I was a crazed Disney kid. There was no helping it. I knew (and still know) all the songs and I’m the absolute worst person to watch any film from the Disney Renaissance with because I will mouth along, I can’t help it.
These movies were everything to me. They involved a princess (whose dimensions gave me body image issues), a prince (rarely useful to the narrative), an animal sidekick (the true MVPs of the story) and a big, bad villain (often queer coded, always iconic).
My favourite Disney films (Aladdin, Mulan and Tangled) had the princesses taking their lives into their own hands, despite the recommendations of their parents and those stories always ended in a happily ever after. That became my blueprint. I was going to bide my time and once I got to some magical age, I’d start my adventure, parental expectations be damned.
In 2017, with a little luck, a lot of hard work and a sprinkling of manifestation, I moved to the UK from Zambia to study a degree my parents didn’t appreciate. Next, I got a job they don’t understand and, irrespective of the tone of their comments, I’ll decide if and when I move back.