Totally Stupid Shit I learned from Disney Princesses (+ Other Awesome Sources of Wisdom)

on December 5, 2011 | in Life in General, Relationships | by

Have you ever tried to comb your hair with a fork… err, I mean, a dinglehopper?

When I was like, 5, I used to do this all the time. You know, because Ariel did it, and Ariel was my freaking idol. I mean, that girl is hot. Like, her hair is always in this perfectly amazing, flowy red swoop— even when it’s totally wet and soaked with seawater. Also, she wears this awesome seashell bra around all the time (totally inappropriate for a 16 year-old, but whatever). Plus, she’s got a castle. And Prince Eric. And also, a flounder fish and some scuttling crab who follow her around like they’re her freaking servant-friends or something (but really, what are they?).

Amazeballs.

So… yeah, anyhow. Growing up, popular culture has provided me with some awesome sources of guidance— shining pearls of wisdom regarding Everything I Need to Know About Life.

Here are the most apparent of these super awesome lessons.

WHEN I WAS 5, I LEARNED FROM DISNEY:

WHAT’S NORMAL

NON-HUMAN SERVANTS: Everyone has one, right?! First, there are singing animal-friend-servants like Sebastian and Flounder and Abu the monkey. (Wait, does Abu sing?!) Then shit starts getting really weird— because, like, then there get to be these singing candlestick-servants and singing clock-servants and FREAKING SINGING TEAPOT-SERVANTS. And, like, BIRDS AND MICE WHO WILL SEW YOU A DRESS FOR THE BALL. Totally effing normal, right?!

BEING HOT: Every Disney princess is super hot. And every Disney princess has AMAZING FREAKING HAIR. In fact, there’s probably something wrong with you if your hair is not long and perfect and AWESOME. Also, there’s probably something wrong with you if you don’t sit in front of the mirror brushing your perfect hair for, like, three hours/day— all while birds are chirping and landing on your shoulders and while you’re singing a beautiful, beautiful song.

WHAT LIFE’S ALL ABOUT

Life’s just about one thing, really: PRINCES. Like, it’s serious business, this prince-finding thing, because until you find Prince Charming and marry him and become The Princess of All the Land, your life will be totally, unbearably, completely incomplete. In fact, it’ll be so incomplete that you’ll sit around singing mopey songs about it every day— while making pies with the help of your animal-servant-friends. Seriously.

Don’t get me wrong; I like princes and all, but this song sort of makes me want to barf. On top of my kitchen counter. Without stopping. EVER.

HOW TO DEAL WITH YER PROBLEMS

You are pretty… pretty much helpless. If you find yourself in trouble, sit still and DO NOT MOVE. Wait for prince to come save you.

Along similar lines: There’s no need to use your resourcefulness and initiative to solve your own problems— magical shit will usually happen exactly when you most need it. Problems will always get fixed. Life will always end happily ever after. No worries, princess!

WHEN I WAS 15, I LEARNED FROM COSMO:

WHAT’S NORMAL

Whoring yourself out for the validation and attention you desperately want need don’t know how to find anywhere else.

WHAT LIFE’S ALL ABOUT

Being hottt. Attracting a guy. Being wanted & needed used & abused.

HOW TO DEAL WITH YER PROBLEMS

Bat yer eyelashes. Solicit compliments. Remind yourself that you are super sexy, dammit, and that’s what matters. (Or if you aren’t, then you’re SOL, bitch.)

If your heart gets broken, find another guy to fix it.

WHEN I WAS 20, I LEARNED FROM MTV:

WHAT’S NORMAL

Umm… this is what’s normal, right?!

WHAT LIFE’S ALL ABOUT

Money. Hos. Bitches. Cribs.

HOW TO DEAL WITH YER PROBLEMS

Party like a rock starrrr…

Also, life would probably be better if you just got some plastic surgery. I mean, getting hotter… getting richer… getting famous-er… getting drunker… getting a bigger freaking ego… these will solve most, if not all, of life’s problems.

WHEN I WAS… OH, ABOUT 26,

I took a step back and realized how much stupid freaking shit I’d learned over the years.

My definition of happiness was tied up in finding a prince.

My definition of worthiness was dependent upon the attention of Douchebaggery Homo Sapien.

My definition of success was being “popular” and trendy and carrying a designer bag and having people like me.

My definition of fun was blacking out and falling on the ground every weekend.

And every time I fell, I looked for something outside of myself to save me.

WHY, PEOPLE, WHY??!!

Why did I have to figure this stuff out on my own?

That princes are great, but that the least douchey ones come around once you’ve found your own sense of completeness?

That your life is already complete, your soul is already whole, and your beauty is already shining, right now?

That animals were NOT put on this earth to be your freaking servant-friends?

(JK, JK…)

That being hot and rich and perfect are only band-aids to keep yourself from feeling that hole that lies under the surface?

You know, that hole that’s filled with the absolute, undeniable, terrifying certainty that you are all alone.

And how come no one told you that— well, actually, you aren’t?

You aren’t all alone, and you aren’t the only one who’s pretending to have your shit together?

…Guys?

Why haven’t popular culture + non-sucky advice ever coexisted?

Why shouldn’t they?

Why can’t they?

It’s time for this to change.

And it starts. Right. Here.

THE UNLOST: Advice that doesn’t totally suck. (And that’s not totally boring and lame, either.)

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[Image by Helga Weber]

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  • Hey, at least snow white is working on her cooking while she’s waiting for her prince to come… way to make use of her time while also showing young girls where they belong, right? (jk, jk!)

    If I ever have a kid (which I’m not planning to, so you can all relax) she will only watch Mulan, but I will turn it off at the end where Mulan decides to stay home and marry the prince because that pissed me off. They almost had it right for a minute with that one… Oh well.

    • Call me weird, but I never saw Mulan. Well, maybe that’s not weird after all, since I was 14 when it came out (which means I was almost on to the Cosmo stage by then ;)

      • I was 15, but I was always a bit resistant to growing up… Wasn’t allowed near a Cosmo until… well… I probably still wouldn’t be allowed if my parents knew.

        • Yeah, neither was I… and neither would I… but that’s the thing; no matter how much your parents tried to shield you, you still aren’t immune to this crap…

    • Ngaio

      I’ve only seen clips so I’m not 100% on this, but apparently in the sequel Mulan keeps working for the emperor (like, having a real life), but she just does it alongside her husband.

  • Hahaha! I am laughing so hard right now. You go girl! Tell them! Back in the day, Belle was my favorite Disney character because she was the only one that cared about studying and reading books. Even with all her smarts, she was still pretty defenseless.

    It’s definitely about time for empowering advice. There’s nothing wrong with pretending to be a princess – as long as you’re the type of princess that will fight and stand up for what she believes in. You don’t have to wait for some prince to come save you. You have everything you need to save yourself – and most times, you’re the only one who can.

    • True, Belle was pretty cool :)

  • Amen, sister! I’ve been thinking so much about this lately – the fact that I’m only truly satisfied when I have a man on the hook. But that’s probably the saddest thing in the world. Thanks for continually reminding us of this.

    • Hey Lizzie… it’s not necessarily “sad”… in fact, a longing for relationship is a normal and essential part of being human. But when a relationship becomes what defines us or when it’s the only thing we believe can make us happy, then we are in trouble! (and so is the guy ;)

  • Andrea

    OMG. I have been thinking lately about how many stupid, nonsensical things I thought were true because I’ve seen them in the movies. And how it’s seriously messed my head up in terms of having an actual normal relationship because my expectations are frankly way out of wack. And my three year old niece believes she’s a princess…and so it continues…

    • Hey Andrea,

      Recognizing that your expectations are way out of wack is 90% of the battle… ;-)

  • I think our minds our doppelgangers (not to be mistaken by a dinglehoppers hee hee)…Except for the FACT that Jasmine is the show stoppah of them all Disney bitches. She knew what she wanted and went out in search for it:)

    I, too, fell for the messages that the mainstream media gave out. It wasn’t until this year when I got so flipping tired of defining my self-worth by shit that didn’t matter.. ya know..the cutest outfits and accessories, the number on the scale, how many “friends’ I had and that bodacious guy across the room (what does he think of me? I hope he can’t see my chubs from where he’s sitting).

    Man, how much I’ve changed. I love knowing that I’m not the only one that wants to toss my cookies when I hear Snow White singing that song.

    -xx Mika

  • Ks1189

    For girls: Disney has ruined their outlook on life
    For guys: Porn has ruined their outlook on life

    Stop living in a fantasy; you’ll see the real world for it is and learn how to deal with it.

    Great article

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it

  • Vishnu

    Great post – how can you throw 3 industries under the bus all at once:) My thought is that these concepts are very intertwined to marketing. each of the industries you mention above have a self interest in describing what the good life is all about so that we buy into all the products, houses, etc associated with them.

    • Definitely, they all buy into our insecurities or promise to “fix” them in some way…

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  • Steph

    Have you ever seen any of Jenna Marbles youtube videos? She has one titled “What Disney Movies Taught Me” and it sounds just like this article! Be warned…she language is worst than most guys I know…but hilarious just the same. You should go watch it next time you need a laugh.

  • Steph

    **her language.
    apparently my grammar needs some work as well ;)

    • Yeah, some other people also brought that up! Pretty funny stuff! :) :)

  • I’m right there with ya. Just the other day one of my friends had a post about disney princesses and how life is shit now because girls grew up hoping to find Prince Charming and that everything will always be perfect. I guess if people told us the truth when we were younger, our lives would be dramatically different?

    At least we’re learning that life isn’t all fairies and dancing animals. Yet it still can be awesome :)

    • Yeah, life IS awesome! It’s just a little disheartening to me that there isn’t more TRUTH out there and that so many of us grow up living in these ridiculous delusions.

  • Girly Jona

    I think I’m in love with you!! (as a disclaimer I only ever fall in love for fun, never for comfort or girl-duties)
    you write about princesses and crappy excising social norms and how oddly confusing life gets when you know who you are. and you read nerdy non-fiction! I too read nerdy non-fiction!

    I’ve had 3 red bulls today but still, I’m assigning you at least 85% of the love I’m feeling right now.

    I will most certainly keep reading!

    • Hahaha that just made me LOL and also that made me very happy :-) Thanks girl, glad to have you.

  • s_winge

    Oh my gosh, this is just such an awesome post. I was inspired to immediately tag you with the Liebster Blog Award! I will be back to read the rest of your posts – I just love your spin on things. If you are interested, you may accept said award at http://mylifeincontradictions.blogspot.com/2011/12/liebster-blog-award.html

    Sarah

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  • you had me at ‘amazeballs.’

  • lisa

    While I see that it’s possible to go 26 years without realizing that movies and magazines aren’t the way to learn about life, even when you know you’re watching a children’s fairytale made in the ’40’s by people who grew up in the ’20’s, I think it’s unfortunate that you and the other commenting didn’t have their parents and other families teach them what it is to be in a healthy relationship and the other things you commented. Now, I’ll probably get a bunch of backlash for being a bitch in the post, but..I don’t really care. While I realize that this post was supposed to be funny and light hearted, I just think if parents stepped up and taught their children the difference between fiction and reality, we might have more well balanced adults.

    • Families and parents are VERY important teachers indeed. Integral. My point is simply this: why doesn’t popular culture *reinforce* what’s most real & true & important in life? Why does it *need* explaining from parents?? Why does it (for the most part) lead us astray rather than leading us closer to the truth?

      It’s not that I ever thought mermaids & rap videos were “real life,” but moreso that I strived to live up to the standards of “cool” and “happy” and “perfect” that were portrayed, if this makes any sense. My parents are great examples of a healthy relationship, etc., and have been married 30+ years… they never let me watch cable or read Cosmo… still, I was exposed to these influences and for quite some time I strived to live up to these images of popular culture.

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