Be it Resolved: Disney Princesses are good role models - The Red and Black : Views
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Be it Resolved: Disney Princesses are good role models
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of a series authored by members of the Demosthenian Literary Society on resolutions debated at their meetings. Two sides of the resolution — an “affirmative” and a “negative” — will be presented in each installment. The Demosthenian Literary Society meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Demosthenian Hall.
What comes to mind when you think of the Disney Princesses (and not just the Princesses, but all of the Disney heroines)? Is it their kindness, their generosity, their willingness to help others?
It’s a common refrain that these young ladies show the children that watch them, especially little girls, that they should be subservient, compliant, docile creatures who blindly do whatever they’re told and wait for things to happen to them instead of being proactive and independent. Upon further consideration, however, it becomes apparent that is not the case.
Disney Princesses are graceful and intelligent, spunky and brave. Ariel, The Little Mermaid, has an insatiable natural curiosity. The Frog Princess’s Tiana has lofty ambitions and is willing to work hard to achieve her goals.
Belle, of Beauty and the Beast fame, is an avid reader. Additionally, she stands her ground but is also forgiving. When the Beast is unkind to her, she refuses to yield to him until he learns to be nice, and then she forgives him his previous misdeeds. She has the fire to match his temper and isn’t afraid to use it against him in her own defense.
Even the non-royal princesses, Mulan and Pocahontas, for example, have admirable qualities every individual should aspire to — bravery, athleticism, an appreciation for nature and natural beauty that is too often absent in today’s world of steel and concrete. These are traits that should be nurtured in children and, indeed, all individuals.
These girls, these Disney ladies, show their admiring fans that in order to make their dreams come true, they have to persevere. They have to go through struggles and hardships and come out the other side stronger for what they have endured.
These women (or in most cases, girls; Snow White is merely 14, and the eldest, Cinderella, is thought to be no more than twenty) are completely unrealistic. They set ridiculous, blatantly untrue expectations about life, love and what should be done to achieve happiness and security in life.
Even a cursory glance shows that these Princesses have laughable body proportions, more like a Barbie than a human (and we already know the issues that particular false celebrity has caused), and the Disney Princesses are some of the women little girls aspire to be like in every way.
They lead our children to believe the path to happiness is as simple as marrying a rich man and wearing a ball gown to a midnight dance. That they can and should throw away their whole lives, abandon their talents, disregard their family and friends and disobey their parents, for the sake of a man they have only ever glimpsed once. That they should slave away their days cooking in kitchens and dancing around with brooms and mops, cleaning.
Some have even argued that Disney’s sole purpose in creating the Princess franchise is merchandise, pure money, and the only reason they exist is so that little girls will beg their mothers and fathers for the next sparkly pink accessory.
Finally, until Disney released Brave’s Merida (who won’t even be an official “Princess” until June of this year), the main lesson these movies try to shove down the throats of little girls is that they won’t be happy, won’t succeed in life, without a man at the end of the road.
Each of them has to get their prince, and there would be no story without that goal in mind.
—Kayla Quinton is a junior from St. Marys majoring in English
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1. My mother\'s Generation thought it was unrealistic and never saw Disney World
2. I did not go to Disney Until I was 60 years old. I smiled a lot and was fascinated,
3. My grandchildren love it and there faces light up. Some of them have gone numerous times up to age 20.
4. My great Grandchildren have visited Disney and also got involved with the princess
and danced with more than one of them. Especially Felicity. What a joy it was to watch all of her photos online. Her Brother also enjoyed it but in a more of a distance
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