I recently saw the movie “Oz: The great and powerful.” I love fantasy stories with happy endings so I really enjoyed the film, even though it wasn’t as grand as I was expecting it to be. James Franco is also very easy on the eyes, so that’s an incentive to watch too 😉Without giving away too much of the movie, I wanted to discuss one of the characters, the beautiful little China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and how she made me think of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. China Girl appears in the fantasy land of Oz. She is reminiscent of another character, a young girl in a wheelchair (played by Joey King) who makes her appearance before the con-man/carnival magician Oz is whisked away into the land of Oz. There is a moment when the young girl in the wheelchair asks Oz to make her walk again, but he is unable to do so because his magic is not real. (I cried. Not so much because of the movie, but because I know this is the wish of so many kids in real life. 😦 )
Later in the movie Oz meets China Girl, a young doll made out of china pieces, whose legs have been broken off. She is crying and wants to walk again. Oz helps her by gluing her legs back together. He guides her to her feet and she wobbles a bit before she is finally able to walk again. (I cried during that part too.)
It’s fitting that China Girl is fragile on the outside but has a strong will and a feisty personality. She is a faithful companion to Oz and is helpful and brave. More significantly, her bright, innocent disposition softens Oz’s selfish nature and brings out his tender side as he feels the need to protect her at times.
JRA tends to make our bodies like that of the little China Girl. If someone shakes our hands too firmly or we somehow get smacked on our joints, we can experience a lot of pain. If we suffer from early osteoporosis, our bones become extra-fragile and we have to be careful when playing sports or engaging in intense physical activities in case we fracture them.
I have to admit that I dislike when people tell me I’m fragile looking, because it implies that I am weak. But I guess they could say worse things, right? Like China Girl, I’ve learned how to be strong on the inside and how to enjoy my life despite having a weakened and delicate body. In reading other blogs of (J)RA patients, I see parts of the little China Girl’s personality peeking through. In spite of painful bodies, I see strength, bravery, determination, wisdom and truly beautiful people.
Keep it up, and stay strong like dear China Girl,