Disney princesses aren’t just there to look pretty - they also teach us some essential life lessons. Clearly, Disney princesses set unrealistic standards of womanhood, which aren’t always ideal role models for young girls. When a damsel in distress yearns for a prince to save them, it's hard not to cringe. Even so, there are little gems of wisdom that you can hold onto and even apply to your own life!
1. Snow White (1937)
"Remember, you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine." The first of all Disney princesses, Snow White endures a life of hardship. However, she is humble and kind; her optimistic personality is truly admirable, and inspires us to seek light in the darkness.
2. Cinderella (1950)
“Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.” After her father passes away, Cinderella has to live with her evil step-mother and step-sisters, where she is denied her freedom and forced to do the housework. Despite her difficult circumstances, she keeps a positive outlook on life, and remains kind to everyone she meets. Cinderella believes that kindness and goodness bring magic into life. And she isn’t wrong! In fact, her kindness clearly pays off, as she finds the love of her life and lives happily ever after.
3. The Sleeping Beauty (1959)
"You never know what happiness awaits you around the corner." Despite your present circumstances, you never know what new beginnings await! Aurora has to believe that one day she will be rescued and have her happily ever after. She teaches us the importance of maintaining a positive mindset, even in the bleakest of times.
4. The Little Mermaid (1989)
“Sometimes in life, you have to fight for what you want.” Ariel’s dream is to explore human society and experience true freedom. Despite numerous missteps and obstacles, she manages to reach her goal and explore the human world. Ariel teaches us that perseverance is needed to achieve your dreams. If you work hard and remain focused, you can succeed. Nothing in life comes easy, and sometimes you have to overcome numerous challenges to accomplish your goals. Always remember what you're fighting for, and don't give up just because the road is hard.
5. Beauty and The Beast (1991)
“There is always beauty to be found within everyone.” Belle shows us that true beauty comes from within. Never discount anyone based on your first impression - people are complex, and far more than external appearances. Rather than instantly judging someone, seek out their inner beauty and try to understand them.
6. Aladdin (1992)
“Do not let anyone tell you what you’re worth.” Jasmine’s story teaches you to stand up for yourself. You are in charge of your life path, and should not allow anyone to prevent you from pursuing your goals. Instead of conforming to familial traditions, Jasmine chooses to fight for her principles, and ultimately achieves her dreams. Bottom line: it's your life; do what you want with it.
7. Pocahontas (1995)
“Sometimes the right path is not always the easiest.” The film's theme demonstrates to children that standing up for the greater good will result in positive outcomes. Perhaps this isn't always the case in the real world, but it's an excellent lesson for youngsters to see the beneficial effects of acting on your morals.
8. Mulan (1998)
“No one can determine your strength but yourself.” The first Disney female warrior and an iconic feminist figure, Mulan teaches us that we are born to be bold! In doing so, you find your life’s purpose, beyond the social norms of what a woman “should” be. Others may try to bring you down and convince you that you are weak; this should only fuel your fire.
9. The Princess And The Frog (2009)
“Luck and dreaming can only get you so far, hard work takes you to the next level.” Tiana is an incredible role model for young girls, as her ambitions exceed the realm of romance. As a result of her hard work, she achieves success with her dream career. When Tiana aspires to create her own restaurant, she does not wait for life to provide her with the opportunity. She goes out and works her tail off in order to achieve her dreams.
10. Rapunzel (2010)
“Just because your comfort zone is familiar, it doesn’t mean that it is what’s best for you.” In the long run, your comfort zone may be holding you back. Leaving your comfort zone is difficult and requires strength, like Rapunzel finding the courage to leave her castle. However, you can end up in a position that isn't good for both your mental and physical health if you become complacent in life.
11. Merida (2010)
“You have the power to change your life, don’t let anyone else take control of that.” Merida doesn't want to depend on a prince to sweep her off her feet. Her dream is to become independent and make a name for herself. Like Merida, you have the power to change a situation in your life if you are unhappy. You can make a difference, even if the process is slow and tedious.
12. Frozen (2013)
“It's time to see what I can do, To test the limits and break through.” After fleeing to the mountains, Elsa realizes the full extent of her powers. For the first time, she can truly express herself. Never taught how to properly handle magical ice powers, Elsa believes that there is something wrong with her. Despite this setback, she ultimately becomes the best version of herself after learning to harness her magic. Like Elsa, If we never explore our potential, we’ll never discover our inner strength.
Written by: Stefanny Leung