Earlier today I was watching the end of the Princess and the Frog with my niece. I love the Disney princess movies, even though I see issues in the plot lines.
As I watched, I thought how after years and years, Disney had finally made a movie with a person of color and also with someone of ethnic background. Though I believe Disney is still years away from making strides in the inclusion department, they are making baby step strides. Frozen showed a princess not being saved by a prince and that girls can save the day. Zootopia included a female bunny cop, proving that girls can do anything boys can do (and better). There are others I’m sure. From sidekicks kicking booty to princesses marching to their own drums. Baby steps…
Growing up my parents didn’t play into the whole Disney thing. The Disney channel was a channel you paid extra for unlike today. I remember going to the movies to see Bambi and other movies. However, the mouse wasn’t prominent in our house. Granted, one couldn’t go purchase princess costumes and tiaras and such like today with the many aisles of Disney.
Plus, my parents didn’t raise me to swoon for a man. They raised me to be independent with the ability to take care of myself. (Those Saturdays of cleaning the house were more than learning to like Dad’s music. Even now, my parents can’t believe I go to the movies alone but my independence comes from their upbringing, so thanks Mom and Dad.)
Today, however, little girls like my nieces are learning to dress up like Cinderella and Snow White. They might not consciously be aware of their actions, learning to fall for the prince and waiting for the fairy tale ending, but that’s what they are learning.
And I get it. Hopeless romantic here. Do I hope someday my prince will come? Absolutely. Will I sit pining away for him, while birds do my bidding? Heck no! I hope my nieces (and nephews) learn this too.
I also hope that one day they learn that a girl can get dirty. That girls can fight like Rey and take on Kylo Ren or have book smarts like Hermione Granger. I hope my nieces learn that girls do not have to be defined as pretty princesses and be cute and wear pink. I hope that little girls today grow up to be strong, independent women, showing the boys that they too can swim or run as fast as any boy can, that girls can earn that Doctorate and perhaps be President of a company or a country.
Girls can be huge stars in sports, be CEOs of companies, run movie production companies and direct films. That list goes on…
Girls can do anything boys can do, sometimes even better. Isn’t it time our society teaches little girls this? Life isn’t about waiting for some prince who may never show up. So why wait? Why not get out there, explore a little, make friends, prove to yourself that you’re worthy and do some a$$ kicking along the way!