I find it increasingly hard to swallow the notion that Disney Princesses are ruining today’s young girls. Suffice to say, I grew up on Disney and I’m running a company comprised of intelligent and self-assured women and men. Somehow I can’t translate that into an entertaining children’s story… Wendy… Peter Pan? I don’t know.
Contrary to trending beliefs, having childhood princess fantasies did not crush my self-confidence and it did not infect me with the idea that I needed a man to wisk me away into some kind of royal domestic bliss. I remember when a new Disney movie would come out and how all I wanted was to hold that shiny plastic VHS case in my hands so I could watch The Little Mermaid over and over and over again. But believe it or not, my thoughts on female role models and romantic relationships were almost entirely shaped by those I witnessed in real life. I remember from a pretty tender age seeing women who were in my family, or friends of our family, who felt really trapped in their marriages, unable to make independent decisions, unable to speak freely, unable to spend their own money and generally feeling pretty oppressed. Maybe they weren’t the breadwinners of the family, maybe their relationship had just degraded to this sorry state from years of neglect, there were hundreds of factors in play. For some reason, I don’t think that watching Cinderella as a child was one of them. Because I freaking loved Cinderella, and I knew exactly what kind of relationship I didn’t want with whatever man I chose to be in my life.