Let's throw down on some criticism and evaluation, yeahhh buddy

1. Good hair covers a multitude of ills.  This applies to real life.  I guarantee you have seen this happen.  If a girl has good hair, she has a aura of being attractive even if she's got some funky stuff going on in other places.  A good hair day can make you feel less zitty, less bloated, and make weird facial proportions all fade into the background.  Good hair = the perception of good everything. The importance of hair health, folks. Where we see it: What does everyone remember about Disney princesses? Hair. How did we determine our favorite princesses when we were young? The one that had the same color hair as we did. You blondes got the pick of the litter, but the brunettes liked Belle and the redheads liked Ariel. This is fact.

2. If you kick butt, that's awesome.  But if you don't, that's cool too.  Something that Disney did really well was show strong female role models in a variety of roles.  Where we see it: You have Mulan, the butt-kickingest of all, who literally saves her country while maintaining perfect hair, and Pocahontas, who doesn't necessarily fight in  a battle but certainly is shown as a strong character with her own convictions who holds to them no matter what.  And you've got your in-betweeners like Rapunzel, able to skillfully wield a frying pan but not a total tomboy, and Jasmine, decidedly feminine but willing to throw down if she needs to. What's great about this is that none of these roles are marginalized. Cinderella, who cooks and cleans house and is super girly, is portrayed just as well as Mulan is. The bottom line here is to do what you're good at and be who you are, because whoever you are is good and awesome and in this case has great hair.

3. Beauty comes from within... but only if you're beautiful outside too. This one is super problematic.  But it's probably only an issue for people like me who overanalyze everything.  My point here is that yes, all of the Disney princesses are nice.  They are kind to their fellow man, and also to the animals who help them clean house.  Their beauty is demonstrated to come from the inside.  However, a huge deal is also made about how they look outside.  Where you see it: There is a whole song about Belle being the most beautiful girl in town.  Ariel is described as the most beautiful of her sisters.  Cinderella's stepsisters are actually called "The Ugly Stepsisters." I know that for a kids movie, the simplistic idea of a pretty princess has to be followed.  But while all the princesses are beautiful inside, they are also beautiful outside.  There is very rarely a character who is beautiful who is not also good. This creates the dichotomy that beautiful=good, which isn't a problem in itself, but it also perpetuates the opposite, that ugly=evil.  The only witch that isn't ugly is Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and she has that weird hat thing.  It's also troubling that this dichotomy is only present with females... The Hunchback of Notre Dame is all about a male who is ugly but is also good. Not so with princesses.

So though the things that Disney teaches are good and positive for the most part, the concerns that have been expressed about creation of self-esteem issues in young girls through unattainable ideals are also valid.

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