Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Our Secret Weapon - The Superhero Within

One of my favorite Disney characters by far, Mrs. Incredible, aka Elastigirl, from the Disney Pixar movie 'The
Incredibles'. Helen Parr is the wife of Mr. Incredible, aka Bob Parr, but a Superhero in her own right. She is the supportive, loving wife, wonderful mother of three, and bustling homemaker. There are also the insecurities every woman faces, has she become a nag, is she not as attractive as she used to be, not as young, or has she lost her effectiveness as a woman.
At the beginning of the story Helen Parr is a content housewife, the hero of the world she created. We are all the heroes of our own universe. The journey begins when something or someone tampers with that world. We have all been there, things are running along smoothly everything is in its place, and then the stable ground beneath our feet shifts and the world tumbles. 
When her worst fears become reality and she finds out her husband is going off on adventures behind her back, she visits an old friend, Edna Mode, a miniature Donatella Versace, who makes her opinion of the situation clear.

Helen: [sobbing] Now I'm losing him! What'll I do? What'll I do?
Edna: What are you talking about?
Helen: [stops crying] Huh?
Edna: [shouts] You are Elastigirl! My God...
[swatting Helen with a newspaper]
Edna: Pull-yourself-together! "What will you do?" Is this a question? You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who *you* are. Well, you know where he is. Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!
[normal voice]
Edna: And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits.

These are the moments where we head for the phone booth do a quick change and reveal our strengths. Edna Mode shook the superhero out of the crumpling weeping woman, and Helen Parr comes out of her shell and goes for the throat, rescues her husband, and then proceeds to inform him of what a complete ass he is.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Mrs. Incredible is sneaking into the secret lair. She is venturing
down the hall and passes some chrome revealing her reflection. Her brow furrows in criticism of her womanly curves, specifically her widened hips and butt.  She sighs, resigns herself to the fact there is nothing she can do, and moves on to kick some serious bad-dude's ass.
We all know the Elastigirl part of Mrs. Incredible's personality didn’t disappear. Her superhero abilities didn’t
simply stop working she just forgot how to use them. Once she made the decision there was no stopping her.
Sometimes it is difficult. We have been battered and bruised, there is a chain of kryptonite around our necks, and it takes an Edna Mode to lift us out of the rubble.
Once we get to our feet and dust off our clothes we become the women we are meant to be. The shell we create falls away and we remember the women we are, the strong, resilient masters who define ourselves and are ready to kick some ass.

The trick is not to forget the Elastigirl within. She is our secret weapon. We all have steel within our core, we just need to find it, grab it, and use it when we need it. 

*All characters are owned by Disney and Pixar