"I'm gonna hit you so hard, it'll make your ancestors dizzy." - Mulan
"“You said you’d never leave.” - Beauty and the Beast
"“I wonder if I've been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!”
-Alice in Wonderland
"“Man has always learned from the past. After all, you can’t learn history in reverse!” – Archimedes, The Sword in the Stone
"So this is love, So this is what makes life divine." - Cinderella
""Always let your conscience be your guide." - The Blue Fairy (Pinocchio)
"“Ladies do not start fights, but they can finish them.” – The AristoCats
": So you want me to throw her into the asylum, unless she agrees to marry you? Oh that is despicable (Laughs evilly) I LOVE IT!" - Beauty & The Beast
" "You control your destiny - you don't need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems." - Merida (Brave)
""Even miracles take a little time." - Fairy Godmother
""Listen to me. The human world is a mess." - The Little Mermaid
"You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you… That’s where I’ll be waiting." - Peter Pan
Listen guys. I LOVE those Disney gals who saved themselves and wrote their own story. I love Mulan saving all of China and taking command of an army. I love Merida standing up for herself and winning her own hand. I love Tiana, who worked hard every second of her life in order to earn her own happily ever after and achieve her dream. I love Anna and Elsa constantly fighting for each other and saving each other through sisterly love. And you all know I ADORE Moana and her journey to find herself and save her island. Incredible characters, one and all!
But can we remember Cinderella, slaving away for an abusive stepmother who constantly tried to diminish her worth, while Cinderella still stayed kind and strong?
Can we remember Snow White, who lost both of her parents, only to be left with a jealous stepmother who TRIED TO KILL HER?
Can we remember Aurora, who was cursed as a tiny baby, taken from her parents, and lived a lonely life with no friends except animals and 3 ditzy (albeit lovable) fairies, never permitted to meet anyone new or go on real adventures and discover life?
Can we talk about all the Disney heroines who had difficult beginnings, who were treated unjustly, who withstood adversity but maintained their kindness and never stopped dreaming? Cinderella never asked for a prince to come take her away. She asked for just one night where she didn’t have to dress in rags and endure the abuse that surrounded her daily. Ariel longed to be a part of the human world long before she met Eric, he simply gave her even more reason to finally go. Megara saved Hercules and sacrificed herself, not only for true love but to save everyone! Jasmine may have fallen in love with Aladdin, but she saved him as much as he saved her. Remember Kida and all she had to endure. Remember Belle, who was smart and ambitious and so ahead of her time. It’s not wrong for Snow White to dream of finding true love. She grew up never knowing what it was like to be loved at all! OF COURSE she would dream of someone who accepted her and treated her well!
So yes. Let’s teach girls that family relationships are important. Let’s teach them how to work hard to get where they want to go. Let’s teach them how to save themselves, how to believe in themselves, and how to stand up for what they believe is right. Let’s remind them that they are “not a prize to be won.” But let’s also help them understand that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness and that falling in love isn’t pathetic or shameful. True, they don’t NEED a man. But if they happen to find someone who makes them happy and treats them better than they’ve ever been treated, that’s great too! Its not a sign of weakness. It’s just another beautiful part of their story.