A few months ago I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time with my little cousins who are much younger than I am (by several decades!). We played cards, braided hair and even slapped hands while we recited rhymes that I haven’t sang since childhood. These simple acts brought me such an overwhelming amount of joy, and it made me realize that even as an adult, I need to tap into my inner child sometimes.
So, one of the ways I’ve been acting like I’m 13 instead of 30 is by devouring young adult literature. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed the story lines with each book!
One book in particular stands out to me as incredibly thought provoking and beautifully written: The Fault in Our Stars. I was initially skeptical and thought it was going to be completely cheesy based off of the film’s trailer, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I surprised myself by how much I loved this book. Reading the book brought up a lot of unresolved emotions for me, feelings that I experienced as a teenager when I lost a friend to leukemia. Hazel, the main character, narrates with a strong voice about her struggles of being a cancer victim. The author did an incredible job of capturing the devastating and sometimes humorous aspects of cancer.
Another part of the book that I love is that Hazel is a vegetarian. I think it’s fantastic the way the character explains why she chooses to eat this way by saying, “I want to minimize the number of deaths I am responsible for.”
I’ve not only been reading young adult novels to please my inner child, but I also recently saw the movie Cinderella. I went with three other women, and in case you were wondering, yes we were the only adults with no children at the matinee showing!
Something that stood out to me about this adaptation of the movie was how much of an animal activist Cinderella is portrayed to be. I always knew that Cinderella was an animal lover, but the writers really took it to a whole new level, which I absolutely adored!
The first time Cinderella, also known as Ella in this film, encounters Prince Charming is a little different than other versions of this story. She meets him in the woods while he’s hunting with his entourage, which leads her to deliver an animal rights speech. “In the 2015 film, the Prince tells Ella that he and his buddies are hunting stag because it’s what is done; she argues that just because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it can’t change.” (Fusion website)
Simply put, “Cinderella…is a budding animal rights activist who meets her prince by interrupting his hunt and saving an elk from certain death.” (Reel Change website) This quality of Cinderella’s seemed to have come from her mother because in the beginning of the movie, her mother talks about how fairy godmothers take care of people like people take care of animals.
The movie appeared to have a lot of computer-generated imagery (CGI), but unfortunately I do believe there were some live animals in the film because the horses they’re riding in the woods looked real to me. I couldn’t find anything online that mentioned this.
One last detail that I noticed was that the food Cinderella served to her stepmother and step-sisters was vegetarian – only peas and potatoes appeared on the plate. I’m not sure if this was intentional by the filmmakers, but it definitely caught my attention after her animal rights speech in the forest. It would make sense that Cinderella is vegetarian because, after all, her friends are animals and I wouldn’t think she’d see them as food. Whether or not Cinderella is vegetarian, I found it extremely interesting how the writers and directors worked those minor details on animal rights themes into the movie.
I realize now why my grandfather decided to invert the numbers for his 70th birthday and have a party intended for a 7 year old. Being young at heart is more fun and liberating! Playing the adult role in the “real world” is daunting at times, and we all deserve to live a life full of joy and happiness. So, join me and do something to let out your inner child!