Turning Red, the Beauty of Growing Pains

TyAnna Fernandes, Web Master

“Turning Red” is a film about a young girl who reaches the age of thirteen and wakes up one day as a red panda. Directed by Domee Shi this movie is a symbol for puberty and paints it in a more positive light. At least compared to a health class.

The movie focuses on Meilin Lee and her experience with a family blessing that is considered an inconvenience amongst her female family members. Her turning into a red panda is heavily aligned with puberty. Meilin refers to herself as hairy and smelly, much like how when girls go through puberty they experience body hair and odor. It’s actually quite educational as it includes emotional changes due to a change in hormones and a change in self.

While a lot of people believe the movie is inappropriate, due to the mention of menstruation and the themes of puberty, this movie shows an experience that anyone who has a fully functioning pituitary gland and a uterus goes through. Body changes, hormone changes, a period, it’s the full package.

Placing this message within a brightly colored film with loveable characters, like Meilin and her mother and father, allows the movie to be enjoyable. All the characters are round in style and in personality. Not one character feels flat or feels like they lack development. This movie tends to be a good template of how coming-of-age stories based on a young girl’s experience should go.

Not to mention the beauty of an all-woman directive team. “Turning Red” is a movie that is well worth the watch for people of all ages. As the movie is relatable for adults and important for teenagers. The growing pains of puberty shouldn’t be avoided but instead should be discussed.