In many of my pieces of writing, I have talked about my time spent during my college program at Disney World. It was an amazing experience that I am so happy to have experienced in my life. Being a Disney fanatic it all started when I was three and I watched numerous movies. Although there was a wide variety, many of the movies contained the main plot of princesses.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Am I going to talk about how Princesses are anti-feminist and we shouldn’t refer them as just princesses, and it’s degrading to women?
What I am going to talk about is my ranking. I got to meet all of the characters’ multiple times and have conversations with them while they were in character. I can say that I actually got to know them!
So my rankings are actually based off of my conversations and time spent with them. The influence they’ve had on me since I was five years old and again in person at 20 years old. Here we go:
With her beautiful long hair who wouldn’t want her luscious locks?! But she’s so much more than that. She is one who can get down with nature and understands how to appreciate it. She understands that change is not always a good thing and keeping up with tradition is something we must all remember to do. Like many of the ladies I will talk about, she is someone who is stubborn and is not afraid to fight for herself. A strong and powerful woman, who decades later is still an inspiration.
As a young girl who was cursed, it’s easy to look past her story and think that she has zero influence. Well that is very much incorrect. As we have seen through reenactments and films that have extended her story; she is someone who does not hold grudges. She forgave Maleficent who cursed her for 16 years, and learned to find happiness in letting go of the negative.
As the little sister to Elsa, it’s easy to see Anna as a nuisance. She may bother Elsa until she has an outburst, but the important moral at the end of “Frozen,” is that she loves her sister unconditionally. In the end family is all that matters and it’s who we have on our team no matter the circumstances. Anna may have been boy crazy for majority of the movie, but she soon comes to her senses and realizes that she must support and help her sister no matter what. She teaches us about loyalty and the importance of those that we love.
Sure we’ve been told to stay true to ourselves and never change. In many ways Ariel did and didn’t do just that. She changed herself to be compatible with who she was meant to spend her life with. But what she didn’t change was her outlook and determination to get what she wants to ensure a happy life that she wanted to live for herself and no one else. That is something that every woman can take as an example on how to live our lives.
When you think of “Disney Princesses” Snow White is probably one of if not THE first princess to come to mind. Now that it is 2018 many jokes are made about how happy she is and the idea that she sings to animals and enjoys chores. But the reason why Snow White is as pure as she is, is because of the kindness she has towards everyone and everything around her. Although she has an enemy simply for nothing that she has done herself, still manages to stay upbeat and put her best self out there.
Cinderella may be the epitome of a princess. But it is her unselfish ways in which she has dedicated her life to helping others that brings out her inner beauty to the princess she is by the end of the film. As the little girls who grew up on her became older, they realized that she had deeper meanings to her story. She taught us that families aren’t picture perfect with a mom and dad who are together and love each other. She taught us that families can be made up of people who you are not related to, and that not every family is loving and happy. For the time period in which it came out, (1950) this was not the norm. If you dive deeper, this princess can teach us many life lessons that aren’t typical of most princesses.
Merida loves to dance to the beat of her own drum. And she teaches us that all of us should be able to do the same. She may be a princess, but following those rules and customs may just be the last thing on her mind. Merida is someone that anybody can look to as a role model. While throughout her entire story she must fix one big mistake, she teaches us that the biggest life lesson we must face with, can make us into a better version of ourselves than what we could have ever imagined.
If there is a Princess that teaches us about girl power, it may just be Tiana. While she loves to cook and works hard to make her living, she is an inspiration to everyone that if you work hard enough, you can turn your favorite hobby into a reality and be your own boss. At the very end of her story she does just that. Similar to the other gals, she finds her man but also gets to find her own career.
Possibly the only heroine we see who is not afraid to speak her mind and tell off a love interest. When she finds out that Aladdin has lied to her, she is not afraid to speak up and let him know that she is not happy. She is not an obeying woman who sits back and is told what to do. She tells Aladdin her exact thoughts, and isn’t afraid to tell her father, the sultan, that she is not interested in getting married. Plus she has a pet tiger so that’s pretty freaking cool!
As a bookworm, Belle encourages us to get with our nerdy side and educate ourselves. Though the villagers she lived with claimed that “she always had her nose stuck in a book,” she didn’t let that stop her from doing what she loved. The most important lesson that she taught us is that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. As we get older it is a lesson that has much more significance in comparison to when we were young.
And last, but certainly not least, Rapunzel. What makes her worthy of holding the number one spot is that she holds the personality of so many of the other princesses, all while still being her own person. She is educated and enjoys reading, as that is one of the only things she can do up in her tower. She has the spunky personality similar to Anna, where she is not afraid to say what is on her mind and be her natural self. She has the hard work and determination just like Tiana. She has the kindness of Cinderella and Snow White, and befriends animals as they do. And just like all of these princesses, she is able to find her happily ever after.
So although I have a different interaction with Disney Princesses than most people do it’s a funny pattern of the lessons they’ve taught me. I started out watching their movies and getting a surfaced level understanding. As I got older and met these princesses, those lessons appeared to have deeper meanings. Who knew at 23 years old I’d still be idolizing them?