Disney Princess Problem?
Disney princesses have taken a lot of flack over the years for many reasons. These complaints range from: body composition, reliance on a man for help, not enough lines(so the voice actors are being paid by voice time?), promoting a monarchy style of government or their low intelligence levels.
Even Time Magazine jumped into the fray by saying “But it could be damaging to girls — it could make them more susceptible to having bad body esteem and less confidence.”
This would be like someone saying, I like to cross-dress because I saw this on a Bugs Bunny cartoon. If these children have difficulty separating fact from fantasy, clearly cartoons are not to blame here.
Before we can examine something we can quantify, we need to seek out the definition of 1986 Disney Princess. They need to meet the following criteria, but not limited to:
A. Near death experience (exception was made for Cinderella)
B. Human (sorry Nala & President Vanellope Von Schweetz)
C. Made Disney money (this eliminates: Kida from Atlantis, Glonwy from The Black Cauldron and Megara from Hercules)
D. Born into or marry royalty (Mulan was granted exception)
So now that the criteria have been set, we can look at something that can be measured: intelligence. Without being able to sit them all down and give our princesses IQ tests, we can only measure intelligence in how they respond to situations. This can be done by asking: Does the princess need to be rescued in some way during the movie, does the princess save someone, and does the princess team up with someone and save the day in a team?
What came together completely destroyed my hypothesis and forced me to revaluate my opinions of Disney Princesses. This is what I discovered:
A. When a princess has both parents alive and play a part in raising the child, the girl does the majority of the hero work
B. When the princess has at least one parent alive, the hero work is shared between her and a male counter part
C. When the princess has both parents that are not in the picture (points to Aurora) these individuals are most likely to get hit by a parked car
Group A have the princesses that include: Mulan is the only one that falls in this category. She fooled everyone into thinking she was male, saved China from a Mongol invasion and she saved the Emperor of China. It can be argued that Pocahantas falls in this as well because her father and segregate Tree Mother are alive. These two heroines only need minor support throughout their respected movies.
In Group B we have: Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana (her father was in the movie, but did die in World-War One), Elsa + Anna and Rapunzel. All of these individuals needed help at one point in the movie, but also did some of the hero work themselves. This 50/50 relationship stresses the importance of teamwork and corporation. Belle, after being saved from a pack of wild wolves, later saves the Beast from a Gaston attack. Jasmine helps distracts Jafar long enough to give Aladdin a chance to come up with a plan. Elsa and Anna save each other. Rapunzel, while having the evil witch serve as her mother, she doesn’t discover till much later there are something else going on.
Group C is the worst type of princesses Disney has to offer. These individuals have no guidance in their lives except for power mongers. Snow White, has be told to run to run away, points to the woodsman. Later on, this mouth breather walks off with the first guy she sees after waking up from a coma.
The evil queen, instead of being a role model, is an oblivious matriarch that is too busy soliciting beauty advice from a disembodied face in a mirror.
Her failures are amplified when some random guy wanders into her castle without proper introduction. No guards, security walls (or fences as democrats call it) or even servants prevent uninvited guests from wandering in. Poor Snow never had a chance. She would only be useful if you needed a puppet installed so a proper shadow government could run things.
Aurora can point the blame at her parents for her lack of education. The king and queen are both alive, but fail as parents. Instead of educating her on the danger of cursed spinning wheels and educating her in affairs of statecraft, they give up their only royal heir to a same-sex trio. You would think that having three educated females would have helped her in some way. Teaching her Machiavelli or how to survive a coup was not on their to-do list.
“We will keep her safe!” they loudly proclaim. Obviously not, since she touches a cursed magical spinning wheel and later runs off with the first guy she sees. No one bothered to check to see if she was related to the Prince. The evil fairy could have easily enchanted the prince and Game of Thrones her head off. Unlike, Princess White, she knew how to operate a broom without the help from animals.
Cinderella faired only little better in the intelligence department. Despite having a lack of biological parents to help her she has to rely on rats and birds too meet her social needs for human contact. She is able to clean, cook and sew (but with animal assistance). She is the only one out of the three that wouldn’t die of starvation if locked inside a grocery store.
So what could be drawn from all of this? Both parents will grant you success in Disney life, but not will be forever alone. Coming from a single parent household will not only make you happy, it will give you a partner and will form lasting bonds for life, with music. Without any parents for guidance, you will strangle yourself with a cordless phone. Somehow if you are lucky, the princess will most likely see a CIA backed coup in their future.