Little girls’ childhoods are characterized by fairytales and fantasies, princesses, princes and happily-ever-afters.
We gazed mesmerizingly into TV and movie screens for hours, enchanted by the stories of Cinderella and Belle, Aurora and Ariel.
We dreamed of finding our knights in shining armor and being swept off our feet to a faraway castle.
At age 5, these fairytale endings seemed like conceivable realities. Yet, it took me many years to realize I don’t want to be treated like a princess at all.
Call me crazy, but here are some reasons why, as told by some of our favorite classic Disney princesses:
I don’t want to fit into any molds.
Cinderella’s story is based on a quest to be the one to fit into the glass slipper.
Tons of young hopefuls did everything possible to squeeze into the shoe, which would make her the prince’s one true love. Well, I don’t want to have to try to be the “perfect fit” for anyone.
I believe we should be accepted for who we are, despite our status or shoe size. If he can’t accept you for you, then he’s not really worth it.
I don’t want to be considered gullible.
Snow White’s innocence and naiveté cause her trouble, most notably with the poisonous apple and evil witch incident.
Although it is important to find trust in others, we should always remember to put ourselves first. We shouldn’t give in to demands just to please others, as we will only hurt ourselves in the end.
Thick skin and self-worth are most important.
I don’t need a prince to awaken me.
Female independence is a choice in today’s world, but Princess Aurora was fast asleep until her dashing prince came along to wake her and sweep her off her feet.
He was her savior and she ultimately would have died without him.
I rise every morning just fine on my own (sometimes, even without the help of an alarm clock).
The thought of depending on a man to lift a curse and allow me to live again is very scary and unromantic, if you ask me.
I don’t want to give up my own life for someone else.
Yes, being a mermaid for a day would be pretty cool, but I wouldn’t want to be in Ariel’s predicament.
She was forced to give up her life under the sea for true love.
Ariel traded her beautiful singing voice and oceanic lifestyle to become human and be with Prince Eric. She is an example of the ultimate sacrifice of leaving everything she knew behind.
Sure, we may have to give up certain things in life to gain others, but I never want to completely lose sense of who I am for another person.
I don’t want to live cautiously.
Belle was and always will be my favorite Disney character.
She has been described as feminist, intelligent and brave — much different from the other damsels in distress.
However, she was still dissatisfied with her boring and unadventurous life. Harassed with affections from Gaston and often living day-to-day without much excitement, she hoped for something more.
Of course, she didn’t find that until she fell in love with the Beast. I often fear not experiencing life to its full potential and would never want to live passively.
I don’t want to abide by a set of rules.
Princess Jasmine is already royalty, but this means she must marry a prince in order to appease her father.
Although she falls in love with a common man (Aladdin), he still attempts to magically transform into a prince in order to be worthy.
I would feel restricted if I was only allowed to marry a certain caliber or type of person.
I find comfort in knowing that I can choose who I want, not based on status, but on companionship.
I don’t want to pretend.
Mulan was a brave character, as well, sacrificing her life to go to war for her family. But, in order to be considered a soldier, she had to disguise herself as a man.
Although Mulan was strong-willed and courageous, she was unable to reveal her true identity. She could not be admired for her nobility as a female, so she had to take on a new persona.
I would never want to be forced to pretend to be someone I’m not just to be considered equal.
I don’t want to be saved.
I do envy Rapunzel for her long locks, but I would not want to be trapped in that castle for years on end. The only way the princess could escape was with the help of the prince, who used her hair to climb to her rescue.
She was portrayed as the ultimate damsel in distress, needing the prince in order to break free.
I don’t mind an occasional helping hand, but I believe earning my own freedom is much more rewarding than completely depending on someone else.
Sure, I believe in chivalry, kind gestures and appreciation; I love flowers, chocolate and thoughtfulness as much as the next girl. However, I don’t want others' actions and desires to define me.
I believe both women and men should be fiercely independent, yet caring and considerate. Fairytales are great for imagination and fantasy, but in real life, I’d rather not be treated just like a princess.