But don’t get me wrong, it’s still my favorite Disney movie of all time. However, it really did ruin everything.
As little girls, we’re taught that we are princesses and that someday, indeed, our prince will come to save the day whether it’s having their servants put on your missing glass slipper, kiss you once to wake you up from a coma or fight off something evil from blocking your path to happiness. You expect that someone would be worth the wait and you would be worth the fight.
No one told you about all the frogs you’d have to kiss, step on and be licked by in order to get to that one, though. While as little girls we thought we would just wait for that guy that we magically fell in love with to reciprocate every feeling, sweep us off our feet and turn our lives into a “happily ever after” scenario.
You have to think, aside from not being able to sing like Ariel or Snow White or Cinderella, Disney painted this fairy tale story to be easy and wonderfully magical which was completely false. On top of that, all the men these girls fell for were of prince-like quality; charming, handsome, kind-hearted, valued women and understood what love really meant, right? What little girl wouldn’t want that?
All the beautiful, skillful woman had a man, too. You needed that man to give you freedom and dignity and a right to be a woman. Before he came along, you would be destined to be an old woman living on a farm. At least Belle had some standards. Or smarts. Whatever. Beauty and the Beast had the most real-life-like scenarios, besides falling in love with a beast, living in France and getting locked up for the rest of your days because you trespassed on to a price’s castle. There was a love triangle, fights, irrationality, a father-daughter relationship that made you wonder if you would do the same for yours.
However, in the end, because a human couldn’t marry a beast, Belle falls for the man that the Beast truly is, right? I mean, even a furry, ugly creature can be loved. Why is this so hard in real life?! The movies make it look so easy! They barely know each other and fall in love. In the real world, there’s a long, drawn-out, game-playing process that doesn’t end up the way you want it– almost ever. Unless you’re on Match.com. Apparently that site works miracles.
Mulan, another one of my favorite movies, was so focused on the fight and the war that there really wasn’t a love story focal point. Instead, her grandmother is pushing her toward marriage in the end– of which I can (and many other girls) relate. She was strong and independent and still got the man. The handsome captain with emotions and a heart that followed her back home and took such an interest that the nobleman stayed for dinner, which turned into forever (especially if you’ve seen Mulan II). So real.
Where is prince charming and why hasn’t he come get me yet? Isn’t that what everyone thinks at 18, 19, 20 years old?
Although I’m independent, practical, rational (I’m an Aries) with a I-don’t-need-no-man mentality, I’m still a romantic daydreamer who gets lost in her thoughts. I can’t help but go back to those movies and get those warm fuzzy feelings. Regardless of how real I can be, as a woman growing up with this fake idea of what a relationship really is, there is a piece of me that still wants that. Sad? Maybe. Impossible? Probably, but a girl can dream.
I know he won’t fight a dragon or be able to wake me up from a coma with a kiss (because that whole coma thing IS possible in my world). But knowing that someone is afraid of losing me, is willing to fight for me, isn’t afraid of my femininity and deals with my closeness without pushing me away– that’s security and almost equivalent to the love of seven dwarfs.
Compared to what we want, women ask for a few things of men that come into our lives and actually want to try something. You know, not just in it for the minute… or five… of trying to get into pants and under skirts. For those men that are ready to think about something serious (and I’ve come across plenty who have admitted that they weren’t– props to you!) there are a few things that you have to consider when dealing with a real woman (because there are FAKE ones too, who think they’re ready and clearly aren’t).
Above all things that they don’t show you in the movies, you have to be considerate, communicative and respectful. The characters in the movies barely know each other half the time. I guess in Aladdin, he and Jasmine were friends. He was also a hood rat, so that says a lot about how women see men that just give them attention. I digress.
The worst baggage is the one that comes with not finding Prince Charming right away and thinking that you’re not good enough for it. It always comes at the very beginning, especially if you’re part of the Disney Princess generation. Along with that, comes the lowering of standards, the mistakes and the dealing with issues that you weren’t expecting and don’t know how to deal with. The positive outcomes come later, at least it did for me, when I realized that I really was a princess and I didn’t need a man for self-worth. I had to go through a lot of things to realize just how valuable I was in order to then find someone who was worth my time and energy.
In the end, I’m happier for all the trials and tribulations that I’ve been through in my romantic life and it’s helped me determine just how good I have it now.
But I’m still convinced that Cinderella ruined everything.