Our generation was lucky enough to grow up watching some Disney classics. I still remember watching "Beauty and the Beast" for the first time and feeling like I could relate to Belle, the bookworm. To be honest, I still get shivers during the scene in which the Beast unveils the library.
However, Disney has provided Millennial women with some pretty unrealistic goals and expectations. Here are 10 of them:
1. You will always have good hair.
No, you won’t. It won’t blow perfectly amidst the colors of the wind like Pocahontas’ and if you try and do that hair flip thing when you emerge from the water like Ariel did “The Little Mermaid,” you’ll most likely just look like a drowning rat.
2. The man of your dreams will serenade you.
Any self-respecting girl who has been the subject of a public serenade, please contact me. I want proof.
3. You don’t have to pay for fancy dresses.
Cinderella, Belle, Ariel… none of these girls had to reluctantly head to the cash register. Come to think of it, Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” is the only one who has an actual job.
Unless you are a princess (and I sincerely doubt that Kate Middleton is reading this), you will have to go to work and you will have to pay the bills. And, you will have to watch the snacking in order to fit into said dress for which you paid so much.
4. Sidekicks are a necessity.
The closest thing a girl has to a talking candelabra is her pet, which is neither capable of conversation nor a choreographed dance.
Your best friend is not your sidekick; he or she is a prince or princess in his or her own right. Your friends have their own dragons to fight.
5. Going to sleep will solve your problems.
I mean, feel free to try it. When a bottle of wine doesn’t do the trick, maybe a quick snooze will.
6. The only pretty girl is one whose waist is the size of a pencil.
This is probably the biggest fallacy I can identify. I mean, Jasmine’s head is several times larger than her waist, which defies certain laws of physics. Growing up, Disney taught us that the pretty princesses had ideal figures — not true, Disney. Not true.
7. Don’t worry; Prince Charming will come to your rescue.
I know this goes back to several thousands of years of complicated power dynamics and values men wanted to impart to women, but think about it: Do you really want to wait around for someone to ride in on a white horse?
Being a complete person, with or without someone by your side, might save you a lot of time and some heartache — especially if perfect person does not choose to show up.
8. Designer shoe wear is made from glass.
Sure, and when it ends up cracking, we all want to end up with cuts and a doctor’s visit. (Has anyone ever wondered why the glass slippers continue to exist even after the carriage turns back into a pumpkin and Cinderella finds herself, once again, in rags?)
Anyway, at least Disney made it a little easier to stomach; the original Grimm tale had the wicked stepsisters’ eyes pecked out by “the doves of heaven.”
9. Keeping things clean is all you have to do.
Granted, I should probably do the gigantic pile of laundry that is sitting in my room. Sweeping occasionally might be a good idea, too.
However, cleaning is not a hobby nor is meandering through the woods singing (I’m looking at you, Sleeping Beauty). Cooking can be a great hobby, so long as it yields some appreciation from the seven men you’re feeding (and you get to eat some of it yourself).
10. Everything ended happily ever after.
The whole phrase, “happily ever after,” is kind of relative, isn’t it? Happiness is a choice, not something that is automatically granted. No fairy godmother will fly in to save you. No prince will sweep you away and make everything okay.
When it comes down to it, who really wants that, anyway? It’s a lot more fun to make mistakes, to try something new and to figure out your own sh*t. I’m taking off the ball gown. It’s too tight, anyway.