Each and every young girl’s fantasy is to be a Disney princess, to live in a castle and marry their prince charming. Most likely every single one longed for it at least once during their childhood. Disney princesses have developed over numerous years and have pulled in even the more seasoned women. For over 80 years of Disney princess history, a genuine evolution of female characters has occurred and it is straightforwardly related with what was going on in the society. Disney have always shown the princess’s life in way that one wants and desires, to be a princess every single day, even though we admit that this can’t happen in real life, still dreaming doesn’t cost a fortune, right?
At times we wonder who is behind every one of these tales, the authors obviously yet from where did they got the inspiration from? Some are based on folk tales such as Rapunzel who was based on fairy tale by the brothers Grimm or inspired by Female actors in the industry or were inspired by a real story like Beauty and the Beast which was inspired by a real-life couple Pedro and Catherine Gonsalvus. Disney princesses have shaped according to the social norms and got a needful improvement.
Let’s start with the debut and first feature film by Disney Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs which came out in 1937, which depicted the story of snow white who was an orphan, a real beauty who was adored by beings around her. Unfortunately, the evil witch couldn’t see the beauty in her nature yet saw her as the fairest of all. She desired to own the title. She does her very own evil things and puts her into a deep sleep, then the prince appears and kisses her lips to awaken her from the sleep. For this generation some people do love this story, while others think it highlights the concept of racism and gender roles. No doubt this debut was a huge success but not much appropriate for this generation.
Similar traits of a woman are shown in Cinderella (1950) where she is saved by the prince at the end of the story. One thing sets this story apart is that Cinderella was a curious girl who wanted to explore the world rather than revolve around a man. Then in 1989, Princess Ariel from the movie Little mermaid also was one of the finest characters, where she takes a stand for herself, wants to live a life on land. She fights with Ursula the evil being of underwater and we can see the courageous spirit in her in the film. Belle from Beauty and the Beast, a smart and active woman who doesn’t settle with being a household wife. She escapes the societal norms and lives with her father, she also was fond of reading. The movie depicts how a handsome man can be so cruel and a beast would be so kind-hearted.
Young ladies out there should realize that regardless of what following handsome face won’t give you the satisfaction and love which a kind-hearted man will give you, pick wisely. Apart from marriage, woman also have other dreams and desires. In 1992, Aladdin was featured, where princess jasmine doesn’t go for a handsome and rich prince but an ordinary guy. This film was different from other princess films which had all the princess of same race.
Mulan, also known as the coolest princess dressed up as a man in all-man army. She was brave and a born fighter. She shatters the patriarchal society and saves China from the Huns. And proves that a woman is capable of being in an army.
The long-haired princess, Rapunzel in Tangled was a brave girl who didn’t fear the outside world, wanted to see the beauty around her but due to her so-called mother who kept her in the huge tower from where she eventually escaped. She also proves that any woman’s world doesn’t revolve around men.
Frozen I and II, they are no exactly Disney princesses but they do relate to today’s young girls such as Elsa who is in search of finding herself. Elsa also shows her strong personality whereas Anna, little sister of Elsa is kind and bubbly.
The daughter of a tribe leader named Moana who is all set to save her people and that’s her first priority. This maybe the first time Disney has centred the female character in the film. The film also doesn’t include much love or intimacy. Moana is a daring and energetic young lady who makes the courageous stride in the ocean and builds up courage to fight against her fears.
Princesses have evolved through many years and in a better way. Breaking the patriarchal norms of the society and regardless of any gender or race, they do what they desire and want to become while exploring the world.