There’s rarely a week that goes by that I don’t discover something in culture that makes me pause and wonder, why? This can be both big picture things and smaller perhaps less important issues. What we have to talk about today is the idea that cinematic heroines of the millennial’s childhood are terrible influences. When it comes to the princesses some of us grew up knowing, they tend to get the raw end of the deal. A Disney princess and modern culture don’t seem to get along. They’re made fun of, and considered anything but a strong female. Thinking on this, I do wonder, why aren’t Disney princess characters considered strong women?
Clips have recently resurfaced of a dated interview Kiera Knightley gave about the films her daughter isn’t allowed to watch. Two of them being Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. I’m not dissing Knightley’s choice to select what her daughter watches. That’s the sign of a good parent. It’s not even that these are two films her daughter cannot watch. What I do take issue with is the reasons why her daughter cannot see Cinderella or The Little Mermaid. According to her, the former is “banned” because our heroine waits around for a rich dude to save her – gasp! The latter isn’t allowed because Ariel gives up her voice for a man, and that’s a no-no.👸🏼THE DISNEY PRINCESS MODERN CULTURE REFUSES TO SEE👸🏼 DEFENDING THE #DISNEY PRINCESS CHARACTERS. BECAUSE THEY DESERVE IT. #DISNEY #ARIEL #CINDERELLA Click To Tweet
Animated or not, since when is this all we see here? There is a great deal more to these stories. Do these films gloss over the romantic entanglement? Sure. It doesn’t develop so that we see the progression of the love story. That is a flaw.
Irrespective of this, an idea that all Ariel or Cinderella wants is a man is strange to me. Yes the movies depict a romance and yes, both girls’ crush on a cute (and presumably wealthy) dude. Still where is this idea that this is all they want come from?
Ariel wants adventure and to explore and to experience life outside of what she knows.
Cinderella too, in a different way, wants an experience and to be able to, like anyone, experience the ball. She wants to dress up and enjoy a night out. Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t the message to embrace “pretty” or find “you” no matter what that looks like?
Both girls have dreams.
Someone said to me once, “I don’t know, Cinderella, you know she needed a man in her life to get along.”
I think all girls identify with her in a certain way. She was kind of funky, she accepted life as it was, and went after things she wanted. I think she was a spirited girl and I don’t think she needed the prince. I think she wanted to go to the ball. – Ilene Woods on Cinderella
Ariel does crush on a boy and yes this likely in part shapes her decision to spend time on land, but where are we getting this is her sole motivator? The entire film shows her joy at the discovery of this other world. She experiences everything uniquely while also falling in love with a cute dude.
When did we start to say the dream of one thing has to come at the expense of the other? I think that’s sadder than having an objection to a character’s romance. One dream doesn’t always have to cancel out the other. Let’s also not forget that Ariel saves her “rich” dude perhaps twice.
It’s so odd to me to be so opinionated and determined to uphold women in one way but refuse to uphold them in another. It’s also strange to see someone finding Ariel and Cinderella offensive as examples of strong females. Especially since they aren’t bad caricatures. No matter where we all fall, one thing I do know is as far as elevated and cultural female characters or voices go, neither of them are anywhere close to the worst example of championed examples of women.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think any of this is worth talking about? Did you see Knightley’s interview back in the day? What is your opinion on Ariel and Cinderella? Do you thing the Disney princess and modern culture gets it? Do you think Disney created them as romance obsessed? Comment all the opinions. Let’s talk about these things.
PINTEREST PIN – SAVE & SHARE
Thank you for visiting; please come back soon.