We’re all fans of Disney, but we’ve got to admit that until recently, their portrayals of women left much to be desired. Their princesses were often shown to be extremely beautiful and admired for their looks, but they were naive, passive, and mostly reliant on men. Yes, the movies are captivating and the songs memorable, but if you study the messages closely, you’ll find that they deliver flawed notions about womanhood and relationships, especially during this day and age.
Let’s take a look at several instances when our beloved princesses had it wrong and what we’d tell them if we had the chance:
1. That time Aurora believed that her real-life romance would happen exactly the way it did in her dream.
Sure, it’s romantic to literally meet the man of your dreams, but let’s get real—that’s a prime example of setting the bar way high. If, by an amazing stroke of serendipity, it does happen to you, remember that he’s still a stranger. It’s never a good idea to fall for someone without getting to know him, as Frozen‘s Anna finds out. Also, don’t you think it’s a bit creepy to meet someone you’ve dreamt about? (Cue in Lana del Ray’s version of “Once Upon A Dream.”)
2. That time Snow White sang about waiting for her prince to come and whisk her away to the land of happily ever after.
While we’d love to believe that our prince would randomly appear at our doorstep, most of the time, we can’t afford to just sit around and wait for him to come along. Once we do find him, it doesn’t guarantee that things will be smooth sailing, and it definitely doesn’t mean that “birds will sing and wedding bells will ring.” There’s more to a relationship than the initial thrill and excitement of it.
3. That time Ariel basically bet that she could make Eric fall in love with her in three days.
True love involves more than just a flash of leg, a kiss, and a picturesque boat ride—in fact, doesn’t that spell more like seduction to you? It’s getting to know each other, understanding where your partner comes from, and admiring him for more than just his physical attributes. We know Ariel’s on a deadline and all, but love doesn’t happen on a schedule, let alone three days.
4. That time Belle put up with the Beast’s horrible temper and hoped he would change for her.
We love Belle and how she was able to look past the Beast’s appearance and attitude, but abuse, whether verbal or physical, is never okay. Also, if you get involved with a guy expecting him to change because you want him to, chances are you’ll be in for a disappointment.
5. That time Cinderella bought into the notion that the most she could aspire to be was the Prince’s wife.
Granted, this movie came out during a whole different era. Now that it’s the 21st century though, we have to stress that women do not need men to be fulfilled. Our worth isn’t measured by whether we’re married or are good at household chores, and we can choose to say no to a man despite his grand gestures. And no, Cinderella, you don’t have to be all decked up to win over the right man’s heart.
6. That time many of them believed their problems would be solved by their prince/true love’s kiss.
As much as we might hope otherwise, real life will not magically become perfect just because we’ve landed ourselves a man. We won’t suddenly be rid of troublesome family members or mean witches, and our debts won’t suddenly be paid—that is, unless you’re okay with your man footing the bill.
And you know what? That’s totally fine. We can get ourselves out of bad circumstances using our own brains and skills. That’s what being a modern Filipina’s all about!