We’ve been watching a lot of Disney princess movies lately. I loved them when I was little and I love watching them through the eyes of my older daughter. We have tea parties with Belle and Cinderella. We watch Tiana go from human to frog to human over and over again. Although it’s fun to watch my little girl pretend she is a princess, for a fleeting moment I worried that it’s not such a great thing.
What concerns me is setting unrealistic expectations. Yes, I’m definitely over-thinking this. Don’t all girls dream of being a fairytale princess? What’s so bad about it really? Are there positive teaching moments that I can take away from these movies? What can my daughters really learn about life from these fairytales?
My conclusions are as follows: in the end, it’s never about the riches, the perfectly matched outfits, the body images (although they’re all pretty hot), or how cute their prince is (although again, they’re all pretty hot). All of the princesses face some kind of fairly awful adversities. They all have something to overcome before they get their happy ending.
Take Ariel, she sells her voice to Ursula so that she can get legs and be closer to Eric. Lesson: don’t try to give up part of yourself to be closer to a guy. Belle sacrifices her own comfort and safety so that her father can be freed from the Beast’s emprisonment. Lesson: she showed bravery and loyalty to her family and looked beyond mere appearances to find her prince. Rapunzel escaped her tower to find her destiny and befriended everyone on the way. Lesson: don’t accept another’s fear tactics to keep you from exploring the world around you, be brave enough to do something about getting what you want. If you’re kind to those around you, they may help you along your journey. And Cinderella, poor Cinderella, look at all the bitches she had to put up with.
These medical obstacles I’m facing now are just a hurdle for me to jump over as I run towards my happily ever after. I’m fighting what I’m genetically predisposed to by excising the potentially threatening areas so that I can live a long and healthy fairytale existence. I mean, why else did I fight my middle part cowlick and train my bangs to go to the right like Ariel all these years if I didn’t expect to secretly become a princess?
My point is that I hope my girls realize someday that even princesses don’t just get everything handed to them. There’s no silver platter in life. Everyone faces hard times and hurdles that they must overcome. But if you demonstrate strength of character, intelligence, courage, loyalty, and kindness, good things will happen. I hope their fairy tale dreams all come true!! In the meantime, I have dibs on playing Ariel. Prince Eric is the dreamiest!

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