Let Me Explain Why the Disney Princess are Good Role Models

Just so you know.... This blog is a novel. It wasn't supposed to be this long but after typing all of this out, I'm not re-typing it to make it shorter. Each princess has at least one paragraph each, so that's at least 11 in total. Just to give you a hint at how long this is. My apologies to the blog moderators. Don't hate me. ≖‿≖ But I hope you all read this all the same. By the way, I didn't proofread this because I'm lazy as hell so forgive any spelling/grammar errors in it if there are any.

I’m sure we’ve all heard it a time or two before. We’ve all heard those people talking about how Disney lies about life and how their princesses are “bad role models” for young girls. Now, I don’t know about you, but I for one am sick and tired of hearing this bullshit about how they’re bad role models. People who see it this way are often ignorant about what the princesses truly stand for. I apologize if that offends you in anyway, but it’s the truth. If you think they’re bad role models, you have clearly missed what the princesses are meant to be about. You believe the lies people say about them and look at them face first. You refuse to see below the surface, you refuse to see the deeper meaning and roles these princesses play. In all honesty, it makes me a bit sad to see people calling the princesses bad role models. It makes me sad that you can’t see the good in these characters.

Now, if you know me, you know how strong of a love I have for everything Disney. Disney holds a special place in my heart. It’s hard for me to explain why I love Disney so much and why I rely so heavily on them. I know a lot of people wouldn’t understand even if I tried. I’m not only a Disney fan, I also collect Disney things. One of these days, I will show you guys my growing collection, but that can wait. So maybe it’s just my love for Disney or whatever you want to call it, but I can see the good in these characters. I know they’re good role models for anyone, not just little girls. I don’t think there is such a thing as the best Disney princess role models. Each princess is different, they each have a role to play and they each can teach people good things.

Let me explain why each of the princesses are good role models. This will include Merida because she is set to become an official princess. In June, Disney is planning to do an official coronation ceremony for Merida at their Florida park. She is going to be added to the line of Disney princesses next month which is why I will include her in this blog, because she is now officially a Disney princess. We’ll go oldest to youngest. So we’ll go Snow White to Merida. Let’s start…

Snow White
Snow White often seems like the hardest princess to defend. She didn’t really do anything in most people’s eyes. She hid in the woods, being taken care of by the seven dwarfs until her prince came. But when you think about the circumstances that sent her there, she’s stronger than you give her credit for. Remember, Snow White hid in the woods because her own mother, the Evil Queen, attempted to murder her because Snow White was considered more beautiful than her. Yet, despite her mother trying to kill her and having to hide, she remained happy and cheerful about things. She didn’t despair. Many people, if their parents tried to kill them, they would despair. And that’s natural. Ask yourself, how would you feel if your parents/guardians tried to kill you? You’d probably be upset. But Snow White didn’t let herself be down. That’s the good about her. She can teach people to keep going, to keep trying to make themselves happy despite the trials they may face in life. I know Snow White didn’t do much other than sing and clean, but remember when she was created. Snow White was created back in 1937. In 1937, women’s rights didn’t exist. They weren’t a thing. For her time period, Snow White was the perfect role model for women. Everything about her was perfect for that time period. In our current time period, she is no longer considered such a good role model. However, Disney shouldn’t change her. She’s one of Walt’s original creations, so she shouldn’t be changed. She’s an older character, but she’s still just as good as the newer princesses.

Cinderella is the next Disney princess, having been created in 1950. A lot of people criticize Cinderella for escaping her abusive household by simply being “beautiful”. I am amazed when people say this. I don’t know what movie you watched, but it obviously could not have been Disney’s Cinderella. Cinderella escaped her abusive household by fighting, in more ways than one. If Cinderella hadn’t went against her controlling stepmother, she would have never gone to the ball. She would never have met her true love. She would be stuck being a slave forever. That’s just it, Cinderella was a slave. She wasn’t simply living with a “mean” stepmother, she was living with a stepmother who viewed her as a slave. She lived in a dirty room, was mentally abused, and was forced to clean the entire house by herself. She was worked to the bone by her so-called family. She was treated like a slave because to her stepmother, that’s all she was.

But did you guys notice something about Cinderella? She was happy. Despite the treatment she suffered under, she remained hopeful. She held her dreams tightly and always believed they would come true someday. She believed her dream of escaping her stepmother would someday come true. If your parents treated you like a slave and made you live in such horrid conditions, you would find it horrible to be hopeful about the future. Cinderella remained hopeful through everything. She never once stopped trying. She never gave up on herself or other people. She didn’t become bitter towards the world, she remained kind hearted and could see the good in people. She can teach people to keep their heads held high despite the trials they face in life. She teaches people to never give up hope no matter how bad life may get.

Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
Next up we have Aurora, who was created in 1959. In case you didn’t know, Aurora is Sleeping Beauty. Many people don’t know Sleeping Beauty’s real name, but her real name is Aurora. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at the Disney Store and someone asks “who is Aurora”. Sleeping Beauty does have a real name, you know. Now, many people have criticized Aurora for being “weak” and sitting around and waiting to be saved by a man. Again, just like Snow White, think about her circumstances. When she was but a baby, Maleficent cursed her. In order to keep Aurora safe, her parents sent her to live in the forest with three fairies. She was kept away from society her entire life with only three fairies and woodland animals for friends. She couldn’t see her parents and she was cursed to one day die. But again, Aurora was always happy. She had a bright and sunny attitude about life. Like with Snow White, she can help people remain happy even through their hardships.

Ariel. Oh Ariel. Ariel is our next princess, she was released in 1989. Here’s a fun fact about her movie: the animators for it had done over 1 million drawings for the movie using a total of 1,100 colors for the drawings because everything was hand drawn, nothing was digitally done. That’s incredible, no? Anyway, a common problem with Ariel is for people to say she was “selfish” for leaving her family all for a man. People often forget that Ariel wanted to go to the human world long before she met Eric. Eric was simply the push that gave her the courage to go through with it. Yes, Ariel left her family, but she did it to accomplish her dream. Her dream being going to the human world, not marrying Eric. Eric was just a bonus. Listen to Part of Your World for an example. Throughout the movie, Ariel makes it known she had always wanted to go to the human world but was too scared to because of the way her father hated humans. She didn’t want to hurt her father. But when her father destroys her trinkets combined with seeing her true love, it gives Ariel the push to go to the human world. In a fragile state of mind, she is tricked and manipulated by Urusula.

Maybe Ariel was selfish for leaving and causing her family hurt, but she did it for her dreams. Unless you are prepared to sit here and tell me whoever goes for their dreams is selfish, don’t call Ariel a bad role model. Aren’t we supposed to teach children to go for their dreams no matter what? Sometimes, you need to break away from your family and for Ariel, that’s what she had to do in order to make her dream of living in the human world come true.

Belle. I love Belle, she was always one of my most loved princesses. Belle is the next Disney princess, she made her debut in 1991. Now, people criticize Belle for relying solely on her looks. Which I don’t even understand. Have you people ever actually paid attention to these movies? Belle got to know the beast because he trapped her. He had kidnapped her father and Belle took his place. That took a lot of courage. Think about it, if someone you loved was kidnapped by a beast, would you have the courage to take their place? Belle was a brave person, she bravely stood up to the beast to save her father’s life. Not to mention, Belle was a ‘rebel’ for her time period. In the time period Beauty and the Beat took place in, women weren’t as educated as Belle. They didn’t read. They weren’t educated. Belle loved to read and she loved fantasy, she didn’t care if people thought she was odd. This is what Belle teaches. Belle teaches people to be brave and she teaches people to be themselves. She teaches them not to care if someone thinks they’re odd.

Ah, Disney’s Arabic princess. It’s always fun to see people criticize her. The most common one I’ve seen is people saying Jasmine’s worth is only determined by who she married. Remember, this movie took place in the ancient Middle East, a place not known for their treatment of women. People always complain that Disney is so inaccurate but when they are accurate, they’re being “sexist”. In the time period Aladdin was set in, a woman’s worth was determined by who she married. However, did that matter to Jasmine? No. Jasmine refused to marry someone she didn’t love. She refused to marry just to become queen. She wanted to marry for love, not a crown as everyone expected her to. She fought the rules of her kingdom and she changed those rules. In the end, Jasmine convinced them to let the princess marry whoever she chose. She was strong willed and stood up for her beliefs. This is what she teaches. She teaches people to stand strong and stand up for what they belief in. Never accept something that is wrong just because it’s the social norm, stand up against it.

I’ve always loved Pocahontas for her beautiful hair. But that’s beside the point. As a 1995 movie, Pocahontas is our next princess. A lot of people criticize Disney for being so historically inaccurate with their Pocahontas. But then again, Disney is very rarely accurate. They always make tales their own. Their movies are inspired by history or by these fairytales, they’re not based off of. Disney really should stop saying their movies are based off of these things and go to say they’re inspired by instead. But that’s beside the point. It’s true that Pocahontas put her entire tribe in danger for going near the settlers. However, she also saved her tribe and she learned from her mistake. You can see that by the end of the movie, Pocahontas has matured and understands more. She saved her tribe and she made peace between her tribe and the settlers. To stop a war takes a lot of courage. To go against your father takes a lot of courage. To stand in between two groups of people who hate one another and want to kill each other takes courage. Pocahontas is a strong woman. She teaches people to stand up for others. She teaches people to be brave. She teaches people to go their own way and follow their hearts.

Before Merida came along, Mulan was my favorite princess. She is still one of my top favorite princesses, I have always loved her. Mulan is a strong willed and independent woman. She’s also a bit of a tomboy. Mulan is often criticized for leaving her family and needing pretend to be a male to be ‘accepted’. Remember this took place in China. In the past, China was very sexist. Even now, they still struggle with sexism. In the time period Mulan was set in, women in China were to be seen and not heard. They were to be homemakers who served men. This is why Mulan had to impersonate a male, she wouldn’t have been accepted into the military as a woman because at the time, the Chinese military didn’t see women as having any worth. Also remember why Mulan left. Mulan’s father had been called to war. He was already injured, which is why he walked with a cane. He would have been killed in the war. Knowing this, Mulan boldly defied social norms and laws. She decided to take her father’s place in the war so he wouldn’t have had to fight. If Mulan had been caught, she would have been killed. She knew this but despite this, she still pushed forward. For god’s sake, Mulan changed her entire country! Mulan teaches people to be independent. She teaches people to be brave. She teaches people not to back down from what they believe is right. Mulan also teaches young girls that being a tomboy is okay.

We’re almost done, just a couple more. Next up is Tiana. It was quite a jump until Disney added their next princess. Mulan came in 1998, Tiana wasn’t created until 2009. That’s almost an entire decade. Anyway, Tiana is the princess from The Princess and the Frog. Tiana is often criticized because she’s the “typical poor black woman”. I have to roll my eyes at this. I cannot believe you people can’t see past her skin color! Are you kidding me? That’s ridiculous. Tiana is a huge inspiration to children living in poverty. Tiana was poor but despite her situation, she never gave up on her dream. She was determined to save up for her dream, no matter how much she had to work for it. Above all else, Tiana gives hope to people in poverty. She reminds people to never let their financial situation get them down. She reminds people to always try and that your dream can come true no matter how poor or rich you may be. Not to mention, she’s strong willed. The prince she was with was spoiled and made her do the work. She fought the crocodiles. She got them back to New Orleans. She got them through the bayou even with a spoiled prince dragging her down. She’s strong and brave.

I love the movie Tangled and I love Rapunzel. Rapunzel is often criticized as being “too naïve and weak”. But think about it, Rapunzel was trapped in a tower for almost 18 years with a mother that manipulated her. She was naïve because she was trapped in a freaking tower for 18 years! If you were trapped for that long, you’d be naïve about the world too. Rapunzel may have been naïve and scared, but she never gave up. And if I do say so myself, she kicked ass with that frying pan of hers. Haha. Rapunzel isn’t weak, quite the opposite actually.

Ah, Merida. My new favorite princess. I am so in love with Brave, it’s crazy. I love everything about Merida, though I’m a little offput by her new 2D look but I hope I’ll get used to it. Merida is often criticized for being selfish. And you know, at the beginning of the movie, she was. But she’s also 15 years old. 15 year olds are selfish and immature, it’s part of being 15. Merida put her entire kingdom in danger with her selfishness, but she learned from what she did and matured majorly by the end of the film. Merida is independent. She knows how to fight for herself and didn’t need anyone to protect her. She stood up for herself and refused to let her freedom be taken from her by her parents. She refused to marry someone just because she was told to. She refused to do anything just because they told her to. Merida stands for freedom. She teaches people to fight for their freedom. She teaches people to be themselves and be independent. She teaches people to be strong-willed. Her wild hair is another important thing. Most princesses have had calm and controlled hair. Wild hair like Merida’s is often considered ugly, but Merida had pride in her hair. I have hair similar to Merida and I can say that Merida’s love for her wild mane has helped me have love for my wild hair. Merida is a great role model. She teaches people to be strong willed and to fight for their freedom. She teaches people to love themselves. And she teaches girls that it’s perfectly okay to be a tomboy. She can teach girls it’s okay to like things like archery and not like typical “girly stuff”.

So there you have it, all 11 princesses and why they aren’t bad role models for people. Goodness this was long. I’m going to go do something else now, because that was a lot of typing and I’m tired of typing. I’ll respond to any comments (if anyone actually reads this haha) later.
May 12th, 2013 at 11:45pm