The good, the bad, the ugly.
I'm from Orlando, the biggest tourist destination in Florida due to the one and only, Mickey Mouse. Being that my dad works for Disney, we owned almost all of the classic movies and to this day, I can still binge-watch them for hours. As a little girl, everything I knew about the world, I knew from these movies. Some are great, some aren't so much.
1. "Hakuna Matata"
Starting off on a positive note, I think the message depicted through this scene of the Lion King is a really good one. No, I don't necessarily mean that running away from your problems will solve them, but I do think the pressure of today's society can really take a toll on anyone's mental health. Sometimes, you really just have to sit back and think "Hakuna Matata." I know, it sounds cheesy, but it's true.
2. A man needs to save you.
Ugh, this one is portrayed through MOST of the princess movies, but I think Snow White tops the list of girls who needed saving. When I was younger, I totally thought one day my prince would sweep in on a white horse and take me away. Little did I know, I could do anything I wanted to do, WITHOUT a man. It just so happens that the whole movie is focused on Snow White, yet she isn't defined as the "hero" under any circumstance. The man is ALWAYS the one saving the stereotypical damsel-in-distress.
3. You can't love someone after 5 hours.
Remember in "Frozen" when Anna immediately insisted she was getting married to Hans within 20 movie minutes? Yeah, the whole scene made me roll my eyes because I had no idea about the plot twist at the end. SPOILER ALERT: it doesn't work out. This just reiterates the fact that you need to fully appreciate every aspect of someone before you can love them, let alone marry them. I'm glad Disney portrayed this delusional infatuation the way that they did, even being a crucial point in the storyline.
4. Changing yourself will make him love you.
One of my favorite Disney movies as a child, "The Little Mermaid", teaches one of the worst lessons to be learned at a young age. Basically, if he doesn't like you, a few simple changes to your appearance and your voice (in this case) will make him head-over-heels in love with you. Not to mention, Ariel's rebellion against her parents wasn't a good thing to imprint in children's minds either. Don't ever change for a man. If he doesn't like you the way you are, he ain't for you anyways. But nice try, "Little Mermaid".
5. Stand up for yourself.
One of the most important lessons I learned was from "Beauty and The Beast". Gaston was persistent to make Belle fall for him, but she was persistent in saying no. Gaston is such a perfect representation of your typical frat guy anywhere... handsome, but clearly obsessed with himself. We need to start seeing more of this defense in the real world, where sexual harassment has become a growing problem today. Stand up for yourselves, ladies.
6. You can do whatever a man can.
Mulan is truly a depiction of feminism and female empowerment in every aspect. She DID go against her family but was doing so in good faith. She purposely put herself in a male-dominated environment and managed to show them up completely. I think this is a movie EVERY woman should see at least once in their life because the story behind it is truly enlightening. Not to mention, the songs in this movie are to die for.
7. Kissing a sleeping girl is fine.
Imagine getting woken up by a complete stranger kissing you on the mouth. You don't want to, because it's completely absurd. In "The Sleeping Beauty", it's like Aurora just knew this exact Prince would come up and kiss her awake and the fact it was normalized is super creepy. Any sleeping woman isn't giving you any form of consent, so you shouldn't be kissing her. Of course, kisses in this world don't wake you up from comas.
8. Build your relationship on lies.
In "Aladdin", apparently, it is perfectly fine to tell someone you're a prince when you're actually just a thief. That's like, the biggest catfish of all-time. He had Jasmine completely fooled for a pretty long time, conveying that lying yourself into a relationship might actually work! Don't try this for yourselves, you'll end up outing yourself and that'll just make for an untrustworthy relationship. Honesty is the only way for a true companionship to form, sorry to break it to you.
I think some of the lessons taught in Disney movies are very beneficial for the real world, but most of them, are putting toxic fairy-tale dreams inside of young girls heads. Being my age now, I can still enjoy watching these movies, but I definitely have learned where I need to critique them after my own real-life experiences.