This is not a post about feminist objections to oversized eyes and waving cascades of hair brainwashing our youngsters into idolising pink and pretty over Tonka and Tuff. Nope.
Sure, that’s there, and I don’t say it’s not. It’s just that Offspring is on TV in a little while, and someone important is going to die, and DEATH is quite important, you know. It deserves some respect. So I intend to spectate, and, you know, respect the dead with my glass of ‘ahhhhhhh kids are finally asleep and not hobbiting on my desk’ wine. My rabbit died today too, so I feel an affinity with Nina. I want to virtually hold her hand, since pet rabbits and pretend TV characters are probably about the same in metaphysical-mourning land.
This is a fairly serious digression from the Princesses of Disney. My objections, however, are quite straightforward, and from this point onwards I will STICK TO THE POINT.
My first bone of contention is with Snow White. Sure, she’s supposed to be a 14-year old girl, white as snow, and the fairest of them all, yada yada, but she has no less than seven little men doing her bidding. Granted, their brief is to ‘protect’ her, which almost classifies as a posse of bodyguards, but this is the pre-Britney era, dear folk of the forest. Snow White wears undies ALL the time, and her posse don’t need to be on this kind of detail. I suspect, in fact, she has what is known as *I shall whisper now* a harem. GASP! I know. Besides, those Sleepy and Dopey dwarves wouldn’t be providing much protection from anything, if you ask me. Snow, just because you reverse it, and make your harem all male, doesn’t make it politically correct. It doesn’t make it OK. You’re taking the sisterhood BACKWARDS, girl. Just stop.
Ariel, the dear little Mermaid. One of my favourite movies. How could I find fault with you? It’s not your fault honey, and I shouldn’t hold it against you. But you are, in fact, A FISH. A fish, who wants to marry A MAN. Ok. I’ll suspend my disbelief for a little while, cos the singing is pretty, and we all want to live ‘under de sea’ cos everything’s better, down where it’s wetter, BUT then. Then, you lose your voice, and the hot dude from the castle STILL wants to marry you, even though you’re a fish with no voice. Do we not question his motives, even a little bit? Is this man REALLY good enough for our Ariel? I’m a bit worried about your future sweet one. I hope someone’s got your back. Just in case your hair falls out, or something.
Then there’s Belle. Belle had me impressed in the beginning, running off to the library to read ALL THE BOOKS. Then she impressed me further flicking off the advances of Gaston, recognising his conceit and arrogance while all the other butterfly-heads were fawning over his flexed biceps. But then? She fell for an ACTUAL beast. Not just a man with hair. A man who is moderately-to-extremely hirsuit. Someone who pays more to their waxer per month than you pay to yours per year…. but an actual, real, animal variety BEAST. He is of a different species. So what if it came about by witchcraft and she saw something in his eyes. I’ll say it once more, because this is important.He is of a different species. That shit is ILLEGAL.
Obviously there are issues with the others too (whatever they’re called – Tiana, who kisses, then MARRIES, an actual frog; Cinderallas who live in broom cupboards etc), but, as I mentioned before, Offspring, and the DYING. I have to hold Nina’s virtual hand and do weeping.
The modern princesses are improving and getting stronger and less whelpish, but still Ms Tangled (Rapunzel) has iss-ews. Sure she can wield a frying pan and belt the crap out of a man who looks sideways at her, but she still has hangups. Mother ones, mostly, but whatever. I’m not a princess analyst. I’ll tell you what though. These Disney ones? They’re distinctly STRANGE.
Role models? They are not.
They do make a nice soundtrack now and then, though. I quite fancy listening to one, to soothe my jangled nerves, after the death of Nina’s beloved and my Peter rabbit.