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Oh, Mickey, You’re so Fine …

11-10-2009

mickey-mouse-10This is the kind of news I love: Mickey is getting real. Yup, I read it in theNew York Times, in an article called, After Mickey’s Makeover, Less Mr. Nice Guy.

Apparently, Mickey is tired of that Vaseline smile. He’s sick of having to pretend everything is jolly, when, in fact, he and Minnie are going through a rough patch, the Magic Castle needs some costly renovations, and he’s just plain sick of those outdated red shorts. (Note: I just made that up. I don’t really know anything about Mickey’s personal life.)

Mickey wants the chance to have a little attitude. And while I know lots of folks aren’t happy about it, I applaud him. After all, who among us hasn’t felt trapped in that “Mr. Nice Guy” image that won’t allow us any space for anger, resentment, envy, or crankiness? I’m all for feeling good and spreading joy … but poor Mickey isn’t allowed to ever have any other emotions. And so, “Disney is taking the risky step of re-imagining him for the future.”

And ain’t that the truth that it is risky to re-imagine oneself? Imagine putting down the sponge and asking someone else to help clean up the kitchen. Imagine speaking up when someone steps in front of you in line. Imagine telling a friend that your feelings were hurt. Imagine letting yourself cry from fear or exhaustion. Imagine telling your boss that you’re overloaded and just can’t take on one more project.

Sometimes it can feel like we gotta keep that smile glued to our faces because that’s how it’s been; like with Mickey, our “Mr. Nice Guy” is what people know and love.

But hey, if Mickey can risk having a range of emotions, maybe you and I can, too. He’s got the whole kingdom at stake. What have we got to lose? And what might we gain?

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