If you’ve made it this far, I thank you for returning after I insulted your childhood idol. Let’s make it clear – I don’t hate Disney Princesses. Well, not all of them anyway. I just prefer to see them as who they are, underneath their pretty faces and colorful dresses. In the second installment of this series, I will discuss three of them from the 90’s.
Never mind that Ariel defied her father and went against her entire kingdom for a guy who she saw from afar for five minutes. Sometimes this love-at-first-sight phenomenon just… happens. It’s like my college buddy who was convinced that he would marry Keira Knightly (hi Brian), except that she didn’t know Prince Eric as well as my friend knew the actress. Can it be true love when Ariel and Eric had no conversation for the entire duration of the movie? Well she wouldn’t be the first Disney Princess to pull that off.
Stalking and true love are pretty much the same thing for a teenager, that’s for sure
What I do take issues with was Ariel’s sense of responsibility. First she pretended that having her eyes closed while signing a contract would make its bad terms go away. After the sequence of events that you can’t characterize as unexpected, her dad had to bail her out. Lastly, her man murdered the contract holder in order to relieve everyone of the liability. Way to go, Eric! Take it to heart when your bride says “I do” down the aisle, when the same girl can’t be trusted to hold her end of a legally-binding document.
Kids who learned from Ariel to sign contracts with their eyes closed ended up causing the subprime mortgage crisis in the US twenty years after the movie premiered
You know who I’m with in this movie? Ursula. She was an honest small business owner who people despised only because she was fat and dark-skinned. What’s wrong with wanting to be paid for the (perfectly executed) lung and leg transplant service? Her fees may be high, but she went into great detail explaining the terms and conditions. In Poor Unfortunate Souls, she spent more time warning Ariel of the potential outcome of the contract, than actually selling her service. Yes, she and her debt-collecting eels intervened, but only after that crab and a whole band of sea creatures tried to manipulate the couple (note how Sebastian was hypnotizing Eric to make non-consensual sexual advances on a mute girl of an unknown origin). She also went berserk near the end of the movie, but can you criticize her for that after Eric assaulted her and Ariel killed her eels? Till the end, Ursula told no lies and harmed no one. Yet we celebrate the selfish, irresponsible couple as “the good guys” only because they are better looking.
“Well I heard a voice say ‘possible she wants you too’, and, you know, she didn’t say no.”
In her introductory scene in Beauty and the Beast, this peasant’s daughter was goofing around town and ridiculing her hardworking neighbors. She wanted to escape the “boring” life where everyone but her was being productive, and rolled her eyes when people needed to work rather than listen to her book report. What was her contribution to the society? She ate the bread that other people made, took books for free from a bookstore, and then fed its pages to a goat! This village girl was no princess, but she was already acting like the most out-of-touch among them.
“I’m good at rolling my eyes at these illiterate baguette makers.”
Later on, she was held in the Beast’s mansion in exchange for her dad’s freedom. It was noble of her to sacrifice herself, though it was soon revealed that she did not take her promise seriously.
While being kept in captivity was no fun, the Beast treated her with respect, sending servants at her service and giving her nearly unrestricted access in the giant mansion. What did Belle do in return? Immediately sneaking into the one room that her host asked her to stay away from. Worse, she reached for the one thing that clearly was the reason for the room to be off limits. Can’t blame her for not knowing that her action nearly killed her host, but there should be no doubt that she damaged something quite special that her host cared very much about. Instead of apologizing for the incident, she got mad at the Beast for for being upset. What an entitled bitch!
“Teehee I really want to poke whatever this thing is.”
Jasmine was the only Disney Princess who her movie wasn’t named after. She was the first non-Caucasian Disney Princess, and the first to fall in love with a non-Prince. Instead of instantly wanting to marry any dude living in a castle like her predecessors, Jasmine actually drove away some of her rich suitors.
She did almost have her hand chopped off for stealing an apple. Beyond that, however, she was a pretty reasonable character. She was smart and courageous, and she didn’t consider herself too good to hangout with a street rat. Not a heroine by any means, but Jasmine was the first Disney Princess worthy of being a role model by today’s standards.
Jasmine pulling a Prince of Persia move