What is taught us Disney`s princesses?


15 well-known Disney`s characters – Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Kid, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Esmeralda, Elsa, Anna and Fiona from «Shrek» and Marina from «Sinbad – Legend of the Seven seas «- also a princess of the popular cartoon. A colorful layout, updated stories of familiar and beloved by many generations tales, we pleasant spent watching time, and … Something is wrong. Unpleasant moments, which unnoticeable separately, become noticeable, if you collect all the pieces together.


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First of all, for all the heroines characterized implausible cinematic beauty, for which, moreover, they do nothing. Nor fitness, nor massages, nor masks or pilings (only sometimes beautifully combed hair and braid, except that the Princess Anne, was sleeping in the morning of the coronation, it similar to something in life). How many have already said and shown about it, can not be real girls with waists like the neck, with the size of the eye more than the mouth, with the hair, always lush, not tangled and beautifully styled. And then we wonder that millions of women in the world are dissatisfied with their appearance, as well as their husbands, and change it just is not possible or very difficult: shape of body, facial features, size of eyes … These  heroines form for the viewer very high expectations for appearance.


One is struck by the fact that almost all the girls do not have normal parents, and if they have, they do not have a sufficient impact on the daughters, nor wisdom to help them. So Snow White, Cinderella, Elsa, Anna – orphans, most likely, and Esmeralda – despite the huge gypsy clan, obviously she has not parents. In case with princesses Fiona, Aurora and Rapunzel: they have the kind and good parents, loving and worried about their daughters, but on the story they are separated: Fiona grows in a castle guarded dragon, Aurora – in the woods with the three fairies, Rapunzel believes what her thief is her mother, so that native parents not teach their daughters, neither of them not protect, do nothing to help and give not a piece of advise.

In those moments when for girls were need parents the most, they were not there. Marina`s parents not manifest. Five characters, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Kid, they have not mothers, but have fathers. Finally, only 3 characters have a mother: Merida, Mulan and Tiana. A small minority! And then Merida with Queen Eleanor has strained relations, and the whole cartoon is tied to their conflict. Mulan`s mother does not help own daughter to find her way. And truly caring, kind and at the same time a strong mother have not almost no one. There is only exception – Tiana`s parents , they brought up  own daughter in love and taught her to love hard work and dedication. Her mother is very good and pretty.

A little better, but far from ideal situation with their fathers. Almost everyone who has a father, have a good relationship with them, but certainly there are some flaw. So the king of Atlantis in appearance and age most suited to his daughter Kid  as grandpa than as the father. And at the crucial moment of her abduction, together with the crystal he can not protect her, and forced to ask for it one of the aliens, who brought trouble to the kingdom.

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Belle`s and Jasmine`s fathers – good-natured fat men, who, though fond of their daughters, but also can not help them. First, the Sultan of Agraba disgusting gullible and so helpless before the villain Jafar, and the second, a brilliant inventor – when he fuss with his toy cars, he managed to overlook that whole his town for some reason considers him «kooky». Then he requests to rescue his daughter no one does not believe him, and everyone thinks that he is completely crazy.

Ariel`s, Merida`s, Pocahontas` and Mulan`s fathers in that sense much more attractive – brave, strong. Kings, the leaders, the warriors, not like a mockery. But a perfect understanding with their daughters they have not. King Triton is unable to explain Ariel, what she can not fall in love with a guy just because he plays beautifully and well dances, or because she saved him (she can save any guy). He gives to the witch the whole kingdom (with a bunch of innocent people!) because of one guilty daughter – it also beyond the bounds of reason. Father loves her so much, that he was ready to sacrifice for Ariel, others his daughters, but can not find a common language with her? Merida’s father (and her mother too) does nothing to prepare his daughter  for marry with one of the sons of lords, although from it depends  the security and unity of the kingdom.

The girl who grew up on their eyes with the freedom-loving and strong character, the parents presented this news with the letters, at the last moment. And then,  they like a fools wonder why she protests.  Mulan’s father, though he is strong, and of good courage, but he is stupid and rude. As a parent he is good in all respects, loves and appreciates daughter, for what she is, but the most important decision in her life, she accepts without him, and guided first and foremost the desire to protect him (and not vice versa). The same can said about the leader Powhatan- wise, caring father, but can not care in time about his daughter. If only was not a misunderstanding with a kiss, what caused the death Pocahontas` groom, it is possible that the peace talks between whites and Indians on the story of the cartoon would have been yet earlier, and would have been successfully completed without a dramatic gesture of protect a prisoner John Smith.

The best father – perhaps Tiana’s father, he is loving family and a daughter properly. The only «disadvantage» – in the cartoon she is deprived her father sooner, but he had already taught her a lot.
Meanwhile, Disney`s animals have got a lot, emotional and intelligent parents, especially: a lion cub Simba, puppy Varmint, deer Bambi. But the overwhelming majority of girls princesses for some reason do not deserve are good parents.


No less surprising situation with friends, siblings, peers. The most of characters have not siblings and as if should not have them! Almost all heroes are friendly with animals or fantastic creatures.

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Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora friendly with animals. Belle`s horse, the servants of fairytale castle, fish, crab, Ariel`s albatross and Prince Eric`s shaggy dog, Jasmine`s tiger, Aladdin’s monkey, parrot Iago and even funny Jin, Rapunzel`s chameleon and horse Max, Anna`s snowman, and deer Sven, grandmother Willow and Pocahontas`animals , the horse, cricket and Mulan`s dragon, Esmeralda`s goat, Quasimodo’s gargoyles, Sinbad`s dog – catchy and not less interesting characters than the people.

But it is clear that in real life, even with the most loyal animals, you can not have equal relations, like with friends and peers. But in the cartoons such relationships is practically no! Brothers – older or peers, and friends, it is something unreal for the Disney`s princesses! Only Merida has got the brothers, they are too small, and prefer to make friends and play with each other, rather than with their older sister. Anna and Elsa – only they of 18 characters of the same age-sister, whose relations – an important part of the story, and are the only exception. Ariel also have sisters, but with the same success as if them would not be at all, because, Ariel prefers to make friendship and share secrets with fish.

Only in 2 of the 17 films is an example of female friendship: Pocahontas has got a close friend who plays a significant role in the plot, and Tiana have friendly relationship, with a daughter of a rich client.
What conclusions are obtained? Most of the popular princesses are not only orphans, has one parent, or a difficult relationship with his parents, but also deprived of the protection and friendship of peers and older friends, girlfriends, brothers and sisters, they mostly replaced on cute animals. Romantic story, each of the girls has her own Prince, but those important people who are usually present in the lives of the girls before meeting with «Prince» – has not everyone. And thus their significance, as if belittled in the eyes of young viewers.Children are still far to their own love relationships , but very important relationships with family and friends, and in the cartoons all the way around – relatives and friends are pushed to the margins, and unnecessary «science to arrange private life» is presented on a silver platter.


Then, what do the cartoon characters? We see princesses, who are bored in the castle, combed tresses, talk with the little animals or furnitures (Fiona Elsa, Anna, Jasmine, Aurora, Belle, Rapunzel), are riding a horse and with a bow (Merida), engaged in curious researches (Ariel – sunken ships), or unhappy workaholics, doomed to the dirty work (Snow White, Cinderella, Esmeralda), or aristocratic-adventurer (Marina) and the brave warriors (Mulan, Kid, Fiona  – after the release).

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We see only the extremes: an idle idleness (from the dressing table with jewelry to horse racing), or vice versa hard, dirty and forced labor, or something on the brink of danger: the sea, the storm, the fight, the war. All that is in the middle between the extremes – not interested. Princess can not be a nurse, or a teacher, or gardener, or a shepherdess, nor scientist, nor even the ruler which in any way take responsible decisions for her subjects …there is only two exceptions to this rule: Pocahontas, which the status of chief’s daughter  does not interfere to work along with others women in tribe ( without a sense of humiliation and forced labor), and Tiana, who dreams to earn and opened a restaurant (again, without feeling miserable slave, despite the hard work. But if she would put up with the status of «poor waitress, hoping to find the prince» she would well will fit in the company of other Disney`s characters).

Conclusion: normal and useful profession is not held in high esteem for the girls, nor for their grooms, which will be discussed later. Here or a complete lack of ambition (for me so well and I will clean up the dirt after others people), or great ambitions (to save the world, or at worst, a kingdom). There is only extremes. What can to learn the little viewers here? And then take an example? Ordinary business: education, work, charity, sports, self-care, treatment – all this behind the scenes, and as if can not even touch the characters.


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Disney’s princesses have are very diverse challenges. For what and how do they live?

  • Elsa, Jasmine and Merida trying to defend their freedom, peace of mind, the right to dispose of her life(including choice of the groom );
  • Fiona – get rid of the curse (not clear yet that it does not become a hindrance to her happy marriage with Shrek);
  • Snow White and Rapunzel – to escape persecution or control a cruel stepmother, break free and in safety;
  • Kid and Mulan – to save his kingdom from invaders and protect loved ones;
  • Anna – to save her sister, and again the kingdom, frozen in midsummer;
  • Marina – wants save her groom, which vouch for lives of his friend.
  • Esmeralda – just earn for living with dancing and circus;
  • Pocahontas – to discover something unknown, what lacked in the usual life, and then to understand which kind of foreigners to came to her native land and to prevent the war;
  • Ariel – get to know the world of the unknown land;
  • Belle – find peace is much more interesting and spectacular than « this boring monotonous provincial life», where she lives in a small town;
  • Cinderella – once, escape on the ball from misery, housekeeping, and from the fractious relatives;
  • Tiana – to open a restaurant of her dreams, «achieve in life something»;
  • Only Aurora nothing much does, lives quietly with loving aunts, growing in the forest, dancing and falls in love with a young man, then she learns that she is – the princess, and can not stay with any guy. She getting upset, grabs the spindle and … almost all narrative is sleeps .

In general, desires and aspirations of princesses are interesting, but as far as they coincide with the challenges modern girls? After all, most of these girls no one does not force to get married. They have not a destructive and  frightening for others talents, characteristics, or curses. Modern girls`  parents  are not the tyrants and monsters. It’s impossible as if in the hands of the girls was the fate of the kingdom, city, and many relatives which depended on their actions.

Not all became artists (though may be many of girls dream). Researchers – also no, although now it is available with an abundance of information and education, we can investigate everything. But to dream that «some world» will be better than your own – it is like «well where we have not .» Belle, like many young spectators certainly do not like the «gray and miserable life», but how to change life around herself, she either does not know or does not want. If her dad did not get lost in the enchanted castle – she continued to bored, escaping from real life into the virtual (described in the books) the world. Is it worthy example? The Cinderella with her hard work and optimism, she might get in life much better than to lacquey for her stepmother and sisters, but no, she is waiting for the ball and Prince.

Why it all need to the girls?

Tiana is hard-working and only she more or less suitable for modern girls like an example for them all. Although her «diluted» – on the way to her dream, despite the her dedication and work, the girl did not resist the temptation to made all the easier and closer, and kissed a frog…
Conclusion – the vital aspirations of the heroines in most cases for young viewers as an example are useless.


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If very briefly, the groom for princess is almost always a prince by birth, and if not, an adventurer and adventurer, or the large original, or in extreme case, military. As if between these categories others men do not exist. There are no one a representative of a peaceful profession widespread, artisan, merchant, farmer, doctor, scientist, builder, teacher … at least someone!

Without princes are (while) only Merida and Elsa. As for the rest:

Got married with princes – Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Tiana, and if some princes do something (to fight with a dragon or monster, change own lousy character, cease to be an idler), while others do nothing, they have just royal title and comely face. So they have got all the good things of life (missing only the girls!), They do not know how to do something , they can only to sing, dance, play the fool, and to kiss. It is clear that for all of these girls who likes these cartoons, in adult life these princes will not be enough. In addition, for intelligent girl such characters certainly seem boring, but they presented as the best object of desire for many!

Kid and Fiona got exclusive originals, they are interesting and cute, in own way. But what a chance for ordinary girls in ordinary life, to meet guys like Milo, discoverer of Atlantis, or an ogre, who in spite of his appearance, and hard character, able to gently treat with his beloved and kids? Impossible!!!

Jasmine and Rapunzel fall in love in thieves and rogues, of course they carefully smoothed and ennobled with help of the writers and animators. Beautiful, courageous, kind, generous, ready to do a lot for own princess … there is only one «insignificant trait ‘- they are idlers, they are not ashamed to steal instead of working. Of course they are sharing stolen things with others   – they do not earned them. The animators could make princes from usual poor guys, accidentally caught in the adventure, but who live by their labor. But the creators of the cartoons did not do it.

Pocahontas and Marina:  they gave their hearts to the sea tramps. These grooms hardly ever ready to abandon the adventure travel for pleasure to stay at home and escort children to school in a safe area. Such happy couple can be only for the time being, until both satisfied with the eternal storm, traveling and the dangers. But what if you want to safe house, where you can safely give birth to children? Most often it is a woman. Can the groom to change the favorite way of life for her and future progeny?  He does not run away, because  »at home bored?»

General Shan and Captain Phoebus, the ice-earner Christophe ( peaceful, but not too common profession!) – Only these guys, more or less suitable for the spouses, whom can often be seen not only in fairy tales, and in this case without any hidden disadvantages.

Conclusion: most of these cartoons are orienting girls to desire and choice of unusual characters. From princes to vagrants, whom of course, is difficult, and very rarely can see in everyday life. Those guys whom are around a lot, are not allowed to be interesting. Because girls want «someone special.»


But now, finally, let’s look and the most interesting point – the choice of «Prince.» Almost all through history permeates the slogan: «In normal environment to find a partner, is impossible!» He must always be either a stranger, or a representative of other social strata.

So  Kid, Ariel, Esmeralda, Pocahontas, chronically unable to be interested in someone of his people: atlants, the inhabitants of the underwater kingdom, numerous Parisian gypsy clan, Indians, as though there is absolutely no one who merit attention of young people. Instead, they choose aliens. Pocahontas rejects almost better groom in her tribe, not only a strong and courageous warrior, he also carefully treat to her, because «with it will be too boring and predictable.» In real life, not all international marriages are successfully, and different people can not easily find a common language, but cartoons are taught  girls: do not look at those boys that next (classmates, neighbors, friends, colleagues …) – it is too banal,much better to  desire someone from afar, unusual, unknown… As a result, a lot of good guys initially has no chance,  because they do not fall into this small category.

Marina also refuses from the noble and handsome groom, because with him «quiet and boring», but she wants to  sailing on the sea with vagrants. Belle look down on the primitive inhabitants of the provincial town, and among them, too, is not anyone worthy of her attention, except  insolent Gaston, for him is not necessarily reciprocity of girl because of his self-confidence.  Jasmine chronically unlucky with princes – in spite of the numerous offers, they somehow appear from narcissistic idiots, and she finally draws attention to the street tramp. Princess Merida also get  marriage proposal  not from the best grooms. Anna falls in love in prince, and he turned out to be  crook, then she finds happiness with guy-earner ice.

Aurora`s, Cinderella`s, Snow White`s Princes is very far and from a peasant hut in the forest, and from the dirty kitchen, Rapunzel`s groom – from secluded castle, where she grew up, and from the royal palace of her parents, exactly the same thing can say about Shrek with Fiona. Mulan, is forced to take on a completely unusual, a new in her environment for the girl role. Tiana not trying to arrange herself a personal life, but all the same she gets prince did not from her immediate environment.

What does all this mean? Only one way: your prince – not the one next to you, but one who is very far and God knows where. In addition, this person is very unlike at you. As far as this «knowledge» will help girls find happiness in real life?

Another call: you can love and trust a person not knowing anything about him! And get married the first comer, not bothering yourself any choice and comparisons! Is it valuable advice?

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Subtract unmarried Merida and Elsa, from the others 15 person: Cinderella, like Anna, falls in love after an evening dance, Aurora – after forest walk and dance, Ariel, like Pocahontas – after a little bit admiring from afar, Snow White – listening to the song about yourself, Jasmine – having driven together (even though she already caught the guy in a lie), Rapunzel – albeit not fall in love, but actually she entrust her security to the man whom she saw at first time in her life. Eight person! Half!

The rest of the persons  to more or less take a closer look and find out something about their grooms. They traveled with him (Fiona, Marina, Tiana), struggled with criminals or enemies (Esmeralda, Mulan, The Kid), lived, gradually  find out his nature (Belle). But still, a negative message –  do you know something about a guy or not – does not matter. Fall in love, and you will be happy! Need I remind you that it is not very often happen in real life? Conversely, blindness and ignorance are the causes for most severe disappointments? But more about that little girls are not supposed to know. they too small to be wise, to understand people, but «sufficiently» large for adult relationship …


In general, the damage is a more than enough:

Almost all social ties severed: an orphan, one parent, a difficult relationship with their parents, parents are not perfect, though harmless, but do nothing to help. Girls have got the animals and toys, but no brothers, sisters, friends, girlfriends, their assistance, support, protection, reciprocity. All they are a sort of individualists, quickly hurrying into the arms of the first comer who seems look like a prince. They do not pay attention to the surrounding boring guys, but seek out «someone special», whom have not other girls. They choose a couple for self not for the quality of a good family man (often not even opt). Employment – in general they are busy in the things that do not have nothing to do with the modern real world. Appearance, health, mood – above all praise, dooming others to the envy, complexes and deprivation of millions «ugly» girls-spectators of male attention. And generates pride and confidence for those girls who are  enough lucky to be born with « the standards of» beauty. Besides they start to think that everything in life should get on a golden platter without any effort.

Another inconspicuous detail – no one of girls does not have to work on yourself to change her the character. In the cartoons, they are all smart, and kind. Their shortcomings – nice, rather they can be called features, such as naive Rapunzel, slight clumsiness Mulan, fearless curiosity Ariel, etc. In real life, not all of person are brought up and out into the adult world is already so nice person… but human fate of course depends on the character.
It turns out a lot of beautiful things and useful practically nothing.

Shakira Buchyanova

Translated by Svetlana Kuntu

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