Yes, I Am a Grown Woman Who Loves Disney Princesses

I didn’t marry Prince Charming. My slippers are made of wool, not glass. There’s nothing magic about my carpets. All my friends are distinctly humanoid. And, where I come from, gray stuff is definitively not delicious.

But I did marry the man of my dreams. I ditched the “over-dressed, self absorbed” guy I dated in high school and the “boorish, brainless” one I made the mistake of getting involved with in college. And I chose the friend who turned out to have “something in him that I simply didn’t see.”

Yes, I am a grown woman who loves Disney princesses. This is not a confession. I’ve got nothing to hide. In fact, I’m proud to associate with the likes of Ariel and Jasmine and Belle. Go Team Beast! And, frankly, I’ve been silent long enough.

For decades, debate has raged over whether or not the Disney princesses are feminists. In one camp are those who argue that the princesses can’t be feminists when all they’re after is a man to marry. In the other camp are those who grudgingly acknowledge that the princesses’ end goal is marriage but insist that there is so much more to them than their desire to marry. What I want to know is: what’s so wrong with marriage?

For the sake of this discussion, let’s focus on the obvious golden age of Disney starting with The Little Mermaid and ending with The Lion King. These are movies in which men and women (and lions) are seeking the fulfillment of their deepest desires. Is it really so controversial to think that most people’s deepest desires include a committed partner to spend their lives with?

Apparently it is. In a post for called “I Regret The Day I Let My Daughter Watch The Little Mermaid,” Sarah Bregel says of her daughter’s love for the movie, “A 2-year-old talking about marriage and imitating marriage? I’m just not into it. It doesn’t seem healthy and it kind of freaks me out.” Honestly, it kind of freaks me out that it freaks her out.

We are supposed to think that the problem here is that two years old is too young to be so interested in something as grown up as marriage. But that’s not really the problem. If her daughter started pretending she was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company I bet her mother would be over the moon. The issue is that this little girl is thinking about marriage in particular. But if little kids are going to make believe about adult things, which they are, and if marriage is something that adults do, which it is, it seems like her little girl is on the right track. Better to pretend she’s happily married than that she’s living alone with her cats.