Back in March, a Planned Parenthood affiliate made headlines for tweeting out a list of Disney princesses we (apparently) need, the most controversial of which was “a Disney princess who’s had an abortion.” Now, right-wing self-described “political commentator/comedian” Ashton Whitty is gaining attention for tweeting out a similar message with a distinctly conservative twist. “We need a Disney princess who is pro #2A, We need a Disney princess who is #ChooseLife, We need a Disney princess who believes in #freespeech, We need a Disney princess who fights for her country.”
Whitty clearly went to Disneyland with an agenda, posing for numerous pictures at the happiest place on earth wearing her MAGA hat and tweeting about it. She explained that she tweeted the MAGA hat pictures and the list of Disney princesses “as a response to the @PPFA Disney princess tweet.” She went on to say that “Disney has always been politicized. It wasn’t until a Trump supporter did it you cared.”
Perhaps the highest profile criticism of Whitty’s tweet came from model Chrissy Teigen, who said, “I’ve seen like…all the Disney movies and none of the princesses have ever been like ‘I HATE GUNS AND LOVE ABORTION AND BEING SUPRESSED [sic] AND HATE MY COUNTRY’ usually it’s just pretty mellow, singing and animals and stuff.” Teigen’s take is superficially correct, but the fact is that Disney has been deliberately creating more “feminist” princesses in recent years and apologizing for the old-fashioned values of the earlier princesses.
I’ve seen like…all the Disney movies and none of the princesses have ever been like “I HATE GUNS AND LOVE ABORTION AND BEING SUPRESSED AND HATE MY COUNTRY” usually it’s just pretty mellow, singing and animals and stuff https://t.co/aBcbQYOfz9
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) July 11, 2018
Whitty is right: liberals (specifically feminists) have been using Disney princesses — in large part because of their immense popularity — to push political ideologies for decades. But, as I wrote back in March about Planned Parenthood’s tweet, using Disney princesses to push a political agenda — be it liberal or conservative — undermines the essence of what a Disney princess ought to be. A fairy tale princess is a symbolic representation of the ideal of womanhood and, as such, transcends politics. While I applaud Whitty for her desire to push back against the ridiculous Planned Parenthood tweet, I can’t agree with her methods.
We don’t need a Disney princess who pushes a political agenda. The response to the calls for politically oriented princesses should not be to call for princesses who push your particular agenda. That’s falling prey to the liberal narrative — and why should we let them call the shots? The response ought to be a reminder that princesses are not — or, at least, should not be — political at all. If a prominent person or group — like Planned Parenthood — starts using Disney princesses to push their agenda, it’s our job as conservatives to explain why using princesses to push politics is wrong. Not to sink to their level.
A Disney princess’ job is not to teach little girls what to believe, it’s to teach them how to be. Be kind, brave, resolute and strong. Make goals, reach for your dreams, keep trying even if it seems like the deck is stacked against you. Be open to love, don’t settle, marry the man who sees you for your true self. Be you. A fairytale princess doesn’t care about politics, she only cares that you’re being who you are truly meant to be.
Let the liberals descend to using children’s stories to push politics if they feel they must. But we are better than that. Whitty’s impulse to rescue the princesses from Planned Parenthood’s clutches is good, but this is not the way. We need to know better — to be better — for the sake of these characters our children love, whose lessons are more important than red or blue. If we want princesses to teach what they always have — to live a life of integrity and joy — then we must follow their example. A MAGA hat is not a tiara.