When I was a child, Disney Princesses were a big thing among young girls like me and I confess I found their beauty, grace and perfection extremely awe-inspiring. It was only much later that i realised how truly absurd many of these stories were. A lot of the times these stories have been so stupid, they actually gave out the wrong message. All the time when they gave glamorised docile, weak and submissive women they have actually encouraged girls against getting empowered.
Cinderella: The story of a girl who spends some 20 or so years of her life as a maid to her step-mother and step-sisters doing nothing whatsoever to resist the opression and uplift her position. One day, she meets the Prince and falls in love. In the end, they get married and thanks to the Prince she finally experiences a better life.
Snow White: (what an awful name) Snow White runs away from her house when her step mother tries to kill her and when she finally gets the chance to live a free life as an independent woman, she takes refuge in the house of 7 dwarfs where she happily takes up the duty of doing household chores for them. Later in the story, she conditionally dies after eating and apple offered to her by a stranger! Eventually saved by some Prince.
Aurora: The one thing that strikes you in the movie is how little is the protagonist’s involvement in her own story. The long and short of Aurora’s story is that she goes into a prolonged sleep of several years because of the “curse of an evil fairy” and is saved by a king in the end.
Ariel: After falling in love with a Prince, this mermaid decides to exchange her tail for legs through the use of dark magic (!) in order to get him. The worst part of the story is Ariel getting the Prince. A happy ending, for me, would be Ariel learning that love is not a good enough reason to loose your individuality.
Now there are some who are absolutely unworthy of being role-models for thousands of young girls who look up to them because of the fact that for whatever brilliant reason these movies were made, these ladies only epitomize weak women. However, there are some who have been the silver linings to the dark clouds of Disney’s portrayal of the ideal princess/woman. (In increasing order of inspiration)
Belle: For me, there are exactly 3 reasons why I like Belle: 1. She reads 2. When she falls for the Beast, it’s for reasons beyond looks 3. She saves the hero. Yet, why the movie could not have had a better name than ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is beyond me.
Jasmine: Hands down, this one is my favorite Disney princess. Her love for adventure and freedom is totally relatable for me. To her being a princess is more of a captivity than a privilege and she even runs away from her palace in pursuit of freedom. Cherry on the top is the fact that she has a pet tiger.
Mulan: Now, Milan may not be my favourite but she is the role model every girl deserves. She is Brave, strong, independent, stubborn, daring and also much less feminine than the others. She is the warrior who has broken all the stereotypes of a princess.
There could be factual inaccuracies in my post because I saw these movies years ago. And some of them are not mentioned here because I have not seen them. Do let me know what you think about this post:)