MBTI: Fa Mulan- ISFP
Always ready to give you the happier, sing-along version of whatever story they’re retelling, Disney gave us Mulan in 1998 and that’s one less character that falls in line with the traditional princess.
For some reason, Mulan is the 8th official Disney princess yet she isn’t a princess or royalty in any way. Yes, I had to look that up. Although at the end of one of the original stories about her, she was offered to be one of the emperor’s concubines but kills herself instead.
In case it’s been a while-
While Mulan has been typed in several places online, often times as INFJ, her tendency to stick out as awkward yet attractive seems to better fit the ISFP stereotype. Though INFJs can be both of those things, their public reservations will usually make them appear (And I stress “appear“) to be more refined and meager. Mulan, on the other hand, is known for her looks and her ability to stick out like a bull running a China shop…that he then destroys.
And lead Fi can do that to a person. While the ISFP’s auxiliary Extroverted Sensing (Se) enables them to blend in a little better with a crowd by just going with the flow, their dominant Introverted Feeling is what separates them from their fellow Artisans, even the ESFP, whose auxiliary function is also Fi.
Fi has users like Mulan blurting out their opinions strongly and seemingly out of nowhere, causing an awkward silence. Mulan can fit in well enough with her surroundings but her Fi is what causes her to have such a hard time truly accepting her life- be a pretty girl, attract whatever guy she’s set up with, get married, have kids, yada yada yada…
And what would keep her from being an INFP? It could be that her mission in life isn’t to fight these perceived injustices as the INFP might; with Ne being the auxiliary function for them. This isn’t to say the INFP takes up a single cause and just fights it, but Mulan’s problem with society really only seems to matter to her as far as it affects her. Other than that, we don’t get the impression her life’s goal is the betterment of oppressed women everywhere- just herself because dang, those dresses are suffocating.
Often times the problem with ISFPs comes in the form of shutting out any ideas that don’t support their own view already. Their inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te) can make it to where the user only uses information they already have their faith in and it makes for an ISFP that not only seems “out there” but one that’s ready to silently disagree with everything even though their own views don’t make much sense.
Mulan’s definitely got her points when it comes to the male dominated society she lives in and to take her dad’s place by going to war for him has it merits. There wouldn’t be a movie otherwise. And though she ultimately ends up saving the emperor, the lesson she has to learn is that humility has its place in everyone’s life and no- I can’t do this.
This entire movie features problems everyone else has. If Mulan listened to anybody, her dad would have died, the emperor probably would have been killed and the main characters murdered, and on top of everything, she meets a guy who actually likes her.
Strangely enough, people are critical of this message, especially many feminists, who claim that Mulan had to be a boy to achieve her goals. I don’t think these people actually watched the movie or maybe fell asleep where the guys use Mulan’s idea of dressing as concubines to save the emperor, but whatever, that’s not type related. Still, the inferior Te of an ISFP can cause the problems mentioned, though this happens to be a film where it seems everyone else had to learn a lesson while Mulan just had to “find herself.”
As far as Se-related talents go, Mulan’s got a list of ’em. As usual, anybody can do anything but it’s much more natural for Sensors to become interested in more physical activities while Intuitives are drawn to more cerebral hobbies/careers.
Martial arts, the outdoors, horse-riding, sword-fighting, archery, animals, daydreaming, planning at last minute “winging it,” hiking, camping, farming (when she feels like it), fishing, playful fighting, spicy foods, strategy games.
These are from the Disney Wiki for Mulan and while I’ve only selected a few. And when it comes to “strategy games,” it’s usually the Rational types that are a bit more linked to strategy while Artisans prefer the planning of “tactics” according to Keirsey.
This still fits with Mulan’s like of “winging it” which we see her do when she creates an avalanche to stop Shan Yu’s army. Artisans like Mulan are best when it comes to generalizing in a variety of tasks and use whatever works in that moment to get the job done, which is pretty much what the entire film relies on.
And despite the box office numbers in America, would it surprise you to know that this movie didn’t do well in China? Politics aside, one reason for audiences not caring for it too much was due to being “too foreign looking.” And you thought Americans were close minded. Ha!
What do you mean “We still are?”