My generation of parents is a highly vigilant one. We don't want to shame sexuality too much, we don't want to call our daughters "bossy," we don't spank... almost every decision is made with the fear of the effects it may cause 20 years down the line. Many articles I've seen concerning the rearing of daughters has been anti-princess propaganda. 

I think the fear is that our little girls will grow up thinking they have to be "saved by a man" and they won't be strong or independent enough. One of the biggest virtues of Frozen was that Elsa was powerful and didn't need a prince. I'm not condemning these characteristics, however, I'd like to take a moment to highlight the other pre-Frozen princesses and their virtues. 

 

1. Cinderella - She is perhaps the most hated princess among feminists. She allows herself to be mistreated time and time again, and depends on the prince to deliver her from the opression of her step family. Well, not the way I see it. I see Cinderella as faithful, kind, persevering and charitable. See, some times we are in situations we can't control. Some times we have to work a crappy job where we are underappreciated because we have mouths to feed at home. She has faith that some day she will be relieved of her current life style, but until then, she continues to do her work to the best of her ability. She's not rude to her sisters of step-mother. She always responds kindly and doesn't allow her situation to turn her bitter. Despite having very little possessions, she shares what she has with her friends [yes, the mice]. This is why Cinderella is one of my favorite princesses. 

2. Belle - This princess is more recognized as a "modern" woman due to her intelligence and love of books. I also want to highlight though, how non-judgmental Belle is. I know this seems obvious in her relationship with the Beast, but she is loving of her eccentric father and friends withe the recluse librarian. She sees no value in vanity. Though she is often depicted in that iconic yellow gown, the rest of her wardrobe is simple. She has no affection for Gaston whatsoever, only further emphasizing the value she places on virtue instead of beauty. Finally she fiercely defends the ones whom she loves, which is why I'd be proud to have a daughter mimicking Belle. 

3. Ariel - This is another widely hated princess. She falls in love with a man she doesn't know from Adam, and goes to great lengths to be with him. How about this angle: Ariel values education. Yes, she has an unquenchable curiosity and will do anything to have her questions answered. She is willing to abandon all her comforts and familiarity, not only for love, but in her quest for knowledge of the outside world. When you think about it, she's really quite fearless. 

4. Rapunzel - Another modern princess who broke the classic Disney mold in a lot of ways. She is creative, ambitious, trusting, persistent yet patient, and loving. She made lemonade with her lemons. I mean, homegirl was locked in a tower for 18 years and used that time to become a talented painter. Like Cinderella, she didn't let horrible circumstances ruin her life. She was patient despite consistently asking her mother's permission to leave the tower. With no outside knowledge of the world, she still finds the courage to "see the floating lights." Her trust in Flynn is "a terrible idea-- really," but if you ask me, I think it is a virtue. Obviously I am going to teach my children about "stranger danger," but I think often times our fear keeps us from helping others or getting to know them. Our fear is a barrier that keeps us from harm, but also genuine human connection. Her extroverted personality blossoms in the outside world as she befriends pretty much every one. From ruffians and thugs, to little girls who enjoy braiding hair. Rapunzel is a strong yet lovable princess.  

Of course Merida deserves an honorable mention for being strong, and all the other princesses get shout outs for also being loving, kind, and beautiful. Yes, I will always praise beauty. It's not every thing, but feminine beauty is unique. Men are attractive, but there is a particular mystery behind feminine beauty, otherwise, why would poets and musicians have written about it from the beginning of time? I want my daughters to enjoy dressing up and highlighting their natural beauty. Of course specific virtues should be praised, but I also want my daughters to feel special, beautiful, and desired. 

So there is my princess justification. Thus far, I have some very independent, outspoken girls who also enjoy dress up from time-to-time, and I couldn't be more proud. 

Published by Samantha Motto