When we were little, Disney movies taught us important lessons we all needed to know. We learned to never lie or steal, to not judge based on appearance, and to avoid making deals with large and unnatractive sea witches who seem really shady. We loved every moment of these movies, and we plastered pictures of our favorite princesses on everything we owned. As we grew older, though, we began to notice some flaws in the lessons of these movies. Before movies like “Brave” and “Frozen” existed to encourage young girls that they can be or do whatever they want, these older movies held some different underlying messages. We can’t easily overlook these old-fashioned themes anymore. The best we can do is unleash our inner child and rewrite the stories in our heads, imagining what our childhood heroines would have done if they held the feminist attitudes we have now.
Cinderella was a notoriously hard worker. She spent years working for her bitchy stepmother and two fugly stepsisters, whose names we don’t care about enough to memorize. Despite nonstop harassment, Cinderella managed to remain a total sweetheart, and she also happened to be a hottie. Sadly, this is the only reason Prince Charming was into her. I know we’d all like to believe they have some deep connection, but let’s get real–he was looking for his trophy wife. Why else did he ignore the ugly girls at the ball and only pay attention to the best looking girl, who he thought was completely loaded? If Cinderella had been a feminist, she wouldn’t have dressed to play the part. She would have been like, “Look, PC. If you want to get with this broad, you have to take me as the lowly peasant that I’ve been for the past 10 years. I’m not changing my entire wardrobe to cater to your royal lifestyle. I’ve made sacrifices. I even agreed to a 12 o’clock curfew to chill with you, so you should really meet me halfway here.” She also wouldn’t have exploited her good looks to marry a guy simply for better living conditions…especially when she had met him only one time.
Jasmine’s life was oppressive from the start, ultimately ending in her overall worth reduced to her marriageability. When she didn’t want to marry any of the toolbags her dad sent in, she was labeled as “difficult.” She was made out to be stubborn and childish, because, you know, God forbid a girl actually have preferences when it comes to choosing the guy she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Enter Aladdin. He’s hot, good with animals, and has a soft side. He’s also a compulsive liar who automatically assumes that every woman is superficial enough to only maintain interest in a guy when he has money. After getting him to admit his initial lie, Jasmine should have told Aladdin straight up, “You fucked up, kid. How do I know you won’t lie again?” By the way, he lies consistently throughout the rest of the movie, as well as in the following two sequels. At some point, Jasmine would’ve stopped putting up with his shit. She would’ve given him an ultimatum: stop lying or I’m dumping your sorry ass.
Ariel was, at times, dissatisfied with her life under the sea. We get it. Her father held a somewhat tyrant leadership and she was basically a compulsive hoarder. It was probably a less than perfect situation down there. But she was still a mermaid, and that’s every girl’s dream come true. Imagine your hair looking majestic and perfect 100 percent of the time. Why on Earth did she give up her entire world–not to mention her voice–for a guy? She literally gave up her number one talent for a guy who gives the majority of his attention to a dog, who also cheated on her with a witch the first chance he got. If Ariel was a feminist, she would’ve told Eric, “Listen, my entire family lives in the ocean. I’ve already given up a lot for you. I had to deal with an evil sea witch just to come shack with you for a few days, and then you fucking cheated on me with the same bitch, who also stole my voice. Shouldn’t we at least consider you moving down there with me? My dad is the friggin’ king of the sea. We could make arrangements if we wanted to.”
Snow White also had a total asshole for a stepmother. The queen, an appearance-obsessed wench, actually hired a hit man to bash Snow White’s head in. Luckily, the dude ended up being a total pussy, so Snow White survived the situation and managed to find her way to the seven dwarves’ home–where she became their personal maid. Feminist Snow White would never have done that. She might’ve negotiated some type of deal for rent, but she would not have become some personal shopper for seven strangers. She also would have thought that it was strange for seven old men to have the hygiene habits of children, despite their short statures and immaturity. After her stepmother realized that Snow White was still alive, the old bitch pretty much roofied her to ensure Snow White would be buried alive. I guess she didn’t realize the prince would be willing to make out with a corpse. Feminist Snow White would’ve been a little upset when she woke up from the whole ordeal, mid-hookup, with a guy she’d met one time: “Look here, dude. Waking up to assault is not my idea of a good time. Thanks for accidentally reviving me and everything, but I basically just got date raped by an old hag…so what makes you think necrophilia is going to make me want to go home with you?”
Belle really should have been a feminist. She was incredibly smart and even spent years rightfully ignoring the town hottie. Even though Gaston was the most eligible bachelor around, he was a total douche who didn’t respect her intellect or opinions. The fact that she eventually warmed up to the Beast is baffling, when you really think about it. She should’ve stuck to her initial cold attitude and been like, “You fucking kidnapped me. You’re also ignorant and verbally abusive. My best friend is an obnoxiously loud dresser, thanks to you. Also, you can’t just buy your way to forgiveness with a big ass library and a yellow ball gown.” What “Beauty and the Beast” basically taught us was that appearances only matter if you’re a girl. If you’re a guy, you can be as ugly and non-human as you want, as long as you have a mansion and a dwindling deadline. Feminist Belle would never have accepted the fact that despite how smart she was, she ultimately saved the day with what was most definitely not her most important asset: her sexuality.
Images via Disney