In Defense of the Disney Princesses

I’ve seen plenty of anti-Disney princess jabs in the history of my addiction to facebook, but for whatever reason they’ve exploded in my feed the last couple days.  So it’s time I stood up for those damsels not really in distress, I’m officially taking this opportunity to stand up for the Disney princesses.


A little backstory: I’m a mom, a feminist, and I love many of the Disney princesses and have no problem with my impressionable little daughter watching their movies on a regular basis.

Belle spends all her time reading in a culture that barely educated women at all, much less lower middle class ones.  She aspires to go into engineering (inventing) despite it being a male dominated profession, and has no problem turning down the hottest guy in town because he treats people like trash.

Ariel does everything humanly possible to become the person she wants to be, defying everything from the social conventions she was raised with to the naysayers who don’t believe there’s any way she can make her dreams a reality, but she does.  And furthermore, she enjoys every moment of the adventure… just watch the scene where she’s running around the market place with Prince Eric and tell me that’s not the truth.

Jasmine stands up for her rights in a world that’s incredible oppressive to women and refuses to enter into a romantic relationship with anyone who she isn’t genuinely attracted to, no matter what the advantages may be.  And don’t forget she saves Aladdin or more than one occasion… she’s not just sitting around waiting to be rescued.

Tiana is a boss at finance and accounting.  She’s a rockstar at writing out and organizing business plans, going after her financial goals, and budgets like it’s her job.

Pocahontas (although wildly historically inaccurate) engages in the first inter-racial romantic relationship on this continent, showing that love isn’t dependent on race no matter what certain members of your extended family may think.  (Something that may very well be specifically relevant to Verona at some point in her future.)

And Merida… do I even need to explain that one?  Seamlessly blending her love of archery, exploring, and can do attitude with authentic and unapologetic displays of emotion.  For the win!

Not to mention half of them actively act out against arranged marriages to men who would expect them to live passively as decorative ornaments in their lives.  Are there faults with all of them?  Sure, what movie can’t you find fault with if you look for it.  Could most of them have more realistic bodies?  Absolutely, but they’re radically disproportional cartoons.  And a few of the old ones (Cinderella, Arora, Snow White) I really don’t have a defense for.  But this broad brush used to hate on all Disney princesses is bullshit.

There, I said it.


3 thoughts on “In Defense of the Disney Princesses

  1. […] In Defence of the Disney Princesses. So I actually haven’t decided what I think about Disney princesses. Figuring out if they’re good role models or reinforcers of sexist tropes and the patriarchy isn’t very high on my to do list. (Well, other than the fact that “Beauty and the Beast” is an incredibly creepy story if you think about it for too long). My friend Jenna makes some excellent points, though. […]

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