I grew up in the 90s watching Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine on repeat. I cried with my best friend when we learned that Pocahontas died. The Disney Princesses were LIFE.
Flash forward to today, and people don’t love the Disney Princesses as much because of feminism. People believe that the Disney Princesses only teach kids to wait around for a prince to come save them. However, as I was doing my research (napping on a Saturday afternoon watching Disney), I didn’t see a bunch of damsels in distress, waiting for a man to come save them. Except maybe Sleeping Beauty, but who actually likes her?
Here are the life lessons that the Disney Princesses taught me:
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Life Lessons the Disney Princesses Taught Me
Belle–Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is hands down my favorite Disney Princess movie. I loved Belle so much, I used to practice blowing my bangs out of my face trying to be her (Side note: it doesn’t work with straight across bangs).
You don’t have to watch this movie long to learn the premise. Belle’s song “Little Town” is all about wanting to do more than the expectations set out for her. This song also happened to be the theme song for my quarter life crisis. She had hopes and dreams that were bigger than just getting married and being a wife. And she probably got all of her ideas from the books she reads.
I credit Belle with encouraging me to dream big and to be an avid reader.
Ariel–the Little Mermaid
My second favorite to Belle was Ariel. I even had this rock in our yard that looked like hers in the ocean. I used to practice the scene with the ocean splash all the time, but I could never do it right (Probably because I live in the middle of the country, no where near any oceans).
Ariel is a little bit of a spit-fire and she definitely does what she wants. This girl was NOT just floating through the water waiting around for a guy. She was intrigued by different cultures and wanted to learn more about people that were different than her. She also didn’t let people talk her into believing their prejudices. Although her choices might not always have been the best, she wasn’t afraid to take risks for something she truly wanted.
I credit Ariel with teaching me not to discriminate against people and to venture out from my comfort zone.
Although Pocahontas was more my BFF’s favorite, I still love the movie. Even if I wasn’t allowed to be her for Halloween because my BFF had the better hair. I still want a pet raccoon.
Not only does Pocahontas deter us from discrimination, she encourages us to be curious (If you read my email this week, you’d know I’m all about curiosity right now). She teaches us to appreciate the earth and that we aren’t greater than other people or things in this world. Which is a HUGE lesson to learn, especially in the state of our country right now. Finally, she also teaches us about trusting your heart when making decisions and that the right answer might not be the most popular.
I credit Pocahontas with opening my mind on how I view different people and learning to go with my gut when making decisions..
Snow White was the first Disney Princess and created in the 1930s when times were different. Although she can sometimes have a whiny voice, I was still jealous of all her animals friends. Not once has a wild rabbit cuddle up on my lap in the middle of the forest.
Even though this is girl is a princess, she has a rough life. Despite having a step-mom that’s trying to kill her and being homeless, she teaches us to be resourceful and make the most of a terrible situation. A true damsel in distress would’ve laid down in the woods and probably died not knowing how to save themselves. But not Snow. She finds a random cottage and works as their maid for her room and board.
I credit Snow White with teaching me to be resourceful even if I’m broke AF and to not talk to strangers if they look like they could kill me.
The hottest of all the Disney Princesses. I got her pajamas for Christmas one year and thought I’d won the lotto. I was only missing a big, fluffy tiger to follow me around.
Although Aladdin appears to be mostly about the guy, Aladdin, Jasmine is more than just some pretty character he’s trying to woo. Her royal duty is to marry for the sake of her country. I’m surprised her dad didn’t just arrange something and force her. But Jasmine doesn’t care about money and things. She wants to marry for love and make her own decisions in life. She know there’s more than material things that make you happy.
I credit Jasmine with instilling my dating standards of looking for someone with good values, personality, and character.
Like Snow, this girl had a rough go at life. I was always jealous of her little mice friends and that she could talk to birds. They never flew into my window when I sang.
Cinderella teaches you to value hard work. She stayed positive and whistled through her work. Even though she had a horrible step family, she never complained or said anything negative to them. She was probably pretty handy to have around the castle after she married, too.
I credit Cinderella with my positive attitude and hard work ethic.
There are so many more valuable lessons that other Disney Princesses taught me, but these are the main ones from my childhood. If you haven’t watched any of the films, check them out before you pass judgement. There’s a lot that can be learned from child animation.
And if you are not sure about the Disney princesses from times past, check out Frozen for some more modern day female characters!