Apparently there is a Christian group out there that wishes girls would be more like Disney princesses. I’m assuming they mean they want women to be more lady-like and demure, and let the man save them and so on.
It should be noted that many of those Disney films are from a time where women had great trouble trying to be anything but the loving mother and wife. Snow White, for instance, came out only 17 years after women got the right to vote. Modern Disney films find female characters taking a bit more control over their lives.
Some of you may know that I am a bit of an animation historian. (Seriously. I founded a magazine called “Animato!” that was quite successful in the ’90s, and I’ve been quoted in “Entertainment Weekly” and in a number of books about animation.) So I love discussing this sort of thing.
So let’s humor the traditionalists for a minute and look at the lessons we can get from these Disney princesses — I’m not sure they’re exactly the lessons the conservatives want given…
Snow White: Lived with seven men
Cinderella: Snuck out of the house to go to a party
Aurora: Fell in love and married the first man to kiss her while she was unconscious
Ariel: Disobeyed her father and ran away to have an inter-species relationship
Belle: Suffered from Stockholm’s Syndrome, stayed with a man who abused her, and dabbled in bestiality
Jasmine: Ran away from home and fell in love with a “street rat”
Pocahontas: Disobeyed her father and fell in love with the enemy (We can debate whether she really should be considered a “princess” — we’re kind of stretching the definition here a bit)
Mulan: Disobeyed her parents, refused to follow traditional female roles, became a cross-dresser, and broke her country’s laws
Tiana: Refused to accept a traditional female role and engaged in an inter-racial marriage at a time when it was illegal in her state (Also doubtful she should be considered a “princess” but Disney defines this very loosely for marketing purposes. I’ve seen pictures where they included Meg and Esmerelda, and that is just getting ridiculous. And “Anastasia” wasn’t a Disney film!)
Rapunzel: Disobeyed her “mother” and ran away with the first man she ever met
Merida: Refused to obey her parents, refused traditional women’s roles, dabbled with the occult
Yep! Great examples for today’s girls!
Disclaimer: I’m just having some fun here. Don’t take any of this too seriously!