I have never seen a movie that quite captures puberty from a young girl’s point of view like Turning Red has done.
If you haven’t seen it — especially if you have daughters — you need to go check this movie out.
Mei-Mei is every girl EVER who has gone through those awkward teen years — the start of pulling away from your parents and finding out exactly who you are.
Right out of the starting gate, Mei-Mei is that young girl discovering boys for the first time. Those strong feelings that you just don’t understand, that you SURE don’t want anyone finding out about.
See, she used to be the smart, good girl who did her absolute best to make sure her grades were perfect and her attitude towards her parents was respectful.
Then, in almost an instant, you can feel her confusion as she starts to realize who she might be. She starts coming into her self.
Mei-Mei Is Every Girl Going Through Puberty In Turning Red
What changes? Well, in the story Mei-Mei’s family has a “curse” that happens to all the females when they come of age. They turn into a giant, fluffy red pandas.
There is a way to break the curse. The females in the family must perform a ceremony during the red moon. They only get ONE chance to get rid of the panda, so the ceremony has to be done quickly and it has to be done right.
But, what happens if Mei-Mei relates to herself as the panda and doesn’t want to change back?
Turning Red also touches on the subject of menstruation — a pretty taboo subject that makes every girl cringe — but it does it in a funny way that is pretty relatable.
From her mom embarrassing her with herbal tea and pain meds, to her box of every kind of pad imaginable, I totally feel every bit of cringe that Mei-Mei is going through. IYKYK, right?!?
Now, I will say, as a mom with a daughter who is 14, who’s going through the EXACT same things and feelings as Mei-Mei, the story ripped my heart out just a bit.
BUT, Turning Red paints a very accurate picture of the feelings and relationships that happen right around the time of puberty — from beginning to have close friends that mean more than the parents, to hiding and thinking about boys, to wanting to break out and be an adult who can do their own thing — the story is hella accurate.
You can see the trailer for Turning Red below.