Well, yet again, I had some time to think. I apologize as this is a bit lengthy and probably pretty wordy as well.
I read an article the other day about how Disney Princesses teach young children unrealistic goals and therefore should be banned. That was paraphrased into my own words but that is basically what was said. The reasons being: (1) they are all super skinny, which is completely unrealistic of today's society (2) they are all beautiful and we KNOW that can't be real (3) they don't have morals (4) Prince Charming does NOT exist.
I know there were more points but these four were the most prominent ones out there. So let me explain why I believe a child watching Disney Princess movies CAN actually benefit from them. I am going to be using the main Disney Princesses such as Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Cinderella, Aurora and of course the newest Tiana.
First off, let us deal with the unrealistic skinniness.
Ariel- Swims all day long.
Belle- Takes many walks around town and across meadows.
Cinderella- Running around a two story house cooking, cleaning, serving and lets not forget the many, many stairs she goes up and down getting to and from her room in the tower everyday.
Aurora- Many hikes through the woods.
Tiana- On her feet all day cleaning houses and waitressing.
Jasmine- You don't actually see Jasmine doing many activities, however what Princess, living in a palace, doesn't have a Personal Trainer.
Yup, it is completely unrealistic to believe that exercise in any form can and will help keep you skinny.
Second, let's look at beauty.
Yes all six princesses are beautiful. They are not plastered with makeup. They barely wear enough to know its there. They don't dress like a (PG13 word coming) slut. Their clothes fit them properly and flatters their bodies without showing them off. Their hair is done in a nice fashion that fits them. It's not left in dread locks(sorry for those who are fond of that style) or unkempt. And yes, they even seem to keep their teeth white. I'm guessing by brushing them, (but shhh, don't tell your kids that).
So yet again, I guess its unrealistic to believe that if you take care for yourself, wear the right amount of makeup, wear clothes that fit properly and have your hair styled in a way that flatters you, then you CAN NOT and NEVER will be beautiful.
Third, let us look at the non-morals of these movies.
Ariel- True love is found from the heart, not from the eyes.
Belle- If you take the time to look past the scars and 'ugliness' of others you will find their true beauty. Patience is needed.
Cinderella- Your job does not define who you are. Kindness goes along way.
Jasmine- Money can't buy you everything. Honesty will get you farther in life.
Aurora- Good may fall at some point but hang on because Evil never wins.
Tiana- Work hard for what you want and your life will be more fulfilling.
So, just to paraphrase... Being nonjudgmental, patient, kind, honest, good, loving and a hard worker are bad qualities. Right?!?
Last, but certainly not least, Prince Charming.
Ariel/Prince Eric- Eric loved Ariel from the moment he heard her voice, sight unseen.
Belle/Beast- Beast was an angry, bitter man who looked ugly inside and out. Yet Belle was able to look past that and see the true beauty inside the Beast.
Cinderella/Prince Charming- Prince Charming ignored Cinderella's title as a maid and chose to love her still.
Jasmine/Aladdin- Opposite sides of the track and yet, Jasmine loved Aladdin even when she knew he was poor.
Aurora/Prince Phillip- Prince Phillip saved the life of the woman he loved. The woman that he, at first, believed to be just a common poor girl.
Tiana/Prince Naveen- So this story might be a little on the unrealistic side with them being frogs and all. However, Prince Naveen overcame his selfishness only to fall in love with a poor girl whom he originally judged to be nothing, and in the process learned that money is not happiness.
So the title of "Prince Charming" might not truly exist, however who doesn't think they've found "Prince Charming" when the man they fall in love with is a decent person who treats them with love, admiration and respect.
Is it misguided to believe that a man can love a woman without even seeing her face? Is it terrible to believe that one who may seem completely repulsive would turn into the most handsome man you'd ever laid eyes on once you actually got to know him? Is it so wrong to believe that even if you have a "less than pleasant" job that your "Prince Charming" would still love you and want to be with you? Is it too much to believe that a woman with money would ever want to marry "beneath" her? Is it really hard to imagine that a man would love you so much that he would "risk his life" to save yours no matter what your status in life may be? Is it that unfathomable that a person can fall in love with another just over their personality? Is it terrible to be taught that even people different than you, inside and out, can be loved?
Overall, what I guess I'm trying to say is that I can't see anything wrong in helping a child's imagination grow to be harmful. Oh and how dare they want to live a healthy life by staying fit or taking care of themselves inside and out. Because what girl wouldn't want to look like a Princess or to have a "Prince Charming" to love? But I guess that last question is the reason behind the article. It's just plain unrealistic to think that you can be beautiful(inside and out, even when you are overweight or scarred), loving, kind, patient, honest, hard working and still find a man that loves you no matter what. Yup, Disney Princesses are full of unrealistic goals.