Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some day my prince will come...

Disney's got a lot to answer for.


In my childhood I, like all other little girls, watched the Disney movies about the beautiful Princesses who lived happily ever after with their Prince Charming.  I was lead to believe that if I just waited quietly in my ivory tower, tried not to eat any poisoned apples, and made sure to leave a shoe behind whenever I left a school disco, then a rich and handsome member of the royal family would come riding in on a white horse and whisk me off to his palace.

Yeah, that ain't happened so far.

But when I really think about it, I'm not entirely sure what any of these old school Disney Princesses did to attract their Prince Charming in the first place!  Now, let's be completely clear here, I'm not talking about the new generation of Disney gals.  They have spunk, personality and character development, something that I think was missing from the older ladies.  I guess prerequisites for being a Princess have changed over the years.

I know a lot of people would disagree with me.  "They're classic!", they'd say, horrified by my blasphemy.

Sure, they're classic.  So is mysogyny, slavery and polio.  Doesn't make them desirable.

I think the  point I'm trying to make is that the old Disney Princesses taught us one lesson.  Look pretty and don't rock the boat too much, and a good looking rich guy will come along and take care of you. Cinderella might have snuck out to go to the party but after that she just waited around for the Prince to come find her, Snow White actually went and hid with a bunch of dwarfs, and Sleeping Beauty might as well have been a prop as a character in the story!

Personally, I prefer Mulan.  Now there's a Disney Princess to emulate.  She's outspoken, tactless, and violently dedicated to protecting her family.  Even when her life is at risk she still does what she believes is right, and when everyone is telling her that she's wrong and should just pipe down because she's just a girl she metaphorically flips them the bird and breaks into the Emperor's Palace.

Now THAT'S a lesson that we should be teaching our children.

40 comments:

  1. I think I'd try and make my kids emulate punk rock singers from the '70s instead of Disney princesses. People are glad I chose not to reproduce. haha

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  2. I'm with you. As much as I love Ariel, Mulan sends the better message to young girls (despite the fact that Disney mangled the actual story). Screw waiting around for a prince to find you, take charge and make the prince come to you on unsteady apologetic feet for not listening to you in the first place!

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  3. I always liked Alice in Wonderland more than the princesses. No man, or any adults, required. You gotta just figure out your own way in this messed up world. Also, drugs, I guess.

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    1. Mary Poppins was my favourite, although I much preferred the books to the movie.

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  4. Ah yes, Ariel changes who she is right down to her species to go for a guy who may or may not like her... and Belle transforms the abusive beast with her patience and tolerance. Fantastic messages for young girls! I have a post 3/4ths written and have been lazy to finish... I'm waiting for a handsome prince to motivate me, I guess. :)

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    1. Don't wait for the Prince to motivate you! By the time he arrives, you'll be expected to keep the castle clean and start popping out royal infants!

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  5. I'm a fan of Princess Merida from Pixar's latest film, Brave. Oh, that wild and crazy hair! Does Disney own Pixar now? I'm not up on these things. When I was a little girl, Cinderella was the big Disney movie of the moment. I liked the magic and the mice, but the rest of the movie was pretty blah as far as I was concerned.

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    1. I haven't seen Brave yet, but it looks pretty good!

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  6. IKR??!! Disney movies have ever been a mystery to me..Why do the parents always, always have to die? At least one or both parents is already dead or dies, many times in horrific violent ways in Disney movies. I was an adult when I saw the Lion King and was still a bit traumatized. But, the princesses... OH the princesses! Get out there, and get a job! Buy yourself your own damn shoes and dress Cinderella, you obviously aren't adverse to working!Drop the Stepsisters and earn it! Snow White just creeps me out all around. She gets to live in a house with 7 little dirty weirdos, and then sleeps in a coffin and he kisses her alive? Suuure. The best part of the little Mermaid was Sebastian. "You pucker your lips like dis" Awesome.

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    1. There's something about stories for kids, they're just gruesome as a general rule I think. I remember seeing a stage version of the Grimm Tales done in the old fashioned style and that was just macabre!

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  7. My niece loves the Disney princesses and her parents are trying to limit it. I am so torn, because I always loved that kind of stuff, and want her to be able to enjoy it if she likes it, but at the same time, you want her to have a realistic view of dating and love, as well as her own sense of worth. Darn those pretty pretty princesses!

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    1. I guess it's really about balance. I just wish we'd had more of the independent, self reliant princess as well as the old ones.

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  8. Don't know if I've ever heard of polio referred to as "classic" before, but I'll roll with you on that. I hope I don't get the old, boring, classic cancer either.
    It seems like they're making strides beyond their old misogynistic and passively racist ways...not that I've seen any Disney movies in the past 20 years...uh, I meant "five years" because I am young.

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    1. Yeah, did the same thing. I'll pick Mulan, I thought, its newish and won't age me! Then I realised it came out ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!

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  9. Loved this post. I never really thought about it that way but you are so right. Rock on with the strong independant chicks!!!

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  10. I agree with you! It always annoys me when people cling to the past as if it was always rigth! I hope Disney makes more like Mulan!! I also wanna check out that new movie Brave!

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    1. It does look good, I'm going to have to get it on DVD I think.

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  11. Those Disney Princesses are annoying to me. Except for Mulan (like you, I think she rocks), they present such a distorted picture of womanhood these days. There are lots better role models out there-

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    1. I know it's a historical thing, but it still irks me.

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  12. Werd! I've actually never really given that any thought. Very good point you're making on the classic princesses!

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    1. It's a shame, but they really are personalityless.

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  13. I was so happy when the movie Brave came out. Now THAT'S a movie I want my kids to learn from. :o)

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. I haven't seen it, but it does look awesome! And the accents!

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  14. Hate to admit it but Mulan is one of the Disney movie I haven't seen. Perhaps being the mother of sons limited my Princess movies.

    Although I did just recently see 'Brave' with my neighbors and their three year old daughter and LOVED it!!! Man, great movie, it actually made me cry in some places.

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    1. Oh, you've got to see Mulan! It's one of the best Disney films in my opinion, although I believe they take a few liberties with the story. The music is awesome!

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  15. I haven't seen Mulan either, but I suspect all those other stories were written by men ... be nice, be very good at cleaning (c/ref Cinderella, Snow White ... only Sleeping Beauty gets a lie-in) and keep yourself moisturised and all your wishes will come true! Pah!

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    1. It's social conditioning at its most manipulative. At least we're starting to get some good female role models.

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  16. I have to agree that Mulan is one of the best princesses. But I have never liked many of the princess movies anyways, except Little Mermaid. I like the princess diaries!

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    1. I liked The Princess Diaries too. What girl out there HASN'T imagined finding out they were royalty and then being whisked off to live in a palace.

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  17. Love the Disney posting, hilarious! :) Disney, busting little girls dreams since 1930. :) Enjoyed reading!

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  18. Hilarious post, but so true!!! Your newest follower!!!

    http://www.mymakeupboxes.blogspot.com

    XOXO Tiffany

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  19. Sure the princesses got their princes, but the princes were complete idiots. I am so glad I am not a conventional beauty (no, I am not) because I would not want one of those dolts knocking on my door (yes, I would because I would run off with their fortune.)

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    1. Oh, absolutely! Or perhaps encourage them to go off and slay a couple of dragons? Pretty dangerous, those dragons. All sorts of things can happen when you're off slaying them...

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  20. Unfortunately I think too many grown women have bought into the "fairytale" and have unreal standards for any potential husband. The reality is that the knight in shining armor might actually be a construction worker!

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