The Travesty of the New Disney Princess Look

Hello, princesses from my childhood. Good to see you!

You look splendid. Cinderella’s dress is the right color, and you are all recognizable as the characters from the nostalgic, innovative films that I love.

…Who the @!#& are these ho bags?

Apparently these are the Disney Princesses 2.0, newly designed and ready for mass production. Except they don’t look like the princesses. They look like the cheap knock-offs they sell outside of the Disney Store in Times Square. Some of them aren’t even recognizable. Belle looks like a Bratz doll and Cinderella looks like Ashley Tisdale (no offense, Ashley).

I just don’t understand. The movies these princesses come from aren’t like television cartoons where characters adjust with time (check out the Simpsons from season one). These are designs and characters from an animated film: a fixed and permanent piece of cinema. Placing Pocahontas on a little girl’s backpack with hideous feather earrings doesn’t change the fact that she doesn’t have them in the movie. So much for cross promotion…and just what kind of princess are you trying to promote, Disney?

The Disney I know promotes a wholesome, natural beauty. The princesses, though at times frustratingly passive, naive, and perhaps unrealistically beautiful, never seemed vapid or self-centered. There may have been a lot of concentration on their beauty by others in the story, but not by the princesses themselves. They were much too concerned with singing to woodland creatures and marrying men they just met to study a mirror too closely. That was the Evil Queen’s job.

These chicks, on the other hand, clearly spend three hours minimum chanting ‘mirror mirror’ at their vanity each morning. Reading, my ass. Belle obviously dedicates all her time to her curling iron. Cinderella, now that she doesn’t have to scrub floors and talk to mice, seems to spend her days pumping her face with botox. Maybe Jack and Gus Gus do it for her.


I get emotional.

Last I checked the Disney princesses weren’t lacking in appeal to little girls. So why the need to “modernize” the look of a classic story? Disney has the reputation of holding itself to a higher standard than much of their competition. It’s the crux of their popularity, especially with parents. So why are they assuming today’s little girls can only relate to shallow, anorexic women who wear too much makeup?

Beyond angering older fans and giving a poor example for younger ones, I find this a direct slap in the face to the original animators. These weren’t crudely drawn television characters rushed out every Saturday morning: these characters were carefully designed works of art. Now you take these works of art and you turn them into cheap High School Musical wannabees? Lame.

Were the original designs perfect? Of course not. Jasmine looks anatomically impossible and certain characters (ahem, Aurora) lack personality. Nevertheless, these problems only intensify with the new designs, and some of the changes seriously damage characters who had real substance. Take my favorite: Belle.

Look at this design; it’s beautiful. The color, the expression, the depth! This is a modest, intelligent woman who has complex thoughts and emotions. This is a perfect role model for little girls.

This is teen pregnancy waiting to happen.

Respect the animators, Disney. Respect the fans. Above all, think about the message you’re sending to little girls. Don’t wanna be a stupid girl.

UPDATE: They’ve taken Merida too!