Regardless of if you are a mom or not, I’m sure you are no stranger to the Disney Princess debate. Are these princesses such horrifying role models for our daughters? Well, major product overload aside, I’m not so sure.
I grew up with the princesses too. I checked out Sleeping Beauty every time we went to the video store. I wanted my hair to be long because it was princess hair. I believed that I probably was a princess because I lived in Aurora and Princess Aurora was my favorite princess. I sang “Part of Your World” at the top of my lungs over and over while swinging in the backyard. I was some sort of princess, Disney or otherwise, every single year for Halloween.
Somehow, despite my princess love, I grew up to be a smart, confident, hard-working woman. I think that has a lot to do with how my parents raised me, and very little to do with watching princess movies as a child. Now I have daughters of my own to raise, and the princesses have already landed.
The only princess movie the girls have seen so far is Tangled. I believe they are too young to really relate to the storylines of most of the princess movies, so we watch things that I believe are more age-appropriate for two-and-a-half year olds. Still, the girls have a collection of 8 princess dolls that they got from their uncle for Christmas. In our house, Rapunzel is called Punzel or Mother. Snow White is also Mother Jasmine is Mommy. Belle is also Mommy. Ariel and Sleeping Beauty are Titi (my sister), and Cinderella & Tiana are Blue Daddy and Green Daddy respectively. (Cinderella and Tiana have “short hair” like Daddy. Hence, they are daddies.)
While I think the girls are too young for most of these movies right now, I love a lot of the Disney Princess movies and want to share them with my daughters. I believe strongly that there is more to a lot of the princesses than being rescued or wearing pretty dresses. So, Charlotte & Evelyn, if you want to be a Disney Princess…
I hope you will be like Belle and love to read and see the beauty in others.
I hope you will belike Cinderella and be kind even when other are not kind to you.
I hope you will be like Ariel and want to learn about other cultures, dream big, and believe you can go anywhere.
I hope you will be like Jasmine and love who you choose to love, fight for the rights of others, and stand up against laws that deny human rights.
I hope you will be like Rapunzel and follow your dreams, break out and see the world, and take care of yourself while doing it.
I hope you will be like Mulan and be brave enough to be who your truly are, never let being a girl stop you, and maybe even save China.
I also hope that you can have long princess hair, pretty dresses, and a handsome prince if that’s what your heart desires. Just know that those things may be part of who you are, but they will never be all that you are.
Now, I’m not saying that these princesses are perfect role models, but do you know any perfect role models? Honestly, I’m not looking for these characters to be role models for my daughters. I would hope that I could be their role model. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t love their stories. Just like I love Nancy Drew’s stories. Just like I love Harry Potter. I love a good story. Some stories have deep lessons to teach us, others don’t. I truly believe that what our daughters and sons learn from these stories depends on us.
So, my sweet girls, go ahead and be a Disney Princess if that’s what you want…but maybe be a little bit like your Mama too.