Let’s get something straight. NONE OF THE DISNEY PRINCESSES ACTIVELY DESIRE A PRINCE TO RESCUE THEM. Romance and marriage are not inherently anti feminist, and female characters who act as love interests are not devoid of depth or character arcs, or interesting personalities. If that was the case, then women like Esmeralda and Megara would be reduced to just romantic interests, and they clearly are not.
Snow White has an idealistic and naive view of love, but not once does she wish or pray for a prince to come and rescue her when she’s living with the dwarfs. The prince doesn’t come along until she’s eaten the apple, and even then, she wasn’t expecting that, nor did she plan it.
Aurora wanted to experience love because she was so sheltered, and also, she was 16. I remember relating a lot to Aurora when I was a teenager because I felt the same way. But not once is she hoping that the “peasant boy” will somehow rescue her. She just wants a boyfriend! How is that a bad thing? Yes he does rescue her, but for the 100000000000000000 time, she did not willfully fall asleep. Korra on a cracker.
Cinderella just wanted to go to the party to have some fun and be treated as an equal by her step family. If anyone rescued Cinderella, it was her fairy godmother, and her own inner strength and hope. Not once does she wish for a prince to save her from her abuse and torment.
Ariel saves Eric, Belle saves Beast, Jasmine is not the star of Aladdin, so when he saves her, it’s part of the obstacles he has to overcome in order to defeat Jafar and prove himself. And not once is Aladdin focused on rescuing Jasmine even though she’s unhappy living as a princess. Because Aladdin isn’t a raging douchebag. Pocahontas saves John Smith, Mulan saves Shang’s life and he’s grateful and returns her affections, and while some people wonder why they even had to be together in the first place, I think it says a lot that Mulan was still able to find romance even though she’s not traditionally feminine like the other princesses.
Tiana and Rapunzel both save their egotistical love interests and help them to be better people. Both are able to achieve their dreams and get the guy at the end, which is what most guy centered narratives are all about. The guy saves the world and gets the girl at the end; when the Disney princesses do it, they’re teaching our daughters that they’ll never be happy unless they get married and that you “need” a man.
I am so glad Merida doesn’t care about romance. She’s the same age as Aurora but she isn’t yearning for love. I relate to her now because my interests and ideas have shifted. But that’s the one thing separating Merida from the Disney princesses; she just doesn’t want to have a love interest. Stop saying that she doesn’t want to be rescued by a prince, because they don’t either.
Oh you go girl.