Article in brief: The author expresses the importance of what little girls watch, as it will have a strong influence on them as they grow up.
Like almost every person my age, I grew up watching the Disney Channel. I remember getting so excited watching cartoons, especially when a Disney princess was involved. As a child, I was highly influenced by what I saw in movies and I wanted to be a princess. I wanted long luscious hair, a tiny waist, a pretty face and a beautiful singing voice.
I wanted to be and look like a princess, living the unattainable and impossible physical standards presented to little girls around the world through those characters. I’ve constantly watched females in distress, and the only thing that managed to save them, was a male.
I used to believe that in order to end up being happy, I had to look beautiful and wait for a prince charming to radiate sunshine into my life. I often felt like I wasn’t pretty or skinny enough to be or feel like a princess, and I also thought that prince charming will never be there to save my day. But that wasn’t the worst part of it.
If anything, Disney princesses have taught me that my worth would decline if I weren’t ‘pretty’. Keep in mind that ‘pretty’ comes in different shapes and sizes, and different looks and features. Your face doesn’t matter when you have a personality as dark as a witch’s.
When I turned twelve, I realized that that isn’t how life should be. I mean, it’s okay to want to look nice and it’s more than okay to get help but it’s never okay to tell little girls that they will only have a happily ever after if a man saves them.
I then turned thirteen, and educated myself. I learnt about feminism and what women are actually worth. I understood that notwithstanding Jasmine’s storyline, I have a political worth even if I was a single woman. Unlike Cinderella, if I had terrible living conditions, I’d get myself out of them instead of waiting for ‘prince charming’ to sweep me off my feet.
Despite what Ariel taught me, I would never give up my best talent in order to land the prince whose heart I’ll win simply by acquiring gorgeous looks. And unlike Snow White, I will not run away and hide from jealous attempts to demolish me until a prince comes to save me.
Now, I pity little me for wanting to be a helpless princess because that is not what I want right now. There are a few Disney princesses that fought on their own, so instead of having the focus on damsels in distress, animators should be more into creating characters that will actually make little girls want to seek independence.
I bet you’re wondering who my favorite Disney princess is and I can answer that simply by saying Mulan. I honestly look up to her and want to be a warrior just like her. She, a woman, saved China not because of her looks or her prince, but because of her commitment and determination. So, to that I say: You want a hero? Be your own.
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
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