(Hey, why is Jack the one who’s always literal royalty? Let’s get some royal!Bitty love up in here! So, Royal!Bitty AU -or- ‘How do you play a contact sport with bodyguards?’)
Now that Jack and Bitty have come out, nosy journalists are trying to dig up anything they can on the Bittles.
It doesn’t take long for someone to find one of the family’s most guarded secrets: that MooMaw was the secret half-daughter of the recently deceased King of *jackhammer sound*.
Bitty’s great uncle, the childless, current King of *car horn*, wants to meet his long-lost American sister and her family. King Whatshisface takes a shine to Suzanne and Coach and Bitty and basically tries to repatriate the entire Bittle clan.
In true Princess Diaries fashion, Bitty gets made up and over as the country’s new media darling, and everyone is calling him ‘Prince Eric’ (even though he’s technically a Duke? Maybe?), and suddenly Jack is the one dealing with an entirely new type of attention because he’s dating the world’s first openly gay royal.
**Bonus: Jack gets all blushy and stupid calling Bitty ‘Prince Charming’, and Bob keeps trying to get Coach to knight him
What if, like an inverse of Grace Kelly, Alicia Zimmermann was actually a princess who ended up marrying this rough-and-tumble hockey superstar? Like, it would have been the media spectacle of the early 80s. She’s got an older brother so she’s not directly in line for the throne of one of those obscure little pockets of monarchies that are still scattered across Europe, but still. So Jack Zimmermann, hockey robot extraordinaire, is also in line for succession.
I got bored and decided to highlight ten of my favorite weird/eccentric singers in modern music. Maybe they aren’t the greatest singers of all time, but they’re all unique and unmistakable. Each of them have singing voices that make you go “WTF is this?!” upon first listen, but then you slowly grow to appreciate them as you listen to more material.
Yma Sumac - The godmother of all eccentric voices. This Peruvian soprano both confused and bewildered 1950s audiences with her five octave vocal range, animal imitations, and “exotica” style of music, which mainly consisted of mambos and Latin American folk tunes. Most of the other people on this liste have traces of her influence in their vocal deliveries. Check out:Tumpa and Chuncho.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - Once an aspiring opera singer, this R&B star single-handedly created the “shock rock” genre that performers like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson later adopted. Emerging from coffins, evoking voodoo rituals, and scream-bellowing his way through songs about everything from soul possession to constipation? Yep, he did it. Oh yeah, and he’s rumored to have fathered over 75 children. Check out:I Put a Spell on You and Constipation Blues.
Tiny Tim - While often regarded as a novelty act, this falsetto nostalgist was actually quiet sincere with his performances. His ukulele renditions of squeaky clean 1930s pop tunes led to stardom in the 1960s, although his fame quickly faded. He would later find posthumous recognition through the use of his music in cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants. Check out:Living in the Sunlight and this bizarre cover of Earth Angel.
Kate Bush - The queen of baroque prog-pop (if that’s even a genre) known for singing self-penned (and self-performed and produced) tunes with a breathy, child-like timbre that’s hard to describe. Her live performances and music videos were equally as hard to describe, but nonetheless captivating. While she was a mega-star in the UK and much of Europe, her peculiar style never caught on in the US. Check out: Wuthering Heights and Sat in your Lap.
Klaus Nomi - Occasionally there are singers whose voices are so strange that words fail to describe them, and this German avant-garde performer is one of them. Part soprano, part alien, and part walking pop art, his style was unmistakable, if also a bit too weird for even other weirdos to process. Still, there is a beauty about his style that shines through, especially in live performances. Check out: The Cold Song and The Nomi Song.
Diamanda Galas - Her nickname in the ‘80s was “The wife of the devil”, and it’s not hard to understand why. She too started her career as an opera singer and took a turn into weird and frightening territory beginning with 1982′s nightmarish LP The Litanies of Satan. With a shrieking 5 ½ octave vocal range and infamous live performances that could scare the bejesus out of anybody, there has never been anybody quite like her before or since. Check out:Double Barrel Prayer and her cover of I Put a Spell on You.
Bjork - This Icelandic maverick started her career as part of numerous alt rock bands before embarking on a highly successful solo career. While her self-produced, eclectic music was always a bit off-kilter, she has only continued to get stranger over the years, but her clear, arresting howl has stayed the same. Her influence is insurmountable, ranging from Thom Yorke to FKA Twigs and beyond. Check out:Human Behavior and Crystalline.
Mike Patton - Best known for his work with Faith No More, he could only best be described as a vocal freak of nature. Possessing a monstrous six octave vocal range (the widest of any singer in modern music), he has mastered death metal, Italian pop tunes, experimental jazz, Native American chants and literally everything in-between. His style has no limits, nor do his songs from various projects, which often jump through multiple genres in the span of three minutes. Check out:Smaller and Smaller (with Faith No More) and My Ass is on Fire (with Mr. Bungle).
Tanya Tagaq - Another performer of “exotic” music by Western standards, this Inuk throat singer takes music traditional to her culture and puts a plethora of innovative spins on it. Alternating between hums, buzzes, coos, and clean vocals, she is primarily a storyteller, using her voice as an instrument to paint striking mental images. Recently she won the 2014 Polaris Prize for music and caused controversy by paying homage to thousands of murdered indigenous women as part of her performance at the ceremony. Check out: Improv Performance and Uja.
Julie Christmas - What would Cinderella become if Prince Charming jilted her? One listen to this Julliard-trained maniac’s voice, and you’ll get the hint. Known for her work with Made out of Babies and Battle of Mice, Christmas can go from sweet to psychotic at the snap of a finger, her vocal delivery terrifying yet intriguing to even the most hardened of metal critics. Her recent solo work is further proof of her vocal acrobatics - a fallen Disney princess, indeed. Check Out:Cooker (with Made out of Babies) and Bones in the Water (with Battle of Mice).
No, really. Having a love interest does not automatically deem a character dependent and a damsel. In my opinion, as long as the romance is not random, forced or rushed, having a love interest is fine. I believe that if we aren’t careful, a stigma could be formed that characters are not independent, strong women, just because they love a man. That is not true. We need to veer from both extremes, that women must rely on men and ALSO that women must be single to be considered independent and strong and that if they do love a man, that they are automatically of inferiority. You can love somebody and still have agency.
There is nothing wrong with not having a love interest, either, though. I think that it is great that we are exploring stories beyond romance. But I don’t care for this sentiment that is forming, as if the new princesses are superior to the others for not having a love interest. No, all the princesses have something unique and positive to bring to the table.
Also, about Cinderella and Ariel. Cinderella did not just dream about happily-ever-after with the prince. She did not even mention the prince before she went to the ball. She never expected him to save her, she only dreamed that an opportunity would arrive that could help her achieve a better life. That opportunity turned out to be with the prince. She wanted to go because she was hoping to leave her abusive home and have fun for once. It was her good fortune that the prince noticed her at the ball, that her beauty (inside and out) caught his attention. And after the ball, sure she was infatuated with him, but she was still realistic and assumed things would just go back to normal. It was the prince who made a big hoopla and searched the entire kingdom for her so that they could marry. Plus, we don’t even know how much time passed between the glass slipper fitting and the wedding. They could’ve spent more time getting to know each other. Just because the movie cuts from the former scene to the latter does not mean it all actually happened that fast.
As for Ariel, she did give up her voice and left home for Eric, which is not the wisest course of actions. But her longing for the human world did not just revolve around him. She wanted to be human and on land before she even saw him. Part Of Your World was sung before a romantic storyline even began. Ariel wanted to be human because she did not quite fit in underwater, she was not like her other sisters or father. Ariel was adventurous and wanted to explore a land unlike her own. I think a lot of us can relate to that. It was her attachment to a particular human that finally cemented her resolve. Also, she was willing to meet Eric as a mermaid, we see this is in a scene where she encourages Flounder to go with her to the castle and splash around to get his attention so that she could talk to him. It was not until Triton destroyed her collection that Ariel became distraught, and although she shooed away Flotsam and Jetsam, they knew she was upset and desperate for a chance to achieve her dreams after what just happened.
I just had to get that all off my chest. Sure, the princess love story has been done many a time and a single princess is a nice change. But can we please not demean characters who do have love interests? Can we not oversimplify their stories to “oh, this character daydreams about prince charming” and “this character gives up everything for true love”? Because there are more to Disney princesses than their love stories. They all have positive traits and actions to recognize besides that. There is nothing inferior about falling in love. Romance is not something to “steer clear of”.
In conclusion, I understand the importance of showing women stories that let us all know that we don’t always need a significant other. And that young women around the ages of the Disney princesses do not have to worry about falling in love and have other things they can focus their attention on. But let’s not antagonize the concept of having a love interest. Before we know it, young women and little girls could be looking down at female characters or even each other for having a love and that is counterproductive. That is not pro-women, that is women vs women. It’s okay to be single and it’s also okay to be in a relationship.