My short answer to the question of today’s post- yes. Yes, kids (or anyone, for that matter) should be allowed to have a princess role model.
I first want to say that I am not oblivious to the reputation Disney (particularly, very early Disney) has when it comes to their influence over young women. I am aware of how severely whitewashed Disney was up until a few years ago. (I think it’s gotten better, but the entertainment business as a whole has a very long way to go.) Aurora, Snow, and Cinderella are the main three that often get the most criticism. All white, very skinny, and have a “damsel in distress” outlook on life. I will note that each of these fairytales was written in 16/1700s and then later adapted by Disney from the 30s-late 50s. I don’t think time should really have an excuse, but it is evident that the time period has an effect on each of the princesses.
~I AM AN INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST AND I LOVE SNOW WHITE~
To me, being a feminist means loving and empowering ALL women. It does not mean wanting equality for only white women, nor does it mean that women should hate men. Being an “activist” (that’s such an over-used word nowadays…) for women’s rights is equality for all.
With that being said, traditionally feminine women CAN be feminists. A more traditional woman can be just as much of a feminist as an independent woman. You can be feminine and still be a feminist. You can be straight and be a feminist. You can be LGBTQ and be a feminist. This includes every Disney Princess.
Being a princess does not make you weak.
The Damsel in Distress. This is the main reason people no longer want children to look up to Disney Princesses. They seem weak, they need a man to validate them, they’re only made to be housewives, etc. BEING A PRINCESS DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK. As I said before, being feminine and keeping up with your appearance does not make you any less of a strong woman.
Princesses have an insane amount of responsibility. They’re running an entire kingdom practically by themselves. And for the most part, many of the princesses come from abusive backgrounds and still had patience and compassion for others. That, to me, is what a princess means. Being compassionate, a leader, and hardworking.
As far as mental health and survivors of abuse, I think princesses are characters that would be healthy and productive to look up to. It goes to show that even in the darkest points in life, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know that’s terribly cheesy and it is so much easier said than done but having a kind heart really does go a long way. I don’t see anything wrong with characters that encourage self-love and love for others.
All of the princesses come from some form of struggle. Whether it’s finances, abuse, or death; their turning points don’t come when the big strong man shows up. The princes do not serve the main purpose a majority of the time.
Cinderella spent her life being treated less than her family. I think she would’ve jumped at the chance to change her life regardless if it was in a castle.
Aurora had a crush on a boy she met in the woods, only to find out that she’s betrothed to some random guy (little does she know, it’s the same guy.) She’s not freaking out because she reeaaallly wanted to marry the forest guy *eye roll*. She never got the chance to get to know him because she’s being forced to marry someone she doesn’t even know. ON TOP OF, learning of her true parents and the “mistress of evil” is planning on killing her that night.
♛Mulan fought for her country as a man and questioned traditional values within the first fifteen minutes of her movie.
♛Ariel was more in love with the human world way before Eric showed up.
♛Elsa and Anna proved that love melts a frozen heart.
♛Jasmine spent her entire movie wanting to lead her own life. She said and I quote “is not a prize to be won.”
♛Rapunzel wanted to see the outside world and Eugene just happened to drop in at the right time.
♛ Tiana worked hard and was very determined to accomplish her own dreams with or without a man.
♛Belle was more interested in a bigger, better life than being a safety net for a man drooling over himself.
♛Pocahontas battled racism and prejudice.
♛Moana led an entire expedition ON HER OWN.
That’s not to say that falling in love never happens for them, because obviously, it did. Disney captures love in an artistic and passionate way. The viewers are able to see love through rose-colored glasses. Disney wants us to fall in love with the idea of love. Not just with a partner, but with everybody. Although, each princess had their own dream or battle to fight long before they fell in love.
All in all, it is possible to have a positive princess role model. Each princess is so different, just like everyone else. What is wrong with having a role model that teaches us to be kind? To fight for what we want? To dream big and go for our passions. I see nothing wrong with aspiring to be like characters who promote self-love, love for others, hard work, determination, and hope for a better tomorrow.
Cookies: Cookies by Chrysta
Florals: Bon Vie Floral Design
Table and Chiavari chair set up: Delgado’s Party Rentals
Red and Gold Antique chairs: Borrowed Treasure
Red apples and Gold Frame: H & L Lovely Creations Inc.
Stationary: The Cross-Eyed Fox
Gowns: Great l Simplicity
Snow White: Mary Helber
Prince Florian: Alec Dakota Crow
Evil Queen: Erica Delgado
Makeup for Snow: Aria Glam
Hair for Snow: Araceli Sierra
Makeup for Evil Queen: Monica Sierra
Hair for Evil Queen: Maira Sierra
Photographers (in order of the photographs):
Emmarie Jackson Studios
KMG Creative Photography
Sacred Voyage// G Lee Gordon
Featured image: KMG Creative Photography