What Disney Princesses taught me

I came across this today-

A reading of what Disney princesses teach girls

Sure, I have considered the rather un-feminist implications of a lot of the princess story lines before. But I’ve never really sat down and thought about it. My reaction to this picture was to think that I could see how these readings were plausible, but that for me, reinforcing hetero-norms is not the first thing I think of when I see the princesses (which is odd, cos that’s basically all I see in everything).

Okay, on the surface they all want their prince to come, etc, etc. And they’re all feminine and beautiful, and fairly non-diverse (until Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan and Tia cracked the scene). While I distinctly remember adoring little mermaid Ariel growing up, my mum loved Ursula, and was pointed to note that not all short-haired plump women were actually sea witches. Looking at the older princesses (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella) compared to the newer ones, there is a marked difference between their representations. Princesses have had a lot more ‘tude since the 1980s.


I went back and watched Colours of the Wind from Pocahontas. It reminded me that, wait a minute, these chicks kicked ass in these movies. The prince thing was always just a distracting part of the story line for me, and I barely remember the prince characters. While the princes were all pretty generic (charming, rich, handsome…*yawn*), the princesses had exciting lives, amazing magical friends and, most of all, adventurous spirits. But, I guess that’s why it’s kind of depressing when they all end up “settling down” in the end.

No doubt, you could write a feminist tome deconstructing these animations (I’m sure they’re out there). Still, I can’t help looking back fondly at the Disney Princesses I grew up with. And I’m really not waiting around for my prince to come. Why? Sorry, too busy exploring the shore above, painting with the colours of the wind – I want much more than this provincial life, I want adventure in the great wide somewhere….

5 thoughts on “What Disney Princesses taught me

  1. Pingback: The Hidden Message Behind Disney Princesses | Women in the Media:

  2. Pingback: My Struggle With Feminism | BINARYTHIS

  3. I’ve recently realised flawed or even kind-of-lame female role-models may be better than no female role models at all or only identifying with or looking up to male characters. Because that way, at least you know women can be the heroes of their own adventure.

    But… That doesn’t mean the Disney princesses are feminist characters. They could use a whole lot of improvements. But until then, perhaps it’s the responsibility of the grown-ups areound kids watching Disney movies to discuss how the princesses and princes are portrayed so that they know they don’t have to work towards the goal of being-pretty-and-loved-by-a-man. You can take a flawed story and use it to teach kids something useful. I think.

  4. Don’t forget about all the dead/ evil mothers. In every Disney story the mother (or mother in law) is either killed off at the start or is some evil witch. LOL

    But seriously…. Disney is evil. And so is Hollywood. They are both arms of the ‘military industry complex’. And as such they only promote (and subvert) aspects of gender which suit their agenda.

    EXAMPLE: In the news recently it was announced that women will now be allowed to serve in ‘combat roles’ in the US military (there’s just too many illegal wars of empire and not enough soldiers I guess….)

    So anyway, look back over the last decade of pop music and Hollywood movies and you’ll find all these role models (girls I mean) being dressed up as soldiers and carrying guns and stuff.. Rhianna, GaGa, Beyonce……. they’ve all been made to promote militarism in their pop videos again and again and again. And so you have a whole new generation of teenage girls today who were brought up to view in-your-face militarism as ‘girly’ and completely normal and now they’ve all reached the age where they can sign up to the military – and guess what? – they suddenly change the rules to allow them into ‘combat roles’. Coincidence?

    Wash Your Brain – Hollywood Mind Control

    Wash Your Brain – Hollywood Mind Control 2

    Disney’s World

    Google “Arron Russo Feminism” as well if you want, and listen to his take on the origins (and funding and subversion of) feminism.

    The entertainment industry/ media twist everything. Only by diving in and understanding their dark and sinister motives can we emerge again, wise to their agenda and finally free to explore, enjoy and express gender without having to be victims of gender.

    Most issues related to ‘feminism’ are just issues related to the initiation of FORCE. The ruling classes initiate force against the public, steal from them and generally oppress them. They then encourage men and women (gays, straights, blacks, jews etc etc) to all fight each other and blame each other for the oppression which ACTUALLY comes from ‘above’ (or perhaps we should say ‘below’). It comes from the ruling classes.

    Remove the violence of governments and you’re left with a free society. In a free society politics (including sexual politics) is not backed by the violence of the state and so there’s really nothing to get so stressed about! 😉

    In the current system (which is totally archaic and barbaric) everyone is forced to try and use the violence of the state to bash each other on the head – for fear that if they don’t the ‘other’ groups in society will use the violence of the state against them.

    The tragedy of ‘feminism’ is that although society is currently extremely patriarchal, most men are slaves to that patriarchal system (ie tax cows/ cannon fodder). In many ways (but certainly not all!!) feminism has been a struggle to achieve the same slave-like status as men, within the same patriarchal system. Duh!

    Today, the ‘liberated woman’ is also a tax cow just like men always were (and women are soon to be allowed to become cannon fodder too!). A vast percentage of a woman’s productivity is now stolen by the state (taxes), whereas pre feminism 100% of her productivity/ work went towards the benefit of the family, the home, (herself) and the CHILDREN!!!

    Feminism should have enabled women / families to have more CHOICE. The choice to earn TWICE as much as before, or the choice for the woman to stay at home and raise a child (or whatever). But instead women ended up being forced into work, drowned in debt, and forced to give their kids away to the government to look after (and indoctrinate).

    Like I said, the ruling classes twist everything to suit their agendas. Women wanted the freedom and the right to work… and the ruling classes obliged…… but ONLY in a way that enslaved women to the office, whereas before they’d been enslaved to the kitchen sink.

    The most important thing for the ruling classes, to have any hope of maintaining their power, is to stop women from raising their children and to generally break up the family. People raised in strong, loving families are much harder to control than people from dysfunctional families who have been brought up predominantly by government schools, MTV, computer games, TV, Disney and Hollywood…….all of these are controlled by – or at least influenced by – ‘the ruling elite’ and the military industrial complex.

    The mainstream ‘entertainment industry’ is heavily controlled by various ‘cults’ (as in ‘cult-ure’)

    I’m rambling, I know! …… Sorry 😉

  5. I also remember that most of the ‘princesses’ had a sidekick – or could they be called a familiar? My favourite princess was Mulan until I saw Princess Mononoke…..Miyazaki shits on Disney.

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