I wasn't recently reading this article on Jezebel about a young woman who has petitioned Disney to have a plus-size princess. Meme Roth has some pretty insane opinions about how "horrible" this would be for young girls. This got me thinking about, you know, the whole princess thing.
I have the privilege of working with a lot of very feminist ladies who are all talking about how hard it is to raise daughters without barbies and princesses. It seems young girls are overexposed to toys and images that impress upon us body image ideals and behaviors that hold us back in a lot of ways.
One big reaction I have to this is the formative role that Disney princesses had in my own life. I grew up on Disney. I watched the Little Mermaid so many times that I was convinced I could become a mermaid. And while sometimes I'm disappointed my breasts don't fit perfectly into seashells, I feel like there are traits from Disney princesses that I think straight up made me a feminist. Here are three Princesses that inspired me:
The Little Mermaid:
#1: Ariel made me STOKED about swimming. I pretty much became a butterflyer because I thought it was like being a mermaid which gave me a tough pair of guns. I used to beat boys in push up contests. BOOM!
#2: She wanted more than to just be a trust-fund baby. She liked exploring and she wasn't afraid to courageously move beyond the world she knew.
Beauty and the Beast:
#1: Belle loves reading. I straight up read books because I wanted to be a smartie like Belle.
#2: She didn't care what people thought of her. I'm still working on this one.
#3: She loved her dad at lot. Love you, Pops!
#4: She was willing to overlook appearances in favor of getting to know people before judging them (This is obviously a "problematic" component to her relationship with the beast because he's a little abusive at first... ).
#1 Mulan is tough. And apparently, I was also into push-up contests. So WIN! I really liked being as good as the boys at sports.
#2 Feels connected to issues of social justice and wanted to participate. I guess you could say Mulan is the reason I founded an Amnesty International Chapter at my high school. She would totally be a member of Pussy Riot.
Shout out in the comments if you think I missed out on any stand-out animated feministas!