I love Disney movies. Disney made such great animated films like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Tangled, and Frozen.
However, Disney movies have unrealistic relationships which impacts the thoughts of young girls and even adults. What woman hasn’t yearned for a prince or a knight in shining armor to rescue them? Women even write out those same fantasies in romance novels: dashing princes, knights in shining armor, strong men who can save us. What woman hasn’t had a jerk of a boyfriend or significant other or husband and has stayed with that person, believing in a false “happily ever after”? Women believe that their goodness can overcome the horrible character of another and they will bend and compromise to make things work. Women sacrifice a lot for relationships and it’s because of unrealistic ideals like the relationships set forth in Disney movies that makes all women at one time or another, fools.
Cinderella is the classic story of a damsel with a crappy life being rescued by a prince whom she meets and he instantly falls in love with her for her beauty. Why did the stepdaughters have to look ugly? Being beautiful doesn’t guarantee a prince. And such high expectations of making someone fall in love with you at first sight because of your looks is very harsh on women everywhere who aren’t perfect porcelain dolls. Physical beauty doesn’t guarantee things in common or an intellectual connection to someone else. Physical beauty will fade over time. What then?
Beauty and the Beast is a classic tale of a girl being forced against her will to endure a horrible beast who has trapped her inside his home. While the Disney version ends with Belle and the Beast, who is really a handsome prince in disguise, lives happily ever after after she breaks the spell by confessing her love for him with a kiss, reality isn’t like that. Many women stay with abusive men and spouses, believing that their love will change that person’s beastliness into something better, someone better. Being forced against your will by someone else to do anything you don’t want to do is wrong. A relationship shouldn’t be like that. There shouldn’t be one person in total control of the other person.
The Little Mermaid is a classic tale of a girl changing her physical self for a guy that she likes. Many women today change their physical appearance for men. Many think that if they were skinnier, if they had clearer skin, if they had a bigger booty, if they looked beautiful, then they will catch the man of their dreams. Unfortunately, changing yourself for someone else doesn’t make that person like you. In the classic fairy tale, the prince actually marries someone else and the little mermaid commits suicide by drowning in the sea. While this seems harsh and unrealistic, many women have gone to self harm for a man. Some have even committed suicide. Although Disney’s version is a “happily ever after”, the actual fairy tale teaches women a big lesson of not changing yourself for someone else because even after all those changes, you might find yourself disappointed and your man gone to someone else who did nothing to change herself. Be happy with who you are.
Hercules is a tale about a woman who sold her soul to Hades (the devil) to save her lover and he ran off on her. Women desperate to keep their men or to try and “save” their men might do anything and everything, even something as extreme as selling themselves into bondage and slavery to another. This is a story of where a woman does everything for a man and in the end, he still leaves her. Love isn’t about what we can do for someone else. Love is a two way street where both parties have to compromise instead of one person doing all the bending. There should be equal amounts of love and give and take from both.
Tangled is the classic rebellion story of a girl who disobeys her parents and runs off with a stranger. While Rapunzel’s “mother” isn’t her actual biological mother, at that point in the story, she believes that’s the only mother she has. Yet, when Flynn appears, she runs off with him to see the world. Back when I was growing up, it was much safer to be around people you didn’t know. Now, it’s terrifying. Children are kidnapped, teenagers go missing, and it’s not a safe place at all. So what kind of relationship comes out of a bunch of partying, singing, and wondering around in places you don’t know? It sounds a lot like many women today who on a whim, follows some guy they don’t know, drinks, parties, and travels from place to place. While most of those stories ends badly, there are some that end halfway okay with the woman unharmed. Rapunzel’s disobedience is justified by mother Gothel not being her real mother, but what does that tell all the adopted children of the world? That it’s okay to not listen and follow rules because they’re not your real parents? Whether by blood or not, family is still family. And strangers are still strangers. It’s unhealthy to run off with anyone you just met.
Frozen is a tale of feminism on the loose. While it’s a good thing to not marry someone you just met or to not wait for a man to save you, the whole “let it go” propaganda is crap. You’re not going to be right about your life the first time you decide to think on your own and do what you want. Actually, that really just gets a lot of people into trouble. We learn from others and from their mistakes. Deciding something on whim because you suddenly feel freer without someone else you believe is holding you back may not actually be a wise decision. Elsa was going to live in the middle of nowhere as an ice hermit with a magic snowman as a guard dog! That’s not freedom. That’s trapping yourself in a fake illusion of freedom since you’re still isolated from everyone else. There’s no difference in her being locked up in her room or locked up in her new ice castle in the mountains. She’s still alone. And like her, a lot of women don’t have relationships. Their time is consumed with their jobs and businesses and things that they’re doing which doesn’t require a husband, a family, or kids. It’s okay to be independent and self sufficient, but don’t go overboard much. While you might die a rich, successful old maid and be happy with that, a lot of women want a significant other and a family and children. Also, be careful about people and manipulation. Don’t marry someone you just met. Get to know them first. And don’t believe everything from every charming person who tries to charm their way into your life. Most of the time, they do have an ulterior motive for being so nice and so kind to you. Be safe and test everyone accordingly to your standards for relationships.
In conclusion, there’s a lot of harmful relationships out there. It doesn’t always come with a “happily ever after”. This is what Disney taught me about relationships:
1. Physical beauty and good looks isn’t everything and it cannot get you everything.
2. If someone in the relationship is completely controlling and always angry, get help. That’s not a healthy relationship.
3. Never change yourself for someone else. If you choose to make any changes, do it for you.
4. Do not risk everything for someone whom you have already risked everything for to keep them with you. People should like you for you and not for what you can do for them.
5. Don’t run off with strangers.
6. Don’t marry someone you just met in a day. Date for a while, get to know them, and learn about them before you make that step.