In Defense Of The Disney Princesses That People Just Can't Stop Criticizing
Alright, I know that people tend to have varying opinions about the Disney princesses, and believe me, I get it.
My opinions change on them every time I watch the movies again, or when I hear another well made argument.
People have said that the older Disney princesses aren't always the best role models. Whether it's because they give up something, fail to save themselves, or something else, they are critiqued as being a bad influence for young girls.
But I am here today to provide some over-analytical reasons why they aren't as bad as you may think. Are they perfect role models? No, of course not, but they are all still strong women in their own right.
Let's get started.
Okay, I know what you're thinking, Ariel gave away her voice in the hopes that she could make a man fall in love with her, even though she had never once spoken to him.
Is that crazy? Yes! Absolutely it is. But here's the thing we all need to remember about Ariel: She's 16! How many of you can pretend like you wouldn't have done the same thing if it meant you could have had a chance at Jonathon Taylor Thomas or Leonardo Dicaprio or whoever your childhood crush was.
Is it the right move? No, obviously not, but if Ariel's dad had actually talked to her instead of throwing the world's biggest and most excessive temper tantrum, maybe she could have understood that these feelings are normal when you're a teen.
Also, you've got to give it to her, the girl goes after what she wants. Yes, what she wants is a man, which is problematic at best, but she did chase her dreams.
While I would love for Ariel to have been a little bit more empowered from the start and a little bit less boy-crazy, she did the best that a 16-year-old could do in the Victorian era. Yep, that's right, if you base it off the clothing in the movie, this takes place in the late 1800s.
Think about other women in the 1800s, she's doing pretty okay, right?
Cinderella had a really crappy life when you think about it. First she lost her mom, then her dad remarried, and then her dad died! As bad as that already sounds, it gets worse because she's trapped in a super abusive home where her step-mom is the definition of evil.
It's thought to take place in the mid 1800s, but the most important thing is that Cinderella learns how to find friends even though she's constantly put down.
Bullies are a real issue that kids face, and even though Cinderella's only friends are mice and birds, she's managed to find herself a little piece of joy. It's nice for kids to know that there is always some kind of silver lining.
There is also criticism that Cinderella doesn't "save herself," at least according to a recent interview from Keira Knightly, but here's the thing, she was literally locked in a tower? What do you want her to do?
Her friends got her out though, which just goes to show you how important it is to make connections with others even when you're in a bad place.
Is it a stretch? Of course, but these are cartoons so what do you want from me?
Everyone criticizes this movie and says that Belle has Stockholm Syndrome because there's no way she could fall in love with the Beast, but I think we need to give her a little more credit.
Because let's be honest here, Beast falls in love with her long before she falls in love with him. I know at first it's because he thinks she could break the spell, but as he gets to know her, he realizes that she is just so smart.
Her story is thought to take place in the late 18th century, which means that we should give Belle's studious nature a lot more credit. I know people remember her loving books, but the fact that she could read is actually impressive.
The literacy rate in France was rising, especially among the working class. In the late 1600s, only about 14% of women could read, but but the mid 1700s, it was up to almost 40%.
This was thought to be because the less privileged needed ways to communicate ahead of the revolution, but is now suspected to be because it was easier to pass down training.
Needless to say, being one of the few people who can read is a good thing, because it meant Belle could find a way to escape her lonely days without resorting to settling for Gaston.
That's right, she had the chance to just say "fine" and go with the guy who kept asking her to marry him, but instead she found adventure in the great wide somewhere.
Snow White may not be the most powerful character, but she does take charge and run away from her home, saving herself from certain death.
I guess if you want to be technical about it, she did have to break and enter to save herself, but in the end it worked out fine.
She found a new group of people to work with and she worked to earn her keep, even though as a princess she probably never did a day of work in her life.
Sure, she accepts food from a stranger, but sometimes you make a mistake and at least it was a good lesson for kids that they shouldn't trust spooky people who try to hand them apples for no reason.
Now, Aurora is where I run into issues. She has three lovely fairies who help her out, and then she just falls head over heels in love in a second and a half in the forest. I've heard of love at first sight, but perhaps you should probably be a little bit more concerned with your spatial awareness, my dear.
And I know she's under a curse that makes her touch the needles, but really I have no defense for her. Her fairies are pretty great though right?