Encanto being like
The villain is the trauma we gathered along the way.
i tried to explain what generational trauma is to someone recently and they were like “oh so because something happened historically, you get to have issues about it now?” and no.... that’s not what that is.
when i was in 8th grade, on my class trip to washington dc, we visited the holocaust museum. it’s a wonderful, extensive, informative place, and it’s a beautiful tribute to the victims. as a jewish kid, i knew what the holocaust was. i’d faced antisemetism every day of my life, and will continue to do so. i knew what had happened to my ancestors not too long ago.
but when i stood in that museum. in the recreation of the cattle trains used to move us to the camps. in the recreation of an auschwitz cabin, staring at the map of the camp. when i saw the pile of shoes and jewelry taken from the victims. when i learned how their hair, so very much like mine, was cut for having texture. and how their teeth were pulled for the gold fillings. i had a panic attack.
it was embarrassing, but i was a shitty little 8th grader, and i tried to hide it. but I couldn’t breathe. it was like there was a band around my chest the entire time i was in the museum. i was surrounded by ghosts, by the whispers of emaciated men and trapped women and crying children.
what is generational trauma?
it’s the psychological idea that trauma can be passed down through multiple different ways. trauma can change you significantly, even rewrite neural pathways and physically change how you think. that, paired with the cycle of subconsciously sharing our trauma with our children, as well as mixing with the trauma we learn as we grow, leads to some really rough patches in our relationships with our identites.
this is a really great 4 minute video from the healing foundation about the trauma carried by indigenous people in Australia. tw for some really heavy topics, but all presented in a relaxed and serious environment.
what do we do?
well, honestly, i don’t know. it’s not like we’re gonna stop sharing our stories with our descendants, nor our histories. we can’t get rid of things related to our identities that give us our own trauma, the bigotry we face unfortunately isn’t going anywhere.
but being aware of your generational trauma is a good step. it’s not just being “sad” or “sensitive” to history. it’s our history still affecting us today. when your indigenous friends are made upset by discussions of colonization, when your black friends feel the weight of a millenia of racism placed on their shoulders, when your gay friends ask you to please stop using that word, when your trans friends see another historical figure deadnamed and misgendered, when your jewish friends can’t talk about the Shoah without their voices breaking.
so why the fuck are you lecturing us?
our murdered ancestors live on in us, in our eyes, our hearts. we are reminded of them constantly, made painfully aware of who we are and how many people hate us.
we were not supposed to survive, and if most of the world had their way, we wouldn’t have. (no, the allies were not heroes of wwii, you turned us away at your borders and continue to let us die from nazis today. if america had had the option, they wouldn’t have given a shit about jewish victims, but that’s a whole other essay i could write)
it’s time to start acknowledging the past, acknowledging your generational trauma and the trauma of those around you. i’m not making up an excuse to “have issues”. at the time i’m writing this, october 2020, i’m 17. i have felt this weight my entire life, and i will continue to shoulder it, as will everyone else.
my point is, maybe we can shoulder that weight together. maybe then it won’t weigh us down as badly. we have solidarity, and we are tough, and resilient, and strong, and beautiful. your generational trauma is something to be aware of, but not ashamed of. we can do this—change the world for the better. we can break the cycle so our descendants don’t feel as we do.
I'm extending my love and thoughts to all Native Americans this Thanksgiving.
This is a day that's absolutely saturated with cultural and generational trauma for us. It's okay to feel anger and grief and confusion today, and it's okay to express that. It doesn't matter that we weren't around to see the events transpire. We're still feeling the trauma in our bones. You aren't being dramatic or overreactive, and you are not alone.
To non-natives, please support us by giving us a space and platform to feel and discuss the pain that is deeply engrained in us surrounding this holiday.
//this post is okay for non-natives to reblog, but we do not want your justification of why you celebrate thanksgiving. i guarantee we've heard it all before, and it doesn't make it less painful, it just feels dismissive and invalidating.//
Anyway someone recorded it from their seat in the theater and everyone should watch it.
!!Encanto spoilers!! Also long rant ahead
So, let's talk about Bruno (and much of his family while we're at it)
As a neurodivergent Hispanic person, I have just been waiting to jump on the opportunity to sink my teeth into the generational trauma that the characters of Encanto face. Not only is it an incredibly important discussion to have as it is arguably one of the biggest conflicts in the movie, but I feel like I should address some things that many non-Columbian/Hispanic/POC viewers might be thinking right about now.
So, neurodivergence, it seems pretty evident, right? You've got a character like Bruno who right off the bat, seems to check off every box. He's socially awkward, has a series of strange habits, and lives in the dang walls. However, as someone with neurodivergence, I would disagree, I would also argue that projecting a label like that on a character as a white person, without any context to his personality, would take a whole lot away from the generational trauma aspect of things.
One of the most evident things you can see in every single family member is the theme of anxiety. Each individual has a reason or a motive for what they do, which is usually fueled by fear. Bruno lives in the walls and practices superstitious precautions because he doesn't want to hurt people, Isabella pushes perfection in order to meet the standards that everyone expects her, Luisa acts as the sole support beam in fear of being seen as weak.
While anxiety is most definitely something that most neurodivergent people face, their fears are not the reason they display the traits they do.
So it's pretty obvious that the theme of this movie might imply that the reason for their behaviors is a direct cause of the generational trauma and anxiety that has been passed down. In fact, I think the producers of this movie took the opportunity of many family members to show just how different generational anxiety/trauma can look from person to person. You can see hints of it in every character, from Antonio to Alma.
Why am I even bringing this up in the first place? Many other people that also suffer from generational trauma might view this as stating the obvious, well, because I am. One thing that I truly honestly wish that white audiences might understand, is that while some characters might be relatable in their behaviors, their actions have most certainly had a root that a non-Columbian/Hispanic/POC viewer just cannot write off as a learning disability. Obviously, neurodivergent Hispanic, POC, and Columbian people exist, and they have absolutely every right to state their case in saying that these characters are neurodivergent! However when it comes to white people doing the same thing, it can often erase the root of the issue that these characters face, and indirectly just become something again, made for mainly white people to relate to, which was the exact opposite of this movie's purpose.
This movie is a love letter to Columbians, I see it as finally an "I see you" for the Columbian/Hispanic/POC viewers similarly affected by the issues the Encanto characters face.
The way I connect with Luisa is something I should probably talk about with a therapist.
Let's talk about how adults other than Abuela Alma contributed to the generational trauma.
So it's pretty common knowledge at this point that the only "villain" in Encanto is generational trauma, but people only seem to recognize Abuela Alma as perpetrating it. Yeah, maybe she's the biggest culprit, but she's not the *only* culprit. With that in mind, let's talk about the triplets.
Pepa is volatile, highly emotional. And while that can be difficult on the best of days, it's made even worse by the fact that her being upset could cause a literal hurricane. Her children have probably learned that they need to tiptoe around her. They wouldn't want to risk upsetting her in case they cause a hurricane. And when she *is* upset, it falls on them to calm her down (as we see Camilo doing). I do think that Felix has done a great job trying to take that burden off their shoulders, but he can't do it completely. He's the only adult that listens to Pepa and tries to help her instead of telling her to bottle up her emotions. He's only one man, there's only so much he can do by himself.
Pepa has also unwittingly taught her kids to bottle up their emotions. They've grown up seeing that getting upset not only causes bad weather, but also incites the displeasure of Abuela. So they learned that "for the sake of the family," they need to keep it to themselves. This doesn't seem to affect Antonio so much as it does Dolores and Camilo. I mean, they don't even get songs about their problems like the other kids do. With Dolores especially, we see that she's kept quiet about how she's in love with Mariano, and how seeing him court Isabela really hurts her. And for someone who tells everyone everything and can barely keep a secret, keeping something like this to herself is a big deal.
I wouldn't be surprised if Julieta feels like she's under a mountain of pressure. I mean, she is single-handedly responsible for the health of an entire community. Imagine how much food she has to cook, and how long that takes. Now, we never really see Abuela scolding Julieta like she does the others, so I think that Julieta is sort of the Isabela of her generation. She's perfect, her gift is useful, she lives up to Abuela's expectations. I think that she's unknowingly passed this pressure onto her daughters. She doesn't want them to end up being treated like Bruno or Pepa, so she's probably pushed them towards doing everything they can to meet Abuela's expectations. And this has obviously taken its toll on them. Isabela feels like she has to be perfect like her mother, Louisa feels like she has to do everything like her mother, Mirabel is trying so hard to meet Abuela's expectations like her mother and sisters.
And when Mirabel talks to her mother about her problems, confesses how unspecial she feels, Julieta sort of brushes her off (I mean not exactly brushes her off, but you get it. "You have depression? Here, let me tell you a joke. Are you happy yet?" vibes). She obviously wants to help Mirabel and make her feel better, but she's not going about it the right way. When Mirabel says "I'm not special," Julieta just says "Yes you are" and basically leaves it at that. That's not what Mirabel needs nor wants to hear. She doesn't want to be told pretty lies and placations. I don't know how to put it to words, but it's like she's trying to get Mirabel to not think about her problems or something. If anything, this probably makes Mirabel feel even *more* unspecial, like her problems don't matter. I think Julieta just doesn't understand what Mirabel is going through, no matter how hard she tries.
We don't talk about Bruno
Bruno disappeared without a word. While it would have been hard for his mother and siblings, imagine how traumatizing it would have been for Isabela, Dolores, and Louisa (especially the first two, since they are the oldest and remember him the best). Imagine you're a child who has spent your *entire* life with someone, only for them to disappear without a trace. It would have been earth-shattering, confusing, unbearably upsetting.
Bruno showed them that if they weren't good enough, if they didn't live up to Abuela Alma's expectations, if they weren't useful to the family, they'd be *shunned* from the family. They'd be treated as if they never existed. Bruno confirmed for them that there were *real* consequences for not being perfect, which put more pressure on them to not make the same mistakes as him. Of course, Dolores could hear him in the walls. Knowing he was still there, that he hadn't just gotten eaten by a leopard or something, probably taught her that running away from your problems is an option. We don't see her doing that in the movie (we barely see her at *all* in the movie, which I will forever be upset about), but I think it's a possibility. And it definitely served as further confirmation that she needs to keep her issues to herself or risk having to run away.
So, yeah. The triplets aren't perfectly innocent either. But like Abuela, that doesn't make them villains. It just makes them deeply damaged people who need a chance to heal.
"Abuela Alma went through her own trauma and should not be considered a monster for her actions, what she did to her family is not just her fault" and "Abuela Alma put her family through so much of what she went through and more, and should be held accountable for it, not automatically forgiven just because she too had to deal with her trauma" are two statements that can and must coexist
The good things that come out of trauma aren't what fake woke people say it is.
It didn't make you stronger, it wasn't a blessing in disguise, and it didn't happen for a reason.
All of that is bullshit.
The only good thing that comes out of your trauma is you.
You survived, you are healing, you are breaking the cycle of pain and abuse.
You are the good thing worth fighting for.
Breaking the cycle of abuse is not only refusing to abuse others but also refusing to abuse yourself.
Okay so like did people just....totally ignore the part where Abuela had triplets, had to flee her home and lost her husband all in the span of a few days?
There is a reason WHY she’s so harsh on the family.
She watched her husband die in front of her and before she got her miracle, she was probably terrified. What was she going to do? She was alone with three children! Then, out of nowhere, she gets this fantastical miracle that then blesses her children. Of course she’d be protective of the house and the magic.
Also, when she finds Mirabel, it’s obvious that Abuela joined the search because she wanted too and for her to admit to Mirabel that she’s the reason the family is broken? That’s huge! That’s massive. If she was a true narcissist or a heartless abuser like people think she is, she wouldn’t be apologizing to Mirabel.
The end of the story is to show that Abuela can change, even after years of learned behavior from a trauma. Come on guys, stop painting her as a villain for reacting realistically to a super traumatic situation.
Not to be PoC on main but I'm thinking about that anon I got the other day where that person was like "are you implying yt people can't callout WoC even if the WoC is homophobic or transphobic and our oppressor?"
And I didn't really answer. But I'm thinking rn cuz I'm talking about how Absolutely annoying it is when yt ppl make the suffering of their oppression their entire personality and refuse to see how it could be Even Worse for PoC and...
That's wasn't my intention. But yeah, I don't think yt ppl should be calling out PoC.
You need to remember that your whiteness will ALWAYS supercede any kind of oppression you experience. So no, you as white people, should not be policing PoC for any damn thing. Yeah, sure maybe some PoC is being -phobic. But you know who they don't need to hear that from? Their oppressor. The same oppressor who is the Reason that homophobia and transphobia exist on such a huge scale on Native American soil anyway. Y'all know the first thing colonizers did was burn all evidence of our 2spirit people? Followed by forcing natives into residential and boarding schools to have the Indian in us killed? Shoving all that homophobia, abuse, and racism down our throats between beatings and SAs.
We are STILL recovering. And it's NEVER EVER gonna be okay for a white person to tell us to hurry up that kind of healing just because in 2021 you think the negative generational affects of our OWN trauma and oppression at the hands of white people somehow makes you our victim, that it somehow has made us your oppressor.
Take as long as you need to sit with that one.
So sure you may be LGBT but you are also white. And you Never stop having white privilege. That privilege exists even within LGBT spaces. You don't get to say "this PoC is my oppressor." You just dont. Even if they are cishet. Because at the end of the day it's Your voice that will be smothering that PoC's rights regardless of whatever other kind of oppression you experience; neurodivergence, a disability, being LGBT, etc.
You will always be white before you are anything else. Just like we are PoC before anything else. There is not a single universe that exists where a Black or Brown cishet person is being treated Better than an LGBT white person (even more so with a closeted LGBT white person, the closet too is a privilege. We can't hide our skin). Sorry not sorry.
Yes, I personally I think yt folk should stay out of PoC business. Our problems when they arise need to be handled 'in house' so to speak. I don't need some performative white person with a savior complex to come along and try checking me because they saw a single opportunity to do so and had the privilege of ignoring 500+ years of context to follow through.
Especially when it's white folk who are to blame for all the homophobic and transphobic laws anyway. Native people couldn't even vote til fucking 1924.
That wasn't us oppressing you and you're delusional if you think any cishet native is doing it now in 2021.
So you can go ahead and direct your anger to your own fuckin ancestors, white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism, and the patriarchy like the rest of us.
And I know some yt victim is gonna read this and think "decol identifies so much with victimhood that they're using it to justify being homophobic and transphobic" and No. That's not what I'm saying.
My point is simply that when PoC need to be educated and corrected it needs to be done by a fellow PoC. Not some white victim screeching "FUCKONG RACIST" in our asks.
Camilo please stop
So many people really needs to do this!!
“Breaking a multi-generational pattern of abuse and trauma will not be easy, nor will it be done without error. The healing, however, is worth it.” – Jennette Holzworth