The Classic Disney Princesses
The classic Disney princesses played the role of damsel in distress, waiting for their princely true loves to rescue them from their individual predicaments. This role was representative of the times. Women had less autonomy, migrating from the control of their fathers (or guardians) to the protection of their husbands. Going your own way was never an option.
Enter Elsa. Frozen was the first Disney film to broadly challenge the old stereotype. For the first time, the princess didn’t need rescued by a prince. Elsa represented the liberated woman, the mistress of her own destiny. She had the strength and ability to stand on her own. She even protected her sister Anna. There was no Prince Charming in Frozen.
Feminism is about choice. And having a choice is a true source of freedom. You can wait for your Prince Charming to rescue you or you can simply save yourself. Independence does not mean loneliness. You can have it all. You decide what “all” means to you.
I dream of true love and happily ever after, but that doesn’t make me a damsel in distress. I can stand alone, if I so choose, and I choose to be a part of something bigger than myself.
Cinderella is one of the best known folk tales with thousands of different versions and adaptions throughout the world. It's a story of unjust oppression and triumphant reward that resonates with people of all ages.
I love her story—the ultimate tale of rags-to-riches—and her gorgeous blue dress. Despite losing her parents and dealing with an evil stepmother and stepsisters, she remains optimistic about the future. Cinderella is intrinsically good. Her kindness is demonstrated in the manner she treats her cruel stepfamily and how much her animal friends love her. She has truly made the best of her circumstances.
In an apt example of karma, her fairy godmother grants her one magical evening. Cinderella doesn't beg for a fancier dress or a longer period of freedom. Content with one night, she knows her memories will sustain her through a lifetime of domestic drudgery. She meets the man of her dreams only to have the stoke of midnight tear them apart. And she returns to her position of servitude never expecting to see him again. Little does she know, there is nothing more powerful than true love, and her prince moves mountains to find her.
But the part of the story I love the most? They lived happily-ever-after.
Your happily ever after is whatever you decide it to be. Mine includes my real life true love and our two handsome princes.
Seize the day, and "Be the hero of your story."