The Princess and the Role Model

Have you noticed a shift in Disney’s ‘classic’ female characters lately???

Disney is perhaps best known for its Princesses.

From Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, from Snow White to Rapunzel … children (little girls in particular) are fed the notion that we need our ‘Prince’ to save us and make us whole.

But lately, Disney has taken a shift in the right direction. With strong, female-driven characters that are certainly not waiting on any Prince for their redemption.

Here’s a round up of a few Disney ladies I’m currently crushing on:

1. Moana – with nary a male suitor  in sight, the young girl travels across the seas, following her dreams and saving the world in the process.

2. Elsa – Yet again, not a sniff of a beau in sight … she comes into her own, embraces her full potential and spawns an award-winning anthem for ‘letting sh*t go’.

3. Merida – The rambunctious heroine of Disney’s Brave, who’s ability to learn and grow from her mistakes is the only thing greater than her strong will.

4. Mulan – From peasant girl to warrior, Mulan shows us that gender roles and cultural odds are no match for determination and hard work.

When I ask my girls what they want to be when they grow up I get all sorts of weird answers: Farmer, Barney, A tree, Doctor etc… But the one that tops the list is always: a Princess.

There certainly isn’t anything wrong with little girls watching classic Disney fairytales and dreaming of being a Princess. However, as parents it is important to expose our children to strong role models as well, so they build a core of self confidence, and develop roots of tenacity and determination. They need to see independence in action, to know that they are special, unique, whole … completely by themselves.

It is a very powerful thing to be able to shape a young child’s mind. And with great power, comes great responsibility.

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