Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty & the Beast were released when I was a kid. I loved all three movies. I dreamed of swimming under the ocean just like Ariel, and I crushed on Aladdin. But Belle…she was my favorite, the one I identified with the most. She loved books and so did I, and I loved the way she looked beyond what’s skin deep to see the true character of a person. But my view of Disney Princesses changed as I grew up.
Once Disney started the Disney Princess brand, they were everywhere – on clothing, dishware, diapers, shampoo bottles, linens, and every toy you could imagine. Once my niece started liking them, my sister bought her everything Disney Princess. If it didn’t have one of their faces on it, she couldn’t wear it, play with it, or eat from it. They were no longer their stories, but a way of life and it made me want to puke.
After that, I vowed that if I had a daughter, I would not buy her Disney Princess anything, except maybe the movies. There was no way she was going to grow up thinking she needed a prince to save her or a big froofy gown to make her feel pretty. She was going to learn to be independent and self-happy, because, for too long, I was focused on meeting the man I was going to marry and less on being happy with myself.
Fast forward about 7-8 years. I have a daughter and Frozen has just come out. I’m in no hurry to rush out and see this movie. The way I see it, it was just another princess movie and I greatly dislike snow. Then, one night, a year after its release, I have the chance to see if for free, and I’m surprised by it. This movie was the opposite of most of the other Disney Princess movies. It’s not about needing a man: it’s about sisterly love. It even includes some mocking humor of the other Disney Princess movies. So, I let my daughter watch it, and she falls in love with Olaf.
I’ve since released my vise on Disney Princesses. No, I won’t be buying their branded products. Some of the few pieces that have slipped their way into my house thanks to my sister make me cringe a bit, but I’m not going to outright say no when my daughter wants to enjoy a Disney Princess. Matter-of-fact, she asked to be Rapunzel for Halloween. Would I have much rather wanted her to be the LED stick figure she was last year? Yes. But I believe the fun part of Halloween is being whatever you want to be. So, here she is, my pretty Rapunzel…
As long as she doesn’t insist on everything I buy her be Disney Princess, I think I’ll be okay with her liking them. What is something you swore you’d never do and changed your mind?
This is a Beyond the Books writing prompt.