By Jenna Minnelli ’16
In honor of March being Women’s History Month, I have decided to embrace my inner feminist and do what I do best: nitpick movies. I will admit to being that one annoying person that comments during the movie about how unrealistic the CGI is or how unconvincing a delivery of a line was. No lie, I freely express my emotions while in the theater. (And if you happen to be in the seat next to me, I apologize in advance.) Most of the time, you can find me laughing over a cheesy profession of love or bawling my eyes out when Groot was dying in Guardians of the Galaxy (Don’t…think about…the feels…). Anyway, the point is that–although I shouldn’t really be judging the actors and actresses of a movie when my acting is 100 times more terrible–there comes a point when too much fluff becomes laughable. And no movie industry lays on the fluff quite like Disney.
Now, believe me, there are still points in my life where I need a good cry, a pint of ice cream, and the refrain of Colors of the Wind. But for the most part, re-watching Disney princess movies leaves me blinking at the screen in confusion and (surprise, surprise) laughing at the characters. Sometimes I wish I could just grab Cinderella by the shoulders and demand, “LOOK WHAT YOU’RE DOING WITH YOUR LIFE!” But, not only would that make me look like a psychopath, it would also be quite rude. So, in the nicest way possible, I have decided to gently point out flaws in these femmes’ relationships and suggest a few alternatives.
Here goes nothing.
Woman #1: Cinderella
I may not be an expert in this field, but I’m just going to cut straight to the chase. It’s typical of relationships to know each other’s names. Period. I might be reaching here, but I’m going to say that that’s probably the first thing that you should know. And if you’re willing to marry a man who goes by “Prince Charming”, then we have a problem here. First of all, just the fact that he calls himself that suggests that he is very self-centered man. AND clearly “Prince Charming” isn’t his real name. What is he hiding? Why does he refuse to give out his real name? Personally, I believe it is quite possible that he’s working for a secret government agency. Do you really want to get caught up in the lies and deceit of politics, Cindy? I didn’t think so.
Woman #2: Ariel
What can I say? This girl has a pretty good life to begin with. Her dad is the king of the fish. She’s got a lovely collection of useless human junk. You’d think she be perfectly happy with snatching up a hunky merman of her own. But no. Oh no. She had to go make a deal with an evil octopus in order to impress a man out of her league (or should I say, out of her water 😉 ). But all corny jokes set aside, who would agree to ripping out their vocal cords for a set of legs? I trip over my legs all the time. I think we humans can all agree that that was a stupid move on Ariel’s part. And how does the movie end? With Ariel’s human boy toy impaling the woman with whom Ariel signed a lawful, binding contract. And now what does she have? No way to stay in contact with her family, a pair of stubbly legs instead of a beautiful tail, and a murderer for a husband. Smooth move, girlfriend. Smooth move.
Woman #3: Belle
Isn’t it so sweet to be able to love someone for who they are on the inside? Yes, it is. But Belle’s love for the beast (or Adam, whatever you want to call him) is an extreme case. Okay, so maybe it was true that he was actually a human trapped in a beast’s body, but Belle didn’t know that. And even if she did, was she really guillible enough to believe it? That’s almost as ridiculous as me falling in love with my cat because I truly believed he would magically turn into my husband.
Woman #4: Aurora (A.K.A. Sleeping Beauty)
We all know the saying. “Stranger Danger”. And typically when we’re approached by a strange man in the woods, the majority of us would run like hell. Some of us might drop kick that sucker, and then you have the 0.01% of women that would sing a musical number with him. Our lovely lady belongs to the last group. As much as we’d love to warn Aurora of the dangers of flirting with suspicious men, Walt Disney brainwashes us into thinking that this is cute and acceptable, which is completely not the case. Fast forward to the end of the movie where Prince Philip wakes Aurora up with a kiss. Now let’s pause for a moment and think about this. A man that she met once in the woods has not only danced with her, sang with her, AND followed her. But he also WATCHED HER SLEEP. I’m going to give this one a major stalker alert that is in need of a restraining order. Stay asleep, beauty.
Woman #5: Pocahontas
Ah, Disney. The home of historically accurate information. (Ha ha ha, I’m too much.) They did try, I’ll give them that. But whatever you do, do not put down that Pocahontas talked to a magical tree on your AP US History test, because it didn’t happen. You know what else didn’t happen? Pocahontas getting together with John Smith. Believe it or not, she actually married John Rolfe, which Disney attempted (and failed) to fix in the second movie. But let’s just stick with Disney’s first movie and pretend that she coupled up with John Smith. In the movie, Pocahontas is 18 years old, but in real life? She was 12. John Smith was 27. And I know girls like the idea of dating an older boy, but this is a bit much. I’m just going to pretend that this never happened and say that they were good friends at most.
I will admit that some of the newer Disney movies have had their fair share of female empowerment moments. But for the most part I think our panel of females could learn a thing or two from Mulan. She can keep up with the guys and look fantastic all at the same time. So let’s all just join in on the chorus of that famous Mulan song: “I’ll Make a Man Out of You (unless you’re a woman because you’re already naturally awesome)” 😉
Stay beautiful. And enjoy the rest of your month. ❤