My friends laugh at me and give me hell about my take on Disney Princesses. I cringe at what sort of values they promote and the lessons that can be taken from them. I just really hate the whole princess franchise.
Snow White: The entire story is centered around her beauty. Her stepmother, of the evil variety, of course, cares about nothing more than being beautiful. Since Snow White is her beauty rival, naturally, Snow White must die. She escapes and finds a messy cottage and gets right to cleaning it up. It makes sense. She’s a woman. She laid eyes on dirty floors and dirty dishes. Stranger’s home or not, she’s a woman and women love to clean! When she isn’t cleaning, she is dreaming of getting found by and married to a prince. When she eats the apple, of course, the only thing that can save her is a kiss from a prince. He falls in love the moment he sees her, kisses her, she sees him and loves him right back and they get married.
Cinderella: Again, there’s a wicked stepmother but this time there are also ugly step sisters that are cruel to Cinderella due to being so jealous of her beauty. Cinderella does nothing but clean and dream of being rescued by a man so she can get married. She meets the prince and they fall in love at first sight and dance all night. She loses her shoe when he leaves and even though he says she is the love of his life and he spent the whole night dancing with her, he wouldn’t be able to recognize her and, therefore, must try the shoe on every girl in the kingdom until he finds her foot. She tries on the shoe and Cinderella finally gets to be happy because she gets married.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel is always late and inconsiderate of her family and her commitments. She is a hoarder. She sees a hot guy on a boat and decides she must meet him and marry him. When her father grounds her, she reacts like any reasonable 16-year-old and runs away. She asks the sea witch for an extreme makeover because she knows stranger man won’t find her fins sexy, she must change herself to appeal to him. Ursula wants her voice in return for legs and tells her that men don’t like women that talk too much and the girl who holds her tongue will get her man and that she just needs to use her sexuality. He falls in love with her and everything works out perfect because they get married.
Beauty and the Beast: Finally! A princess that seems to be intellectual and independent and scoffs at the idea that marriage is a woman’s ultimate goal. When she offers herself as a prisoner, in place of her father, at the Beast’s castle she meets his enchanted staff that are all terrified of the Beast. Belle and the enchanted staff are subjected to loud and violent outbursts by the Beast but, even when he gives Belle her freedom, she doesn’t leave. We learn that, if a man is abusive to you, just try to be nicer because, if you love him enough, he will change and become nice too.
I know what you will say! “They are kids movies”, “Children won’t get that”, “They are just stories” and blah, blah, blah. They are children. Whether you realize it or not, children are very susceptible to the power of suggestion. I’m not saying that letting your children watch this dribble will have devastating consequences. It’s not. Personally, I just don’t like the idea of even hinting that marriage is such a lofty goal for girls. I want a princess who graduates from college and runs for office and has a husband who is a stay at home dad. I’d like there to be more emphasis on her intelligence than her beauty. Give me that!