Sometimes finding yourself means seeing yourself in others. Other times, it means forging your own path. Representation matters, and when we find our community, we help create something bigger than ourselves. When we find our kindred spirits, we find a sense of belonging that feels like home.
That’s why Disney is so valuable to us all. Differences make our Disney communities great, yet we’re keenly aware that there are various ‘Disney boxes’ that many of us try to fit ourselves into when we shouldn’t. We live in an interconnected and expansive world ripe for community, but it can feel limiting if we believe we fall outside of the ‘norm.’
At Perfecting the Magic, we celebrate individuality and honor the creativity that makes our Disney community unique. We know this is easy to lose sight of, and how it can feel like you don’t quite fit, so we’ve created a list of four truths to help remind you just how valuable you are.
There is No One ‘Disney Look’
@secondstarcollective Reply to @ms.dianne_ ♬ Bundle of Joy (From "Inside Out") – Benny Martin
Disney might be filled with Selkie dresses, Golden Goose sneakers, Loungefly backpacks, Marvel gear, Minnie ears, straw toppers, character tees, and spirit Jerseys, but none of that has to be your thing! You can love some of it, none of it, or have a style all your own!
Beyond fashion, our Disney communities are made stronger by their diversity, including race, size, ethnicity, culture, economic differences, gender expression, sexual identity, and differing physical, social, emotional, and cognitive abilities. We’re better together. Just as no one look makes us belong, no one person is worthier of the joy and escapism that the Disney experience brings.
You Were Always Meant to Belong
Even after being reminded of the value we bring, it’s easy to feel disheartened within the Disney space. This is why we believe we must remind ourselves that the Disney parks were meant to represent a more perfect world of belonging.
As Walt Disney himself said, Disney is a place where we “may savor the challenge and promise of the future” in a space “dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America—with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” We can’t achieve this without consistent progress. Just as a Disney park is never finished, our work as a community to ensure that everyone feels welcome is never complete.
You Can be Critical of Disney and Still Love It
Disagreeing with Disney as a company doesn’t mean you’re conflicted in your love of Disney. Quite the opposite. When we’re deeply invested within a community, it can be painful to witness policy changes, statements, and choices that go against our expectations.
It’s difficult to deny that Disney’s storytelling, promises of inclusion, and nostalgia, helped create a parasocial interaction that made it challenging to separate magic from monetization, and steamboats from social responsibility. Your voice matters, and it isn’t hypocritical to share concerns about something meaningful to you.
You Make Disney Better
@perfectingthemagic find em all up there @secondstarcollective @debbiewilsonn__ @themagicalmillennial_ @thekingdomkrew @ashandbryan #disneycreator #disneytiktok #disney ♬ YES MOM BY TESSA VIOLET – Tessa Violet
Finally, you’re important to the Disney community because you make Disney better. More often than not, a connection to Disney is symbiotic and tied to what psychologist Krystine Batcho says “helps to unite our sense of who we are, our self, and our identity over time.”
Just as Disney has influenced us, our engagement with Disney has changed it as well. The fabric of the Disney community as a whole, with all its pieces, is impacted by our voices. In that untethered individuality, the Disney community is made stronger, and that’s something to be proud of.
We’re Grateful to be Part of Your Community
Perfecting the Magic is grateful to be part of an amazing Disney community. We’re inspired by the creativity and dedication we see every day. Thank you for being here. Keep in touch with us on socials. We love connecting with you!