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Chrissy Teigen on why ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was so important for her—and her daughter—to see

"You never know how much you miss being represented on screen until you actually see what it's like to be represented," shares Teigen.

Chrissy Teigen on why ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was so important for her—and her daughter—to see

Chrissy Teigen's daughter Luna may be a little young to understand all the plotlines in "Crazy Rich Asians," but according to her mama, the 2-year-old did understand that people who look like her family were on the big screen, and that's a big deal.

This weekend Teigen posted to Instagram after she and her husband, John Legend, took little Luna to the movies to see "Crazy Rich Asians," which, according to USA TODAY, was again number one at the box office for the second weekend in a row, an unprecedented feat for a non-holiday release.

The rom-com isn't a family movie, it's got a PG-13 rating, but Teigen thought it was important for Luna to see it, and Luna clearly loved getting to go to the movies with mom and dad. More importantly, she saw her family represented in a Hollywood blockbuster, a moment Teigen was thrilled to share with her little girl.

"Luna, aside from being blown away by the general movie-going experience (yep she's 13 now, time flies) looked up at @constancewu's mother and yelled "yāy!" ("Grandma" in thai) because she saw someone who looked like her yāy. Someone beautiful and aspirational. It was something that simple that made my heart just...warm. That made me happy," she wrote.

Teigen says she's been looking forward to seeing this movie for forever (but as parents know, going to the movies gets a little tougher once there are kids in the picture) and her comments on Instagram highlight just how much representation in media matters.

"It made me happy to see this over the top story done from so many angles, some I could totally understand because of my own confusing Asian American upbringing. I loved it all, from the quieter moments of talking around the table of sacrifice and past hardships to the spectacle of the bachelor party. Finding that I could cry watching the most over the top aisle walk on the planet," Teigen wrote.

"You never know how much you miss being represented on screen until you actually see what it's like to be represented. And represented by all different types of characters with all different types of personalities, just like any other great movie."

So here's to more movies where kids like Luna can look up and see themselves and the people they love reflected back at them.

As Raschael Ash previously wrote for Motherly when discussing "Black Panther," "The representation that's shown, both on and off screen, shines blindingly bright like a beacon of hope."

"My kids deserve to have their stories told and their likeness shared. We all deserve to be aware that there are many similarities in our stories and we're not on this journey of life alone," Ash wrote.

There are so many stories left to tell, and mamas can't wait for Hollywood to tell them. The box office numbers prove Luna's not the only one happy to see her family represented.

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

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