Losing the Disney dream
Last updated 10/18/2023 at 11:27pm | View PDF
Years ago, my dad wrote an article in this paper about the Disney princesses, the important role that they play in the lives of young and impressionable girls, and the criticism they received from some feminists. He looked to 10-year-old me to show the power of the classic Disney movies and the positive impact the princesses have on young girls. Now, the little girl from the article who played with dolls is all grown up - and I've formed opinions of my own.
Cast as the title character in the upcoming "reimagining" of the classic movie "Snow White," Rachel Zelger recently bashed the original story and praised the retelling, one in which Snow White will not be "saved by the prince" and will not be "dreaming about true love." Apparently, no semblance of the beloved and iconic Disney princess is anywhere to be found.
Unfortunately, in a weak and self-serving attempt to "save" young girls from the pitied role of being a woman destined for love, the Disney company, and all those who support its growing wokeness, have doomed them instead.
Zelger's Snow White is an insult to the classic Disney princesses who have been models of femininity, grace and strength for almost a century. Zegler and her Disney bosses want you to believe the princesses are one-dimensional, with no place in the modern world. They couldn't be more wrong.
Belle teaches young girls that intelligence is power, and books are the tools to achieve it. Ariel teaches girls that love is sacrifice, and that sometimes you must let go of the things you've always loved - like home or family - to create a life that is truly your own. Rapunzel's fierce confidence in herself and her excitement for life are traits that are far too often missing in others.
All three princesses exemplify strength. And all three princesses value love above all.
Today's Disney isn't helping to raise powerful young women; it's helping to raise women who think wanting or needing love from someone other than yourself, especially a man, is wrong. Denouncing the princesses undermines both the human need for connection and the reassurance that we don't have to be brave or selfless or strong all the time.
A world without the princesses is a world where girls are taught that the very thing that makes them human is also the thing that makes them weak - and the consequences could be catastrophic.
I grew up dreaming that someday my prince would come, and I turned out just fine - confident, independent and aware of how important it is to love and be loved. I feel sorry for the young girls of this generation who are being denied the opportunity to do the same. Because if something as pure as true love's kiss isn't good enough to save us all, then nothing will.
- Katie Hughes of Hinsdale is a senior at the University of Georgia. Readers can email her at [email protected].