The Problems With Princesses

Image by on Pixabay

Many people still cannot get “Let it Go”  out of their heads from the Disney movie Frozen even almost two years after it’s release. The movie centers around two sisters who try and save their kingdom from an eternal winter and are successful together in the end. Many people favored this movie due to the fact that it did not end in one of the sisters needing “true love’s kiss” from a man to help save their kingdom. Or that it did not end in one of the sisters getting married.  Frozen is a great example of good role models for young girls to look up to because it showed people you do not need marriage or a kiss from a prince to live “happily ever after”.

But what about some of the more classic Disney princesses? Were they good role models too? To be honest the answer is no, they were not. Some of these characters were okay, but some were terrible.

They Change for Men

Ariel, the main character in The Little Mermaid, was horrible role model. Ariel is a mermaid who has the desire to explore the world, but is told not to leave the ocean by her father, King Triton. One day she happens to save a sailor from drowning, who also happens to be a prince named Eric. Ariel ends up falling in love with Eric and desperately wants to be with him, so she makes a deal with Ursula, a sea witch. The deal is that Ariel trades her voice for a pair of human legs. She literally gives away her voice to be with a man, whom she does not really know.


(Image from Google)

Of course the movie ends with Ariel and Eric getting married and living happily ever after. The frustrating part is the fact that Ariel had this fascination with the surface and now that she has the ability to go and explore she no longer wants to, because she just wants to be with Eric.

Ariel is a bad role model because she shows girls that it is okay to completely change yourself for a man.

To be Happy, You Need to get Married

Many of the characters showed traits of what some would consider to be the opposite of what we are trying to teach girls. Lots of the time the Princesses are trapped in unhappy, repressive circumstances in the beginning of the story. The character then meets a man, whom they typically just met and do not know well, and fall in love with them.


(Image from Google)

The sad part is that how at the end of these movies it usually concludes with the princesses marrying the man she just met which is what ultimately results in her happiness. Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog and more all end in marriage, signifying that marriage equals a happy ending. That’s not to say that marriage is a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be a young girl’s ultimate desire and this is not something that we should be glorifying or eulogizing to young, impressionable girls.

The Princesses Depend Men

In Cinderella, Prince Charming is the character who gets Cinderella away from her stepmother and stepsisters, by whisking her away to get married. Why did the Prince have to do it? Why couldn’t  Cinderella have just decided to leave on her own? Having Prince Charming be the one t0 “rescue” Cinderella and not having Cinderella rescue herself is not the right kind of message to be sending to young girls.


(Image from Google)

The Focus on Body Image and Beauty

These movies typically center around a beautiful young girl. Sleeping Beauty is a perfect example. The title actually references the beauty of the main character, Aurora. Why couldn’t the movie have been titled “Sleeping Really Smart Girl” or something else? Sleeping Beauty teaches girls the only thing they need to strive for is a pretty face.


(Image from Google)

Another trait almost all of the Disney Princesses have in common are their teeny, tiny, wait lines. For a girl watching Disney movies and seeing these types of proportions as attainable is damaging to what they think is a normal body type.

At the End of the Day

As the years have gone by Disney is beginning to evolve and has improved the morals and themes of their stories. Movies such as Frozen, and Brave illustrate to girls that they can make their own choices, be happy without marriage, and they do not need a man to save the day.






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6 thoughts on “The Problems With Princesses

  1. Beryl you are brilliant. I love your article! You are so right when you brought up the waist lines of these princesses. It’s ridiculous to see because one, its disproportional to their body and two, it makes little girls think they need to be that “skinny” to get prince charming. Great blog!:)

  2. I think your point is very accurate when a girl looks at a princess they think of these charchters which instills in then that they need to be perfect. However it does give them a good role model and someone to look up to rather then someone who is influencial in a bad way.

  3. I agree with what you are saying. That the view of princesses in the past has shown girls that they do need men in their life, but as time has evolved.. so has disney movies, as you pointed out, how frozen shows two sister (family) who depend on each other to save the their village.

  4. I agree with what you are saying in this! Little girls often times do look up to and are influenced by the princess’ in movies. When they are little they often want to grow up to be a princess. I like that you explained how frozen and brave give them more independence as a female (princess) vs being based on needing a husband.

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