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Turning Red Fans Defend Film's Emotional Portrayal Of Periods

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Turning Red Fans Defend Film's Emotional Portrayal Of Periods

Pixar’s latest must-see movie, Turning Red, dropped on Disney Plus over the weekend, and already fans have lapped it up.

The animated movie follows 13-year-old Mei Lee, a Chinese-Canadian school student who transforms into a giant Red Panda whenever she gets het up or finds herself in a strong state of emotion.

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Fans have adored the slightly goofy premise, as well as the film’s early noughties backdrop.

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But other viewers have been more critical of Turning Red’s wider story: Mei Lee’s ‘transformation’ is an allegory for puberty, periods, and young girls growing up.

Somewhat paradoxically, these viewers believe that this subject matter is not appropriate for children, with some indicating that youngsters shouldn’t really be learning about such ‘grown up’ topics.

Mei Lee is struggling as she keeps turning into a big panda (Credit: Pixar)
Mei Lee is struggling as she keeps turning into a big panda (Credit: Pixar)

Thankfully, the minority of these nay-sayers have been drowned out by fans that loved Turning Red, with many finding it emotional that periods are being discussed and portrayed in an open manner for children.

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Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: “Watched Turning Red tonight and this was me [crying] by the end. Another Pixar masterpiece. And screw the haters - I wish I had this film when I was going through puberty (yes, I am a woman and I get periods... you uncomfortable bro?)”

Periods are discussed openly in the film (Credit: Pixar)
Periods are discussed openly in the film (Credit: Pixar)

A second agreed that it’s high time we need depictions of periods on TV: “ It's crazy that there is such a lack of representation around periods (which approximately 50 per cent of the population experiences once a month) that when we have media showing it, women (including me) collectively lose their s***,” they said.

Viewers loved its upfront approach to growing up (Credit: Twitter)
Viewers loved its upfront approach to growing up (Credit: Twitter)
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“’Period’ is not a dirty word, it’s SO important for young girls to see puberty talked about,” a third person said. “Turning Red is a wonderful glimpse into how hard it is being a 13 year old girl. (And it takes place in Canada!) don’t let the ‘silly’ premise stop you from watching!

One viewer was so emotional to see periods discussed so frankly that they admitted to crying when seeing sanitary products on screen.

Viewers were emotional at seeing sanitary products on screen (Credit: Pixar)
Viewers were emotional at seeing sanitary products on screen (Credit: Pixar)

“The way I sobbed when I saw the pads in #TurningRed,” they wrote. “Women are so often reduced to smaller versions of themselves, either sexualised or non-existent. To see a film list out different kinds of hygiene products with such normalcy was moving.”

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It was emotional for some viewers (Credit: Twitter)
It was emotional for some viewers (Credit: Twitter)

“I haven’t seen yet, but it’s great that it normalises periods, rather than treating them as something ‘dirty’ or ‘rude’ that girls and women should be ashamed of,” agreed another person. “It’s a natural part of life and shouldn’t be stigmatised.”

Well said.

Turning Red is available to watch on Disney Plus.

Featured Image Credit: Pixar

Topics: Disney, Disney Plus, TV And Film, Health

Kimberley Bond
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