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11th Oct 2016

10 Ways To Be A REAL Princess (And Not A Tiara Or A Prince In Sight)

Amanda Cassidy

Do you worry your own little princess may be exposed to negative role models when it comes to female Disney characters?

Well, now you can Let It Go as there is a new list in town, and it is not all about lying in wait for a prince to rescue you.

Over five thousand parents came together to redefine the traits of a modern princess to help little girls focus on empowering themselves with positive messages about following their dreams. Disney UK commissioned parenting expert Judy Reith to come up with some of the most positive aspects of the Disney Princesses including the courage of Rapunzel in Tangled, the self-belief of Tiana in the Princess and the Frog and, of course, the kindness of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.  They came up with the list of characteristics and inner qualities in poster form so young girls can hang it on their wall.

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The top ten principles of being a modern Princess are:

1. Care for others

2. Live healthily

3. Don’t judge a book by its cover

4. Be honest

5. Be a friend you can trust

6. Believe in yourself

7. Right wrongs

8. Try your bet

9. Be loyal

10. Never give up

Judy Reight is also the author of Seven Secrets of Raising Girls, and mother of three girls. She believes;

“Many young girls dream of being a Disney Princess, so it is exciting to be part of an initiative that defines exactly what that means. The results make clear that being a ‘Princess’ is not just about titles, tiaras or marrying a Prince, but about emulating Cinderella’s courage, Merida’s heroism and Snow White’s generosity. I hope the principles will encourage a whole new generation of girls to care for others, try their best and to believe in themselves.”

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This new perspective is refreshing and moves AGAINST the passive and helpless female protagonists Disney has been criticised for in the past.  I was raised on these movies, and I am neither passive or helpless. I will be highlighting to my daughter how Pocahontas refuses to marry against her will and how Ariel chases adventures. I will be talking to her about how Belle is intelligent and bookish and compassionate and how Snow White always looks on the bright side of life.

I believe Disney heroines reflect their times. Snow White may have been at home sweeping up after the men, but that was the “perfect woman” in that era. These days we have moved towards a braver character like Merida in Brave. She reflects a strong, modern girl who speaks her mind.

Idolising princesses will never go away. Everyone wants a fairy-tale life. It’s just what YOU take from it after they ride off into the sunset.

Disney Princesses: Role models or bad examples? What do you make of it?