I don’t imagine my princesses in the same way as others do, either kissing their husband in marital perfection or the cynical version where they are drunk in the kitchen, living out their happily ever after in a haze of poor decisions.

No, I think Cinderella becomes a fashion designer, stops smoking and takes back her name; ends up making money and being a spokesperson for abuse victims. Right now if Ella was alive she’d be laughing over a pumpkin-spice latte; her empire is the most body-inclusive in fashion. I think snow-white becomes an activist, studies genetics and will allow no person with a disability to go homeless; whenever someone makes a joke about seven small men she whips around and asks them what exactly their problem is because there is nothing wrong with any of her friends. 

I think Aurora is a sleep disorder doctor and a psychologist, she uses hypnosis to help people who can’t quite escape the thicket inside of their brains; she’s working on developing a pill for people with chronic insomnia even though everyone still teases her about that one bout of narcolepsy and one day she admits she actually was awake for most of it and just studying. I think Ariel has shut down marine life poaching in as many parts of her country as she can, she’s got teams working to clean up oil spills and she’s building windmills in her backyard because she’d rather have the “eyesore” than know someone is drilling in her home; she has degrees in environmental science and marine biology, she’s got a side project for scuba divers and oceanography and is devising a way for mermaids to visit her land without giving up their tails. 

I think Belle is a veterinarian and runs her practice out of her father’s house where his inventions have saved the lives of at least ninety dogs; she is a teacher in her free time and since she can’t change the actions of their parents, in her classroom she has taught Gaston’s eight kids to be nothing short of polite and well-mannered. She takes frequent trips outside of her little quiet town but always comes home again. 

I think Jasmine is a feminist in every aspect, I believe she works with shelters and soup kitchens and makes sure nobody starves in her city ever again; She’s set up homes for homeless women, marches in rallies and has a school specifically for gifted girls that were almost married off to strange men. She has become outspoken about being bisexual and uses her position of power to lobby for more than just equal marriage laws because she knows better than most what it’s like to have your desire for love ignored. 

You see, I think when we cast these women as only a prize to be won, that their life stops as soon as the credits roll; when we joke about how everything went south right after it all, that we’re telling girls, “you will regret that you ever fell in love or believed in magic when you were small.” 

You can believe in happy endings but believe too in the princesses themselves, believe that marriage isn’t the only goal a girl can set for herself, believe that if these girls fought to stay alive when an evil queen was chasing them, if they fought to give up their nature for the chance of more adventure, if they fought the sultan himself and society’s expectations: something tells me that their happily ever after isn’t resting on their laurels, something tells me they’d seek just a little more, something tells me that they’d keep fighting until there is a happy ending for every single little girl. 

Believe in yourself, princess, and know that even if you want a career and husband and twelve happy children, you are not deluding yourself of anything. it is completely possible to actually have everything; it is okay for you to want a job and a home and a family and a kingdom. 

You are strong enough, you will handle it. 

Please don’t let anyone tell you anything different. 

The original blog article appeared here 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *