The F Word: Cinderella

Are Disney Princesses really that irredeemable? As a child did I even notice all the bad things adults are now saying they stand for?  

There will always be room at the table for more diverse stories about women and girls but I see some value in the stories already told.

Cinderella is definitely no and Snow White (who I covered last week). She is very much the epitome of a hormonal teenager (as is the Prince I may add). She is obedient and will do her chores as is required, but she will react negatively if prodded. You can see this in her interactions with her animal companions, letting them know she will not put up with everything (her moaning about the clock in the morning is #relatable). Also when the invitation comes for the ball, Cinderella defiantly asks her stepmother “why not?” when told she could not attend. You could argue that this is her past life as a spoiled child breaking free every so often, which gives her character some dimension.

cinder
*Get the Fuck Off My Dick by Vince Staples playing muffled in distance*

A Prince also features in Cinderella and as much as we all love to moan about a woman needing a man to better her situation in these films, looking at it in 2018 surely is eye opening. The opening credits song tells Cinderella not to worry, her dream of finding love will come true. However, Cinderella may not be that obsessed with finding a man. She first mentions her “dream” when woken up by her bird friends but will not tell anyone what that dream was because she would jinx it. When invited to the ball, she never mentions her intent to meet the Prince, and when she has reigned herself to the fact that she can’t go,  she guesses that it might be boring anyway.

To top everything off, she spends a wonderful night dancing with the Prince, and even sings a duet about love. The problem is, she does not know who he is. She even talks about how she adored the man she spent the night with but is disappointed he was not the Prince! She then convinces herself that maybe the he isn’t all that and she gets back to her life. Let me tell you though, when she finds out she had been dancing with the Prince, you can almost see that coin flash across her eyes. I understand, in a perfect world, Cinderella would have coin from a dressmaking business but her circumstances do not allow it. I say, you do you Cinderella, at least we know you like the man.

cinder 3
€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€

I’m not sure I put Cinderella in a good light here but all I’m saying is that she’s no pushover.

Advertisements

The F Word: Snow White

Are Disney Princesses really that irredeemable? As a child did I even notice all the bad things adults are now saying they stand for?  

There will always be room at the table for more diverse stories about women and girls but I see some value in the stories already told.

Snow White as a character is one that is easy to write off because her beauty is the main crux on which the entire plot centres itself on. If we look beyond that we can see some other traits. Snow White is kind to all she meets, animal and human alike. Her naivety does ultimately lead to her (temporary) death, which is a lesson in being too trusting. However, because she did take time to foster friendships she had a team to back her up when she did get into trouble. We all need a support network at times.

When she was without support, she ran by herself through a big dark forest, she may have screamed all the way through it, but she kept on going. It is a testament to her resilience that when she gets to the other side she apologises to the woodland creatures for frightening them, telling them she has had a rough day and that she will “get along somehow.” Snow White then consults with her woodland friends as to how she can make herself feel better. This arguably kills the interpretation that she does not want to bother anyone with her troubles.

snow white
A cutie

It is true that Snow White is sweet and gentle, but she can give as good as she gets. In her first meeting with Grumpy, she correctly guesses his name by folding her arms and speaking in a mocking tone. Snow White is also hardworking and collaborative. She offers to pay her keep by cooking and cleaning for the dwarves, as is her skillset (I know some would prefer if she was slogging it down in the mine with the dwarves but have you seen the pie she made? Art). To do this she enlists the help of her woodland friends to split the work. She also does not let the dwarves off so lightly and refuses to feed them until they display some basic hygiene. One of the dwarves, Doc, teaches his housemates how to wash properly so that Snow White can focus on her task for the evening. The dwarves also contribute by providing some entertainment after dinner.

snow 3
Art

Finally we need to discuss the biggest turn off in these traditional princess stories, the Prince. I won’t lie, he’s a weirdo and it’s a weird set-up for “ever after.” I like to think that it is not the first time they met, Snow White was just startled when he jumped over the wall and snaked up to sing in her ear. I mean why else would she run away but then calm down and be down for the dude? The prince in this case really is just a handy little way to close off the story. I think I can forgive Snow White for being in love, it is something many can relate to. Also, the prince didn’t even get to be explored outside of fawning over Snow White.  Can we get a meninist to tell us how useless Prince Charming is as a character?

snow 2
A weirdo