Lilo & Stitch is my favourite Disney film mostly because it’s hilarious, has catchy songs, feature charming yet realistic relationships, dem wacky aliens, and ohana. But there’s one other thing I really appreciate about it…
Nani Pelekai’s legs.
No, seriously. You see, I used to hate my legs. I very specifically recall a moment when I was eleven - yes, as early as freakin’ age eleven - when I looked at my legs and swore I would always hide them under long pants. I blamed my father for giving me my soccer calves, and I used to admire Sleeping Beauty’s slender gams. Don’t judge me; I grew up in HK where girls are blasted every day by strangers and family alike for not being this impossibly ideal image (my hate-hate relationship with the Asian media is a story for another time).
But, look! Nani has the same kind of legs as me! Round calves, thick thighs that result in skin-hugging shorts, grounded and sensible feet. They tell you the side of her that’s hardworking, athletic, responsible and determined. She’s still attractive and obviously quite healthy. And though they’re located above the hips, you gotta appreciate that little tummy stickin’ out too.
Only in the past year or so have I embraced the fact that I’m built like a swimmer, not a princess. And I’m still coming to terms that it’s fine to be that way. So when I tug on my shorts in the morning, I’ll tell myself that I’m Nani, not Aurora.
And all those people who say that media representation is unimportant. Fuck you.