Why Disney Female Villains Are Iconic Feminists

Why Disney Female Villains Are Iconic Feminists

It's good to be bad.

The mermaid marries her prince, the maid goes to the ball, and the sleeping princess gets her kingdom. The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty are iconic Disney princesses who are well known and loved. Disney princesses are looked up to and admired by many girls around the globe who want to have a similar happily ever after ending to their life stories. In those same stories, villains who are central to the story try to destroy the princesses’ chances of obtaining happiness. Many of the infamous villains of Disney are women, such as, Ursula the sea witch, who takes Ariel’s voice, and Cinderella’s evil stepmother who makes Cinderella do harsh and strenuous chores while stripping her of her freedom, and Maleficent, the evil fairy queen that puts a curse on Aurora to put her in a deep sleep. However, the princesses that are widely known around the world even to this day do not have a strong connection with the modern world. I, for one never really cared for being a princess and my eyes were always on the villains. In today’s modern times, women no longer sit and cater to the men or wait to be rescued; women of today take charge and have control of their lives. For this reason, the independent, outspoken, and goal-driven female villains of Disney fairy tales are easier to identify with than the traditional princesses.

In today’s society, the villains of the story resemble more of women now than the princesses. Women of today no longer just tend to the family and husbands, but are independent, outspoken, driven, and hardworking. The evil queens/villains have so much more of these attributes than the princesses. Ursula, Maleficent, and the Evil Stepmother embody strength, outspokenness, independence, and other attributes found in women of today. Ursula portrays a bold business woman, not being afraid to show off her curves and use them, which defies the typical standards of beauty by also being a full figured woman. In today’s media, women with a full figured body are now being praised more than the woman back in the past of being thin; for example, celebrities and artists like Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian.

Maleficent, the evil fairy that cursed Aurora, is independent since she is the queen of all fairies. Some other modern characteristics that are seen frequently today would be for a woman to always speak up, work hard, and to not just sit and wait for good things to happen magically by having a Godmother solving all our problems but, to take charge of the situation and change it yourself. All of the villains are outspoken and speak their minds at all times. They are driven to reach a goal to try to achieve what they want. Although the villains of the story do some harsh to the princesses, as in trying to kill her or take over her kingdom, they are more realistic than a Disney princess. Even if it has to get their hands dirty and maybe threaten to kill one or two people (lol), they do not sit and wish for things to happen. Unlike the princesses that have a “damsel in distress” complex, which is when someone else interferes and helps them at the most convenient times, is frequently seen in mostly all the princesses stories. It communicated to young girls that in order to get what you want a man or an outside source will be there to help and does not stress the fact of being independent. In all the stories the princess depends on a man or magical intervention to rescue them and before that happens the princess will mope around and feel hopeless for themselves. It sends the wrong message as well as setting the standard of what beauty is as the cookie cutter figure and behavior. The Cheetah Girls said it best; I rather rescue myself.

Women have come a long way from the past of being treated unfairly and not as equal as a men. Women have come up the ladder of respect and power and are no longer stuck as being a housewife that are expected to do “womanly” duties. In this day and time, women no longer have to be the damsel in distress but, take charge of their own lives. Today, women are in offices, stand as bread winners, and are independent and powerful women. According to Pew Research Center , Today a majority of American women are in the labor force. In 1965, 39% of women ages 16 and older were in the labor force. That share rose steadily and peaked at 60% in 1999. As of November 2014, 57 percent of women were in the labor force, only 12 percentage points lower than the share for men (69 percent). Women account for about half of the U.S. labor force (47 percent in November 2014).

Disney’s most iconic princesses mostly represents the past ways of what was expected of a woman to look and act. Now the villains are more of a representative of more of the today’s woman. From the gender roles that were established in the times of the 1950’s and older, women have evolved into a more well-rounded and independent people. The time of princesses receiving all of the praise and glory are beginning to fade, it is now time for the villains to shine. Who wants to be a damsel in distress? Sometimes its good to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: https://racegenderempiredisney.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/female-villains-disney-princess-20659812-500-693.jpg

Popular Right Now

What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Forget Halloween Costumes And Trick Or Treating, Inktober Has My Full Attention This Year

Inktober dares artists to push some time for themselves to draw at least one drawing each day in their October schedules.


Besides waiting for October to celebrate Halloween, artists look forward to something else in October, which is Inktober.

Inktober means artists can draw things each day according to the month of October, under the requirement that they must be drawn in ink. Often times, many people will think it is a waste of time to draw during the month of October, but it's not for artists. Other than putting up costumes and preparing Halloween decorations, artists can try out ink for the first time if they have not done so already during this time of the year when drawing. Also, for ink, artists do not have to use expensive or any fancy ink at all, it can just be simply drawing with pens that have ink. And of course, artists need to draw on a paper to do Inktober as well.

In addition, this does not only challenge artists in drawing in ink but also their consistency and time management. Inktober is more fun if you actually do create one ink drawing each day in October. However, many people who are so busy with their lives, have the tendency of not able to have time to draw. Therefore, Inktober dares artists to push some time for themselves to draw at least one drawing each day in their October schedules.

Besides challenging artists for time management and consistency, it is also a time for artists to see and view other artists' Inktober drawings. This is also the best part. Artists will then can see many unique and beautiful Inktober drawings posted on social media such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. Then, all the inspiration will be overflowing within the artists during the month of October. This is the perfect time to do Inktober because this October is a big hype for many Halloween festivities and film anniversaries. Artists will then be in touch with their creativity and imagination this October.

Furthermore, this year is the first time that I have tried Inktober, which is great to do in an hour or so. Although I was cluttered with lots of work and homework, I decided to take a little time off from them and give myself some time to draw a little to celebrate October. It is a perfect way to cope with stress. As I was drawing for Inktober, I already forgot what I was stressing about. Then, I was amazed by what I could draw with ink. After, when I am done with an Inktober, I will have the confidence to finish up my homework. Other than that, you will also be amazed by how your Inktober drawing turns out at the end and the reaction you will get after seeing the finished product of your Inktober drawing.

It's another fun activity that I insist artists should do this October because it's another way for artists to express themselves through drawing. I also encourage artists to hurry to do some of the Inktober because it only lasts only in October, which means one month. Overall, I am excited to see what kind of Inktober drawings there'll be for this year!

Related Content

Facebook Comments