My Shadow is Pink
In 9 minutes and 19 seconds Scott Stuart manages to rip at your heartstrings without a single spoken word. In under 20 hours of launching his first animated short film based off his best seller “My Shadow is Pink” there are over 13 thousand views and over 12 thousand likes on YouTube.
Yes, within the first few seconds of watching the film my eyes filled up with tears. What can I say, I’m a sucker for these types of movies. With no words, just beautiful instrumental music and facial expressions the story quickly unfolds and you are immediately wrapped up in the storyline.
This adorable young boy with brown hair and almond shaped eyes is concealing his true identity because of the fear of how his father will react. His shadow appears and is bright pink with a joyous, upbeat and rhythmic soul. The boy’s eyes grow angry and his shoulders sink from the weight of carrying his hidden identity. Throughout the film we see not only the gender norms society has made us conform to, but also how young children internalize the expectations parents may silently carry.
Scott Stuart isn’t just a best selling children’s author or an animated film creator, he’s a father. Scott has a beautiful boy that might resemble the main character of his short film as he has beautiful brown hair and almond shaped eyes. You might know that movie that starts with an F, has a reindeer and snowman, oh and the main character has magical snow powers? Yeah, I’m talking about Frozen. Well just like the rest of the world, Scott’s son’s heart froze over and he became Elsa’s biggest fan.
Scott grew up in a generation where liking the opposite gender’s toys or activities would result in you being made fun of. Wait, that still happens doesn’t it? When his son fell in love with Elsa and wanted to wear her dress with her long flow blonde hair, it seemed like Scott had only two options. Either tell his son no and that was simply not allowed or let his son wear the dress and be himself. well, apparently there was a third option; Scott not only let his son wear the Elsa costume, but he too wore it. If you aren’t aware of who I’m talking about yet, here is the viral video that caught my attention a while back.
Free to be Me
The conflict of figuring out who we are and what we like as opposed to what others say is right starts at such a young age. I’m talking about even 3 year olds. When I taught in a preschool I had a little boy who was 3 years old that LOVED wearing pink shoes. The following year I had a little girl who loved cars and cried when she had to wear her pink shoes because her dinosaur ones got wet.
To put society’s expectations on children at such a young age only sets them up to fear being their true self.
It must be a dull world to hide behind your shadow and not embrace the beauty and colors of your true self.