The Perfect Princess Problem
Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Belle- what do all these people have in common?
Not only are they Disney princesses, but they are perfect Disney princesses.
Tiny waist, light colored eyes, light skin, minimal speaking lines (Aurora only has about 18 lines of dialogue in the entire movie for goodness sake! Source)
And don’t even mention the princess Ariel, who even though she is in her early teens, has a tiny waist and prominent boobs Disney doesn’t even try to cover up.
And- wait for it- these are characters in children stories. Meaning that little kids with very malleable minds who are just learning how to read are also learning how to determine if someone if a pretty princess or an ugly stepsister.
Boys are learning that they can ‘kiss the girl’ because her looks are more important than her voice.
Girls are learning that a man has to come to them, not the other way around.
They both are learning that there is a distinct line between what defines a man and what defines a woman; a line which should never be crossed.
And, if you didn’t notice already, Disney is striving to change that.
Their princesses are starting to represent the whole of humanity. They are starting to be the ones making the change, not the ones waiting for their knight in shinning armor to come save them. They are starting to be of different ethnicities, heights, and sizes. They are becoming exactly what a child should aspire to be.
Becoming being the prominent word. Disney, although nearer, is nowhere near the perfect princess movie, but they are getting closer and closer with every release.
So, let’s embrace the change. As a matter of fact, let’s encourage it. Let’s let every child know that they can be whomever they want to be- a princess, prince, villain, sidekick, none, or all of the above- no matter if the check the box ‘man,’ ‘woman,’ or ‘other.’