Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Defense of Disney Princesses

The above picture has been showing up on my Facebook feed the last couple of days. Even though my opinion will probably be a bit unpopular, I feel like I need to say something. And it's my blog, so say something I will.

I find nothing wrong with the Disney Princesses and I allow my daughter to watch their movies if she wants. Lots of people think they are bad role models for little girls, and I don't think they should be role models at all.

The Disney Princesses are fiction, just something you watch and play for fun. As long as there is a strong female role model in a little girl's life, like their mother or grandmother who can discuss the issues with some of these princesses with their daughter then it can turn into a life lesson as well.

I take offense to that picture, partly because it doesn't paint the whole truth for some of the princesses. Some of the original princesses were awfully flat characters, but I happen to love Belle. Belle was brave and did what she could to help save her father. She is a bookworm, which I can relate to. But because she happened to fall in love with a man who turned out to be a prince, that makes her horrible for some reason.

True, doing stuff for a man's approval in the real world isn't a good idea. But that goes back to opening a line of communication with your daughters. It kind of reminds of the big uproar in the town next to mine over the Harry Potter books. Because a book about witches and wizards must be the work of the devil. Instead of what it really was, fiction!

So, Emily will be allowed to watch the Disney Princesses and pretend to be one if she wants. Heck, she got a Cinderella costume for her birthday which I think is adorable. I do look forward to when I can take her to Disney World to meet the Princesses. But I will also be there to talk to her about roles of women and be a strong role model for her, which I think is the most important thing.

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  1. I couldn't agree more. Just like with any fictional items, it is our job as parents to ensure our kids know that it is fiction.

  2. Belle is my favorite of the Disney Princesses. Even now, as an adult, I wanted to dress up like her. :P

    Could it be the more commercial aspect of the girls that affect the way people view them?

  3. I don't think it's the commercial aspect. I think for some people it is the 'I need a man to save me' aspect - which is shown a lot with the older princesses.

  4. I admit, there are aspects of the movies that bother me, but there are aspects of a lot of movies that bother me. Singling out these particular movies as "bad" seems petty.

    Have you seen The Princess and the Frog? I loved how Tiana's goal was to open a restaurant. Awesome.

  5. Yep - I really like "The Princess and the Frog"

  6. I agree Disney movies aren't inherently harmful to girls. Like most criticism of media for children, it's as if the child and the content exist in a vacuum. Hopefully, the parental influence means more than a few movies. That said, the picture is pretty funny and not an inaccurate analysis of the stories. Either way, I say, let's not take our entertainment too seriously.

  7. I agree with you. There is also a lot of good things the princesses can be seen for. It depends on what we focus on. Snow White was never above helping around the house. Cinderella didn't complain, even in the circumstances she lived in (I see the 'beauty' that the prince saw as not just a pretty dress, but the manner of her heart... pure and uncomplaining, loveliest thing of all), Belle's strong will and love for her father, to sacrifice her own freedom to save him... I could go on. I love King Triton in the Little Mermaid... you can see the struggles he goes through as a father of a headstrong young teenager. I don't like a lot of what Ariel did 'for love', but I still love the story. She depicts a lot of the things children do, and seeing Triton's love for her, and how he deals with things (sometimes a bit harsh, but he didn't have his wife around to help anymore). Aurora's patience... and the love of the Prince for her that he was willing to face so much to win her back... it depends on your focus, what you will see. I think children have the ability to see the positives before the negatives. If we as parents focus on negatives, they will follow.