Hollywood Relaunches Moms
Who is the real superhero? The costumed crime fighter who saves the world by stretching their limits? Or the stay-at-home parent who re-learns to teach? Who becomes the support and backbone that her family needs – so they can all stay super!
As I watched the latest Pixar blockbuster, Incredibles 2, it hit a deep resonance within me as it was spot on with showcasing the challenges (and fulfilment!) of what it takes to be a working mom. The movie sends a deep message that parenting is one of the most heroic acts that anyone can do, if done well, and makes us consider the changing role of women and the often thankless job of parenting.
While Helen is saving the world by being a crime fighting superhero again, Bob struggles with staying at home and not being in the limelight. While Elastigirl is showered with praises; Mr. Incredible is covered with dirty diapers. Parenting is tough, but he does his best and never fails to find happiness and hold fort at home so she can save the forts outside! “I’ve got to succeed so she can succeed so we can succeed,” he says.
And when Violet sees how hard her father’s been working for the family’s sake and to support mom who is returning to work, she offers to help too. Once again, the real message is that to win the world, moms need support from home and when kids watch their parents support and help each other, they learn to do that as well.
A working paper for Harvard Business Review has shown that working moms are more likely to raise successful daughters and have caring, empathetic sons. In a world where working mom guilt is all too real, I hope that the movie and the study will help moms assuage the guilt they feel so that they stop being so hard on themselves.
As a working mom myself, I applaud Pixar’s decision to bring a superhero mom to the forefront of the movie. Not only did they manage to realistically portray the trials and triumphs of a working mom, they have also sent home the all important message that a family needs to work together to succeed.
And if Hollywood says it, it must be true. But when the public loves what Hollywood is saying, it’s because it IS true!