Over time, a lot of negative things have been said about the female characters in the classic Disney fairy tale movies. The original princess, Snow White, finds her greatest worth in cooking and cleaning for seven little men. Aurora actually just sleeps until Prince Philip makes out with her, and instead of standing up to her wench of a stepmother, Cinderella passively endures abuse after abuse until her prince (does he even have a name?) sweeps her off of her slipper-losing feet.
The more modern Disney princesses have a little more spunk, and more often than not, control their own destinies. Belle wants adventure in the great wide somewhere, Merida bucks tradition and refuses to get married, and Elsa and Anna rely on their own act of true love to thaw Anna’s frozen heart. Awesome.
As a mom of two girls, and a self-proclaimed Disney-phile, I fill our house with the movies, merchandise, tiaras, and princess dresses. And while I’ve never taken much stock in the idea that these movies “train” young girls how to behave, I do wonder what, really, it is that they are learning from these movies. Because let me tell you, these girls love them some princesses. Love. And truth be told, so do I.
So a few weeks ago, I decided to ask my Mazie, aged 4, what she liked about the princesses. Is it their dresses? Is it the castle? Is it their beauty? If I had any misgivings about letting my girls watch (obsess over) the princesses, I don’t anymore. Here is what she said she liked about each of the princesses:
Merida – I like that she shoots bows and arrows
Rapunzel – I like her long hair and frying pan
Snow White – I like that she’s nice to the animals
Sleeping Beauty – I like the way she dances so beautifully
Mermaid – I like the way she sings
Cinderella – I like it when she makes clothes for the mice
Elsa and Anna – because they love each other
What I’m taking away from this, folks, is that my daughter is learning that it’s pretty cool to have a good talent and to be strong. She’s also learning kindness. She’s learning that people express themselves in different ways. And she is learning that sisters can also be best friends. What great lessons; critics be damned. I guess we’ll be renewing our Disneyland Annual Passes again this year!
6 thoughts on “To be a Princess”
What great answers! Here’s mine:
Belle — I like that she loves books….
(although, technically she’s probably not a princess…)
I love Belle, too! Although I’m trying to get away from trying to change a beast into a prince!!!! LOL!
As a princess myself, I had to read this and comment! I love the way you parent and help these beautiful girls to shine, sparkle, and be strong at the same time.
Thank you so much! It’s a job, that’s for sure, but they make it easy. They shine so beautifully on their own!! xoxo
I suspect the lessons your girls are gleaning from Disney characters have a lot to do with how those messages are reinforced in daily life by their mom and others who love them and influence them. Good job, Mom.
Paula, I appreciate that. We do try to find the good things in our every day lives, that’s for sure! Accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative!