Were the classic Disney princesses really just ‘waiting for a man’?

Just because they’re classics created from classics, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t analyze the messages they’re sending.

K. Elaine Taylor

--

Well, I suppose it has been over 10 years since Disney actively mocked it’s classics with movies like Enchanted and Cheetah Girls (specifically, they had a whole song poking a stick at Cinderella), so that means it’s time to talk about what bad role models they are again!

Or, at least, it’s time for a new wave of news articles and Twitter-storms on the matter since a couple of celebrity moms dared discuss their parenting decisions in regards to Disney.

Now, I want to be clear up front that there’s nothing wrong with Kristen Bell and Keira Knightly having concerns. Every parent has a right to their own concern about any media being presented whether I or anyone else disagrees with them, and many, like these celebrities, do talk about their concerns with others — it’s just that these two are celebrities so when they talk about these matters, the whole world hears about it and, of course, the whole world is going to have feelings about it. I know I certainly did. That’s why I wrote this story.

Well, to be more specific, I had feelings about the way everyone outside of the actual interviews where these discussions occurred has been handling the news. There seems to be, as there always is, two camps: The ‘yeah I agree’ camp, which ranges from ‘yeah, there are problematic messages’ to ‘yep we’ve banned them in our house, too.’ And there’s the ‘how dare you!’ camp, which includes the likes of ‘but these are classics, so you can’t criticize them,’ ‘these stories are based on fairy tales, so you can’t criticize them,’ and ‘these movies weren’t made to have lessons, they were made to be entertainment, so you can’t criticize them.’ (I’m somewhere in between the two camps, which is a place I’m accustomed to being in these days.)

It’s a silly idea that we, as a culture, can’t criticize these movies just because they’re considered classics. I believe it’s extremely important that we reassess our past creations every now and then. After all, The Birth of a Nation is, technically, a classic film based on old traditions and…

--

--

K. Elaine Taylor

I write in the hopes that perhaps I may help others feel not so alone. Join my writing journey on twitter @kate_is_writing