Posted in Parenting and Random Shit

My Rant on Disney Princesses

My friends laugh at me and give me hell about my take on Disney Princesses. I cringe at what sort of values they promote and the lessons that can be taken from them. I just really hate the whole princess franchise.

I have issues with Disney as a whole, like the absence of mothers in almost all of the films, but the Princesses are what really rub me the wrong way. 

Snow White: The entire story is centered around her beauty. Her stepmother, of the evil variety, of course, cares about nothing more than being beautiful. Since Snow White is her beauty rival, naturally, Snow White must die. She escapes and finds a messy cottage and gets right to cleaning it up. It makes sense. She’s a woman. She laid eyes on dirty floors and dirty dishes. Stranger’s home or not, she’s a woman and women love to clean! When she isn’t cleaning, she is dreaming of getting found by and married to a prince. When she eats the apple, of course, the only thing that can save her is a kiss from a prince. He falls in love the moment he sees her, kisses her, she sees him and loves him right back and they get married.

Cinderella:  Again, there’s a wicked stepmother but this time there are also ugly step sisters that are cruel to Cinderella due to being so jealous of her beauty. Cinderella does nothing but clean and dream of being rescued by a man so she can get married. She meets the prince and they fall in love at first sight and dance all night. She loses her shoe when he leaves and even though he says she is the love of his life and he spent the whole night dancing with her, he wouldn’t be able to recognize her and, therefore, must try the shoe on every girl in the kingdom until he finds her foot. She tries on the shoe and Cinderella finally gets to be happy because she gets married.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel is always late and inconsiderate of her family and her commitments. She is a hoarder. She sees a hot guy on a boat and decides she must meet him and marry him. When her father grounds her, she reacts like any reasonable 16-year-old and runs away.  She asks the sea witch for an extreme makeover because she knows stranger man won’t find her fins sexy, she must change herself to appeal to him.  Ursula wants her voice in return for legs and tells her that men don’t like women that talk too much and the girl who holds her tongue will get her man and that she just needs to use her sexuality. He falls in love with her and everything works out perfect because they get married.

Beauty and the Beast: Finally! A princess that seems to be intellectual and independent and scoffs at the idea that marriage is a woman’s ultimate goal. When she offers herself as a prisoner, in place of her father, at the Beast’s castle she meets his enchanted staff that are all terrified of the Beast. Belle and the enchanted staff are subjected to loud and violent outbursts by the Beast but, even when he gives Belle her freedom, she doesn’t leave.  We learn that, if a man is abusive to you, just try to be nicer because, if you love him enough, he will change and become nice too.

I know what you will say! “They are kids movies”, “Children won’t get that”, “They are just stories” and blah, blah, blah.  They are children. Whether you realize it or not, children are very susceptible to the power of suggestion. I’m not saying that letting your children watch this dribble will have devastating consequences.  It’s not. Personally, I just don’t like the idea of even hinting that marriage is such a lofty goal for girls. I want a princess who graduates from college and runs for office and has a husband who is a stay at home dad. I’d like there to be more emphasis on her intelligence than her beauty. Give me that!


I am a stay at home mother with 4 children. I drink a lot of wine and curse like a sailor.

124 thoughts on “My Rant on Disney Princesses

  1. Wow. Some things I never noticed before:

    1. The prince not being able to recognise Cinderella so has to do the old ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’ routine – totally ridiculous. How did I miss that for 40 years??? WTF?

    2. Ariel was totally a brat who betrayed her father to chase some guy who didn’t even know she existed, and then seduced him with her sexuality (certainly not her intellect).

    3. Belle was codependent. A year or so ago, I read the book ‘Women Who Love Too Much’ – a euphemism for ‘Codependent Women’ and that’s what Belle is – playing the part of the ever-patient, long-suffering, pure-of-heart woman who will change the beast into a beautiful, kind, gentle man who will be forever grateful to her for showing him the light, and will then reward her martyrdom with eternal love and protection.

    I think I just vomited a little in my mouth.

    I disagree – this stuff is INGRAINED into us. I refused to read my children traditional fairytales, choosing books like The Magic Faraway Tree and The Chronicles of Narnia instead.

    Fairytales – what a joke. And pretty sure a huge contributor to this false illusion we women labour under: meeting Prince Charming will make everything alright.

    We have some serious issues to deal with. Wow. Thanks for those insights, really sobering.

    Take care,


    1. Thanks for reading! I used to watch them too and my daughter did when she was a toddler. I’m ashamed to say that she even had a lot of the merchandise! DOH!! Thankfully, she moved on while still in her toddler years but still before I really considered the subliminal messaging in these stories.


  2. Peanut is all in with the princess. Unfortunately. She has all the dolls and costumes. We don’t know how it happened because we never introduced her to them. But she loves them so we’ve let it go.

    I brought up almost the exact same point to My Director that you did here after we watched Beauty and the Beast with her for the first time. The Beast is an abusive jerk who holds her prisoner, and she falls in love with him? And this woman, my wife… who has achieved personal and professional status that I would want my daughter to attain, said, “She brought out the good in him. Sound familiar?”

    She’s good. That’s all I’m gonna say. And eventually, I’m gonna bring these things that you raised up with Peanut. But for now, I’m gonna let her alone with her fantasy world. Sorry for such a long comment. (And don’t hate my upcoming post about Peanut, the princesses, and our trip to Disney.)


    1. Haha! Number One was into the princesses when she was about your Peanut’s age! She had a lot of the Disney Princess shit too. I didn’t encourage it but i didn’t blatantly discourage it, either. I subtly pointed her in other directions, though. The phase passed the moment she discovered Hannah Montana. Disney really sucks em’ in!


  3. LOL! Oh my God. You sound like The Nostalgia Chick. I remember seeing this particular picture in an article and was greatly disturbed by it. Like most people my age I grew up on Disney. I just watched it and then went and at my snack afterwards and went outside to play never thinking about it. If I think about it now, almost all Disney movies are disturbing in some form or another. But if I’m honest, it’s not something I care about so I don’t think about it. Maybe that’s wrong, but it’s the way I am. But I will acknowledge that you have a point about the lack of stories about women with loftier goals that man and marriage.

    Sharing this post. I got a friend who loves to rage over this kind of stuff will get a kick out of it. She’ll more than likely agree with everything.


  4. LOVED IT!!!! and I used to be a Disney cast member (SHHH) however you should read Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister by Gregory McGuire it will totally suit this post!! 🙂

    Or also Politcally correct bedtime stories!


  5. I get it! Trust me, I do my fair share of analyzing kid stuff, especially nursery rhymes.

    Like, why does a spider scare Ms. Tuffet away? Or what bear YOU know gonna befriend a little girl in the woods?


  6. Notice how Disney can never do a sequel about how all of these women fared as mothers… they would all be dead. I would hate to be a Disney mom and get shot like in Bambi or eaten like in Finding Nemo. Thank God I have boys!


      1. Shit, now you got me thinking: What if there’s, like, a totally Freudian reason why Walt killed off all the mums? Now I won’t be able to stop thinking about conspiracy theories and potential abandonment issues in people I don’t give a shit about. THANKS.


      2. Now, now. Other than his choice of fairy tales to adapt to movies, old Walt was not to blame for dead mothers. Fairy tales reflect the times and places in which they were written. In the bad old days, mothers died in childbirth – a lot. Typically in Euro-Anglo culture, the widowed fathers then remarried, because labor division by gender was pretty cut and dried – you had to have a woman to keep house. These second wives didn’t necessarily embrace the man’s existing children with loving arms, because fathers didn’t make that a condition of marriage. So, evil stepmothers did in fact exist. Life in many ways sucked more than it does now.


        1. In Grimm’s version of Snow White, the evil queen is her biological mother. Alladin’s mother was alive and with him in the book.

          Disney had an affinity for the dead/missing mother scenario, from what I can tell. (I’ll come back when I’m done nursing the baby)


          1. Well, all righty, then! Research has revealed we are both correct. Apparently, the first Grimms version had the natural mom as villain. However, subsequent Grimms versions had the evil stepmother motif, and that is the version I remember. In it, her natural mama-queen wished for a child as white as the snow she was watching fall outside the window with the ebony frame while she sewed, and then she stuck herself with the sewing needle and bled three drops, and this somehow inspired her to want a kid with white skin, red lips, and black hair. And then she died in childbirth. This is one of those versions, although it doesn’t go into detail about which body parts get which colors – mom just wanted a white, red and black kid. Bizarre.



  7. Completely agree with this post! Also agree with the first poster about Gregory Maguire’s book “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister”, one of my favorite books (Currently reading his book, What the Dickens?). I am due in July with my daughter..I am hoping we can survive the majority of childhood without Disney princesses, here’s to keeping fingers crossed! Also, this reminds me of something I saw posted on facebook the other day, “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3-day relationship between a 13 year old and a 17 year old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” You unfortunately see teenagers romanticizing that too!


          1. You see – that’s all these princesses really need to get on the right track. Reading all this makes me very glad that my own daughter never had an interest in princesses. It would be hard to stomach.


  8. Wow, some of those points you made I had not even realized. Kind of scary that the Princess stuff is the phenomenon it is. Great post!


  9. In Sweden Disney becomes more and more popular. I grow up with Astrid Lindgren’s books, like Pippi Longstocking, The Brothers Lionheart and Emil of Lönneberga. Wonderful stories and and interesting to read even for adults.


    1. The original brothers Grimm stories were gruesome and, well, grim. I read them all as a child and I kind of wish I hadn’t. No telling what influence they had on my lifelong major depressive disorder. Strong female characters – yes, that there were. Anyone who could take a kitchen knife and cut off her own heel to fit a shoe…say! Maybe that’s why we’re so willing to wear hideously painful shoes to look sexy! It was a metaphor! It all becomes clear…


      1. Yep! So many people don’t realize how much Disney perverted most of these stories. The Little Mermaid doesn’t get her man, she turns to foam. The original story of ‘Bambi’ was supposed to reflect the plight of the Jews fleeing the Nazis. Also, Bambi and Faline are cousins but they do mate and then they part ways (as deer do). Peter Pan is actually about a mother trying to cope with the death of her son, Peter.


  10. Speaking as a former Disney Cast Memember, this is 100% true! I seriously loathe all of those stories!! However, Disney has changed with the times and that’s why we have Princess’ like Jasmine who says “I’m not anyone’s prize”, helps in rescuing her Kingdom and falls in love with a pauper. Or Tiana who’s whole dream was to own her own restaurant, showed a Prince that hard-work was more important than money, and actually saved his life. These are my two fave Princesses because they didn’t have this love at first sight/kiss bullshit, and they will be the only two movies my daughters get to see.. Sure I’ll let them hear the soundtracks from the classic movies (cuz the music is fucking great), and maybe I’ll use some clips to show them that even Princesses do chores and LOVE it (wink wink) but I’ll be damned if my girls think all they have to add to a relationship is a mop and a pair of lips.


    1. Does jasmine actually fall in love with a pauper-and end up married to a pauper? They don’t get married until Aladdin is wealthy enough to line the streets with elephants and throw money at the people who are lined up to cheer at the obvious excess. Unfortunately, they are all filled with all of the ‘isms’. Watch them and enjoy them as light entertainment, I’m tired of having to over analyse everything that I might think say or do just in case I offend someone, aren’t you?
      Love the posts. Love this blog. thanks!


      1. Uhm, yea she does she first meets him on the street in ratty clothes and liked him. And then she rejected him at first when she met him as a prince. It was their law she had to marry a prince and then she found out the truth who he was and still married him. And yeah if you deeply look into these stories and rip them apart of course they look bad but you can make any cartoon look bad. Look at these stupid fighting cartoons or anmi tons with those girls that look like playboy bunnies with cut off shirts on. Or shit let’s just get rid of T.V. altogether this its what wrong with ppl everyone is over thinking shit like this.instead of focusing on real issues.


  11. I actually had this very conversation with my boyfriend the other night about The Little Mermaid! I actually used two of the points you made above (hoarder and the change everything you are to get the guy thing).. He disagreed with me but this is really just further proof that I’m right. YAY!


  12. Agreed! I didn’t really give the Disney movies much though until I met Manfriend and his daughter, “Cinderella”. When we first met she was obsessed with Disney princesses, especially Cinderella. As a potential future step mom, this didn’t look good. I am glad she is now more interested in scooby doo and monster stories. I think. 🙂


  13. The Disney movies above are fairy tales. They were around long before Disney turned them into cartoons. And they were being told to children before they were cartoons. Yes, Disney made them main stream and little girls love them, but Disney isn’t to be faulted for the stories behind the cartoons.


    1. Disney completely changed most of the stories that he adapted into films. Most of the original versions of these stories, like ‘Bambi’, ‘Peter Pan and ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’, to name a few, were never intended for children. Disney all but rewrote the stories that he turned into movies.


      1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame rewrite actually pained me – the entire point or the story is that life is not fair, even the best of people do judge others wrongly based upon their appearances and the bad guys usually win (at least to some degree)! Obviously Esmeralda’s whole story is pretty racy and can’t be shown to kids but they entirely gutted the thing. It’s no longer a work by Victor Hugo or even BASED ON it. It’s now the adventures of the delusional Hunchback and his magic gypsy friend who proved conclusively that, while we can’t always judge people because they’re ugly or belong to a minority group, pretty boys are really always good 100% of the time and totally NEVER players (like they were in the book).


  14. Little boys get some pretty jacked perceptions from traditional Disney movies, as well. The lesson from B and the B is that the asshole always gets the girl. And pretty much all of them convey that any girl with less than stellar physical beauty isn’t worth knowing.


  15. You are fabulous. You’re like the voice of sanity whispering in my ear, trying to cut a hole in the crap that we are fed every day. You are spot on when you describe these Disney role models. I personally hate the whole “Princess” phenomenon. It seems to me that the previously liberated women of the world must feel they missed out on something when they were busy thinking and having a life, so they have over compensated with their own daughters. I am so very lucky to have a daughter who survived with only ever having 2 Barbies, and they were gifts from friends who were Barbie brainwashed. We did watch all of the Disney movies, I still would watch all of the Disney movies, but we also watch Transformers, or Alien vs Predator on a regular basis (not my choice, but balance is a good thing), and my kids don’t want to be an Alien or a Predator either, I think they may secretly want to be transformers though… I agree that there are some totally screwed up messages in there for our children if they pay attention, the one part I have always struggled with in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST that you didn’t add, was that it all ends with violence and hatred, and a beast who as he is dying apologises so she forgives him, and they essentially kiss and make up (which of course brings him back to life so the whole cylce of abuse can begin again..) I seem to recall that he was turned into a Beast because of his mysogonistic attitude and had a limited amount of time to atone(by making a woman fall in love with him), or die… with SNOW WHITE, you forgot to add that after she cleaned their house, she fell into their beds, all seven of them…. natural progression, woman! Cook, Clean, Bed….as for CINDERELLA, he could not possibly recognise her, she was dressed like a servant when he did his rounds with the shoe, and servants don’t have faces, of course he had to use the shoe. Haven’t you learnt anything yet? Then you mention THE LITTLE MERMAID, 16, runs away to seduce a man she has never even met, stays in his house although no one there knows who she is, wears someone elses clothes to fit his image of what a woman should look like, (sounds a bit like the Pretty Woman story line, and I hate that too)throws herself at him constantly, and of course it all turns bad so “King Neptune” has to threaten violence and be all tough and God like to save the day.. which naturally means they get married….
    I am a fan of freedom and of liberty. I am a fan of education that is not limited, censored or biased. I am an advocate for respect and honour. Unfortunately, I am part of a minority, and there are people who would read these comments and suggest that censorship was the answer, I don’t think it is. I think the fact that you have written about it and created an awareness and dialogue about the issues is the best way we can discover and deconstruct the underlying messages in these stories. I love your posts and can only say THANK YOU, PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING!!!! and I apologise for my inability to be brief 🙂


  16. I respect your opinion. Really, I do, despite not being particularly fond of feminist readings of…anything, really. But, you want a princess who is more focused on intelligence than on beauty? Try Mulan. She was intelligent, willing to cut off her hair and dress as a man to save her father from being hurt, she saved her ‘prince’ AND China. They never even kiss in the first movie, let alone get married. So go watch Mulan and see if it makes you feel even slightly better


      1. Well, technically not a princess I suppose. But she’s still marketed in the Disney Princess franchise, right? Belle and Cinderella weren’t princesses until they married princes, right?

        And, though the example isn’t quite as AWESOME as Mulan is, Tangled was pretty good too, though it’s much newer.


        1. My son LOVED “Tangled”. He even had a Rapunzel doll that he used to carry everywhere. The looks I got when my son would be holding his Rapunzel barbie, brushing her hair, were nothing short of priceless.


          1. My daughter also has the Rapunzel doll and the dress and the stuffed Pascal – we can look forward to her beating boys up and manipulating them to get what she wants when she’s older. Not exactly perfect but, since it’s demonstrated that she doesn’t have to use sex to do it, that’s pretty cool.


  17. I can’t believe that I am the only person that doesn’t agree with you. Most things yes but on this one NO. I love all the princesses but Cinderella most of all. I always thought of her as a strong woman trying to make the best of a bad situation.
    I don’t remember her saying what she was dreaming of except a better life. My favorite quote is “If you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish come true.” I held on to that thru some hard times and it always made me smile.
    And on the subject of Disney always killing off the moms, I know of several where the mom was okay. The 1st one I think of is “Dumbo.” I still tear up when I hear “Baby of Mine” it is a beautiful song between a mother and her child.
    I also like a quote I heard years ago but I don’t know where. “Fairy tales don’t teach children that monsters are real. They teach them that monsters can’t be beaten”
    or something like that.


  18. I am so on this with you!!! I have a 5 year old daughter so I have been revisiting these fairytales and at times, I decide that reading her other stories would be alot better than these. I HATE the part that neither of the princesses have two, living, happy parents! How can I teach my child that a mother can be jealous of her beauty?!?! Or that a step mother can convince the father to take his kids out to the forest and leave them there (Hensel and Gretel)??. Enough to say that I don’t read my daughter these fairy tales 😦


  19. i love your blog!

    i do read fairy tales to my son (and we’ve seen a few disney versions as well) – i think they have value despite these issues – but i often take the opportunity to ask him questions like, does that seem like a smart way to pick the person you want to spend your life with? or point it out to him when girls are given away with no say in the matter, etc.

    i think what my sons see at home, in terms of how couples relate to each other, will have a stronger eventual impact on their values. but the habit of reading critically, looking out for hidden messages and assumptions, and figuring out what to take and what to leave is a hugely valuable skill for any age.


  20. Just so happens that I fell asleep watching The Soup tonight and woke up a few hours later to the Girls Next Door show where one of Hugh Hefner’s ex girlfriends was topless and talking about how much she loves Disney Princesses. I thought of this post and knew I had to return with that tidbit.


  21. Well what you’re asking for is impossible. Disney as a company portrays those views so they aren’t going to change. And most things these days preach similar, take Twilight for example, and a much worse example as it combines the worst parts of them all, where she is abused, impregnated, forced into being a housewife, and happy to suffer it all for love. And her life is fulfilled as she gets married.

    Your best bet is to introduce the children to things such as Lord of the rings, or Alien, at least then the messages are rather clear and have little bearing on their morals beyond kill the monster and teamwork is awesome. Also fear androids.


      1. The women in LotR were largely little more than a name/invisible though – well, except for Eowyn! Of course they’re not sitting around at home making sandwiches (unless they’re hobbits – all hobbits make sandwiches).


  22. Hear, hear! I’m not a huge fan of The Hunger Games, but one of the things I loved was the equality of men and women. It wasn’t so much addressed as it was a given. I might not have loved the books for other reasons, but I cheer for its approach to goals and equality. I’d love that to be what my son grows up both seeing and knowing.


    1. I’ve read the first one and loved it. I have the other two books but haven’t had the chance to read them. I, too, love that Katniss is such a strong female protagonist.

      I’m hoping my sons grow up with the same understanding.


  23. I’m going to join the ranks of the minority that disagree, also.

    I may be misinterpreting your concluding statements, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I disagree with the implication that a woman can only prove her strength and independence by shunning traditional female roles and emasculating men. That’s the interpretation I took from your line that women should be the breadwinners and be married to a stay at home dad. Only an insecure woman needs to resort to that in order to prove herself. A genuinely strong and confident women doesn’t need to one-up men in order to prove that she is good enough.

    As for the interpretations on Disney princesses, I only agree in part. I never saw Snow White, so I can’t comment on that. I always thought Cinderella and Belle were both women who were kind-hearted and tried to make the best of bad situations.

    And Belle especially was brave to exchange herself for her father. The Beast wasn’t really abusive to her. He had no interest in a relationship with her at first and once they got to know each other, he was really sweet to her. Gaston was the creep and the Beast protected her from him. And from a pack of wolves, too.

    As for Ariel, she was a bit of a spoiled brat. Did she change herself for the man she loved? Yes. But I see it as her doing what is necessary to go after what she wants. She could have been a wimpy teenage girl who sat under the sea pining for her prince but never actually doing anything about it. Instead, she took control of her life and went after the man she wanted and lived happily ever after. Sometimes we have to make drastic changes in our lives and it takes a certain amount of courage and resolve to do that.

    I also don’t think there is anything wrong with the princesses being beautiful. Little girls wouldn’t be interested in them if they weren’t. It’s human nature to be attracted to beautiful things and little girls like to be beautiful from a young age, too. If the princesses weren’t pretty, Disney wouldn’t be able to sell them because no little girl would want to dress up like them.


    1. I am not stating that the only way for a woman to be considered strong is to shirk traditional roles and emasculate men. I am a SAHM to four children. I am, obviously, embracing the ‘traditional’ role of woman/mothers. I turned my back on a very lucrative career as an air traffic controller for breast feeding and diaper changes. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My point in the last line is that I would like to see Disney demonstrate the total opposite of what they have shown for the last several decades. Furthermore, I have more than one friend who is the bread winner and is married to a man that stays at home with the children and they, husband and wife, are anything but insecure with their contributions to society and their family.

      To your point about the Beast: I don’t see how anyone could say he wasn’t abusive towards Belle. Pretending this were a real life situation, involving your or my daughter, and she was being held against her will by a man, not allowed to eat (unless she chose to dine with him), had things thrown at her, was yelled at and terrorized when she didn’t bend to his will but she stayed with him even when he showed her the door. Like many abusive relationships, it is akin to Stockholm Syndrome. In the original tale of “Beauty and the Beast”, the beast was very kind hearted and treated Belle and her father very politely. Disney made the change and decided the beast needed to have a deeper issue to overcome. Disney perverted the beast of the original story into an abusive d-bag. Disney just did a successful job of romanticizing the abusive traits, justifying them as the behaviors of a tortured soul that are successfully changed by Belle’s beauty, patience and love. I’m not saying that Belle wasn’t a step in the right direction. She was! However, at the end of it all, the moral of the story is that men, no matter how unattractive and ahusive, can be changed if you are pretty and patient.

      As far as Ariel goes, she defied her father and gave up her voice for legs and a vagina to pursue a man that she had never met, only seen. The witch sings her a song and tells her that men don’t care for women that talk and informs her that flaunting her sexuality will land her the man of her dreams. It works.

      Again, my issue isn’t that the princesses are beautiful, it is that beauty is their greatest asset. Even Belle is never praised for her love of reading. The opening song reveals that she is an outcast and ‘weird’ for her hobby and Gaston complains because he disproves of Belle reading because he doesn’t like women “getting ideas and thinking” but she is accepted in her town because she is beautiful. The prince, allegedly in love with Cinderella after their night together, couldn’t recognize her with a messy bun and peasant clothes. Ariel is told, flat out, men don’t want to hear a woman’s thoughts, they only appreciate her physical beauty and she proves that notion true. The princesses are objectified and sexualized. Their worth is in their beauty, not their merit.

      Like I said, I am not insinuating that watching Disney princess movies are going to result in every single girl becoming a vapid, mirror obsessed, gold digger. I just am, personally, uncomfortable with the morals and values they subliminally instill in girls. My daughter used to watch them in her preschool years. She is intelligent and does not disregard homework based on plans to meet and marry a prince. At minimum, it should open up a dialogue between child and parent.

      For the most part, I can agree to disagree. 😉


      1. My daughter’s favorite is Tangled. This movie is the one Disney film that I totally do not mind. I feel like it’s a breath of fresh air that indicates that Disney might be changing for the better (until another one comes out, we cannot be sure).

        Incidentally, in a bout of teenaged (18, so by our standards young adult) rebellion/cabin fever/sheer boredom gone badass she kicks the male lead’s butt for breaking and entering (as every girl should) and coerces him into being her tour guide (ok, that’s a little weird), magically discovers that she’s actually the victim of a kidnapping, and proceeds to resist her kidnapper (promising to never stop fighting) until help can arrive – and, incidentally, the help isn’t exactly fully competent but neither is she. Oh, and somewhere in this mess of closed head injuries and magic hair, he stops being a jerk to her and they turn out to like each other – it’s almost an afterthought and it’s made very obvious that Rapunzel is the dominant one here. Almost everyone in the cast can beat up Flynn so he’d better behave and not claim that things aren’t so happy in ever after (he gets to live in a castle though and that was his ultimate goal so he’s kind of a male gold-digger but at least he’s totally honest about it the whole time). The ultimate goal here for Rapunzel is to escape the tower temporarily/permanently and she really only needs the boy for directions because she wasn’t exactly supplied with a GPS and maps in the tower. I have no idea why she likes him – maybe she thinks it’s cute how she can kick his ass?

        Considering that this was a rewrite and reinterpret of a tale about an adoptive parent/kidnapper disowning a knocked up teen who was clearly taught “abstinence only”, I’d say that it took a decent turn. I’d still love to see the original story fully rendered but it won’t be G rated.

        It’s less offensive than The Little Mermaid because – although she’s “running away from home” (her “mother” lies to her and keeps her locked up…even running on the front lawn is exciting at this point) and wandering off with this strange guy she just met – she’s got financial leverage on him (she essentially stole his retirement fund), has no plans to seduce him (and is immune to his attempts), and she can apparently beat him up so (as naive as she is) she’s totally justified in thinking that this is a great idea.

        Tangled is very atypical though because it IS a rewrite and it didn’t fall to “missing mother” syndrome. She not only has a mother who hasn’t gotten a reply to the giant missing children picture in more than a decade but she has a kidnapper who pretends to be her mother – bonus!


      2. I think you both are very good at this. After reading both all I’d want to bring to the table is that belle did leave. Ok I got it out. The beast, when he is upset and distort that the flower is wilting and the petals are falling so he maybe a beast forever is not really the man behind the beast his is very afraid. When he demands that belle eat with him and only if she eats with him it’s cuz his feelings are so hurt. You see his sadness as soon as they agree with a fine each. And the night he freaks cuz she snooper in the west wing. What could we expect? Like why would she.. But she does leave, “promise or no promise I can’t stay here another minute!” right? They beast fells bad and so he should, when he see she is in danger he goes to her. When cleaning him up, when she thanks him for saving her life, I think that’s one of the best scenes. They are both honest and emotional and they establish boundaries and understanding. (something like that, effective communication) I’m not saying because the beast is upset it was ok for him to terrify her at all, but she shouldnt have been in the west wing, she obviously didn’t realize what she could have done.
        I love the songs and I always held Beauty and the Beast different than the other princess movies.
        How about Cogsworth when the beast wants to do something nice for belle and he offers “flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep?” for advice? Lol terrible. Another on is the candlestick trying to get on the maid, ” oh no!” “oh yes!” “but I’ve been burned by you before!” I’m sorry bloggers. Today’s my first day trying to write with you. 🙂



    I also loved Disney princesses when I was little…especially Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. You’re right, I didn’t understand what I was watching, it was just fun and magical; I then went about my life not thinking for one second that those were real movies. I knew they were cartoons, and nothing that I should emulate my life after. Whether that was my awesome mom’s influence or just my constant habit of ignoring obvious things, who knows. I remember just loving the music and songs, so maybe that was my early musician inclination, ha.

    But now that I’m a nanny to a tiny girl who loves everything princess and Barbie and the like, I understand completely why people dislike Disney. I make a point to tell her, this isn’t real, you can do anything you want, blah blah, etc etc. Routinely, every time we watch any princess movie, I tell her: “Olivia, look at me.” She looks over. “Olivia, never, ever wait for anyone to rescue you. Ever.”

    But really, it’s just sickening how these princesses are portrayed…especially Snow White, I hated that movie growing up and only watched it once, in 3rd grade. We recently watched it again, and I couldn’t believe how crazy that shit was. She just goes off with a stranger, without asking his name or where he lives or anything? Just because she thinks she loves him? Crazy. And Belle goes on for the whole movie about how she wants something different, but then ends up married in a castle down the road. Come on. However…Tangled was amazing. A strong female protagonist, not just falling head over heals for the first man who climbs her tower.

    Ok. Rant done. Love your blog!! 🙂


  25. Awesome!

    And a bit more on Ariel:
    Little Mermaid Synopsis- The story of a girl who leaves home and family, sacrificing her very identity and everything else to be with a man who sacrifices nothing.


  26. Great post, as usual 🙂

    My dad wouldn’t let me watch Disney movies at all, so I only got to see a few at my friends’ place in birthdays and stuff. But I never liked them, probably because growing up with only boys around me I learned quite early that a girl needs to be twice as smart, strong, and quick to get heard. And we don’t learn that from Disney, now do we?

    I never thought much of the absent mothers until you brought it up. I lost my own mother as a child, and all I had was my brothers, my dad and a whole series of different types of stepmothers, I guess you don’t notice what you’re used to. The absence of mothers never bothered me, and I thought it was that way for every one else too. Now I actually see that the mothers are not there because the Disney women are too weak to be mothers. What kind of message is that to send to a young girl?

    As a kid I was huge fan of the Albert Åberg series (a Swedish children’s book series about a boy, his father and his secret friend – I think his name is Alfie Atkins in an English translation ), where the mother was completely absent. I don’t think she’s mentioned a single time. It’s a complete different perspective, because these books are written in a “Scandinavian-equal-society-Utopia” tradition where men should preferably be the ones to raise the children so the mothers can work. In the Albert books, it’s like Albert’s father just has a kid, no one questioning how that kid came about. At least not the kids…

    I think Disney’s focus on the evil stepmothers come from a tradition focusing on mothers-and-daughters and fathers-and-sons, as it’s portrayed in popular culture – possibly stemming from Disney himself (it’s a circle). If a mother would be, God forbid!, jealous at her daughter’s beauty or wit she can’t be the girl’s real mother, she has to be evil, and she has to be someone from the outside.

    I think what I’m trying to say, is that I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing for girls to grow up in a male dominated (domination bu number, that is) environment, and that dads play a crucial role in making their daughters understand that they’re not inferior to their brothers or other boys. Fathers should take more responsibility in raising their sons to not treat girls the way that would make them fall into a pattern like the Disney princesses.

    If that makes any sense…

    I just wanted to tell you how much I like your posts!



  27. Know which Disney I hated the most as a child? Peter Pan, because Wendy got a really raw deal. After being invited to this wonderful little place called Never-Never Land, the first welcome she receives is when the mermaids humiliate her by trying to yank her into the water, and splashing her in her sheer nightgown. Pan just blows it off, because he’s too busy basking in all the disgusting fawning over him by the mermaids. And then the stupid fairy goes around yanking Wendy’s hair and trying to kill her. Finally, for all her trouble of coming to Never-Never Land, she finds out she’s drafted – to be the “mother” of a gazillion orphaned boys. And she’s like what, 7 years old? 10 maybe? All while Mr. I’m-Never-Going-to-Grow-Up gallivants around, free of responsibility. Metaphor for something, ya think? Even as a very young girl, I thought this really sucked.


  28. haha agree, I thought why always a girl and a boy love story for kids as target audience.

    You know what I actually saw Rapunzel and other fairytale cartoons last week. Rapunzels mom is so silly, her husband gets her requested food (she said she will DIE if he doesnt bring it) and she eats it like crazy wanting more everyday without knowing where its coming from until one day the witch next door claims their new born….
    Rapunzel and the prince start singing love songs in her room first time they met each other.

    Only if life was as silly as fairy tales.. But I still am waiting for the new Julia Roberts Snowwhite…

    Do stop by at my place


  29. Yes I have to admit I am a HUGE Disney fan! So in defense of Disney, all of these stories are taken from stories that were written over a hundred years ago, when women had zero rights…
    Yes, Disney sugar coated these stories because the original stories were somewhat disturbing and had a little gore to them. For instance, in the original Cinderella, the father was alive and allowed the stepmother to treat her like crap. Also when the prince came around with the shoe, the stepmother cut off one of the stepsister’s toes to make the shoe fit and the other stepsister’s heel! And at the end of the story birds came and pecked out the stepsisters eyes. The moral is you were always blind to Cinderella and her beauty and treated her awful so now you will truly be blind…
    In the original Pinocchio, Pinocchio steps on Jimminy Cricket after being sick of listening to him!!

    I do agree that princess stories can provide unreal life lessons, but that is what the parents are for…


    1. In addition to everything you said, Cinderella/Donkeyskin was originally written to be about a father who was lustful and sexually attracted to his daughter. She escaped from the abuse and survived for several years on her own in this little shack until yes, she did get married. But at the time these stories were written, living alone meant living in extreme poverty. And the man wasn’t suggested to have saved her, but rather they actually fell in love.


  30. Kay, I get what you’re saying, and I’ve heard it about a million times before. You hate Disney and their princesses. I can respect your opinion, but I feel the need to share mine too. I watched Disney movies ALL THE TIME when I was young, and I turned out fine. I never thought marriage and beauty were more important than intelligence. All Disney princess movies teach little girls (and boys) is to dream and never lose hope that you’ll have a happy ending. And your “happy ending” is completely your own, and can be different from the ones shown in the movie. Also, I personally love how Ariel and Belle aren’t perfect role models. No one can be. Just look at Disney Channel stars. I’d rather have my daughter learn that she’s beautiful, and that she’ll find a happy ending, then learn from Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus. The Disney princesses teach people that their dreams can come true and that they will find someone that loves them for who they are not just what they look like. (Ariel found love, even though she was a little clumsy, and not to mention mute). And Mulan, Pocahontaus, and Tiana were all very hard-working, and feminist role models for girls. So there. I’m gonna get off my soapbox now.


  31. I love all your blogs so far. And I agree with pretty much everything you write. I sometimes wish I could type as fast as I think and also not use so many words, cuz I’d be blogging right beside you!! I’m glad that you are the way you are, honest with some reality mixed in. I loved the article where you talked about boys bullying girls and the grown-ups saying “aww he has a crush on you, he likes you” awesome. Very awesome. This Disney Princesses blog is spot on too.
    One thing I really dislike is when people say to the little people “aww is this you boy/girlfriend? ” I can’t stand it, what are they implying? What’s the kids take from that? What’s the difference between friends and girlfriend/boyfriend friends? Kissing and laying down together pretty much. Grrr! Can’t they just be best friends if anything more than friends? I think when you say boyfriend or girlfriend it has a sexual undertone. In your Disney Princess blog here you say how some people will say it’s just a kids show and the kids won’t pick up on it….. Well maybe some won’t, but picking up on that or subliminal images is exactly what works on children. Little genius’ that they are. I remember a time when my friend turned up the tv to talk with me about something that shouldn’t be discussed in front of children, I said we shouldn’t talk about that now she’s like they’re not listening, I said of course they are especially if they think it’s something we are trying to keep from them. She said well they shouldn’t be. I know I ramble and I appreciate if you’ve read this far. Just want you to know I enjoy your writings and think your very clever and I like the way you think. Congratulations on your dime mounted upgraded ring. (I may have that wrong it was a while ago but I thought it was pretty clever) i hope you find a way for your thoughts to reach the masses, they could all use some common sense. Also I know your children are to young to be facebooking and interneting but if you have nieces and nephews between 8 and 20yrs old I’d like to hear your thoughts about it. I totally think that there should be some sort of class in school where these kids learn Internet etiquette.. I can remember how I learnt to write a formal polite letter. Anyways thank you very much keep’m coming!
    Something you may appreciate; when my sister and I were younger, we wanted to join modeling classes so my mom sent us to charm school instead.


    1. Thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoy it all.

      As far as FB, my daughter is about to be 11 and she has been asking for quite some time to be allowed to set up a FB account. My answer is a big, fat NO. To me, it is just a level of access that I don’t feel she is responsible or mature enough for. Even if I had the passwords and checked it frequently, I can’t monitor it 24/7 and children her age use FB inappropriately a lot of times. I have seen and heard of too much bullying that happens, etc. I would rather her play outside or inside with friends and siblings than to get caught up with social networking. She has plenty of time for that later. Right now, she just needs to be a child.


  32. Wow, really ?? First thing you should understand and teach to anybody watching this movies is THEY ARE FANTASY!!! If you can not clarify this to your children telling them that life is not fantasy then no wonder you have a problem, letting them learn their values from fantasy movies. Should we then ban all movies that show a stereotype??kids are not stupid, if you talk to them they understand that peter pan and the other kids can fly in the movie because is Fantasy and all the princess are the way they are and you might like them a lot but that doesn’t mean you should be like them, in real life you and everybody else have a choice !! Parents are kids’ first source of knowledge and values!! Talk to your children! Not just start a loud “i hate this or i hate that, and i must convince everybody of the same…” be a good source of knowledge and example for your children!!


  33. OK, i’m going to be the bad one here.. but i like the disney princess’. There i said it. I’ll wait while you guys get the tar & feathers…..

    But really, i don’t think they’re bad.

    One of my favourite Disney fairytales is The Little Mermaid.

    I have had people ask how, how can you like a movie about a girl who gives up everything for a prince. Who leaves home, her friends, her world for him.Who practically sells her soul for him.

    Easily, i don’t see that in the story. What i get from the story is that Ariel wanted, more then anything, to be human. She had that dream before she saw Eric. Against all odds she went after that dream. Yes, she also got the added bonus of Eric, but the big story is she followed her dream, even when everyone else told her she couldn’t do it.

    Tangled was much the same way. Rapunzel went out into the world to live the dream of seeing the lanterns. She was scared of the world and overcame those fears to grab her dream.

    Cinderella was locked in a room, but she went to that castle not just to get her prince, but to dance at the ball.

    And let’s not forget Tianna- she got her restaurant.

    For me, fairy tales teach our children that dreams are attainable, you just have to go after them.


  34. I think it is incredibly valid to note that Disney did NOT perpetuate the lack of a mother figure. If you study fairy tales, across all nationalities, there are rarely any mother figures. Disney is simply replicating this absence in their retelling of the story. Instead of attacking why mother’s are absence, maybe you should try looking at what the presence of a sole father says about men. Especially in relation to how their daughters are seldom well cared for.


  35. I totally get it. When my girls found out that their grandmother is actually my stepmother they completely freaked thinking she was an evil witch/demon/hag trying to steal their soul.
    Anywho, I think Disney has got the point and are changing their Princess “designs”. Tangled/Rapunzel was a bit better with Rapunzel being the one to save the day and Brave didn’t even have a love interest (in fact Merida denounced the fact that she had to chose a husband at all) and her Mother was a strong, positive influence.
    I don’t like the whole Disney Princess franchise but 2 out of 3 of my girls love it (the 3rd loves star wars, hates Princesses and wants to be a fireman when she grows up…).


    1. My son is DYING to see “Brave”. So far, all the reviews I’ve heard have been very positive so, even it is my son that wants to see it so badly, I don’t feel any qualms about my daughter (or my son) seeing this one. If I hate it, I’ll blog about all the wrong. 😉


  36. I respectfully disagree with your beauty and beast analogy if you saw orginal you’d know she is as stubborn as beast maybe more so. She doesn’t come around till after beast is nice. Snow white is 12 so that ending was utterly ridclous. I never made it past fairly God mother scene in Cinderella so can’t say anything on that. Airel is a 16 yr old aspergers fan girl who still got married anyway overall yes franchise sucks


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  38. I love this post. I have been saying since I was in middle school that I dislike the Disney Princesses for these very same reasons. I have a 1 year old and have the intention of teaching her that she is not required to be quiet, obediant, and a servant to men. She is strong, smart, kind, and independent. I am thinking of keeping Disney Princess out of her life and instead introduce her to Nancy Drew and Hermione Granger. Girls with brains and strength.


  39. Okay, so this is my first post here and I just wanted to say that I love this blog!

    On the Disney Princess topic, I have to say that I agree with you. I myself never liked the princesses, specially the way Disney showed them. I never thought they were cool, I never played to be one of them, I never bought any of their stuff.

    Now, I’m 20 years old so I mostly grew up with the old “Disney classics”. But I also grew up watching (but mostly reading) A LOT of different stories. I am part of the Harry Potter Generation. I’m a hardcore Potterhead. I grew up reading about Hermione Granger and Minerva McGonagall, not Cinderella and Snow White. I have also been a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia since I was a kid, so I grew up reading about Susan and Lucy. I don’t want to get off topic but my point was, if I ever have children, I want them to grow up like I did. Knowing, believing, that girls DON’T need to be extremely girly to be girls (they can be if they want to, but it’s not an obligation, it’s their CHOICE), and that they don’t need a man in their life to be worthy. And that their worth is not directly related to their beauty and not even their intelligence, but their good heart. A few days ago I was talking to my friend Sabrina (she’s the same age as me) and we agreed on ONE thing. We are PROUD of being part of the Potter Generation. We are PROUD of having grown up with role models as Hermione, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena, Storm from the X-Men, etc. Because they taught us growing up that we could be kick-ass, TOTALLY bad-ass but still kind, loving, caring, beautiful and that we didn’t need a fucking prince to give our life meaning.

    I ended up getting off topic anyway, sorry, lol. About the Disney Princesses, as I was saying, I never liked them. Maybe it’s because I grew up with two brothers, or maybe because my mom raised me to be a Mini-Adult, I don’t know, but I never liked them. I never wanted to be a Princess and grow up to marry a Prince.

    One time, somebody (she was a bitch, really) told me that it was weird that I didn’t like the Princesses. In her words, I’m a lesbian, so I should LOVE the Princesses because I like girls. (Those were her words, not mine) Other girl, said that I didn’t like the PRincesses BECAUSE I’m a lesbian and a feminist. Of course I laughed in their faces. The fact that I AM a lesbian has NOTHING to do with what I like or don’t. I never liked the Princesses because since I was a little girl, I was taught to question everything and to have a complex thought process. And I was always the ONE kid wondering:: Why do all the Princesses need the Prince to save them?? Why can’t they move their sorry asses and save themselves? Why do they wait ’till some stupid Prince saves them?? I never understood that. And maybe it’s all related. I don’t know and honestly? I don’t care. I’m happy the way I am.

    There is only ONE Disney character that I have always liked, and that’s Mulan. There are several things I don’t like about the story, but I always liked the fact that Mulan was TOTALLY kick-ass, that she fought with teeth and nails for her honor, her right to chose, her freedom, her family, her nation, and that she gained the respect from EVERYONE because of it. And sure, she gained a stupid Prince too. But I think that among all the Prince in Disney, he was the most acceptable one. He wasn’t a COMPLETE asshole, not completely at least. There are A LOT of thats that are just wrong about Mulan, but I always focused on those characteristics I just mentioned.

    When I was about 13 I came across a copy of the original Beauty and the Beast story. And yes, it fact the Beast wasn’t abusive like in the Disney movie. And you know what, that is the ONLY fairy tell I LOVE ’till this day. Because the whole point in the story (although it’s not perfect) is that only what’s inside matters. True love doesn’t care about looks. The heart matters, the goodness, the kindness matters.

    But I would also like to mention the two most AWESOME “Princesses” EVER. Merida, from Brave, and Fiona, from Shrek. They were the most AWESOME, INSPIRING, TRIDIMENTIONAL characters EVER. They were Princesses but they were smart, they could kick-ass and still wear dresses. When I first watched Shrek and then Brave, I honestly told my friends:: I wish we had that when we were growing up instead of having disney princesses shoved down our throats every fucking day.

    Anyway, I just wanted to leave a comment. I love your rants and hope you keep posting them ’cause they are truly AWESOME!


    1. Thanks you so much! I just recently watched “Brave” and Merida was definitely a huge, positive leap forward for the Disney foks. Ironically, I’ve seen people/writers assuming or, at least questioning if, Merida was a lesbian because, OBVIOUSLY, a girl (even a cartoon girl) that doesn’t want a man MUST be gay because women are incapable of being strong on their own. *facepalm* I also love Hermione as a role model, probably more than any other female character I can think of off the top of my head—no, I also like Katniss. Those are both characters that I would like my daughter to read about and emulate. For that matter, these are the books I want my sons to read and the way I want them to view women as well: strong, intelligent and fully capable of independence.

      I’ll keep writing and you keep reading!


  40. I’ve been reading your blog lately and I love it, however, I wanted to say something about Belle (Beauty and the Beast) here. Belle did leave, then was attacked by wolves, which she tried to fend off by herself before the beast came to save her. She then put him on her horse (how, I don’t know) and brought him back to the castle to tend to his wounds. Even if you don’t want a romantic relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean you would leave them to die after they saved your life. By this point, she liked him as a friend at least and wanted to help him. Anyway, while I dislike just about every other Disney princess, I love Belle and think this story is much deeper than most (if not all) of other movies Disney has made.


  41. I am a bit late to this party, but I just discovered this blog and you have tapped a subject here that twitches my eyeball all the time. I merely wish to offer my favorite D.Princess antidotes for youngish readers (my daughter read these around the time she was recognizing that boys exist, 11ish).
    And by the same author but aimedat grown ups ( though I see no reason an intelligent teen could not read this)


  42. Way late to the bar on this one…but only by like…a year-ish.

    I remember as a child trying to explain to my primary teacher that Snow White was NOT ok, and I don’t like it. She seemed mystified that a 5 year old girl didn’t like a Disney princess, and asked me why. I told her that her mother wanting to eat bits of her was scary, the prince kissing a dead (or so he thought) girl in the woods was scary, and the dwarfs were just creepy.

    Also, you rock. Your sarcasm speaks to my heart.


    1. If you read the comments, you’ll see there are people that think an adult woman criticizing the princess message is mad. I can imagine that a child demonstrating any such free thought, dissenting from the masses, would be dismissed as comical or overly precocious, at minimum.


  43. Now this is late to the party!
    One of the biggest myths that movies like B&B perpetuate is the one about sure, your new guy beats the shit out of you but give him time you can soften him. This is always, sometimes tragically WRONG!
    A person who is controlling abusive and violent when you first meet him/her will be the same any time you meet them down the road. YOU CANNOT CURE THEM. Nix. Never. They will say they are sorry and they’ll never do it again (princess).
    But girl, pack your bags! (or his, if you prefer.)

    What an awesome blog! I like so many of your posts, so this is the only one I have time to comment. I’m looking forward to following you!


    1. You wouldn’t believe the flack I get over my disdain for the Disney Princess genre. Well, then again, you’ve probably experienced it too if you’ve shared your opinion on the issue like me.
      Beauty and the Beast is probably the one I hate more than all the others. It frustrates me to no end that so many people are deluded into thinking that their young daughters can separate the fantasy from the reality or are incapable of picking up the message that we have–or that we’ve just invented because we are miserable people that want to taint or outright destroy childhood innocence.

      Keep reading and keep commenting!


  44. So, I agree and disagree with you here. While I dislike the Disney Princess Franchise (perfect women standing and staring in a pink background), I like them as characters. No, hear me. They have valuable lessons to teach children (and adults). I’ll try to present my arguments the better way possible. Not trying to “convert” you or anything, but I always want to express my opinion when I read things like this.

    Snow White – Honestly, the basics of the story is not even Disney. It’s from a German fairytale. Disney bettered it because in the fairytale Snow White is also vain. So, the fairytale presented us “stereotypical women”. I don’t like it.

    Yes, the story is centered around her beauty, but it also shows us how to behave in bad situations: Snow White remained cheerful and positive in a bad situation (finding her stepmother wants to kill her), instead of panicking. She searched for a place to stay (well, she asked her animal friends if they knew one), which is the most sensible thing to do in that situation. She cleaned cottage because that way maybe the owners would let her stay (she even say so).

    Snow White dreams of love, true, but I don’t see what is so wrong with it. And she is not dreaming of being found by a prince. True, her theme song is called “Someday my Prince Will Come”, but that is because she met her prince in the beginning of the story. Yes, they fell in love at first sight, but you’ll have to excuse it here – it’s a fairytale. I know this is probably the worst argument ever, but fairytales aren’t supposed to be real. They’re supposed to make us dream and fly from our problematic everyday life (Disney fairytale movies at least – fairytales were used to scare children back in the Middle Ages). And I don’t see what is so wrong with the True Love’s Kiss. It shows us the power of love – any form of love, be it love between two adults or a mother and her child.

    Cinderella – “Cinderella does nothing but clean and dream of being rescued by a man so she can get married.” Really? You’re saying this like she likes being abused by her stepfamily. She had no choice, nowhere to run too. If you’re a feminist, you know there were none women rights back there. She would have to go to the streets and you know what happens then – Les Misérables show us. And she never dreams of ” being rescued by a man so she can get married”. She just wants to be free of that slavery and be loved, because that is what lacks in her life. And she stands up for herself: when a ball is announced and she wants to go, she points out to her stepmother that she is obliged by law to attend.

    And the Prince never goes in search of Cinderella. His father (who wants him to get married and have grandchildren, so I won’t said he is the nicest character ever) is who arrange the search with the Duke. I’m sure the Prince would recoginize her, but the King is just trying to get him married to the first woman the slipper fits.

    Ariel – She didn’t suddenly want to become a human because of Eric. She always wanted so, it was her life dream. I can’t say much else in defence of her. Just that she is impulsive. Yes, Ariel is a problematic princess. But I like her, because she is endearing and pursue her dreams. She’s a typical teenager, unfortunately.

    Belle – Now, you started well, but then… we disagree. There is no Stockholm Syndrome in there. When the Beast treats her badly, she returns in kind. She doesn’t subject to his orders. She escaped and was attacked by wolves. The Beast saved her and was hurt and so she acted compassionately and brought him back to the castle. When he starts to behave well, she opens up to him. And when she sees her father sick, she goes to him.

    Oh, and the Beast was never abusive toward Belle. Just a spoiled brat giving temper tantrums and shouting. Abuse is very different.

    So, I’m sorry for the long rant, this is probably bigger than your article, but I needed to write this.


  45. Hello! I found this article by accident and it is really interesting, because it focuses in a lot of criticism that is generally aimed at the princesses. And I can definitely see where you are coming from. The franchise created by Disney leaves girls with the idea that beauty, sparkles and fancy dress are all that matters, in my opinion. However, I appreciate the characters themselves, the franchise apart, since many of them were created before they established it (I believe it was created in the early 2000’s). Snow White has a positive outlook in life and use skills she had mastered (from being a virtual slave in her home) to earn her keep in the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage. Cinderella remained kind and was strong through years of abuse and bullying, and Ariel escapes an oppressive environment imposed by her prejudiced father.

    I didn’t grow up with Disney and what brought me to watch these movies as an adult was opinions like yours. The curiosity got the best of me and I decided to investigate to see if the complaints were true. I watched Cinderella and was surprised to see how much of a good role model and a realistic character (she is bitter and sarcastic) she is. The only princess I don’t like is Belle: she is not a “snowflake”, you know. She is a snob who looks down at illiterate peasants, diminishing them as “little people”. She does nothing to fullfil her dream of “adventure in the great wide somewhere” and her relationship with the Beast is that old cliché of “a bad boy who changes for a superior woman who he is madly in love with”. But she has her good points too, I have to grudgingly admit. All in all, the Disney Princess are good role models, despite the sexist merchandising of Disney. If someone asked me for advice regarding this matter it would be: let the children watch the movies if they want, but don’t buy them any Disney merchandising.

    It surprises me that Cinderella, who was strong through years of abuse, is considered a far worse role model than Merida, who tried to rob her mother of her free-will using magic instead of trying to reason with her first. Also, why didn’t you talk about Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and the princesses who came after Belle, like Jasmine?


  46. I stumbled across this a little late to the game but loved this post and feel compelled to comment.

    I LOVED Disney movies growing up (I mean I still watch them- nostalgia) and immersed myself in the Disney culture. I had all sorts of Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast merchandise, sang the songs, and believed so hard in fairy tales. I grew up fine but as an adult I can see where that culture had some negative effects on me, especially in regards to dating. I remember getting into my mid 20’s and being super picky- wanting a perfect romantic Disney type meet cute (and not finding it). Finally I realized, “this is ridiculous, where am I getting this…oh.” When I was jobless with grad school debt I kind of half seriously remembering wishing to meet someone because I felt like marriage would solve my problems (I would have a partner and have support). I remember watching Cinderella around this time and coming to a similar conclusion that you did: “hmm, I am kind of basically sitting around, cleaning and cooking, waiting for a dude to save me and I think this is ok. This is terrible.” I am not saying that Disney movies completely incapacitated me but I could definitely see their influence on my thinking about love and romance. I mean I just remember learning how to cook back in my early 20s and honestly thinking that I was preparing to cook for my future husband- like being able to cook and clean were the best qualities I could hone (snow white style). I am sure there were other factors besides Disney movies but, as an adult, I can definitely recognize some of these negative messages. And I am glad I did!

    I don’t know if I will stop any of my (future) children from watching Disney movies but I think I will try to also fill their heads with better role models.

    And the original Little Mermaid fairytale- so much better! She still regrettably has to give up her voice, her ability to speak, to meet the prince but then she doesn’t get him in the end. Boom. She sacrifices her life for his and ends up basically going to heaven which is a nicer message- you can still attain fulfillment without a dude.


  47. You are not alone in hating the Disney Princess franchise! I find it harmful and insidious as well. (I have a three-year old daughter.) As someone else has already posted, it would be one thing if just the movies existed. I watched Cinderella many times as a child (in the 1980’s, before this franchise really took off) and hardly gave the Cinderella character a thought. I definitely did not identify with her. I loved the talking mice and the fairy godmother and the pumkin-turned-carriage. I was able to focus on those elements of the movie (because, let’s face it, Cinderella as a person is a total bore) because I wasn’t bombarded with sexualized, creepy images of all of the Disney princesses EVERWHERE I turned. Had I been subjected to their sexualized images constantly, as little girls are now, I’m sure I would have internalized the message, per Disney’s wishes, “You SHOULD LOOK LIKE these sexy princesses! Buy all of our crap and you WILL!” It’s just sick. And I cannot be talked out of thinking that those HUGE open mouths the princesses all have in those group (harem) images, are for fallatio. On SOME level, someone involved in making those images must have at least subconsciously had fallatio on his mind. WHY are their mouths opened so wide? It makes no sense, except to be porn-like. I know people will think that last point is a stretch, but I really don’t understand why their mouths look so contorted and wide open otherwise. Anyway, I agree and we are not alone!


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