A new Hollywood animated movie is trying to break the taboos related to girls’ puberty.
`Turning Red’ was released globally on Disney+ on March 11. The movie is also being screened in cinemas in some countries.
The story revolves around Meilin Lee, a student excelling in every field. She experiences many of the things pubescent teenagers go through. These include the appearance of new hair, body dysmorphia, embarrassment about sexual feelings, and heightened emotions.
“It’s taboo for whatever reason because people don’t talk about it,” director and co-writer Domee Shi told a news agency.
“It’s like the self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact that this is so shocking to be the first film to really talk about it is probably the very reason that we don’t talk about it,” producer Lindsey Collins added.
Killing Eve actress Sandra Oh voices Meilin’s overprotective mother, Ming. She says it’s important for children to understand what happens during puberty rather than leaving them suffering in silence.
“A friend of mine who saw this film with their 10-year-old son suddenly had to have a conversation about sexuality and what is it that girls go through,” she said.
“Girls go through this and then boys will go through this, so it opens up a conversation.”
Oh says the film wouldn’t have existed without a push in Hollywood to add female voices to productions.
“The fact that it exists and that’s the primary focus is how you can feel that things have changed,” she said.
“We found out when everybody found out and I think there was a question ‘Oh, are you guys OK with that decision?’ and we were like ‘No we’re 100% OK with that decision’,” Collins said.