Reflection by Mulan

On Monday night I was watching Dancing With the Stars and it was Disney night. Disney night is always a favorite for most fans and something I look forward to. This past Monday Mary Lou Retton performed to Reflections from Mulan.  Having a daughter born in the 90's meant that some of the older and traditional animated type movies were still a staple in our house. Although my daughter loved all Disney princess Mulan was her favorite.

As girlie as Ciara was and still is, looking back it always made me giggle to myself that Mulan was her favorite and I'd wonder how. When she was little I thought it was the martial arts. In fact when she chose to be Mulan for Halloween, she insisted on being Warrior Mulan over Princess Mulan.   She'd run around nonstop karate chopping and kicking, so I have no doubt once she joined Taekwondo and was learning to spar against others Mulan was in the back of her mind.

Now let's jump back to Monday night when I was watching DWTS. I'll summarize quickly, but basically in the opening package Mary Lou was sharing how she related to Mulan and the expectations from those around her. She was expected to be one way and finding herself when given so much direction was difficult.

A light bulb went off in that moment. Although the song in it's entirety is meant to be directed at family, the lyrics in  "Reflection" coincided with so many of Ciara's challenges. When others were focused on her outer appearances, she wanted to be seen for who she was on the inside. She wanted others to know what she had to offer. "When will my reflection show, who I am, inside?
How I pray, that a time will come" Other times I think the hardships of the relationship with her father played into her doubting her worthiness. When he chose not to be around, she'd start to doubt herself. "Look at me, I may never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter. Can it be, I'm not meant to play this part?" I could continue, but after reading this Ciara will tell me I'm being entirely to emotional so I'll stop here.

Although I see similarities in some of these deeper moments related to this particular song, most importantly I see why she's attracted to the movie as a whole. Like Mulan, Ciara has NEVER been a follower of society norms as a whole. Some might disagree because she likes routine and stability in her life, but don't mistake that for easy. They are both goal setters and although struggles were placed before them, they fought every step of the way to get to the end result.  My daughter is a fighter!  She's a fighter for herself and a fighter for others. Sparklers, starting the Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine Project was her way of fighting back and giving strength to that "little Ciara" and all the girls who look at their reflection and wonder... "Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?"
Michelle (aka: The Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine Mom)