Why Are We Obsessed With Disney Princesses?

Hal Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to steal Cinderella’s or Ariel’s wardrobe at least once in their life?

If you need encouragement (and let’s face it, everyone needs encouragement in 2022), I highly recommend searching on Google. little mermaid trailer

In case you missed it, Disney recently shared the first teaser for the animated live-action adaptation of the classic. Viewers got a glimpse of singer Halle Bailey as Ariel. I started filming my black daughter’s reaction.

@nickyknackpaddywack Maya’s reaction # Little Mermaid trailer. #representationmatters #representation in the media Matters #Black Girls ♬ Original Sound – Nicky

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t grow up watching Disney movies. It’s almost a rite of passage, like playing in the sandbox or going underwear shopping with your mom. And in 2022, Disney princesses continue to shape how we feel about beauty, fashion and femininity. Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiaraexamines the cultural impact of fictional characters and how their legacy lives far beyond the screen.

“Our idea of ​​what is beautiful, glamorous and elegant is [the Disney Princess] It’s the first gown I’ve seen in my youth,” author Emily Zemler wrote to me in an email. Not even.”

Disney Princess Zendaya as Cinderella
Zendaya and Law Roach at the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion.Photo by Getty Images

Indeed, the interpretations of this particular fictional gown are endless.From the wedding dress to the runway to Zendaya on the red carpet of the 2019 Met Gala, blue ensembles are synonymous with grace, elegance and the power of transformation. It is “If you say you want to be like a princess, you want to be like a princess. [Disney] “Their looks are part Americana…they’re fashion icons.”

Zemler agrees and attributes the Disney princess gown phenomenon to the 1937 release. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. “It quickly became apparent that fans wanted to be like Snow White, or at least share elements of her appearance,” she explained, referring to the popularity of fashionable merchandise released at the time. “There were even some Snow White-inspired looks that went down the French runway.”

We still see examples of the Disney princess effect today.rear frozen hit theaters in 2013, reintroducing Elsa’s cape to the world. red carpet and runwaySimilarly, for the live-action version beauty and the beast released in 2017, yellow (the color of Belle’s gown) became the season’s “it” shade. I do not think.

But it’s also the other way around, cartoons are inspired by real life. According to Zemler, early Disney princesses were mostly animated by men who weren’t necessarily fashion experts, so they used images from popular fashion magazines as a reference point.when Cinderella The ensemble of characters released in the 50’s, christian dior new look It was the silhouette that represented the times. Aurora’s dress, created a few years later, had certain medieval touches — sleeping beauty It was set in that period, but it also borrowed a lot from Audrey Hepburn’s movies Roman holidayThe filmmakers intentionally painted Ariel’s pink ball gown and wedding dress to resemble Princess Diana at her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

So what is the eternal charm of Disney princesses? Why are we all collectively obsessed with them? “For many fans, nostalgia is a key factor,” says Zemler. “For example, millennials grew up on the ‘Disney Renaissance.It was an informal term in the 1990s when the film Little Mermaid, Aladdin, When Mulan It came out. ”

Millennials are also called the “Peter Pan Generation” because, as the movie says, they don’t want to grow up. They have delayed typical markers until adulthood, such as leaving their parents’ house or buying a car. They also coined the term “adult” to describe their struggle with “adult” jobs.

But perhaps the real reason Disney princesses remain so compelling is because we all love happy endings.and these women worked For that beautiful ball gown! It’s a big bubble symbol of everything they’ve overcome, whether it’s taming a beast, being half human and half octopus, or simply staying true to themselves.

“In the end, more traditional gowns usually represent a moment of transformation and can be both physical and symbolic for the character.” Who wouldn’t?” Based on reactions to the new from all little girls little mermaid Trailer, who really?

Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara cover
Photo credit: Epic Ink

Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara is available in Amazon.ca