9 New and Old Disney Women That Prove Every Character Is Worthy of Our Respect
There are apparent differences in their personalities, motivations, and looks when it comes to the classic and recent Disney princesses. However, each character is worthy of our respect and admiration. To celebrate our love for cartoons, let’s remember the princesses who taught young girls and adults about leadership, success, and self-confidence. Just check out these 9 times Disney princesses were total feminists who challenged beauty standards unexpectedly.
1. Bianca, Reflect
Bianca struggles with body dysmorphia, a mental illness that causes people to see themselves inaccurately or negatively. But rather than letting her dysmorphia define her, she refocuses on pursuing and accomplishing the things in life that make her feel like enough, for instance, being the talented ballerina she’s meant to be.
2. Moana, Moana
Moana is a Polynesian princess whose story follows her journey to save her people from darkness. This way, Moana’s story is similar to that of many Disney princesses. However, Moana is unique because she takes charge of her own life and does not rely on anyone else to do everything for her. She leads by example and proves that young girls can do anything they put their minds to.
3. Merida, Brave
Merida is strong, independent, and self-reliant. When forced into marriage for political gain, she refuses the arranged marriage and runs away from home. It’s a message about how she does not want to be told what she has to do to please other people. She is her own person who makes her own decisions.
Merida’s hair is curly, and she doesn’t want to change this. In the past, princesses were expected to “tame” their hair or dress a certain way. However, Merida sees her curls as an extension of herself.
4. Mulan, Mulan
When Mulan’s father was called to the battlefield, she disguised herself as a soldier instead! She impressed the other soldiers by saving their lives with bravery and skill that no man could match.
With this kind of strength in mind, it’s no wonder why Mulan is such an inspiring figure for women everywhere! She taught us that we could do anything we set our minds to and to never let anyone tell us otherwise.
5. Mama Odie, The Princess and the Frog
Mama Odie doesn’t see her blindness as a weakness but rather as an opportunity for her to learn about the world differently. Her story also shows us that we can overcome obstacles and become more assertive if we have faith in ourselves. This message about overcoming adversity is something that people with disabilities can relate to on many levels, helping them feel more confident about their bodies and abilities.
6. Nani Pelekai, Lilo & Stitch
Nani Pelekai is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to save her. She’s also not afraid to rock her tummy rolls and show the world that she is no size zero.
She isn’t ashamed of who she is or her appearance; she doesn’t feel like she has to hide behind layers of clothing because she has some extra weight on her frame. She doesn’t try to cover herself up by wearing baggy clothes or hiding under hats and hoodies. Instead, she embraces her curves by feeling comfortable in her skin.
7. Mirabel Madrigal, Encanto
Mirabel Madrigal is a girl who wears glasses and has short curly hair that many young women can relate to. She doesn’t have any special abilities, nor is she adored by everyone. However, she speaks her truth unapologetically. Every day, she proves that we don’t need supernatural powers to save the world.
While she may not fit the stereotypical definition of a princess, there are still many aspects of her character that one would find in most traditional Disney princesses, such as being kind, loving, and brave.
8. Fairy Mary, Tinker Bell
Fairy Mary shatters the stereotype that being overweight makes one clumsy or automatically less athletic. She performs beautiful ice skating routines, exhibiting grace and elegance.
Moreover, she’s comfortable with her body and doesn’t attempt to change it whatsoever.
9. Luisa Madrigal, Encanto
Luisa is a woman of many contradictions. She’s muscular and firm but not masculine. She’s vulnerable and sensitive but not weak. And she’s protective of her own life, her family, and the people she loves.
But Luisa’s most significant contradiction is that she doesn’t see these things as contradictions in the first place. She’s just herself, plain and simple.
Which princess do you relate to the most? What are some of the differences between the “old” and “new” Disney princesses that you feel are worth addressing? How do you feel about Disney’s recent trend of creating more independent and less stereotypical princesses?