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Disney is brave, but frozen

By December 19, 2013 17 Comments

I was convinced Brave was Disney’s reinvention. Merida was spunky, independent, and *gasp* looked like a normal girl.

Fan art alongside actual art from movie Frozen.

Fans created an alternate version of Princess Elsa because they were tired of the Cinderella-esque stereotype.

Yes, many of those qualities carry over to Princess Anna in Frozen, but Princess Elsa, her sister, is unfortunately a nod back to the quintessential dainty blondes such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

Her hair is too perfectly coiffed, her eyes are too made-up, and she’s simply too graceful. On the other hand, Anna’s clumsy demeanor and goofy expressions are both endearing and relatable (she really reminds me of the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence).

While I applaud Disney for giving Anna realistic qualities, I really wish the media behemoth would make princesses physically ordinary.

Anna and Elsa fit the Disney standard: white, thin, willowy girls whose waists are quite petite and  arms are fragile-looking. In fact, height-permitting, they could easily join the modeling industry.

For many years now, fans have been making alternate versions of princesses: athletic, plus-sized, and petite to name a few, along with girls with realistically-sized eyes and varied facial features. It’s about time Disney took their opinions into account.

A fan-made fuller version of popular Disney princess Snow White

A fan-made fuller version of popular Disney princess Snow White.

So maybe a Disney princess wouldn’t look so much like a Disney princess if her eyes were smaller, her waist were wider, her arms were fuller, and her hair were messier, but a new era has to begin sometime, right?

Even though I’m still miffed about the stereotypical princess image, I do commend Disney for crafting a story emphasizing the bond of sisters above that of a young girl and her Prince Charming.

Instead of fainting and sinking into the arms of a muscular prince, the royal ladies now get dizzy and sink, well, tumble then sink, into snowdrifts. Colder, yes, less romantic, definitely, but I think this is the way it ought to be.

We don’t need to sit around waiting for “the one”; we can get up and face life with frying pans, fiddles, or whatever weapons Disney comes up with next.

Many young girls (and I speak from experience) idolize the Disney princesses, and if they are given better models, maybe—just maybe—some of our female empowerment struggles of the future can be alleviated.

Anika Mohindra is currently a high school sophomore from the Bay Area. She is a foodie, an aspiring writer, a fashion enthusiast, and a tech girl. She especially likes math and computer science and thinks that more girls should give STEM subjects a try.