You guys know I love Disney. I can watch Moana or Princess and the Frog on repeat. I even like the live action remakes. (Come at me!)

But lately, my kids have been in a major Mulan phase, and it’s been a struggle. Mulan is so deeply problematic on gender and ethnic lines for a movie that introduced one of the few princesses of color into the cannon and should have been a badass feminist power film. There’s a reason the Mulan live action remake is the first one to be a dramatic break from the cartoon, not even reusing the music. 

A few weeks ago we were at the end of a long road trip with the kids, and it was the wee hours of the morning and we were taking turns playing our favorite Disney song to keep everyone going. Paul requested “Bear Necessities”. I played “Prince Ali.” And Eli asked for “Reflection” from Mulan. Reflection? I don’t even remember that song. “Way to not only pick a song from Mulan, but a boring one,” I thought. But I played it anyway and my jaw dropped when I heard the lyrics. 

“Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,
I would break my family’s heart.

Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
Somehow I cannot hide?
Who I am, though I’ve tried.
When will my reflection show, who I am, inside?
How I pray, that a time will come,
I can free myself, from their expectations
On that day, I’ll discover someway to be myself,
…Must there be a secret me,
I’m forced to hide?
Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?”

For those who don’t know, Eli is gender fluid. Wow. Yet another reminder to find out why your kids may be resonating so strongly with something that you may not understand at first. Apparently Disney accidentally made a movie about gender fluid kids I never realized it.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

* * * *