Yes, I Am a Grown Woman Who Loves Disney Princesses

Of course, we’re not only after marriage. But neither are our Disney gals. Ariel desperately wants to be human. Belle wants adventure in the great wide somewhere. Jasmine doesn’t want her destiny decided for her. But a part of their plan is to find someone they love, who loves them in return, to spend their lives with. And, dare I say it, this holds a pretty high spot on the list of important life goals for most people, if they’re honest with themselves. And this is a good thing. Healthy, even.

In recent years, Disney has tried to appease feminists who are arguing that marriage is not an appropriate end goal for little girls. Movies like Frozen and Brave attempt to shift the focus away from romantic love. In Frozen, Elsa learns that the most important love of all is the love she has for her sister. And in Brave, Merida learns that . . . actually, I have no idea what she learns—that movie made no sense. There were a lot of bears. But she ends up exactly where she started, at home with Mom and Dad.

It’s very sweet to love your sister and your parents, and we hope our kids will always love us, but is this really the future we want our children to aspire to? Are we saying that, instead of going out into the world on their own and finding someone with whom to share their lives, our children should stay safely at home, with us? That doesn’t seem healthy and it more than kind of freaks me out.

Disney taught me well. I learned that my one true love is out there. That I shouldn’t settle for anything less. I learned that when I found him, I should marry him. Like Ariel, I learned that sometimes I might have to make sacrifices to be with the man I love but that, if he was the right one for me, the most important things (like my voice) would always be appreciated. Like Belle, I learned that love is not a prison, it’s a place where, once you’re free, all you want to do is come back home. Like Jasmine, I learned that, for a relationship to work, you both have to be authentically you (whether you’re a street rat or a princess). These are all things I hope my children learn too.

I’m a grown woman who loves Disney princesses. I’m a wife who knows the value of marriage. I’m a mom who will teach her children that value too. And, at the end of each day, I will crawl, exhausted, into bed next to my husband then wake up and do it all over again. That’s my happily ever after.