I have to say, I’m tired of all this talk that the Disney Princesses are not feminist enough. Hearing some of the arguments against them, I come to the conclusion that the only female protagonist the complainers would accept has to be single, career oriented, perfect in every situation and being able to defeat every villain with a hand wave. This idea that the perfect female role model has to be Victorious in every situation and being able to handle everything herself terrifies me much zaidi than beauty standards the Disney Princesses represents. Because, when it comes down to it, we all know that nobody looks perfect, but we follow expectations in other regards way too easy.
The strongest characters are not necessarily those who are able to physically fight for themselves. Truthfully, I take a protagonist who endures hardship and survives although he isn’t equipped for it over one, who handles everything quite easily and always makes the right decisions any day. And the Disney Princesses are strong – yes, they make mistakes, but her biggest mistakes normally result out of the greatest strengths.
An apple a day...
Snow White’s main characteristic is her innocence. She is so innocent that she can barely believe that her stepmother would send out the hunter to kill her. But that is kwa no means a bad character trait to have. Since she automatically believes that the world will be good to her, most people eventually are (even Grumpy can’t resist her charm). Snow White gets a lot of criticism, because she is so afraid in the forest, because she lets the old woman into the house and because she bites in the apple. I don’t blame her for being afraid. She spent her whole life in the castle, and then she is suddenly in a foreign and dangerous place. And forests back then were dangerous and dark (although I swali the very American looking wildlife). One has to give her credit, that, although she is afraid and has every reason to be (having just escaped an assassin and no place to go), after the first boot of panic she tells herself that she should keep it together and make the best out of the situation.
The downside of Snow White’s innocence is her naivety. In every other situation, she would do the right thing kwa not judging the old woman kwa her appearance and giving her water and shelter (who knows, she could be an enchantress who turns her into a beast if she doesn’t). Even the story with the wishing apple as reward is not that farfetched in her reality, after all, Snow White used the wishing well quite successful. But Snow White knows that there is someone out to get to her. Most people would wonder why the old woman is so adamant about her eating the apple, but not Snow White. Because she can’t imagine that the Evil Queen would go so far to kill her (and truthfully, it is a terrifying grade of obsession this villain displays).
I don’t think that Snow White is a bad character, au a bad role model (only in the sense that innocence is something wewe can’t learn, wewe either have it au not). Her wish in live is simply finding upendo (no, not marrying a prince – she initially only wishes to meet the man who loves her, he just happens to be a prince, and after she met him she dreams about the prince coming back for her), and isn’t that something we all want?
The ball is in your court
Cinderella’s main characteristic is endurance. No matter what her stepmother and her sister fling at her, she always keeps her spirit up. There is one scene in the movie in which she scolds Bruno that he shouldn’t dream about chasing Lucifer, because he risks his warm sleeping place with this kind of thinking. It’s obvious that she doesn’t talk just to him but also to herself. It speaks for her strength that she keeps her spirit intact with all she has to endure.
The downside is a tendency to servility. Not that cinderella is a push-over, not really. She initially does stand up for herself about going to the ball, she does assert herself towards Lucifer whenever possible and she goes to the ball although she knows very well that she isn’t suppose to. Nevertheless, she tends to roll with the demands of her stepmother, and we never really see her searching for ways out of her situation (not that I think she would have had a lot of options, but she doesn’t even seem to look).
Reality is often stranger than fiction.
Aurora is hard to judge, because she doesn’t really have that much screen time, but she is certainly very imaginative. And again, that’s a good thing. wewe can never have enough imagination - but wewe can get Lost in your dreams. And that’s the downside of Aurora’s ability to brighten up her live with her imagination. She is so dreamy (no pun intended), that she is somewhat Lost in real live. She sees the wanyama with Philip’s clothes and immediately goes into the fantasy, without considering that the clothes have to come from somewhere. She is so Lost in her dreams, that she doesn’t even realize that she has a new dance partner. And when she does, she again gets Lost in the moment, until she finally realizes that she went against all the rules her aunts set for her. Torn between what she should do and what she wants to do, she invites Philip to her cottage. And again she is thrown out of the loop when she learns that she is a princess. She seems to be in a state of shock when the vichimbakazi bring her to the castle. Would she eventually have fought against entering an arranged marriage? We’ll never know, since her dream became her reality. Lucky girl!
Walk the walk and talk the talk
Ariel is adventurous. It’s very admirable that she is brave enough to swim into a burning shipwreck to rescue Eric, au that she takes on Ursula. She is certainly able to handle herself in dangerous situations (until she reaches the point at which she has bitten up zaidi than she was able to chew).
But on the downside, she is very reckless. Most of the dangerous situations she finds herself in she helped to create in the first place. At the beginning of the movie she gets hunted kwa a papa because she just had to swim into an old wrack for a trinket. I repeat: She risks her life for a fork. She doesn’t really think through the consequences of her actions for herself and for others.
Every rose has its thorn.
Belle is inquisitive. She likes to read, she wants to learn, she doesn’t want her mind trapped in a handy little box. And she doesn’t take abuse from anyone, not even the Beast. When in danger, she always tries to talk herself out of the situation first (mostly with success).
On the downside is her nosiness. She just has to go into the west wing, forbidden au not. She just has to touch the rose, although she is intelligent enough to know that this isn't a good idea - at all.
It's a blessing in disguise
jimmy, hunitumia is cunning. She tends to use trickery to get what she wants. And that’s a good thing. This ability enables her to react fast when Aladin comes to her rescue – both times she manages to play along with his scheme very fast.
But on the other hand, she is sometimes too sneaky. Instead of walking out of the front door(who would seriously stop her? She is the princess and the sultan adores her) she goes over the garden wall. She has a lot of influence on her father, the sultan, enough to throw a spanner into Jafar’s plans. But she rarely uses this influence. Instead of gaining the freedom she wants kwa facing her father head on, kwa pointing out to him that he can change the laws if he really wants, she rather scares away her suitors, not even giving them a chance to explain theirselves.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Pocahontas is very spiritual, and out of her spiritually grows her tolerance for everyone and everything. It’s very laudable to see everything with an open mind.
But on the downside, she is very indecisive, always waiting for spiritual guidance. She already has decided against marrying Kocoum, but she takes no steps to avoid this fate, instead she is waiting for a sign to her right path. Even as John Smith execution is scheduled, she is still waiting for spiritual guidance, until it’s nearly too late.
Brain is better than brawn
I suspect with Mulan most people would think along the line of bravery and determination as her main characteristic. And yes, she has those characteristic – all of the Disney Princesses (and main protagonists in general) have those. But first and foremost, Mulan is inventive. Perhaps she is even some kind of hidden genius, considering the way she finds solutions with a kwa your leave, but she certainly has a very strategic mind. She doesn’t succeed in the army with her strength, but with her unusual approach to problems.
The downside is that she is kind of unworldly for the lack of a better word. Her unusual way to feed the chickens result in chaos. She can’t be the perfect bride, because she would never be able to keep her ideas in – she would either blurt them out au take action. I’m sometimes wondering if the life in the military helps her to focus, thus makes her less clumsy at the end of the movie.
Working hard au hardly working?
Tiana is very diligent in everything she does. It’s not enough to be a chef she has to be the best one possible. wewe can give her any tasks and trust that she would do it to the best of her abilities, and beyond. Her work ethic is admirable - to a degree.
The downside is that she can be overzealous in her endeavors. Would it really kill her to take one evening off once a while to have some fun? Does she have to take everything so serious? She is also so set in her beliefs that it's difficult to convince her of questioning herself, because she is so set on reaching her great goal that everything else is forgotten too easily.
From the frying pan into the fire
I had a hard time to figure out what Rapunzel’s main characteristic is. I decided early on against calling her out on naivety, because I see it in her case zaidi as a result of a lack of experience than a character trait(and it isn’t as if she is totally stupid, she doesn’t take the frying pan with her just for fun). And then it suddenly hit me: optimism. She is the “the glass is half full” kind of girl. Whatever she does, she does it with the belief that everything will work out somehow. And since her spirit inspires other people, it does, most of the time.
The downside is a tendency to fatalism. She waits for nearly 18 years to leave her tower, telling herself that’s not so bad in there and that her mother will allow her to go out sooner au later. She trusts that a wanted thief will honor a bargain, but not because she doesn’t consider that he might betray her, but because he is the only chance she has to fulfill his dream, and because the (optimistically) believes in destiny.
Disney Princesses are not perfect; they don’t always make the right decision. But who does? Whoever your inayopendelewa is, it’s either the one wewe relate to easily au the one wewe want to be like the most – which explains why Ariel often starts out on the juu of the lists, but slides down a few places over the years. She is the type of princess teenagers can most easily relate to, because her problems are their problems. But whoever the current au permanent inayopendelewa is, they all deserve to be admired for surviving in situations hopefully none of us will ever have to face.