A Passion for Princesses

Some of my daughter's princesses on the bridge of their space ship.

My 3-year-old daughter is crazy about princesses. Since I did not have the same affliction as a child, I am now forced to watch all the Disney Princess movies with her to keep her happy and me partially sane. They’re not as bad as I imagined, though. Here are a few of the points that I picked up from the movies that make me feel better about indulging her princess obsession:

* Cinderella wanted to escape the tyranny of her family to go to the ball. And what girl doesn’t want to dress up and go out and have a good time after slaving away all day? She didn’t even know the man with whom she fell in love was the prince until he sent his underlings to return her shoe.

* Sleeping Beauty didn’t even want to be a princess. She only wanted to marry the man of her dreams. Even the prince spurned his betrothal to Princess Aurora in favor of Briar Rose, a peasant girl he met in the woods. Love rules, royal status drools.

* Belle went in search of her missing father and agreed to be a captive in his place. She fell in love with a beast, not a prince. And spurned the advances of the handsome (and hugely narcissistic) Gaston. This is actually one of my favorite princess movies to watch with my daughter since it shows the difference between inner beauty and outward appearances.

* Ariel actually rescued the prince! Twice! And Ariel’s sisters (also princesses) had horrible singing voices. Now, THAT’S something that no other princess movie has!

* Tiana worked like a dog to make her dreams come true while denying herself everything else. She actually turned a wayward playboy of a prince into a decent fellow before she fell in love with him. Note: my daughter is not a fan of The Princess and the Frog because Tiana spends most of the movie as a frog.

* Jasmine refused to marry anyone that she didn’t love, ran away, and then later used her feminine wiles to distract the bad guy and help Aladdin – who, by the way, wanted to be a prince so that he could marry HER!

* Snow White was the only one innocently dreaming of a prince to marry, but that didn’t stop her from making the forest animals clean the house and shaming the the Dwarfs into washing before dinner.

* Fiona married an ogre, and then chose him again over Prince Charming. (I had to throw this one in. I LOVE Shrek!)

None of these women – Snow White, in my opinion, was just a girl – dreamed of marrying a prince. Most fell in love with someone that they didn’t even know was a prince. They did not want fame, fortune, pretty dresses, servants, or even a crown. All they wanted was love. And who doesn’t want that?

At the club with my girlfriend, Snow White

A vast majority of American women have, at one time in their life, had a girlfriend that is not only blessed with unbelievable good looks, but is also without a doubt the nicest person on the planet.  You know who I’m talking about.  She’s so hot that she can go out to bars without any money whatsoever because men are constantly buying her drinks and because she leads these men to believe there may be the barest glimmer of a possibility of getting a date with her through you, she gets them to pay for all your drinks, too.  She will only agree to dance with men who have a good looking friend with whom you can shake your grove thing as well.  She always remembers your birthday.  She freely shares what little of her wardrobe you can squeeze into (shoes, mostly) and always compliments how you look in them.  She never ever has anything bad to say about anyone.  It’s disgusting.

It occurred to me today, as I watched Disney’s Snow White with my daughter, that Snow White is the epitome of that girlfriend.  Beautiful, sweet, and innocent, Snow White’s kindness even wins over Grumpy, who may not know what “feminine wiles” is, but is absolutely and firmly “again’ it.”  She has everyone eating out of her delicate little hand: the woodsman who incurred the Queen’s wrath because he couldn’t bring himself to kill her, the dwarfs who took her in and even surrendered their beds to her, and the prince who was so enamored that he had no qualms about kissing what he believed to be her corpse.  Even the forest creatures were enthralled with her.  An army of rabbits, deer, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, birds and a turtle comforted her when she was frightened, lead her to the dwarfs’ home, helped her clean the house, tried to warn her about the disguised Queen’s poisoned apple, alerted and retrieved the dwarfs to save her from the innocent folly of her very badly misplaced trust, helped the dwarfs avenge her “death,” and finally grieved at the side of her glass coffin.  I, on the other hand, can’t even get the squirrels to stay out of the bird feeder.

She makes me sick.  All that singing about her prince and true love and wishing he would come for her and carry her away to his castle and they would live happily ever after…I just want to smack some sense into her, but she’s just so darn winsome, I know I couldn’t do it.

I suppose Snow White’s insipid little dreams of romance are understandable, though.  If your only female role model was a vapid sociopath like Snow White’s stepmother, you’d dream of letting the first mildly attractive guy who stumbles across your path steal you away, too, simply as a matter of self preservation.  The Queen has no ambition other than to ensure that some mirror thinks she’s the most beautiful woman in the land and she will annihilate anyone that interferes with her narcissistic delusion.  Not even in the cut-throat world of Victoria’s Secret models is there a woman willing to kill to secure her angelic domination of the runway.  Certainly not a stepdaughter and not even if her second cousin twice removed is Halle Barry.  Well, I guess if I were related in any way to Halle Barry I might be tempted , but I know that even if I fitted her with thigh high cement platform stiletto boots and sent her for a swim off the Côte d’Azur, she’d still be way hotter than me until she’d been decomposing for at least half a century and I really don’t have that kind of time.

So, in the grand scheme of things, Snow White is all right in my book.  She may not have grand aspirations, but she has a kind heart and ultimately wants the same thing everyone else wants – to feel safe, loved and happy.  She has a lifetime to realize her potential to achieve anything her heart desires.  In the meantime, I intend to make sure she has the opportunity to get me free drinks, dances with hot guys, and a boat load of shoes.