Brave - More Than Just a Movie

jessicurl founder, Jess McGuinty, dressed as Merida from Brave in a green dress and bow standing in a forrest

Ten years into making Jessicurl products in order to encourage our community of Curlies to embrace their curls, Pixar championed the “stand up and be brave” movement while inadvertently channeling the precise likeness of Jess to do so. A wonderfully strong and empowered woman draped in the most beautiful and natural red curls symbolizing her fire and drive to succeed at her goals.

It is safe to say that this movie found Jess, not the other way around, and the impression left behind hit its intended target right in the bullseye.

Let’s let Jess tell the story of how this movie came to her attention and let us bask in the sheer giddiness she was experiencing on the eve before its release.

NOTE: Film Release date: June 22, 2012


By now you must know of the (seemingly) awesome movie coming out tomorrow called Brave. It stars Merida, the heroine who, by all accounts, goes against the norms of her traditions and society as much as her large, big, red curls would suggest. The curly hair world has been all abuzz about this movie for months now, clearly. :) The general consensus seems to be, FINALLY! One of us! The heroine, not the geek in the background getting called mushroom head or chia pet! (These are all presumptions of course, as the movie doesn’t debut until tomorrow.) I think it’s safe to say though, that Merida prevails as the hero at the end of this movie AND that she’s able to do it without straightening her lovely curls as might be done in other movies.

Ever since the trailer began airing for this film, many many MANY of you wrote on my Facebook, Twitter and email saying you see a pretty strong resemblance between me and Merida. :) Nah…REALLY?  :) SO, since that just kept coming up again and again, I thought it’d be fun to grab my awesome photographer Terrence, borrow a bow and arrow and head out in to the woods to take a Brave-esque photo of our own. :) And I was right – it WAS fun. We got a few strange looks, but I’m used to that by now. :)

But this whole Brave thing is so much more than a cool picture or a charming movie, at least to me. I talk to a lot of curlies all over the country with all different hair types and it sounds like a common theme is that to do what we’re doing – to embrace our curls, to LOVE our curls – is something that initially feels quite brave. For me, it felt brave to stop wearing my hair in a bun every single day for 4 years and finally let it loose and curly. For MANY of you the bravest thing you’ve done, hair-wise, was to stop relaxing, do the Big Chop, and allow your natural hair to grow out in all its curly glory. This is NOT just about hair, and you and I know it.

It’s about choosing to step out into the world and make a statement for which earlier in your life you may have been ridiculed. Maybe you’ll STILL be ridiculed by someone close to you. That’s scary. But you’re doing it. And THAT is brave. You’re telling the world that your hair is just fine the way you were born, thank you very much!

I found a great quote from Katherine Sarafian, producer of Brave. She says, “I think people will take different things away, but one important theme is the various types of bravery that we explore. There is a lot of shooting arrows, and riding horses and fighting wild animals - and that’s one kind of bravery, but that’s an outside kind of bravery. There is another, very real kind of bravery in your heart that is required to accept people as they are; for children to accept and understand their parents and for parents to accept and understand their children.”

And for us to accept and understand ourselves. That’s why I personally vibe so strongly with this movie, even though I haven’t even seen it yet!


Not-so-spoiler alert: Jess LOVED the movie and the messages woven throughout of just how important it is to stand up, embrace your spirit and allow your true self to be Brave!