Many people grow up with the Disney Princess franchise as an essential part of their childhood; however, as these people grow up they find flaws they never imagined as children in the Princesses. While some of these accusations are valid, many people find it necessary to nitpick the tiniest of details, and, often, these points do not even hold ground. Take, for example, this article, entitled "4 Terrible Lessons from Disney Princess Movies." by Bailey Hemphill. This article delves into many classic Disney Princess movies such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, along with some more recent movies such as The Princess and The Frog and Tangled. Hemphill states that these movies teach young children lessons from feminine portrayal to family structure to social interactions, but she insists these movies teach all the wrong lessons to their young viewers. However, Hemphill overlooks the many good aspects Disney movies teach children, exaggerating the bad, and even portraying good lessons as terrible ones. Overall, this article holds little validity, and delves far too deep into the Disney movies, missing the beneficial lessons the stories are meant to teach.
Hemphill begins with the first ‘terrible lesson’, which is as follows:
1. Your romantic relationship should be co-dependent, based on lies, or make you change everything about who you are.
According to this author, all Disney princesses are portrayed as helpless, lying, desperate girls willing to do anything to get the man of their dreams. That’s hardly the case. Mulan, for example, never intended to fall in love. The only reason she changed herself was to protect her family, and, most importantly, her father. She was not lying or changing herself in order to ‘get the guy,’ she was desperately trying to save her father’s life, even at the potential cost of her own. Snow White is also one of the supposed ‘helpless, desperate’ princesses according to Hemphill. Somehow, taking care of the several needy dwarves all while hiding away from a murderous queen makes her “helpless” and “desperate.”
2. Having a dysfunctional family builds strong character and makes you more interesting.
First of all, this author blames Disney for the structure of the families when, in reality, the stories are not a Disney original. Most Disney Princess stories are taken directly from the Grimm Fairy Tales, and then animated into a movie. Disney cannot be blamed for a family structure taken directly from a different source. Even if Disney could be blamed, Hemphill goes too far in saying that “these broken families could suggest to children that they’re not interesting or likable, unless they have dysfunctional relationships with their families”. If anything, the dysfunctional families simply evoke sympathy among the audience for the protagonists from the movies. These family structures, it could be said, are simply used as a plot device to cause the viewer to sympathize with the Princess. To take it even further, Disney’s family structures don’t teach children that a dysfunctional family makes you more interesting; they teach children that dysfunctional families aren’t a disadvantage, nor do they define you: they teach children that they can become successful regardless of their family structures or past.
3. A social life consists of spending time with animals, inanimate objects, or non-humans.
There are certain defining factors of a Disney princess: sing-song soprano voices, classic facial features, and, of course, animal friends who she loves. However, some could say that the absence of human friends could lead to antisocial tendencies. I could say that "some" are wrong. Realistically speaking, having a pet increases social interaction, and it helps with social anxiety or stress or depression. So, if anything, these movies are showing kids that being friends with animals is a positive thing. It also teaches them to not be mean or abusive to animals or their own pets. Also, kids aren't going to focus on how she's "antisocial" and "only talks to animals." They'll pay attention to the cute animals and the funny remarks or motions they make. I don't even think kids know what being antisocial is, so I doubt that they will think things like, "Those animals are making the princess not talk to anyone else." Also, in Snow White, Snow White has animal frienda, but she also talks to the seven dwarfs, so your claim is invalid.
4. Bad people are always fat, ugly, old, or some combination of those traits.
These disney movies were made a while ago (for example: Snow White, 1937; Cinderella, 1950; Sleeping Beauty, 1959) - before people started to realize that what they said actually hurt others. Most of which were based off of Grimm Fairy Tales that were written in the 1800s. Also, in Beauty and the Beast, the whole idea is that Belle overlooked the fact that the Beast was… well… a Beast. She taught him how to read! She loved him for who he is, not what he looked like. Hemphill tells us that “Gaston = Ugly,” “The Witch = Ugly and Old,” and “Maleficent = Ugly and Old.” The point of all three of these villains is that they’re supposed to be beautiful. And the fairy godmother from Cinderella is a kind, loving being, but she’s shown as “old and fat.” And, with the kind of people living now as opposed to the 1900s, children will know the difference between right and wrong, and they will know better than to equate being bad with being "ugly" or "old" or "fat."
Let's be real: not a lot of kids these days are watching old movies like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. They're watching newer princess movies like Frozen and Brave. So get a new topic to whine about.
I often wonder, as the journey stretches far into the future, yet only slightly into the past, if I have journeyed at all, despite the distance between me and my starting point. I often look behind myself, over my shoulder but not quite, if only to judge the distance I have traveled. But the distance cannot be measured by the journey, and the journey cannot be measured by the travels. If you pick up your foot, and place into a different spot, does that mean you have moved, even if you do not appear to have done so? Likewise, if your surroundings differ from previous look-arounds, does that mean you have moved? The answer, I believe, is no, but I do not believe these things to be altogether very important. Why should it matter to the journey when I realize I have not moved? Why should it matter to the travels that my surroundings differ? Why should it matter to the distance that the travels and the journey do not wish to remain within the synchrony of the distance? It doesn’t. I often wonder it anyway, though.
What do you do when you can’t walk down the street
without hearing cat calls from every corner
What do you do when you can’t walk down the street
without eyes following you
When you turn, and you see an innocent being called out
for the breasts she can do nothing about
When she is being harassed for the body she has, and loves
What do you do when you can’t walk down the street
without feeling as though it is your body that is the enemy
Instead of feeling like it is the people who make it that way
Why do I feel it is my fault
Why do I feel unsafe
In a place that they call “the city of brotherly love”
So let’s be real here for a second: for a long time, I really disliked Martha Jones. I thought she was a needy, unrealistic, cliche character who was an altogether terrible match for the doctor. I was kind of a bitch about it. I really hated Martha a lot.
But was it Martha herself I hated, or did I hate the fact that she wasn’t Rose? Was it Martha I hated, or did I hate her crush on the Doctor? Her love fest only added to her becoming one of the least-liked companions of the Doctor’s bunch: it seemed forced and out of character for someone like her, who was literally the epitome of “I’m an independent woman who doesn’t need a man.” (Do you even remember when she walked all around the world by herself?)
So what if she hadn’t come right after such a tough act to follow? What if she wasn’t written with an eye rolling, cliche theme of unrequited love? She would- without a doubt- be at the top of every fan’s list of favorite companions (she is for me, now that I’ve see the error of my ways).
I want to begin with my most solid point: Miss Martha Jones’ utter badassery. Do you even remember the very first episode? She was in a hospital. On the moon. Yeah, sounds cool at the moment, but if you were actually there, I think you would be way less chill about it than Martha was. And remember the other time when there was a raging sun demon who was burning everyone’s brains out on some spaceship, and she was doing everything she could to protect people on the ship, including freezing the doctor’s head so that he wouldn’t die just to protect him? And how, during that same episode, while she and another passenger were escaping, they were cornered into an escape pod... that just happened to be aimed at the sun. However, during this time of terror, all Martha could think of was her family.
Throughout her season, we see that nothing means more to Martha than her family. Every time she or the world is in danger, her first thought isn’t to protect herself like most people would, but rather to protect the people who raised her-- who she doesn’t always get along with. Martha’s combination of selflessness and badassness really contributes to a realistic, awesome character. I don’t think any of us could even dream to amount to Martha’s status.
But not only was she badass and super, crazy loyal to her semi-dysfunctional family, but she also was able to recognize when she was in an unhealthy relationship with the Doctor... and end it. Well, not completely. But when she realized her crush on the Doctor wouldn’t ever go anywhere, she decided to stay on earth and work with UNIT acting as an awesome doctor for them.
Martha is vastly different from the other companions in one huge way; she has a life outside of the doctor. Are the other companions smart? Definitely- Rory was training to be a nurse, Donna was quick thinking and witty, Clara is a teacher. However, each of them had lives that were too ‘incomplete’ or ‘mundane’ before that lovely blue police box came her way. Martha was already established: we see in the first episode in residency as a doctor at the Royal Hope Hospital. Later, we find out this was a childhood dream of hers- she’s studied all her life (remember when she read a 32 book series when she was 8?) to achieve one pretty fantastic goal. The Doctor didn’t create her or change her drastically; she was smart and driven, able and devoted before she met him.
Even after leaving the Doctor, Martha continues to kick some serious alien ass. We see her cameo both on later seasons of Torchwood (The Doctor Who spinoff) and Doctor Who as a top-ranking member (and super awesome secret spy!) in UNIT. Remember Project Indigo and the Osterhagen Project? When Martha- without the Tardis or Doctor- helped defend her country? Think of it like this; even Sarah Jane Smith, one of the most popular companions ever, confessed how difficult it was to move on, yet Martha is able to do this seamlessly. Moving on from her crush on the Doctor, she even ends up marrying Mickey and the two freelance (aka save the world a ton) together.
The Doctor tends to outshine everyone- that’s pretty much why the show’s named after him. However, there are a few notable points during Martha’s run where the Doctor left her to clean up his messes. And yes, they’re more than in Blink when she mentions while they’re “stuck [in time, she]... got a job… I've got to support him!” During her very first appearance, she literally uses her last breaths to resuscitate the Doctor as oxygen in the hospital runs out. In another memorable and rather depressing experience, she takes care of him for a year when he removes his memories and places them into 1913 England, where she becomes a maid. Still, she perseveres and saves him regardless. Her biggest accomplishment is when facing the Master. Her family is imprisoned and enslaved. The Doctor is held captive and helpless. She is alone. And what does she do? She travels the world for an entire year, spreading her plan, which ends up saving both the Doctor, the universe, and her family. Pretty impressive.
It prowls behind you, creeping slowly, stealthily. You know it’s there. You can’t always pinpoint exactly when it arrived, and you never know when it will ever leave, but you most certainly know it’s there. Sometimes, you hear it. It growls. You hardly ever see it, and you don’t really want to see it, either. When it growls, you jump, and for the next few steps, you walk stiffly, hyper aware of the being behind you. If only you knew why it was following you, if only you knew what it looked like. If only. Eventually, you relax, thinking that because of the calm, it has left. And then, it will growl again. You jump once more and stiffen, but you’re not afraid. You can’t be afraid. You can’t fear the beast, because the beast is fear.
into the strange,
into the light.
some may return,
with the stories
of a lifetime.
one of misery,
one of heaven.
of a conqueror.
by his own
of a delirious
in a manic
to call himself Pure.
I flick the light switch, and I killed the last light. In the darkness of the mirror, a good looking guy stares back at me. This guy in the mirror wears a slick blue uniform, and the guy slips a badge over his neck. This guy is ready to go, and this guy is packing heat.
The smell of rain is what hits me as I skip the last step. I take a long drag from my cigarette. I Inhale the smoke and slowly blow it out through my front teeth. The day was hot, but the night is now cool. I survey the streets. No fishy smell stings the air tonight. Perfect weather to lay down the law. I take another long draw from my cigarette, and I move swiftly to my car. When I step in to my dark fuzz cab, a sly smile comes across my face. I read off of the paper, and I look at the picture. A beautiful one is in store for us tonight. Johnny will have his way with her, and I’ll be swimming in dough stacks by the time the sun pokes it’s head over the horizon.
In Brooklyn I’m on the night shift. These streets are my children. With a cool hand and a keen eye, I am the man of these streets. Johnny at the station calls the shots. I go on long missions through thick summer air to take targets into custody. Whether I have to let my gun sing to a couple of drunks messing with one of our families, or do a quick snatch of a young lady Johnny spotted, I always am carrying out what Johnny asks me to. He repays me with cold green benjamins. He may sing sick songs to a bank teller, or he may put some rich jack away for life and take his dough. We run everything around here. I let my gun and my badge do the talking.
People know the deal around these parts. They know how we run things, and if the people don’t like it they keep their mouth shut about it. If you slide out of line, you end up with X’s over your eyes. They could end up rotting in Pelican Bay for all I care.
My ride glides down the street. This girl is supposed to step out of the subway at 9:30. I’ll tag her and pick her up once she gets to a quiet street. At 9:33 she slides up the steps and turns down central street. She’s a beauty. She must be a Rican. She has long brown hair, and she is wearing a red dress. Her hands are busy with groceries, and she walks with intent. A fine looking woman like herself knows better than to be out this late at night. Boy does Johnny have good taste.
As I slip through the shadows in my car behind her, she turns down a remote street. I blaze the sirens, and I pull up next to her. As I step out of the car, she notices me and jumps back quickly, dropping her groceries and putting her hands up. I laugh out loud. So much for a fight with this one.
I slide out of the car to see this woman’s body shaking like a leaf. I light up a cigarette with a smile. My body eases against the passenger door of the car. The first puff warms my lungs. I smile at her.
“Officer,” she asks.
“You know there is a warrant out for your arrest girly.”
“Oh officer, you must be mistaken!” Her voice sounds slightly panicked. I love it.
I inhale for a while on my cigarette, then blow the smoke through my teeth towards the black sky. I smile at her. “Here the police are always right.” Her face slides into a deer in headlights look. She knows the deal. She knows that she has no control at this point. After I cuff her, I put her into the back of the car.
The car brakes squeak as we stop at different lights. I hear loud breathing in the back seat. Fire is practically shooting from her nose.
“What’s wrong sugar?” The words hopped off my tongue as I glanced at her through the mirror.
“You’re never going to get away with this!” I grin at her. Her face is red. She knows that she has been brought into the system now.
“Oh sugar. You don’t get it do you.”
Our car kept squeaking along until we reached the station. I surfed into my normal spot, and I softly stopped.
I moved her into the station where she was booked by Jay. Jay’s a skinny guy who sits behind the counter and books the catch. Johnny and I met with her in the back room for questioning. Johnny puffed a fat cigar as he sat behind his desk. He read off of the paper and smiled. She sat cuffed to a chair across from him, and she was still puffing like a bull.
Johnny puffed a smoke ring in the air and then smiled. His smile was large and his heavy Italian features showed.
“Looks like theft charges are being put against you huh?” Johnny asks.
“I didn’t do nothin’.”
Johnny smiled. “Three charges of shoplifting huh? Doesn’t that sound like something?”
“Yeah and we got witnesses that put you at the scene of the crime. The evidence was found on the street when I picked her up sir.” I remarked. We showed our heat, and we pressured some old shopkeeper in to being a witness.
“Look honey. I want to make this easy for ya. I’m a family man, and I know that you are a good mother to those kids of yours. Heck, you're probably a good wife to! But look suga’, being in jail aint setting a good example for the kids is it?” Johnny’s a professional. He knows everything about the targets.
“Yeah, and three robbery charges ain't no joke either,” I add.
She was steaming now. Snot was spitting from her nostrils. Fumes were practically coming out of her head. But dang did she stand out in a room like a rose.
“Now you’re facing three to four years assuming we can’t make a deal.”
“Yeah, well what deal are you talkin’?”
“You know the deal,” I cut in.
“Okay. So that’s how it’s gonna be? Okay.” She stated.
I walked out of the office. My job was done for now. I stood outside the station taking long breaths from a cigarette. Two Puerto Rican men got out of a car, and they walked towards me.
“I want to see my wife,” one said.
“And I want to see my sister,” remarked the other.
I took a long draw from my cigarette. I blew the fumes at the man. A grin slid across my face. “We aren’t done with her.”
“That wasn’t a question,” one of them sniped.
This got the air a little tense, and this started a chain reaction that got my blood a little hot.
“Who in the world do you think you’re talking to boy?”
The men looked angrily at me. One pulled a gun and he pointed towards me.
“Who do you think you are? Who in the world are you pointing that at boy? Jay,” I barked, “Jay get out here!”
Jay dragged to the door slowly. He pulled the latch and he walked out. Jay slipped his hand into his pocket and he yanked out his pistol.
“Haha you see how it is now boys don’t you,” I laughed.
The two Puerto Ricans smiled. “Yeah we see how it is.”
I glanced over at Jay. I looked straight down the barrel of his pistol. He was three feet away and he cocked the gun.
“So that’s how it is huh? You disloyal fool! You hypocritic losers!” My mind was fizzling, and the air felt uneasy.
“Don’t you understand that I’m the man around here! Don’t you get that these streets belong to me! I’m putting cases on all of you! All of your families are going down!” My mouth was running away from me now, and I just couldn’t seem to catch it.
“Why don’t you boys bounce. I got your back boys. Get up out of here,” Jay stated cooly. He thinks he’s in control now huh?
“Who are you protecting boy? Who do you think you are?” Now I was gone.
“This is my city! I will burn these streets to the ground! I’ll laugh as ya’ll go down! Stalin ain’t got nothin on me!” The two Puerto Rican men’s guns slowly slid into their holsters.
“Just you wait and see!” I pointed at one of the men. “You’ll be under 24 hour lock down in alcatraz by the time i’m through with you! All of ya’ll are burning! Just you wait and see! I can’t lose. You can’t beat me!”
Jay pointed the gun at me still. The two men bounced. Fumes shot from my ears.
“Oh just you wait and see! You’re going down with that sister of yours!” They didn’t turn around, they just kept walking.
“Get out of here ya bum. Get into your car and get out of here,” Jay harshly suggested.
I stared at him and smirked.
“Just you wait Jay. Just you wait!”
When I turned the ignition key I lit up another cigarette. I turned through the first light and then down another street. The air seemed heavy, and the night seemed quiet. Who did they think they were? I’m putting murder on Jay. We aren’t letting the girl out either. Her husband and brother are getting killed. We’ll frame some useless bum we find on the street. These are my streets. Who do they think they are?
A gray station wagon pulled up next to me. I cocked my head to look down the barrell of a shotgun. It was the same men from the station. This time they were in the front seat of a cop car. Another officer was behind the wheel. A glum look was on his face. A face that had muscles positioned to show anger and revenge. My blood temperature skyrocketed.
I slid out of my car. “Boy don’t nobody ever teach you!” A horribly loud noise shook the air. I was blown back against my car. Barely breathing I glanced as the Puerto Rican that pulled the trigger stepped from his car. He snatched my badge from around my neck. With a quick tug he yanked it off.
“This time the case was put on you.”
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