*This blog is written from the perspective of a mother of little girls. That has forever changed how I view the princesses. And I am not, spoiler-alert, against them.
In fact, hello–She-ra, Princess of Power warped my mind forevermore. But I’m focused on Disney Princesses. If I were looking at all princesses, you She-ra, are my number one.
My Feisty Pants loved princesses more than words could say. They had what she loved–ie sparkly shoes, talking animals friends, and amazing dresses. The princesses sang songs that soothed her little heart and that made her happy. Her being happy made me happy. Princesses = goodness. Greatness even. I hate it when people rule out princesses as quickly as they rule out guns.
When I was a tot, I read Royal Pain over and over again. Everyday girl becomes a princess (like unto Princess Diaries but it came first). I loved princesses. I think I’m okay. Princesses aren’t evil. 🙂
That being said, I definitely have some thoughts regarding the Disney Princess.
Ariel, my love, I don’t care that you gave up your fins for legs. You were passionate about the human world before you ever fell in immediate and creepy love with a guy who had a flute. Whateves…I do care, however, that Eric is kinda dumb. You can do better my love. I mean…even small children know you can temporarily lose your voice. And your love is too obsessive. Creepily obsessive.
Belle, my long time favorite, you fell in love with your captor. I get that it was over books, and I’m all for love and getting to know each other through fiction. And I get that your love literally transformed him. That’s lovely in theory. But falling in love with an actual beast, one that threw your dad out into the snow, and kept you as his one sole chance at love, it’s just creepy. I mean, were you a person to him? Or were you just the ONLY AVAILABLE POSSIBILITY OF BREAKING THAT SPELL? Falling in love with your captor is kinda like falling in love with your vampire, stalker, boyfriend. No, is the answer to both of those scenarios.
And Cinderella, I love your movie. The detail in the art is amazing. Your voice is lovely. The side characters are perfect. You’re the best possible first choice movie for little girls because unlike almost every other Disney movie, you’re not too scary for the delicate heart of a very, very small child. But your prince had to use your SHOE to find you. I know you were dressed all pretty and in rags later, but your face is the same. Just where were his eyes? And there is more to you than being lovely. In fact, the reason I heart you so is because of your goodness. You are, in fact, my number five princess.
To save your Dad, you joined an army, overcame your lack of abilities, and saved a nation. Why aren’t you my number one? I don’t know. But I know that you’re the Alanna (Tamora Pierce fiction series) of princesses and I can’t wait to see my Smiley Pants and the Lamb discover you.
My friend hates your movie, Merida. But I think she’s wrong. I think that you were put in a box, and you did your best with it. I think you love your parents and you had your own dreams that didn’t add up to the same dreams that your parents had for you. And that’s okay. It’s okay that you made a terrible mistake. We all do. And it’s okay that you did every thing possible to save your Mother. In so doing, you discovered each other’s hearts, each other’s dreams, and you bonded in a way that will last you through your fictional life. In the process, you rescued your people from a terrible evil. That’s lovely. Plus, if Boyo were big enough to have crushes, he’d have one on you, because watching your movie rocked his world.
Tangled is my favorite Disney movie now. Boys and girls enjoy it. The art is amazing. When the lanterns fill the sky, it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. This movie is funny. It’s clever. It’s not too scary for the little ones. And, and this is why I love it so, at the end—-the two characters who love each other have had the time to fall in love. And though, they’re uncertain in their new found love, they save each other. Flynn saves Rapunzel. And Rapunzel saves Flynn. It is utterly perfect.
But lets go ahead and add to why you’re so great–you figure out who you are all on your own. You love your evil mother who tears you down emotionally, but given the chance, you take your freedom. All of us have to someday. You’re not twelve. In fact, you’re 18. That’s old enough to fall in love, and I like that you got to be a child–not fall in love as a child. (I’m looking at you Snow, Ariel, too many others.) You developed mad skills in your prison and use your hair Indiana Jones style, cook and beat up intruders with your frying pan, and have a song in your heart. You’re awesome, Rapunzel. Just so damn awesome.
One of my defining features is being a sister. I was blessed with the most wonderful of sisters. And the love that sisters can have for each other is beautiful. It’s a blessing, and it’s in the princess who is a sister first that I see the best of princesses. Anna, you were house bound. You lost your parents and in many ways, your sister. But you’re full of excitement. You’re funny. Though Elsa is amazing and has flipping super powers AND is the queen, you save the day. Not just with your final act, but with your willingness to go after your sister. You don’t have special powers. But, you are willing to sacrifice everything to make right a wrong. What are you going to do? You’re going to talk to your sister. Your love for her is enough to save her. You sacrifice your life for hers and in so doing, you save the day. You are absolutely my favorite princess. And though Frozen is not even close to my favorite princess movie, we watch it often because you are GREAT.
5 thoughts on “A countdown of princesses*”
Nice post! I agree with everything but Merida. Didn’t like her or the movie.
Tangled is my favorite too!
She’s flipping awesome that’s for sure!
I’m not a Merida fan either. I would add princess Jasmine to my top 5 list. She is smart, confident, kind, and adventurous. She values a man for his character rather than his wealth and reputation. Also she was the first princess of color, and that is awesome.
I think it’s shocking that people don’t like Merida. I mean, she creates a whole huge mess, but she cleans it up too. However, to each their own. I do like Jasmine. She’s a great character. Jasmine, like Merida, gets put in the you’ll marry who we say box. It’s interesting that so many of the stories surround marriage and it either being forced on the character or a problem for the villain. Snow White might have been targeted because she was the fairest of them all, but really…her story is that she’s the heir and the Queen is sort of ruling in Snow’s stead. What would have happened if Snow continued to develop and fall in love–the Queen would have been dethroned. Philip and Aurora are being forced into a marriage–they just don’t realize that that marriage is the one that they want. Jasmine can’t marry Aladdin. Merida has to marry some idiot. Ariel wants a human boy. Cinderella marrying the prince after a lifetime of subjugation is too much for the Step Mother. Belle doesn’t want to marry Gaston cause he’s a douche. On and on. I wonder if the reason people sometimes don’t like Merida is that her story simply is a story of the love of mothers and daughters rather than a prince and princess? Isn’t what the Beast does to Belle as terrible as what Merida causes to happen to her mother? Or maybe it’s just that Brave is too scary for the little ones, doesn’t have the great songs of most of the princess movies, and is clearly Pixar’s answer to story after story of teenage love and marriage.