By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Opinion: In the mind of Mia: To be a Disney Princess or not


Ever since I was little, I always dreamed of becoming a Disney Princess.

The leading ladies whom I looked up to were both thin and beautiful. Their gowns were stunning, and they could generally hit notes that I could only dream of.

As time went on, I would tell people that my dream job was to be a Disney Princess and that I was attending college for a fallback career, just in case the Disney Princess thing didn’t quite work out.

Yes, I am well aware that I will never be an actual Disney Princess. However, the idea of being royalty, having a kick-ass singing voice and having a handsome soul mate sounds quite enticing.

Yet, over time as I matured, I have come to realize that there are more negative underlying tones throughout Disney films than I had realized at the ripe age of 10.

The sexism and the lack of strong female Disney characters and princesses was brought to my attention almost as soon as I set foot on campus three years ago. Until then, I had never realized just how weak the women of Disney were in the classic Disney films.

Take the older movies such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Little Mermaid” and compare them to the more recent Disney releases such as “Brave,” “Frozen” and “Princess and the Frog.” The similarities lead me to believe that Disney storylines generally carry weak feminine characters throughout their animated classics.

I am incredibly guilty of watching the movies and listening to the music, not to mention that I go to Disneyland any chance that I can. But after analyzing the different films from a young scholar’s perspective, I am a bit disgusted in not only the weak roles that these females tend to play, but also the lack of educational development they exhibit.

Prime examples of the lack of strong feminine characters include, but are not limited to: the term ‘damsel in distress’ (Hercules), meeting your one true love (almost every Disney movie), the women of Disney having to change their character to impress their crush (“The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” etc.), and my personal favorite is the end where they “lived happily ever after” because the prince saved the princess.

I believe that everyone should watch a Disney movie at one point in their life, keeping in mind that yes, there are underlying tones of race and sexism and cultural discernment. But Disney represents so much more on the grand scale of things.

To me, Disney represents childhood and laughter; Disney represents family and friends; and Disney represents who I am.

Disney is something that has always been there for me growing up, and it allows me to relate to that which is non-existent, yet something that I am proud to be a part of.

When I was younger, I was raised on Disney movies, and now I repeatedly tell people when they are stressed and need a break to go home and watch a Disney movie. I’ve watched the movies, sang along with them and darn near cried with them.

Disney has played a major role in helping me define myself for the kind of princess I would want to be, not the one that society thinks I should be.

I don’t care if you love or hate Disney, and I don’t wish to sway your views.

I only wish to stress that you can still be a Disney princess, and a great one at that, without having to bow down to the negativity that has been swarming Disney films and Disney as a whole for some time now.

Don’t give into the temptation of the negative connotation my friends — stand strong and break the norms.

Be your own Disney princess, as I will continue to strive to be mine.

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