Feminist Disney Princesses: Where’s Our Happy Ending?

Where are her feminist Disney Princesses?I’m the first to admit that I love The Little Mermaid. But I’m also the first to admit that the lessons it teaches girls (Mutilate your body to find true love! Who needs a voice when you’re so pretty?! Abandon everything you know and love for some cute guy who might go for some other chick anyway!) are more than abominable. That said, Disney Princesses are everywhere, and if you have a little girl, you’ve probably already surrendered your daughter—not to mention your credit card—at the castle gates.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with girls fantasizing about shampoo-commercial hair and glittery gowns—heaven knows I still do!—but I’ve always wished the Disney Princess Posse would woman up and teach our girls something more. With the exceptions of Mulan and Merida (both usually in the sidelines when it comes to our lovely royals), I really can’t think of a Princess who’s much more than passive—and, let’s face it, in the real world, you can’t just sit around and wait for a prince to kiss you and take you away to his magical castle. Besides, who wants to go away to some guy’s castle when you can buy your own?

To quote Beyoncé (who isn’t an official Disney Princess, but clearly should be), “Who run the world? Girls.” Women are top earners in 40 percent of families with kids, we’re outpacing men in college degrees, and more women are currently serving in the U.S. senate than ever before. Despite all of that, we’ve still got some Maleficent-sized dragons to face. Case in point? On average, men make 23 cents more than women for doing the same work . . . just because they’re men. The pay gap is so wrong, but who’s teaching the next generation of women to stand up for themselves (and demand their worth) instead of waiting around for some dude to save them? Definitely not the Disney Princesses—that is, until now.

When I saw this video of a modern-day, office-bound Ariel singing about equality, I wanted to shout it to the rooftops. It’s cute, it’s fun, but it’s also dead serious—and it’s something I think all girls should know about. Watch below.

Will you show your daughters and nieces this feminist twist on their favorite Disney Princesses? Do you talk about equality with your kids? Do you think “princess culture” is good for girls? Tell me what you think in the comments.

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