What comes to mind when you hear the word Princess? Crowns and beautiful dresses? The thought of a damsel in distress waiting for a hero to ride in on a white pony to save the day? Maybe that was how Princesses were portrayed typically in movies but it’s now a thing of the past for this mama. I know it’s been a topic of discussion – should children idolize the role of the Disney Princess and aspire to be like them? My daughters do. They love wearing the Princess ball gowns during dress up and have memorized all the words to the songs. I know many parents who feel they would rather their children have different role models to idolize rather than a Princess, and that’s an opinion that I can respect. As a millennial mom who grew up watching the same Princesses my children now adore, I feel that it’s OK for them to spin in a pretty dress if it makes them feel confident and happy. Even more so, I’m proud of the new-age image that Disney Princesses portray and how they promote being strong, brave and independent.
So which princesses do we love the most in our home? Well, there are many! Here are some of our favorites:
- Aerial (The Little Mermaid) – This little redhead is sassy, independent and pushes the envelope when it comes to going after what she wants. She does rebel a little more than some of the other Princesses, but you have to admire her will to fight for love in an ocean world who tells her that it’s not OK to fall for someone on land just because they are different (sound kinda similar to challenges our real world faces, huh?).
- Pocahontas (Pocahontas) – She does the right thing even when it’s the hardest thing she has to do. As a mother, I love how she believes in equality and leads with her moral compass to help inspire my little ones. Throughout the Disney movie, she is portrayed in a peace keeper role and sacrifices her wishes for the better of others. Instead of pursuing the happily ever after that many Princesses are used to, she takes one for the team and stays with her tribe because its the right thing to do. Commendable, Pocahontas. Commendable.
- Belle (Beauty and the Beast) – She makes being smart insanely cool. She’s quite headstrong and loves indulging in reading and learning rather than becoming enthralled in her own beauty or the admiration of the most “popular” boy in the neighborhood (because she could care less about him). She aspires to follow her own hopes and dreams and stops at nothing to help her family when in times of trouble. Better than that, she sees the good in things that no one else can see and never judges a book by its cover. She is brave when times get tough and compassionate when no one else might be. To me, she’s a rare gem of a princess and I’m glad my little ones want to be like Belle.
- Merida (Brave) – This girl though! She’s insanely fierce, strong and so cool welding a sword. I love that she can be rough around the edges occasionally but has a soft place in her heart and thinks of others needs and feelings. She does argue and disagree with her parents often which reminds me that my girls will one day disagree with me as well, but she loves them nonetheless and continues to pursue her dreams. She is courageous and outgoing and stronger than the average Princess.
- Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) – This girl knows exactly what she wants and puts 100% into getting it. She works a full time job and opened her own restaurant. She never waits for a Prince to come and rescue her, when in fact she becomes the Princess to save the day (and the Prince). Nothing stops this girl from chasing her dreams and she is the ideal Princess for my daughters to admire – heck, I ADMIRE HER!
- Rapunzel (Tangled) – There is more to this Princess than how beautiful her hair is. Yes, she was trapped in a tower but she longed to chase her dreams and took a leap of faith to step out of her comfort zone and into a completely unknown world. She defends herself more than once and sacrifices it all to save Flynn, never backing down from anyone or anything. I love her humor and adventurous side and love that my daughters want to emulate her courage about seeing the great big world ahead of them.
- Anna (Frozen) – My personal favorite! Anna is funny, outspoken in such a good way and has her family’s back no matter what. She is so totally normal in the world of Princesses and it becomes easy to relate to her charming spirit. Her loyalty is remarkable and she understands how her unusual family dynamic doesn’t change how she personally feels about her sister. She wasn’t the sister with super powers but she was the one that saved the day – by being herself and having courage. She’s socially awkward and laughs at herself and that makes her absolutely adorable. Her bravery and willingness to do whatever it takes to save someone is awesome, and she isn’t in need of any prince to do it for her.
- Mulan (Mulan) – My sister and I have discussed this before and Mulan has it all in the world of Disney Princesses. She’s smart, brave, funny and courageous. She might be the most perfect Princess to idolize because she is mature and has a strong willingness to do whatever it takes to save her family. Oh yeah, she also joins the army, becomes a bad mama-jama and SAVES HER COUNTRY. C’mon, Mulan is awesome and deserves a medal for all that action.
Forget the images that you may have of a sleeping princess in a tall castle that is awaiting a kiss from a handsome prince because today’s Disney Princesses have a bigger story to tell. They are strong, brave and independent and usually are the ones saving the day. I try to remind my daughters all the time that girls can do ANYTHING they set their mind to and I’m glad that Disney reinforces the ideal that Princesses are not only beautiful but brave as well. Our girls today are far greater than diamonds or rubies and let’s show them their amazing strength and worth! Who are your kiddos favorite Disney Princesses? I’d love for you to share your thoughts!