The Questionable Legacy of Disney Princesses


In the past week, I’ve had three chances to chuckle over the legacy of the Disney princesses, starting with an endearing story from my daughter at college. When one of her best friends turned 20 last week, all her girlfriends threw her  “A Little Mermaid” party, replete with the inevitable Ariel paper plates and cups, nets hung on the apartment walls, a Neptune-worthy staff, an Ariel tiara and a tutu meant for a three year-old. Why all the fuss about a movie that debuted before these girls were even born? Because her mother had NEVER let her see the movie. Nor had either of her two older brothers been allowed to see it because of it’s bad message:

Ariel gave up her voice for a man.


So as the girls bid farewell to their teen years, they danced to “Under the Sea” and had a grand old time celebrating the ironic messages of popular culture.

The very same morning that my daughter recounted this tale, this hilarious spoof called “After Ever After” appeared on the Huffington Post. A clever young man, Jon Cozart, sings a harmonized, but very biting send-up of what Ariel, Jasmine, Belle and Pocahantas would face in today’s politicized real world. It’s worth a few moments of your time.

And finally, some insight from Logan Gunzelman, a recent college grad who worked for The Family Savvy over the past year.  I hired Logan after reading an article she wrote that matched the Disney Princesses with girls spotted around a typical college campus. It’s too spicy to share completely, but the point is that these princesses find their own, twisted ways to live on in the minds of our kids.  Here are a few outtakes from the article:

Snow White is a vegan: “Living with seven normal-sized people would reduce waste, but Snow White, chose to be even greener by living with seven midgets. Snow White takes an apple from a hideous witch because she believes in helping others and saving the world, all while being meat-free. Snow White would definitely be asking for Green Peace signatures on environmentally-friendly non-paper, wearing a hemp dress.”

Belle is Queen of the Nerds: “Obsessed with books and probably majoring in something like Zoology (she loves beasts), Belle is the classic low-key hottie. By day, she’s talking to furniture or plateware, wearing some figure-hiding hand-me-down.”

Sleeping Beauty is a druggie: “I know, you’re shocked. But think about it. Pricking herself with needles? Sleeping for ridiculously long periods of time? Her room would always smell funny, and she would always be late to class on account of “sleeping through her alarm”. Yeah, we get it, Sleeping Beauty. You probably love the band Phish and have a black light in your room”.

As for Ariel, well… I can’t even print what she says about the girl who gave up her voice for a man and runs around in that skimpy clam-shell bikini. But, but trust me – my daughter’s friend’s mother just might have been right!