If it wasn’t already obvious, I love all things Disney, it holds a special place in my heart. My first career choice would always be Disney princess but if that’s not to happen, then I’ll settle for learning from them, as each princess has something to teach us. Whether it’s Tiana’s unrelenting gumption or Cinderella’s boundless belief that everything will work out, they can all stand to be role models in their own right…
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
♫ | Remember, you’re the one that can fill the world with sunshine | ♫
Be YOU-nique! I know that I have previously typed about this but it’s true, whatever grey may occasionally shadow your spirit, allow your personality to shine through. Snow White might appear to be the perfect princess, singing and frolicking with 7 loveable dwarfs (yes, even you Grumpy) and surrounded by woodland creatures but let’s not forget the reason that she hides in the woods — her own mother, the evil Queen, wants her *whispers* d-e-a-d (I feel like that word can’t exist in this Disneyfied post). Snow White teaches us to keep going, no matter what trials you may face, allow yourself to be happy.
♫ | A dream is a wish that your heart makes | ♫
Good things happen to good people, no matter what you might have to endure, be patient and life is sure to reward you. Cinderella was constantly striving to better herself, despite her current situation. If Cinders hadn’t have followed her own path and gone against her controlling Stepmother, she wouldn’t have gone to the ball, she would never have met her true love and escaped her life as a slave! Despite everything that she endured, she remained hopeful, happy and kind-hearted. She teaches us to keep our heads up and never to give up.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
♫ | I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream | ♫
We all have dreams but as Princess Aurora tells us, “if you dream a thing more than once, it’s sure to come true” — this can apply to all aspects of your life, having a positive outlook and never giving up on your dreams will help to turn them into a reality. You may notice a theme here, similarly to Snow White, Aurora lived a sheltered (and, for some time, cursed) life. She made the most of her situation with her bright and sunny attitude towards life always shining through.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
♫ | Wouldn’t I love, love to explore that shore up above? | ♫
Exploration leads to adventure and adventure leads to memorable life experiences, venture out and have some fun discovering the world around you! Ariel also follows her dreams, though it means leaving her family behind, she pursues them by fleeing her life under the sea for the human world. Go after your dreams, no matter what. This might sometimes mean leaving what you know and love behind but as Walt himself once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
♫ | There must be more than this provincial life | ♫
Belle is the quintessential role model, she inspires people to explore because she knows that there’s more to life than the safe routines that we stick to. Instead of waiting for life to happen to her, she goes out to find it. Belle is my favourite Disney princess, she is educated and loves reading, even though people think it’s “odd”. She teaches us to be brave and to be ourselves, don’t fit in; stand out!
♫ | I’m like a shooting star, I’ve come so far, I can’t go back to where I used to be! | ♫
Jasmine reminds us to enjoy the moment, no matter what adventures life might take you on, learn from them. Jasmine refuses to marry someone for the sake of becoming a Queen, despite the expectations that surround her, she wants to marry for love, not a crown. She fights against the rules of the kingdom to stand up for her beliefs, she teaches us to do the same, remain strong-willed and never accept something just because it’s a social norm.
♫ | If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you will learn things you never knew, you never knew | ♫
Wise words Pocahontas – not only can you learn from other people, sometimes putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will give your life some much needed perspective and understanding. Pocahontas goes on a real journey, she puts her tribe at risk for love, now that might not have been sensible but by the time that the film is through she has matured and has a greater understanding. This princess is strong, she teaches us to go our own way and to follow our hearts.
♫ | How about a girl whos got a brain, who always speaks her mind? | ♫
^ Sounds like quite the girl to me! Mulan has to be one of the most strong-willed and independent women from the Disney princess crowd. Mulan has to pretend to be a male for acceptance into the military and to replace her father, who had previously been injured and would have been killed if he was sent to war. Mulan defies norms and laws, highlighting her independence and courage, she teaches us to not back down from what we believe to be right.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
♫ | Daddy told me, fairy tales can come true. You got to make them happen, it all depends on you! | ♫
Your success in life depends on you, and you alone. Rest assured, hard work will pay off and help you to accomplish your goals, despite Tiana’s background and situation, she never gives up on her dreams. Money does not always equal success, she was strong-willed, even with a lack of financial support and a spoiled prince dragging her down!
♫ | After lunch, it’s puzzles and darts and baking, paper-mache, a bit of ballet and chess! | ♫
Hobbies, hobbies and more hobbies; no matter how busy you are, allow yourself to have some “me-time”. Hobbies make us well-rounded individuals and keep us proactive. Despite Rapunzel’s naivety about the world that comes from being trapped in a tower and manipulated by her mother, she never gives up. She steps out of her comfort zone and into the unknown, guiding us to do the same, as her life ends up better for having faced her fears.
♫ | I will ride, I will fly, chase the wind and touch the sky | ♫
Take your fate into your own hands. You can do anything that you set your mind to, and Merida proved that! She is an independent young woman, fighting for herself, without any need for protection from others. This princess stands for freedom, she teaches people to fight for freedom and to love themselves, embrace what you may consider to be imperfections (like her wild mane — seriously, I can relate).
Do you have a favourite Disney princess? Which princess might you choose as a role model?