family. Throughout the song she talks about the pressure she feels both as an older sister and the strongest. It’s very heartbreaking but by the end of the song her younger sister, Mirabel, realizes she’s been carrying too much. This is something that I feel not many younger siblings recognize.

Luisa pays homage to all the older sisters out there that are carrying too much on their shoulders. All the older sisters who feel like they have to carry their family’s burdens. We often find ourselves feeling like we have to carry those burdens alone. Truth is, we don’t. It’s not our job to be strong all the time, sometimes we need a little help. Mirabel is sure to remind her sister of this.

Luisa’s character and her song really resonated with me on a deeper, personal level. I’m the oldest out of my siblings and I feel like I do carry a lot. We carry the weight of our families on our shoulders. As the oldest sibling, I often find myself carrying more weight than I can handle to ensure the well-being of my brothers. You bend and buckle carrying all that pressure but you never break. Because you know that if you do, it’ll affect your siblings.

As older siblings, we don’t want our younger siblings to see us as weak. We want them to know that we’re there for them whenever they need us. We’ll carry their weight for them but it makes you wonder who carries it for us when it gets too heavy?

At the end of the movie, Mirabel reminds Luisa and the rest of their family that they have to realize they’re more than their gifts. She is also sure to remind Luisa that it’s okay to need a little help with the heavy stuff. Asking for help is not something that Luisa is used to doing, which I’ll admit is something I also struggle with. Isabela tells Luisa that she’s so strong but Luisa responds that yeah it might be true but she cries sometimes. Both Mirabel and Isabela then remind her that they cry too and that’s okay!

Their entire dynamic is just one that I don’t feel many movies showcase and I just love everything about it. Luisa reminds me of myself in so many different ways. I find myself bearing so many of our family’s burdens alone because I feel like it’s my responsibility. No matter how heavy the weight of it all got, I kept going because I knew that my family needed me to, much like she did.

My brothers are wonderful at reminding me that I don’t have to do it on my own. They remind me that they’ll always be there when I need them. They make the pressure worth dealing with. For that, I’m thankful.

Here’s Luisa’s song Surface Pressure from the movie Encanto! Enjoy! 🙂

Read more about Lin Manuel Miranda’s song Surface Pressure & how it was inspired by his older sister here!

And you can read my post How My Brothers Saved Me right here on TurningPointCT!