Every few months, I see a flurry of “Disney Princesses have unrealistic bodies” articles shared on social media. This one was written a few months ago but I saw it shared six times last week in my Facebook feed. Every article focuses on the same thing – these princesses’ waistlines set unrealistic body expectations for young girls. I have an impressionable young daughter who loves Disney princesses, so I definitely keep my eye on these sorts of stories. But why stop at body image? These princesses are creating a lot unrealistic expectations for young girls. For example:
She can speak to fish, seagulls, and other marine animals. She can also breathe under water, because, you know, she’s a mermaid. Also, no one’s hair ever looks that good after being brushed with a fork.
No one over the age of two is that pretty while they sleep.
She lives in an enchanted castle filled with anthropomorphic objects. Also, she has so much time to read books! I mean really, who has all day, e’ry day to read whatever book they want?
Her relationship with animals…is questionable. Also, she has a Fairy Godmother (who only showed up to give her a pretty dress. How about showing up while she’s being treated like a slave, hmmm? End tangent.).
Actually…I’ve known some Ice Queens in my day, so her power honestly doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
She has a flying carpet, a magic genie, and a pet tiger that has never mauled her.
She follows Will O’ the Wisps several times, and they mostly lead her to good things instead of a swamp. And, of course, her mother and brothers were transformed into bears.
Her magical, glowing hair heals injuries and never looks dirty or (contrary to the title of her movie) tangled. She doesn’t appear to have any head, neck, or shoulder pain from carrying 70-feet of hair around. There are NO hairballs in her tower, which is preposterous. And there is no way she would have sat there quietly as a child while Mother Gothel brushed her hair. NO. WAY.
She was turned into a talking frog. Also, her mother is (voiced by) Oprah, which makes her the princess I envy the most.
But seriously…these are cartoons. Everything about them is unrealistic. Giving kids a positive body image is extremely important, but that really needs to come from the people who surround children in real life, not on the screen.