Original article here.
This will be a little different from the other princesses, because I do
think the reasons stated for Ariel have a lot of merit. The fact was, she was being stubborn, irresponsible, selfish, and put her entire kingdom in danger. However, I would like to point out that when Disney created her, they weren't exactly thinking "Let's make the worst role model possible, who girls should never model themselves after!
" So, from someone who thinks Ariel is a wonderful role model, I want to point out the view I think Disney intended us to see. It's about striving for your beliefs, breaking boundaries, and saying that it's OKAY to make mistakes. A couple people pointed out that she wasn't succesful in the end, but I don't think that was the point. The point was for her to learn to take risks and chances, and honestly I think if Ariel new she was going to fail she would still trade her voice anyway, for her chance to live her dream. By the way, it's how I would act- If someone let me live my dream for a day, but then I would have a miserable life, I would do it. Because life is too short. But this assertion isn't factual, so I'm not too upset about what people had to say about Ariel, as long as they understand Disney didn't intend it that way.
One thing that really pissed me off was everyone's criticisms that she talked to Phillip. One user wrote: She disobeys an order (which was for her own well-being) and talked to Philip, a stranger.
Yet I see VERY little comment about how Pocahontas talked to John Smith, who she had been previously warned NOT to talk to, because he could be dangerous. Not to mention he pointed a gun at her, and all Phillip did was dance with Aurora. Then, no one bothers to comment while she was immediately swept away by Phillip, she remembered her Aunt's warnings and ran from Phillip. But as he is her "true love" (you have to be willing to buy into Disney's true love application to understand Aurora) she's smart enough to invite him back to the cottage instead of meeting him in the woods again. People also criticize Aurora for being obedient. With the high amount of disobedient, risk-taking princesses, it's nice to see one who is obedient. There's nothing wrong with playing it safe. Aurora didn't exactly have a bad life, she had no reason to disobey her Aunts and run away from home. I wouldn't have criticized her if she did (that would have just been hypocritical with all the good points I see about Ariel running away) DEPENDING on what she ran away for. Regardless, I do think her going to the kingdom instead of waiting for Phillip was NOT a matter of responsibility or duty- I truly think it was lack of backbone.
I was genuinely surprised and furious that Jasmine was this low. I'm going to reiterate what I wrote on the wall. One time on here (this section), I made a pick asking if everyone would rather have freedom or riches. About 95% of you choose freedom. But then you criticize Jasmine for leaving her rich lifestyle...FOR FREEDOM.So apparently if you're not already rich, it's okay to pick freedom over riches. But if you're already rich, you can't leave your rich lifestyle for any dreams because THAT'S being ungrateful. Then people called Jasmine mean. Why? When was she ever
mean? Because she has a temper? I don't see it as a temper, I see it for standing up for what she believes in. She has no choice but to do it in a loud, aggressive fashion- what is she supposed to say? "I quite disagree with your argument that I should be forced to marry someone I don't love, would you like to debate it further? Mmm, yes, quite quite" NO. In her society, no one would take her seriously if she tried to explain in a calm, intelligent manner. One thing I've always wondered is that after she is brought back to the palace, why doesn't she try to leave again? Does she give up that easily? But then I thought, she probably feels really guilty about Aladdin's "death" (which she thinks she caused), so I honestly think that's why she didn't leave right away. Or maybe she realizes she is incapable of caring for herself so she decides to wait until she is more prepared. I'm not just making excuses, it really seems like that's the likely probability. Realizing that makes me love her even more
. This ranking on the countdown was utter nonsense and I'm really embarrassed for everyone who voted her this low.
Mostly I agree with everyone that she isn't the strongest role model because she really doesn't do anything. However, there are some things I'd like to point out.
#1- Everyone criticizes Snow White for going into the dwarf's cottage. However, she had just been told her stepmother wanted to kill her and needed a safe place to stay. I don't blame her for hiding out in that house. I bet you any amount of money if in the movie she had ignored the house and kept searching around, a LOT of you users would be saying she's stupid for still wandering around the woods where the Queen could be, and she should've hid in the house.
#2- Everyone criticizes Snow White for taking the apple from the old lady. She's 14 years old, give her a break for still being a bit of a dreamer. Another thing is, the damn wishing well worked, so why shouldn't the apple? And also, let me use Pocahontas as an example again: Hardly anyone
criticized her for getting out of the boat to talk to John Smith literally ONE MINUTE after he tries to shoot her! I know she may not know that it's a gun, but she has to realize from his stance that he wasn't being friendly. (I'm sorry to keep using Pocahontas as an example, but you'll see later on in the article she's not the only one I use as a parallel against Snow White. I, in fact, adore Pocahontas so it doesn't even matter.) If you had a choice, would you rather eat an apple from an old lady (THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW WAS EVIL) or go talk to a man who had just tried to shoot you? Anyone with a brain would take the apple.
#3- She is the one princess, who, after losing her prince, doesn't sit around and mope. She keeps a positive attitude and waits for him to come back without depending on him for her happiness, which is REALLY unique for a disney princess.
That being said, I think she is one of the lesser role models.
How is Rapunzel and better than Ariel, let alone Jasmine? This ranking I really didn't understand. She had been taught all her life that the outside world was a dangerous place, she would die, everyone is really mean and selfish. So she goes off with the first man she sees to go see some lights in the sky. To me, that was an equally stupid move as Ariel's, if not stupider and worth less. Jasmine left the palace for freedom, and she had never been taught to not leave the palace because it's dangerous, only that it was too low class. Rapunzel leaves with a strange man to go see lights in the sky, which wasn't even life-changing.. Jasmine was at least leaving to make a difference in her life. Ariel was at least leaving to make a difference in her life. Rapunzel was only going to see lanterns in the sky, and then return back to her old life. She was willing to risk all this for a dream that didn't even change her situtation. This ranking was absolutely baffling to me! I understand she goes through growth and chooses not to come back, she has good qualities too, like she thinks on her feet and cares about others, but she takes a lot of risks that put other's lives in danger, people she's barely met, for something that's not even worth that much in reality. Not to mention she steals Flynn's stuff and blackmails him into taking her places. And that scene where Gothel yells at Rapunzel, she immediately backs down and doesn't try to prove herself, I mean I know what Gothel said was cruel, but apparently it doesn't even matter because Rapunzel chose to do it all behind Gothel's (her mother'S) back anyway. It would have been as simple as just opening the armoire door. I don't know if that would have made Rapunzel's situation better (probably not) but Rapunzel doesn't know that. I promise I'm not being biased, if Jasmine had been ranked higher I wouldn't be so confused at this ranking. In my opinion, Rapunzel should be low on the role model list, if not the lowest. At least Ariel shows that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as you keep trying. And at least Ariel's goal was life-changing and makes a difference (whether or not you agree she should do change her life is irrelevant), but Rapunzel's is just to see some floating lamps. It's not even worth risking her life for. And I do know that it was Rapunzel's "dream" to see the lights and what they meant, but in reality it's just not worth it. Oh, and I realize Ariel going to Ursula is semi the equivalent of Rapunzel going off with Flynn- the difference is Ariel knew Ursula was evil and was doing it as an act of angry rebellion, Rapunzel was just being stupid (not angry, as you can see when she leaves the tower she's conflicted, if she was blindly angry like Ariel she wouldn't have been). By the way, that scene really annoys me, of Rapunzel being conflicted, it further proves to me that she is a bad role model. At least if you're going to risk your life to have a dream, stick by it, don't start second guessing yourself two seconds later. Don't leave unless you're absolutely sure.
PART 2 to come later