I don't know what is like for kids these days, but I was fed Disney movies throughout my childhood. I owned all the tapes, I knew all the songs by heart and I believed that with a little bit of will and patience I could one day live my own Disney movie. Recently, I wanted to tease a friend and send her a video where Cinderella is singing about love. I listened to "A dream is a wish your heart makes" and I got really angry. I realized there was a reason I was disappointed in a great deal of things about life: the stuff I learned from Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, etc....were not true.
The Disney female characters overcome every obstacle, meet the perfect men, and end up living a perfect and happy life. I wanted to take a closer look to what they taught me and what I came to learn on my own.
I would really like to speak about the men. I mean, the guys in these movies are just incredible. They're generous, heroic, good hearted, humble and full of amazingly good intentions - not to mention super hot! Cinderella was saved by her prince of an evil step-mom and stepsisters. Overnight, after she tried on the right shoe, she got out of her rags, had a beautiful wedding and lived happily ever after. Sleeping Beauty didn't even have to make any efforts. She slept for 100 years, the prince arrived, kissed her and everything went back to normal -- actually, more than normal, everything became a dream. It gets even better with Jasmine. She's the real feminist. She refuses to get married and when the movie starts, it sounds like she's going to end up an old maid. She is really bored with her life, so she dresses in rags and runs away from the palace. Of course, she's a woman, so she's weak, and gets in trouble only a few minutes after being on her own. She then meets Aladdin, who is a total loser, steals to eat instead of working, spends his entire days chilling with a little monkey -- obviously, the only man that catches Jasmine's attention is not marriage material. But let's not forget the magic of Disney. It so happens that a genie comes in the game and changes Aladdin into this perfect prince. Hello! When in life did any of us get a loser to become someone dateable, even marriable?! Aladdin really becomes Mister perfect. He takes Jasmine on a magic carpet ride and sings to her that he wants to show her "a whole new world, shining, shimmering, splendid." You gotta give credit to the man: he takes her on a tour over the world in like three minutes and tells her he wants to rock her world -- how can she resist? Yes, the men in Disney are just perfect. I challenge any of you to find them a flaw -- other than too perfect to be exciting.
Instead, what we get in real life? Men whose greatest fear is us! Yes, I mean look at the men these days. They don't call, they think showing you affection is sacrificing their liberty. If you ever dare to ask them to define what is going between you two, they freak out and start acting nasty. Not to mention that you have to constantly watch yourself and make sure you don't threaten their well-being and freedom. I mean God forbid you ever show them you are a little bit attached -- it is a capital sin these days -- although I have to reckon, there is something weird about us wanting to create some sort of dialogues with such creatures.
When we meet losers like Aladdin that we get attached to, no genie comes in to save the game. They just stay losers! Women are generally the ones making all the sacrifices and adapting to the other's world. We have such low expectations that little things like watering our plant can make our day -- maybe the lesson we didn't learn from the fairy tales is to be more demanding.
As a little girl, I was just brainwashed with positive thoughts from all these movies -- I even wonder how it is possible I am so cynical now.
Snow White sang "Some day my prince will come, and away to his castle we'll go to be happy forever I know." She really believed it and it happened. The first thing Cinderella thinks about when she wakes up is " Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through no matter how your heart is grieving if you keep on believing the dream that you wish will come true." She was right. All she had to do was cry and a fairy appeared when things got really bad and made it all okay. Ariel, the mermaid, takes it to another level. That one is the anti-feminist princess. She tells us she knows she has everything anyone would dream of to be happy but she can't be happy as long as she is not "part of your world," that world being her little crush's world. I personally wouldn't want to leave the perfect under the sea world to come waste my time with humans -- I just don't get her.
So yeah, Cinderella, Snow White and the others fed my little head with dreams that are very far from reality. You won't believe me but I am actually happy they did. Even if I will never get to go on a magic carpet ride or meet someone who wants to show me "a magic world," at least they allowed me to dream for years. However, I think they should also make kids movies where things don't end up so perfectly -- more like the real world. A story where the princess spends the weekend with a boy and says goodbye to go back to her magic land. He then wants to surprise her at the airport but instead of taking her on a 3 minutes tour of the world, he is 3 minutes late because of a flat tire and they never see each other again. That princess sang the blues. The end.