So who instructed me to look up to a maid who only got the chance to attend one party in her life and messed it all up by losing one of her shoes? I am one, amongst millions of other young girls, who spent the bulk of my adolescence looking up to the Disney Princesses. I had the collection of Barbie dolls lining my shelves. I donned plastic heels with their pretty faces creepily printed on the front of them. And I allowed myself to be fed the message that most young girls spend well into adulthood digesting: Someday my prince would come.
Bad role models. I have discussed this numerous times with a close friend of mine, how these seemingly innocent princesses in pastel colored dresses really are not good role models. What lesson did they actually teach us at such a young and impressionable age? To sit around and daydream all day, maybe hum a tune with some talking animals, until a man rode in on his horse to rescue us? Hm, somehow I don't see a man riding down the busy streets of Worcester on a horse, looking for me, any time soon.
Take Snow White for instance (my favorite of the princesses): What should I really learn from a young woman who spends all her time doing chores for little bitty men and then is naive enough to open her door to strangers and openly accept food from them? I have been tainted. I have been jaded. I have been filled with false hope and I am finally speaking up. Cinderella? Ariel? Sleeping Beauty? What do you girls really want from us? Don't you see that you are extreme rarities in this world?
In all the Disney movies, Prince Charming always falls in love with the lady for her astounding amount of beauty. Cinderella and Princey never talked politics or the war in Iraq, all she had to do was dance with the guy and manage to be clumsy enough to lose a shoe right off of her foot in order to steal his heart. Well I have tried leaving my shoes in numerous places but I have yet to have them returned to me by a hunk who is still drooling from our last interaction.
Ariel and Prince Eric never sat down at Starbucks to get to know each other or catch a chick flick. In fact, if you all still remember the Little Mermaid, the girl did not even have a voice the whole time. She gave it up, her one talent, to grow some feet to impress this guy. What happened to not giving up parts of ourselves to please someone else?
And what about Sleeping Beauty? She did not even have to do anything to make the Prince fall in love with her. Nope, she merely slept her life away until the Prince tracked her down and rescued her.
Here is the point: I don't think that a guy would ever fall in love with me if I was in a coma. I don't believe that in real life a guy will show up on my balcony with a magic flying rug (at least I hope not). I think this idea of Prince Charming needs to rest in peace.
We are in the 21st century, a guy can certainly be charming but there is no need to play the damsel in distress role. These Disney divas were fools, bad role models, dreamers who got lucky. They did not have the awkward silences, they never shuddered to introduce the Prince to their embarrassing families and Prince Charming was certainly not shooting them a text to say "What's up?" Falling in love is not one easy slice of pie and it is certainly not one bite out of a poison apple.
I give up on you girls, that's right Cinderelly, I am talking straight to ya. Fall in love with me for my wit, my charm, my brains- anything besides the fact that I am missing one shoe and I do the laundry and cleaning for seven other men.