Wednesday, 5 April 2017

I'm a Disney feminist

I've seen the live-action Beauty and the Beast 3 far! It's wonderful, I was worried I'd be expecting Emma Watson to whip out her wand at any moment, but I think she played Belle superbly, the whole cast was brilliant, even casting Ewan McGregor, a Scot, to play the exquisitely French Lumière was a win!

Beauty and The Beast

There has been the inevitable backlash against the film. Firstly due to the gay characters - what poppycock! Do people really think Gay people didn't exist in 18th century France? Half the European royalty had both men and woman keeping their plush beds warm.

The second backlash came because Disney princesses are seen as anti-feminist. Yes, there is usually a handsome Prince involved but the Princesses, especially the newer additions, have been kick-arse diva's, fighting for their cause, their loved ones and their towns.

As a child, my favourite Disney Princess was Airel, a beautiful gutsy redhead (why do you think I have the red hair I have today?). Yes, she fell in love with Eric but that girl had some balls; going to Ursella having her voice taken, risking her father's kingdom, then going to an unknown land alone. I get scared going to Sainsbury's on my own - but as a child, Ariel inspired me, she had courage, and spirit and I tried to convince myself that since my legs didn't work that well, I was obviously a mermaid and the leg-spell had gone wrong.


There are various campaigns to ban pink, barbies and gender specific clothing, but why can't we have pink, blue, yellow, green, black and all the colours in between? I agree that Barbie's figure is an unattainable and unrealistic one that could be adapted to a more average woman, but as a girl, I never once looked at her waist, I spent all my time looking at her wardrobe and using my garden as an obstacle course. I didn't have a Ken doll, I borrowed my brothers Action Men and Barbie whooped ass in the Ferrari and Tank. I am all for gender fluidity and I'm a full supporter of LGBT rights/campaigns and yet I still love all things girlie and pink.

I am a feminist. I am a cheerleader for all the woman and men in my life, I teach my Nieces and Nephews about being strong, being who they are and doing what they want to do. My niece Abi is the perfect example of a girlie Feminist. She'll dress in "boy" clothing, teamed with a tutu and a crown, she's the first one diving into a muddy puddle, attempting the biggest climbing frame in the park, all whilst donning Frozen wellies. She is strong, but loves a cuddle, has her eye on a boy already, but doesn't put up with any crap from anyone.

If you haven't already, take your children to see Beauty and the Beast. Belle is feisty and gives as good as she get's, telling The Beast where to go when he's being an idiot, she's courageous taking her father's place as a prisoner and rocks some stunning gowns whilst riding horses - and not side saddle either!

Margo, Edith, and Agnes

Disney films are meant to be an escape from the real world, each of the Princesses reflects society at the time of their release. Cartoons now have characters like Elsa, Merida, Margo, Edith, and Agnes and there are rumours that Elsa will fall in love with a girl (Shock horror!) in the next Frozen film, because we are turning into a more tolerant world, which celebrates differences, and if you aren't going to watch a Disney film because of that, you are missing out and not just at the cinema.

Until next week.
L x

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