The recent media narrative that Moana is the “anti-Princess” and thus feminist really grinds my gears. We’ve gotten this same damn narrative for Judy Hopps and Elsa and Anna (lesser degrees with them since they are princesses, but still very much there).
It’s been the same damn thing every time. Denigrating the princesses that came before to prop up the new one. There’s already so much cool and interesting stuff about Anna and Elsa and Judy and probably will be about Moana that I have to roll my eyes at the media still going with “not like the other girls!” over and over again.
I’ve seen a Judy Hopps article that derides princess dresses as “silly.” I saw an article that rated Elsa and Anna as “more feminist” than any princess that came before (how did they beat Mulan, the old usual title holder, you might ask? the article bashed her for “forgiving Shang for leaving her on that mountain” aka when he spared her life against protocol. yep–tons of reaching, just like today). It was a big part of Merida’s marketing too!
And now they’re doing it again with Moana and…what’s so feminist about bashing other female heroines again? About bashing feminine qualities a lot of little girls do honestly hold, like liking dresses or wanting romance or just generally being girly?
I’m not saying you can’t celebrate Moana not having a romance subplot or love interest, can’t celebrate her being actiony as hell, can’t celebrate her awesomeness because she looks freaking awesome…but why bash other heroines to do it? She’s cool enough to stand on her own without trying to tear others down to make her look better.