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Ta'Kaia Blaney

A New Day is Dawning—And It’s Time For Our Daughters to Dream Big

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My three daughters rarely wake up at the same time in the morning. I like it that way.

It allows me the time to steal quiet moments together, one-on-one, before the rush of the day begins.

My oldest daughter always wakes first. We make breakfast and chat and when she’s off in her room getting dressed, my middle daughter and I snuggle for a moment at the kitchen table. My littlest one barrels into the room after a while, eager to tell me about her dreams from the night before and demanding cereal at the same time.

Early mornings—before the madness begins—are special. I get the time to really talk to my daughters. Without distractions. To find out what they’re thinking about. Learn about who they want to be. Discover what their goals and dreams are.

I recently had the chance to chat with Canadian photographer and mom, Cristina Mittermeier, about dreams and daughters and why it’s so important for our kids to dream big. Last summer, she was involved in Disney’s #DreamBigPrincess global photography campaign, which highlighted inspiring images from 19 female photographers with the goal of encouraging kids around the globe to dream big.

Her subject was Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a Canadian singer and environmental activist from Vancouver Island. And the results were beautiful.

“Ta’kaiya is from the Tla’Amin First Nation of BC and grew up along the shores of the Salish Sea. She’s been using her voice through spoken word and song to stand up for a vision of the future for indigenous and environmental rights that she has had since she was six years old,” Mittermeier told me.

“She is also the youngest person to have addressed the United Nations General Assembly. When Disney called me about this campaign, I knew that Ta’Kaiya would be my princess.”

The campaign helps inspire and encourage us parents to actively teach our kids (and especially girls) to dream big, because, as Oprah so eloquently put it at the Golden Globes, now is the time for our daughters to imagine themselves in leadership and influential roles. Now is the time for them to take us into a brand, new, exciting time and world.

One of the things I love about the photos and the campaign is the way it suggests you don’t have to reject everything about princesses in order to dream big. I have three daughters who all loved princesses at one point or another in their lives, but at the same time, they had so many other interests.

Cristina told me, “I too raised a daughter who wore a princess costume every day, but she also played in the mud, excelled at soccer, raised tadpoles and played difficult roles in school plays. I believe that girls can do anything they set their minds to, as long as we allow and encourage them to imagine themselves achieving anything they want. The human experience does not exist in stereotypical silos. We are seeing that in the way princesses are now portrayed in movies”.

I think, like Oprah, we all just want to say something. We want to tell our stories about how we love, how we maintain hope, how we dream. And like Oprah, we want our little girls to know that they are free to dream as big as their imaginations could ever conceive.

 

To find out more about Cristina, visit her at crisitnamittermeier.com, or at her non-profit website, www.sealegacy.org. She is also touring with National Geographic Live.

 

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