Respect Your Inner Princess

Today, I - a 16-year-old girl - was shunned for having a Disney Princess pencil case. But, as princess films are starting to become more and more influential, does this still remain a fair thing to do? It's time to respect your inner princess: you might just be surprised to see what she's like...

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3. Not Exactly Women's Libbers

Now, I accept that the princesses – even more allegedly ‘feminist’ ones like Mulan and Merida – are not exactly women’s libbers by any stretch of the imagination. Most of their ambitions are to do with finding husbands, and the odd few that don’t have this as their main agenda often find that it’s their only purpose in life anyway. I won’t lie – that’s not the best message to be putting out to young girls. Older girls like me find it especially questionable with the benefit of hindsight, realising that we grew up with such messages. 

But take away the whole ‘finding a man’ aspect and you’ll find that the princesses actually have some pretty ambitious goals. Ariel, Rapunzel and Jasmine want to experience and learn about a culture that is not their own; Belle and Pocahontas want to do something adventurous and worthwhile; Tiana wants to own her own business and Mulan wants to prove to herself that she is strong and worthwhile. I don’t know about you, but I’d call all that ambitious. Even the less interesting princesses have important qualities like kindness, patience and tolerance that, let’s face it, we really don’t see enough of. However, it’s not only about the qualities of the princesses – it’s the qualities of the movies on a filmmaking level that also really stand out.

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