Monday, July 15, 2013

What we have really learned from the Disney Princesses....


Like most little girls growing up I watched the Disney movies with the same passion that I now read and write books.  I adored the beauty in the stories and  the pretty princesses that had found their Prince Charmings.  But what I found as being incredibly beautiful and enchanting as a child has morphed into something sort of twisted as an adult.

I recently watched Cinderella again (I actually own all the movies on DVD, yeah I am THAT girl), and I took something away from it that I hadn't in the past.  Cinderella was not as glamorous and beautiful as I thought she was.  Aside from the fact that she was used as free help around the house, and the fact that she was miserable and horribly abused, she wasn't a saint.  Sure Disney puts a spin on it and she seems like the victim, but she is rather cruel to her stepsisters as well.  She was kind of a snob and truth be told had I met her on the street, I wouldn't have been her friend.

Which got me thinking a few things.  One, is it possible that the bad things that happen to the princesses is brought on, in some way, by themselves?  And what is the real lesson that the stories are trying to tell us?  We all know that Disney celebrated beauty.  If you were beautiful you were the "good one", but if you had a flaw you were either the joke or the "evil one".  Only the beautiful ones go their happily ever afters.  The ugly ones died horrible and awful deaths.  And not even by the princesses themselves, they died at the hands of the prince who felt the need to protect the beauty from the ugly.

Looks of course play a huge part in the real world and often times we find that we tend to be gravitated to those who are beautiful.  But how many of those beautiful people are actually good people?  I bet if you got to know a lot of them you would see that beauty hides a multitude of sins.  Normal people try to be good people because they don't have something to hide behind.  Your actions speak for you.  Whereas if you are beautiful a lot of times (not always I am aware) you get away with a lot more bad behavior.  

Look at any major celebrity and you will see it.  How many times have we seen a beautiful person turn out to be a horrible human being?  I love love love Reese Witherspoon, but recently she lost it on a cop because she was intoxicated and was upset that he stopped her husband who was also clearly intoxicated.  She kept screaming at him "Do you know who I am?".  And she is actually one of the good ones.  Imagine how much worse it gets.  These are our real life Disney characters.

If you look at the princesses above, I bet you can pull out 4 to 5 of them that did something during their film that would have been cringe worthy if they had been deemed anything other than perfect.  So maybe the lesson isn't about being beautiful to snag the right "Prince", maybe it is about being beautiful so you have an excuse to be ugly inside.  I love Disney movies, they will always hold a special place in my heart, but now I see the lessons they taught me as a child were not the healthiest ones.  

Looking back it is all very twisted...

~B~



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