Where Do Disney Princesses Get Their People Skills?

September 12, 2012 12:02 pm

Tangled

Of course, I don’t mean all of them. Jasmine was pretty feisty and she was probably taught etiquette and all sorts of fancy stuff. But I have to wonder …

It was watching Tangled for the first time that set the alarm bells ringing. First things first; I LOVED IT. It was hilarious. But I am slightly puzzled … Rapunzel was adorable and lovely, but HOW? She’d spent the best part of eighteen years locked up in a tower, with just a cute little chameleon and her vile fake-mom for company. How did she know how to talk that (hilarious) horse round? And why was she so good with kids when she was dancing in the square? How is that natural? It got me thinking.

The same could be said for, say, Snow White. Granted she was a bit deluded, what with the whole taking a forest-full of creatures in to the first house she saw thing, and just assuming it’s totally fine to clean it from top to bottom (although, I live in a house with three other students, and if anyone wants to do a Snow White on us, that’d be splendid), BUT, she made friends pretty easily. After being treated horribly by her evil stepmother all her life, how did she know how to be kind? Then there’s Cinderella. Again with the whole being pushed into slavery by an evil stepmother … I guess she makes a little more sense because those mice were the only friends she had, so sure she’d be kind to animals … I guess I’m just puzzled because none of the princesses are remotely bitter. I feel hard-done-by if I have bad cramps. Why/how are these women cool with rising above years of neglect?!

Snow White

I read somewhere recently that Disney were going to be doing less princess films with the aim of being more appealing to both genders. This kind of makes me sad. I adore princess movies. It’s all the classic Disney magic I’ve grown up with. However, if their answer to this is something like Tangled (apparently named that so it would be more gender-neutral), then that’s okay with me. Because, like I said, Tangled is freaking hilarious.

I do realise that I’m picking at something that doesn’t need to be picked at. I think in the article I read, it was something to do with all the classic princess movies not necessarily being suitable or feasible role models for children nowadays, but while I see their point, that just makes me sad. Yes we all know that a lot of marriages end in divorce, that happy endings are hard to come by, that we should have careers and not just strive to fall in love with our own Prince Charming. But why is it unreasonable that our little girls should strive to be well-read and kind like Belle? Or curious and brave like Ariel?

Disney, I love you. Forever and always. No matter how unreasonable some of the characters may be, or how difficult it would be for us to be like them, or how we can’t quite fit the princess mold. No matter what, I think there are always valuable lessons to be learned from Disney. Even if it’s just to sing to yourself to make chores seem more bearable.

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